When should I apply to the AT Program? What must be done and what can be in progress?
There is only one admissions process each year. Applications are
due March 1st, unless March 1st falls on a weekend or
holiday. If this happens, applications are due the Monday
following March 1st. Students must have the pre-requisites
completed or be in progress with their final pre-requisites during
Students must complete the 100 observation hours requirement
Most students complete these requirements and are able to apply by
the spring of their sophomore year. Applications are located online
How do I complete the 100-hour observation requirement?
The 100 hour observation requirement is an opportunity to
observe an athletic trainer (AT) in action. The person being
observed must hold
the credential of ATC®. The aim of the observation hours is
to show the student what a "typical" athletic trainer position
entails and to give the student an idea of what clinical
assignments will be like once in the program. The hour requirement must be
complete at the time of application.
Possible locations to complete observation hours include the
Sports Medicine Department of the UCF Athletics Association
(contact Jarrett Schweim at firstname.lastname@example.org),
the UCF Recreation and Wellness Center (contact Gabrielle Bell at
area high schools, and area outpatient rehabilitation facilities.
At least 50 hours must be completed at a high school, college, or
professional setting. The other 50 hours can be completed at the
location of the student's choice.
Documentation of completed observation hours is required and
must be in the form of a verification letter from the athletic
trainer(s) observed. The verification letter must meet the
following requirements: 1) be on company letterhead; 2) include the
name and credentials of the athletic trainer(s) observed; 3)
include the nature of the experience and total hours observed; and
4) include contact information and a signature of the athletic
trainer. If multiple ATs were observed at the same setting, a
letter from one athletic trainer that provides the necessary
information is sufficient. If ATs were observed at different
settings, a letter from each setting is required. Most ATs
will want the student to use a spreadsheet to track their
Students must complete training in bloodborne pathogens prior to beginning observation
hours with an athletic trainer. The American Heart
Association offers an online course that can be found at www.onlineaha.org. Other
companies offer online instruction as well. The course chosen must
meet OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens standard. Students should be
prepared to show proof of course completion in order to complete
their observation hours. Students completing observation hours
may NOT engage in any activity that they are not
trained for and/or that might present a violation of Florida AT
What prerequisites are necessary to apply for the AT Program?
Pre-requisite and AT Program course information can be found by
visiting our webpage, accessing the catalog and locating the
Athletic Training B.S. page. The link is http://catalog.ucf.edu/. The Undergraduate Student
Services advisors (HPA 2, 115), Kristen Schellhase (Program
Director, HPA 2, 121), Jennifer Plant (Clinical Education
Coordinator, HPA 2, 122) and Carlos Gual (Instructor, HPA 1, 271)
can also assist with this.
PHY 2053C is a co-requisite. Students need not complete it
before applying to the program. However, students are
strongly advised to take it before entering the program because it
is a pre-requisite for a course in the spring of the junior year
and scheduling that course for the summer B or fall semesters is
quite difficult. Scheduling physics during the summer A or fall
should be a last resort. Scheduling physics during summer B or C is
not allowed because it would interfere with the commitment required
of an AT student.
CHM 2045C is not a pre-requisite for AT. However, at UCF, either
CHM 1032 (3 CR, no lab required) or CHM 2045C (4 CR, lab required)
or the "split chemistry option" (CHM 2040 + CHM 2041)
is a pre-requisite for physiology (PCB 3703C) which is a
pre-requisite for the AT Program. Students who are interested in
graduate programs in PT, PA, MD or other health field should be
aware that CHM 2045C is a very common pre-requisite for those
graduate programs and this higher level CHM class will likely be
expected for those programs. A placement test is required to enter
CHM 2045C. Please consult the Chemistry Department for
details on how to sign up for the placement test (http://knightsource.sdes.ucf.edu/placement).
If students are transferring to UCF with the physiology requirement
already completed, they would not need the chemistry course as it
is not a pre-requisite for the AT Program.
I plan to take a prerequisite course at another institution, is that OK?
The AT Program is not concerned with where a pre-requisite
course is taken. Only that it is an acceptable equivalent course. A
list of equivalent courses can be found in the "transfer notes"
section of the AT Program page in the UCF Catalog (http://catalog.ucf.edu/) or on
the Florida Virtual Campus list of Common Prerequisites Manual
(http://flvc.org). UCF students who plan to take a course
elsewhere need to file a "Transient Form". Information on being a
transient student can be found at
How many students are accepted each year? How hard is it to get in?
The AT Program generally accepts 28 students each year. Meeting
the minimum requirements for admission does not ensure
acceptance. The AT Program is a restricted access program and
has a competitive admissions process. The AT Program has stringent
entrance criteria. Students are evaluated on four
criteria: Overall GPA (minimum of
2.75 required); pre-requisite courses completed (or in-progress
with final pre-requisites the semester of application); 100 hour
observation requirement completed; and a letter of interest.
Selected students will be interviewed and the interview is used as
a significant basis for admissions decisions.
What are the practicum courses 1-4? What is the internship like?
Students are sent into clinical sites during four semesters of
the program. The program attempts to expose students to a wide
variety of sports including upper extremity (ex. volleyball,
softball) lower extremity (ex. soccer) equipment intensive (ex.
football, lacrosse), and general medical conditions (rotations with
a family practice physician). In addition, the program attempts to
provide students the experience of working with male and female
sports and semester-long single sport exposure (and possibly travel
with the team). Internships provide students the opportunity to use
knowledge and skills they learned in the classroom. Internships are
assigned by the Clinical Education Coordinator. Students do not
need to find their own place to intern once they are in the AT
Program. Placement decisions are made by the Clinical
What is the time requirement for the internships?
The time requirement varies with the location are assigned.
Schedules are highly dependant on games, practices, and sport
seasons. Students generally put in 16-22 hours a week during
an internship. Students must understand that internship time
requirements are outside of the standard university calendar and
outside of standard class hours. Internships often require
attendance on late nights, early mornings, weekends and semester
breaks. Once admitted, students are expected to consult the
Clinical Education Coordinator, Jennifer Plant, before planning to
be out of the area. Family vacations, jobs and other outside
activities are not considered adequate reasons to miss internship
requirements. Students who work jobs in excess of 10 hours
per week, or participate in other extracurricular activities (like
fraternities and sororities) will find that the AT Program schedule
is intense and dynamic. While the AT Program does not forbid these
kinds of outside activities, they are not allowed to interfere with
AT courses or practicum/internship requirements. Only students with
exceptional time management skills will be able to do both.
What other courses should I take to fill my schedule?
Students who have almost completed pre-requisites but cannot yet
apply to the program are advised to develop a meaningful schedule.
There are several options for students who have room in their
Applicable minors are Health Services Administration, Health
Sciences, Fitness Training, Sport Business Management, and
Education. PT/MD/PA pre-requisites or education courses may also be
of interest to an AT student.
Students interested in being an athletic trainer at a high
school are advised to take subject area courses (ie take physics
courses if you want to teach physics) and/or education courses and
investigate Florida teaching certificate requirements (www.fldoe.org).
Other courses of interest include:
Upper Extremity Function and Measurement (ATR 3203C)
Lower Extremity Function and Measurement (ATR 3204C)
Injury, Management and Rehabilitation (ATR 3312C)
Professional Development in the Health Professions (HSC
Medical Self-Assessment (HSC 3110)
Preventive Healthcare (HSC 3211)
Clinical Nutrition (HSC 4572)
Health Psychology (CLP 4314)
Pathophysiology I and/or II (HSC 4555 and 4558)
Introduction to Pharmacology (HSC 3147)
Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases (HSC 4501)
Occupational Safety for the Healthcare Professional (HSC
Medical Terminology (HSC 3537)
Health Law and Ethics (HSC 4652)
Health Sciences Research Methods (HSC 4702)
Applied Health Research Methodology (HSC 4730)
Exceptional Populations in School and Society (EEX 2090)
Writing about Health and Medicine (ENC 3453)
Do I need to be an athletic training major if I want to be a physical therapist? Is an athletic training degree going to help me get into physical therapy school? What is the difference between a PT and an AT?
Many people are confused about the difference between AT and PT.
While there are some similarities in the disciplines, students
should understand that there are major differences in
patient population and scope of practice. An AT usually
works with a population that
includes physically active individuals who are young adult to
middle aged. ATs very often treat musculoskeletal conditions, but
are also trained for some general medical concerns (illnesses that
affect sport participation) and trauma (ex. Spinal cord and head
trauma). The job of an athletic trainer includes prevention
of injury, recognition and evaluation of injuries and illnesses,
emergency care, rehabilitation, and administration. ATs provide
immediate care for those who sustain injuries, and often continue
providing care as the patient goes through surgery, rehabilitation,
and return to play. ATs perform on-field evaluations and make
"return to play" decisions during competitive events.
Physical therapists do not generally do most of these things.
Physical therapists treat a wider age range of patients and a wider
diversity of physical concerns (ex. neuro, burns, MS, CP). Students
must also understand that the work settings are very different in
Although some ATs work in an outpatient rehabilitation
environment (like a PT might), most work in high schools, colleges
and professional sports where hours will be more varied (long
hours/early and late/holidays and weekends are common), environment
will be harsh at times (heat/humidity/rain), and the patients are
often very dirty. Students who desire to be in the AT Program must
be excited by the description of an athletic trainer and not simply
using the program as a bridge to Physical Therapy. If a student is
not interested in the above description of an athletic trainer,
they are encouraged to investigate the Health Sciences Pre-Clinical
major in the College of Health and Public Affairs.
What is the difference between personal training and athletic training?
How can I stay involved with athletic training before I gain admittance to the AT Program?
There is a club associated with the AT Program called SATO. This
club is open to students interested in getting into the program and
those who are already in the program. To find out more and get on
an email list write to Carlos.email@example.com. The
program also has a Facebook page. You can "like" us through
"UCF AT Program".
Can I have a job and still be in the Athletic Training (AT) Program?
As adults, students must make this decision on their own.
The AT Program mandates that outside activities cannot
interfere with internshipcourses.
Internship courses happen during the fall and spring of each year,
and are VERY time intensive. Some involve early mornings,
late afternoons, weekends and/or holidays. In addition, schedules
dynamic, changing often at the last minute. Most
outside employment interferes with that kind of schedule. It is not
acceptable for a student to tell their internship that they can
only work certain days of the week, or certain times of the day. If
the internship has a scheduled day off, students may use that time
as they please.