Illinois State University
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Athletic Training

The NATA Accredited Graduate Athletic Training Program at Illinois State University provides students with advanced knowledge in athletic training focused in the area of application of various manual therapy techniques and biomechanical principals related to the prevention, evaluation, and treatment of musculoskeletal pathologies.

The curriculum focuses on critical inquiry and reasoning for certified athletic trainers. The sequence requirements incorporate a variety of teaching methods, philosophies, and experiences to facilitate practical knowledge beyond that of an entry-level athletic trainer, thereby providing the student a unique opportunity to learn different ideologies and skills within sports medicine.

Recent graduates have earned positions with high schools, universities, professional sports, sports medicine clinics, hospitals, fitness clubs, research laboratories, and industrial settings. Others have continued on to earn a terminal degree in sports medicine or education.

Mission of the Graduate Athletic Training Education Program

The mission of the Graduate Athletic Training Education Program at Illinois State University is to provide students with the progressive education and professional development necessary for an advanced degree within the profession of athletic training. Students become engaged in fostering advanced knowledge and research through diverse perspectives that lead to the development of practical skills and dissemination of new knowledge for current and future practitioners and educators in athletic training.

Manual Therapy Techniques Taught

  • Advanced joint mobilizations
  • Graston Technique (successful completion results in Graston licensure)
  • Myofascial release
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Muscle energy techniques

Athletic Training Faculty and Research Interests

Rebecca Begalle, Ph.D., University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Human Movement Science
Lower extremity injury biomechanics, neuromuscular and biomechanical consequences of injury, optimizing human movement, ACL injury prevention.

Noelle Selkow, Ph.D., University of Virginia, Coordinator of Graduate Athletic Training Education
Musculoskeletal imaging, muscle blood flow with modality use, muscle energy technique, and low back pain

Justin Stanek, Ed.D., Illinois State University, Program Director of Undergraduate Athletic Training
Athletic injuries to the lower extremity, disability and functional scale models, Graston technique, and athletic training education


Athletic Training Curriculum

Students admitted to the graduate athletic training program must complete a minimum of 33 total credit hours, including 6 credit hours in the research core, 15 credit hours in the athletic training sequence, 3 to 6 credit hours in a cognate area, 3 credit professional practice, and either 6 credit hours of thesis or 3 credit hours of an advisor-approved independent study project. This curriculum is outlined below:

Research Core - 6 hours

  • KNR 497, Introduction to Research Methods
  • KNR 445, Statistics in Applied Science and Technology

Athletic Training Sequence Core - 15 hours

  • KNR 486, Advanced Assessment & Treatment of Musculoskeletal Injuries (Every Spring)
  • KNR 487, Advanced Seminar in Sports Medicine (Every Fall)
  • KNR 490, Injury Biomechanics (Every Fall)
  • KNR 494, Modern Manual Therapy I (Every Fall)
  • KNR 496, Modern Manual Therapy II (Every Spring)

Cognate Area - 3 hours (for thesis option) or 6 hours (for non-thesis option) in courses approved by your graduate advisor

Culminating Experience - 3-6 hours with approval by your graduate advisor

  • KNR 499, Thesis, 6 hours or KNR 400, Independent Study, 3 hours

Recommended Sequence of Coursework

Your course schedule will be as follows:

Fall 1st yr Spring 1st yr Fall 2nd yr Spring 2nd yr
487 445 494 496
490 482 498 400 & cognate**
497 486 499* or cognate** 499 & cognate*

* Thesis student
**Non-thesis student

Athletic Training Admission Requirements

Prospective students who meet the requirements of the KNR Graduate Program must have graduated from a CAATE accredited undergraduate athletic training program. Those students who desire an athletic training graduate assistantship should be BOC-certified and have applied for Illinois Licensure as an athletic trainer by August of the first year of admission. GA positions are typically available with Illinois State Athletics, Illinois Wesleyan University Athletics, local high schools, and local sports medicine clinics. There are also instructional opportunities with the School of KNR.

Application materials for State licensure are available.

Questions about Athletic Training?

Contact Dr. Noelle Selkow, Athletic Training Graduate Program Director

Athletic Training Grad Students Links

Career Opportunities

  • College or university staff athletic trainer positions
  • Public and private high school staff athletic trainer positions
  • Positions in sports medicine clinics and physical therapy settings
  • Undergraduate athletic training clinical instruction and research

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Kinesiology and Recreation
Campus Box 5120
250 McCormick Hall
Normal, Il 61790-5120
Phone: (309) 438-8661
Fax: (309) 438-5559

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