Athletic training phasing out bachelor’s, offering master’s

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The bachelor’s degree currently offered in athletic training at Murray State will soon be phased out, with the last group of students graduating in May of 2018, program director Kristan Erdmann said.

However, a Master of Science in Athletic Training will be offered at Murray State beginning in the summer 2017.

Jeremy Erdmann, admission coordinator for the program, said the athletic training program has been accredited since 2005. However, he said the national organization decided to shift the level of professional education, which will officially begin in 2021.

“Murray State wanted to get ahead of the ball game and develop that program earlier so our students are graduating with a master’s degree instead of a bachelor’s degree,” Erdmann said. 

He said anyone with the prerequisites can apply to the program. There are two routes available to students: traditional and accelerated.

He said the traditional route allows the student to achieve their bachelor’s degree and then apply to the master’s program, which will last two years.

He said the accelerated route is unique to the region because it allows students to major in exercise science and complete three years of the degree and then begin the first year of the master’s program during the last year of the bachelor’s program.

Kristan Erdmann said this is the only “three plus two” program available at Murray State, with an immersive clinical curriculum.

She said the master’s program allows the student to get a full experiential education combined with didactic learning and she said there is a portion of the accelerated learning courses that allows the student to work alongside other athletic trainers in the field locally.

Isabella Meeks, junior from Princeton, Kentucky, said she has always wanted to go into athletic training and believes that Murray State has one of the best programs around.

“It is probably the shortest but most efficient way to become an athletic trainer,” Meeks said.

She said she is excited to work with the sports teams through the master’s program.

Cody Molls, freshman from Fredonia, Kentucky, said, “I want to help people and this is the best way I see to do that. I am excited to be able to work hands-on.”

There will be a deadline to apply to the program, but the date is unofficial. The next information session is at 5 p.m. on Oct. 19 in 409 Oakley Applied Science Building.