Brian Smith

Brian J. Smith

Athletic Training Program Director and Assistant Professor

The Master of Athletic Training at Charleston Southern University admits one cohort per year.

Starting your path to becoming an athletic trainer can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Candidates for selection into the Athletic Training Program (ATP) must meet the following criteria. Further explanation of these requirements can be found in the Graduate Catalog and the CSU ATP Student Handbook. Application materials can be requested from the Program Director.

Two student Athletic Trainers writing evaluations on a whiteboard.

Admissions Process

Step 1 : Review Application Requirements

The following requirements must be met to be eligible to apply for the program:

  • Application
  • Official GRE scores taken within the last 5 years (if cumulative undergraduate GPA is below a 3.5)
  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Prerequisite Coursework
  • Human Anatomy with lab (4 units)
  • Human Physiology with lab (4 units) or Anatomy and Physiology with lab (8 units total)
  • College-level Chemistry with lab (4 units)
  • College-level Physics with lab (4 units)
  • General Biology with lab (4 units)
  • Kinesiology or Human Movement Analysis course (3 units)
  • Physiology of Exercise (3 to 4 units)
  • Personal and Community Health or equivalent (3 units)  
  • Nutrition (3 units)
  • College Algebra or higher (3 units or higher)
  • General Psychology (3 units)
  • Current and valid Basic Life Support (CPR/AED) certification (see Board of Certification for a list of acceptable providers)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume 
  • Official transcripts from ALL institutions attended

Step 2 : Apply

The student should apply for admission with the Office of Enrollment Services.

Step 3: Interview

Candidates are offered an online or in-person interview.

Step 4 : Acceptance Requirements

Students are granted official acceptance by demonstrating the following:

  • Provide proof of personal health insurance
  • Provide proof of professional liability insurance (CSU will purchase this for students and then charge the student’s account)
  • Verification of criminal background check (performed by CSU prior to start of program)
  • Signed Program Standards (see below) form (personal verification of the ability of the student to meet the Technical Standards during participation in the ATP with no compounding risks to one’s self and/or others within the health care environment)
  • Provide proof of personal vaccinations (immunization record), which must include MMR, Varicella, Hepatitis B, Tetanus-diphtheria, Polio. Further, the AT student must provide a negative TB test (taken within the month of June prior to start of the program)

Program Standards

The Athletic Training Educational Program at Charleston Southern University is a rigorous and intense program that places specific requirements and demands on the students enrolled in the program. An objective of this program is to prepare graduates to enter a variety of employment settings and to render care to a wide spectrum of individuals engaged in physical activity. The program standards set forth by the Athletic Training Program establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to this program to achieve the knowledge, skills, and competencies of an entry-level athletic trainer, as well as meet the expectations of the programs accrediting agency (Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education [CAATE]). The following abilities and expectations must be met by all students admitted to the Athletic Training Program. In the event a student is unable to fulfill these program standards, the student will not be admitted into the program. Compliance with the program standards does not guarantee a student’s eligibility for the BOC certification exam.

Candidates must demonstrate:

1) The mental capacity to assimilate, analyze, synthesize, integrate concepts and problem solve to formulate assessment and therapeutic judgments and to be able to distinguish deviations from the norm;

2) Sufficient postural and neuromuscular control, sensory function, and coordination to perform appropriate physical examinations using accepted techniques; and accurately, safely and efficiently use equipment and materials during the assessment and treatment of patients;

3) The ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues, including individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds; this includes, but is not limited to, the ability to establish rapport with patients and communicate judgments and treatment information effectively. Students must be able to understand and speak the English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice;

4) The ability to record the physical examination results and a treatment plan clearly and accurately;

5) The capacity to maintain composure and continue to function well during periods of high stress;

6) The perseverance, diligence and commitment to complete the Athletic Training Program as outlined and sequenced;

7) Flexibility and the ability to adjust to changing situations and uncertainty in clinical situations; and,

8) Effective skills and appropriate demeanor and rapport that relate to professional education and quality patient care.

Candidates for selection to the athletic training program will be required to verify they understand and meet these program standards or that they believe that, with certain accommodations, they can meet the standards (compliance with the program standards does not guarantee a student’s eligibility for the BOC examination)

Advancing in ATP

Students must demonstrate acceptable progression in their advancement through the ATP. Students will jeopardize program status (probation and/or program dismissal) if they are unable to comply with the following program standards:

1) Minimum Grade Requirements

  • A student cannot earn more than one grade of ‘C’ in any of courses within the program. If a student earns more than one grade of ‘C’, the student will be ineligible to continue in the program. If the student’s second ‘C’ occurs during the last semester in the program the student will not be eligible to receive their degree. If a student earns a grade of D or F in any course, they will be dismissed from the program.

2) Overall 3.0 GPA in credit hours taken at CSU toward degree

  • If the GPA falls below 3.00 it must be raised to the required GPA the next semester or the student will be ineligible to continue in the program. If the student GPA falls below a 3.00 at the conclusion of their last semester in the program the student will be not eligible to receive their degree.

3) Maintain NATA Standards of Professional Practice and BOC Code of Ethics

4) Maintain CSU-ATP Professional Behavior Policy per the ATP Student Handbook  

5) Maintain standards of academic and clinical education requirements consistent with educational level.

If the GPA falls below 3.00 it must be raised to the required GPA the next semester or the student will be ineligible to continue in the program. If the student GPA falls below a 3.00 at the conclusion of their last semester in the program the student will not be eligible to receive their degree.

Students failing to meet the requirements stated above will be placed on probation. The Program Director will conduct review of academic probation status at the end of each academic semester, and students will be notified of their standing in the program. Upon notification of their standing, students will sign documentation regarding their status, which will be kept on file. Failure to reestablish adequate academic/practical standards consistent with program guidelines will result in program dismissal. Once dismissed from the ATP, students are NOT eligible for re-admission.


  • First time/semester student’s overall GPA falls below 3.00
  • Failure to comply with Professional Behavior Policies (some student behavior is egregious enough to warrant Program Dismissal)
  • Student earns a ‘C’ in a course


  • Recommended remediation (Learning Center) and/or meeting with appropriate personnel (Program Director or Clinical Education Coordinator)
  • One semester to bring overall GPA above 3.00. If students is unable to bring their GPA to 3.00 they will be dismissed from the program
  • One semester to show improvement in their professional behavior which is in line with the established Professional Behavior Policies
  • If a student earns a ‘C’ in a course they will remain on probation the rest of the time he/she is in the program
University Requirements
  • To be eligible for graduation in the Master’s Degree Program, a student must complete professional core and specialization area requirements with a 3.00 GPA (see Graduate Catalog for specific degree requirements)

Athletic Training Program Requirements

  • Completion of all professional coursework (62 units)
  • Maintain overall 3.0 GPA in credit hours taken at CSU toward degree
  • Earned minimum grades in all professional courses (see retention policy above)
  • Completion of all clinical education requirements
  • Completion of education competencies and clinical integrated proficiencies
  • Completion of clinical hours
  • Maintain good standing in the Athletic Training Program according to the policies and procedures stated in the CSU-ATP Handbook
  • Follow BOC Inc. Standards of Professional Practice and NATA Code of Ethics