Athletic Training FAQs

Division of Professional Studies

Can I participate in sports or other activities while being an athletic training major?

Yes, you can play a sport or participate in some other extracurricular activity for one season each year you are in the professional phase of the program. That means that if you participate in a sport that has a non-traditional season, such as baseball, you will be able to play in the spring season but not the fall non-traditional season, unless you have free time from studies and clinical assignments. The athletic training program (ATP) faculty understand the value of being well-rounded and involved athletic training students. Our coaches and faculty have worked together to allow this opportunity and still make it possible to graduate in the normal four-year period. If you plan to play sports or be involved in another opportunity, you must meet with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as possible to devise an academic plan for the participation.

Is the BC athletic training program (ATP) an accredited program?

The Bridgewater College ATP has met all of the nationally-recognized Standards for Entry-Level Athletic Training Education. The last review by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) granted the maximum 10 years of reaffirmation. BC will undergo its next comprehensive evaluation during the 2018-2019 academic year.

What is your Board of Certification (BOC) examination success rate?

Our first-time pass rate on the Board of Certification (BOC) examination has met or exceeded the national average every year except one since CAATE accreditation. Our students in the last three years have passed at a 95% rate. See athletic training outcomes and placement for a complete summary of program outcomes.

What is the difference between the pre-placement phase and professional phase of the ATP?

You can declare athletic training as your major from the moment of acceptance. The first year and a half, you are part of the pre-placement phase (sometimes called pre-professional program). This pre-placement phase is a time to determine if the major is a good fit for you. Once you have successfully completed the competitive admissions process (a separate process and one with limited number of students admitted), you will enter into the professional phase of the ATP. Usually, the professional phase begins second semester of the sophomore year.

What is the pre-placement phase of the ATP?

The pre-placement phase of the ATP occurs when a student declares AT as their major and lasts until they either are admitted by the ATP or change their major. This phase is an observational time to determine if athletic training is the appropriate career choice for them. This phase normally lasts until the successful admissions process outlined in the academics overview of this web-page (usually second semester sophomore year). There is a pre-placement orientation phase that must occur that includes universal precautions and blood-borne pathogens training before a student can begin the pre-placement observations with BC athletic trainers.

What is the professional phase of the ATP?

The professional phase of the ATP begins when a student is accepted by the ATP for admissions. This process is competitive for limited spots and outlined in the academic overview portion of this webpage. The admissions process normally occurs in the spring semester of the sophomore year. Students are required to be enrolled a minimum of two full academic years in the ATP (because of external accreditation standards). The BC ATP is normally completed in 2 ½ years.

Where do your graduates go to graduate school?

See athletic training outcomes and placement for a complete list.

What percentage of graduates goes into the workforce versus graduate school?

Roughly 50% of our students enter graduate programs, with about half of those gaining paid graduate assistant or teaching assistant positions. Nearly 40% of our students go directly into entry-level healthcare jobs.

Will I need a car to be enrolled in the professional phase of the ATP?

Throughout the junior and senior years, there will be opportunities to observe surgeries which will require transportation to Sentara RMH (formerly Rockingham Memorial Hospital) Medical Center or Hess Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine. Late in the junior year or throughout the senior year, you may be sent to an off-campus clinical affiliation such as a clinic, physician's office or high school near or around Harrisonburg (20+ minutes from campus). Transportation will be needed for this purpose. If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from having a car, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In most instances, alternative activities can be secured.

Will I need to live on campus to enroll in the professional phase of the ATP?

Once admitted to the ATP, you will occasionally travel and return late from athletic contests. While this travel may be easier if you live on-campus, there is no reason you must live on-campus. The College’s off-campus housing policy applies to all athletic training students.

When do I apply for admission to the ATP?

The application process occurs by January 15 following the completion of all of the pre-placement coursework and hours of observation.  This is normally in the sophomore year.

Where might my clinical affiliations occur?

Generally, clinical affiliations occur with one of the five BC certified athletic trainers and the 25 intercollegiate sports teams they are covering. You may also complete a clinical assignment in the local secondary schools, Sentara RMH Medical Center, Advantage Physical Therapy, James Madison University or the College of William and Mary. Every student will complete a general medical rotation within a local healthcare facility.

Questions? Contact Us!

Dr. Charles W. Hale
Associate Professor, Health & Human Sciences; Director, Athletic Training Program
540-828-5763
chale@bridgewater.edu