Kinesiology: B.S. Athletic Training

Clinical Education

Formal Clinical Education

Once admitted to the ATEP students complete their formal clinical education for five sequential semesters via the course KIN 416 Competencies in Athletic Training. The primary purpose of these clinical education experiences is to provide the student with the opportunity to practice and refine their clinical and decision making skills in the context of direct patient care. During the clinical placement, students are supervised by a licensed athletic trainer who is an Approved Clinical Instructor (ACI) either at UWM, or other sites in the community. Students commit an average of 12 hours per week to clinical education. Some experiences may occur outside of the academic semester, such as pre-season practices in August and during the winter break. The Clinical Experience Guidelines detail the expectations and requirements of the clinical education experiences.

During the five-semester clinical education sequence, students will be provided exposure to a variety of work settings and patient populations. These will include emergency and acute injury care, upper and lower extremity injuries, sport-equipment intensive experiences, and general medical interactions. All students will have an experience at a collegiate, high school, sports medicine clinic, and general medical setting. Other available experiences include professional sports, performing arts, industrial, and clinical settings.

Clinical education assignments are coordinated by the Director of Clinical Education and are based upon the class and/or work schedule of each student as well as identification of clinical education goals of each student. This process allows the ATEP to accommodate the individual student-needs while ensuring that each student participates in an appropriate, yet diverse set of supervised clinical experiences. The emphasis of each clinical rotation will directly correspond to the semester-specific set of educational competencies and clinical proficiencies presented in the concurrent academic courses.

To maintain good standing, and progress within the ATEP students must earn at least a B- in KIN 416 each semester. Additional expectations are outlined in the Clinical Progression Requirements.


During the final year of the ATEP, each student will complete an internship at a clinical affiliate that he/she selects under the guidance of the Director of Clinical Education. The internship is a capstone experience designed to facilitate the refinement of clinical skills from proficiency towards a level of mastery equated with an entry level professional. The internship experience is part of the course "Kinesiology Internship and Seminar" (KIN 489). The total internship experience equals a total of 14 semester credits and 640 contact hours within the agency.

The Kinesiology Internship and Seminar for the Athletic Training sub-major carries 14 semester hours of credit supervised by the University and may be completed using one of four Field Experience Options. The internship may only be taken during the last year of the student's undergraduate program. For a single semester, the internship student should enroll in 14 credit hours. For a two-semester internship, students should enroll in at least 3credits and no more than 11 credits for each of the two semesters (totaling 14 credits), and those semesters should be consecutive.

The student and Director of Clinical Education work together to identify an internship site that will expand the student’s knowledge base, and /or closely resemble his/her career goals and interests. Through assignments and experiences, the internship will advance the student’s professionalism, and provide direction/education towards preparing the athletic training student for the national board examination. Information and guidance for post-graduate certification, licensure, job seeking, and graduate school is also provided.

Admission to Internship

The following requirements must be met before enrolling in KIN 489

  1. Completion of all other curriculum requirements,
  2. 2.50 cumulative GPA
  3. 2.75 cumulative GPA for all Kinesiology (KIN) courses numbered 270 and above

Students should be aware that the Kinesiology Internship and Seminar (KIN 489) course requires either a full-time (40 hours per week) commitment for 16 weeks, or an average of 20 hours per week commitment over two consecutive semesters.

Students in the Athletic Training Education Program may opt to complete a two-semester internship. In addition to the criteria listed previously, the following criteria must be met by students pursuing the two-semester internship.

  1. Must be in good academic standing within the Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP).
  2. Must have approval from the Director of Clinical Education to plan for and be placed within the internship program.
  3. Must be within 32 credits hours of graduation (including internship credits).
  4. May be limited to 9 credits of other coursework each semester while completing internship requirements.

Supplemental Clinical Education

The growth of our community-based clinical affiliates has provided a number of clinical education opportunities to augment a student's education. These supplemental experiences are organized by the Director of Clinical Education and disseminated to the students through electronic postings and the weekly seminar class. Examples of recent supplemental clinical education include:

  • Shadowing a team physician and/or orthopedic surgeon during surgical procedures, hospital rounds or patient appointments
  • Assisting a licensed athletic trainer with athletic training coverage for local sporting events sponsored by independent organizations such as USA Volleyball and National Youth Soccer Tournaments
  • Assisting a licensed athletic trainer providing coverage for large sporting events, such as marathons, 5K races, triathlons, rugby tournaments, etc.