WSU Athletic Training Room

WSU Athletic Training Room

Winona State University announces the launch of a new Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) program, with classes starting in summer 2019.

“We’re very excited to offer a new Master of Science in Athletic Training,” said Scott R. Olson, President of Winona State. “This program will build on the success of our current undergraduate program and offer an even higher degree of professional education.”

WSU’s new MSAT program will prepare students for a career in allied health care as a Certified Athletic Trainer. Two options for program completion are available: a 3+2 year program, in which entering freshmen complete both a bachelor’s degree in Movement Science and a Master of Science in Athletic Training at the end of five years. There is also a two-year program option for students to obtain the MSAT degree if they have completed a bachelor’s degree and the required prerequisite courses.

According to WSU Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Julie Anderson, a nationwide need for athletic trainers prepared at the graduate level and changing industry standards from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) mandate the program’s transition to the graduate level.

Students in the program will complete a rigorous academic program both in the classroom and in the clinical settings, using the most advanced technology and evidence-based research. The program is designed with a heavy focus on clinical education, and students will gain hands-on practical experiences under the direct supervision of a preceptor, in both traditional and immersive clinical education experiences at the collegiate and high school levels with a variety of individual and team sports. Upon completion of the program, MSAT students will sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) examination to become certified athletic trainers.

Historically, WSU graduates have a 100 percent first-time pass rate on the BOC exam, said Dr. Brian Zeller, Professor of Health, Exercise, Rehabilitative Sciences (HERS) and MSAT Program Director. Employment and placement rates are also high for AT graduates, added Zeller, with 97 percent of graduates placed within six months after graduation, and working as university head athletic trainers, clinic directors, industrial/corporate athletic trainers, military athletic trainers, and with professional, semi-professional, and Olympic teams.

“Our transition from the undergraduate level to the graduate level has focused on maintaining the distinguished reputation of our athletic training program, while implementing and advancing the educational and clinical needs of future Certified Athletic Trainers,” said Zeller. “Our MSAT graduates will be expert practitioners who can excel in a variety of settings, including emerging settings such as industry, the military, occupational health, the performing arts and many, many others.”

WSU Alumna Hannah Rinken '11

WSU Alumna Hannah Rinken ’11

WSU alumna Hannah (Okerberg) Rinken ’11 used her Athletic Training degree to secure a position with Athletico Physical Therapy out of Cedar Falls, Iowa. As Athletico’s Athletic Training Manager for Iowa and South Dakota, Rinken helps to establish and build partnerships with local affiliates. She also oversees roughly 20 athletic trainers on a daily basis, managing everything from payroll and scheduling to hiring, mentoring and coaching.

She credits the hands-on learning experiences at WSU with preparing her for success to in the industry.

“My education and experiences at Winona State helped to prepare me for the future by providing opportunities that other athletic trainers and students may not have had during their college careers,” Rinken observed.

Applications for the WSU MSAT Program are now being accepted. For more information, visit or contact Brian Zeller at

About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive, regional public university with approximately 8,000 students on campuses in Winona and Rochester. Around half of WSU students are first-generation, meaning neither parent has a four-year bachelor’s degree. The oldest member of the Minnesota State system, WSU offers more than 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate and doctorate programs in five colleges: Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Nursing & Health Sciences, and Science & Engineering. Winona State is ranked as the second public institution in Minnesota by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges,” has been named among the “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review for 15 years in a row, and has been featured as one of America’s 100 Best College Buys for quality and value for 23 consecutive years. The University generates $447.9 Million in economic impact for the region per year. The University’s mission is to enhance the intellectual, social, cultural and economic vitality of the people and communities we serve: a community of learners improving our world. For more information, visit