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General Admission and Retention Information

Below are a series areas of information related to admission and retention


General Admission Information

We begin accepting applications in mid-August/early September for the next cohort. The admission process is highly competitive and the advantage goes to applicants who start the process early and who qualify for early admission (refer to Candidate Evaluation Process for information on candidate selection).

There are two levels of admission; the first is admission to the Graduate School and the second level is admission into the GATEP. Admittance to the Graduate School does not guarantee admittance to the ATEP.

Graduate School Admissions Procedures (UTC GRADUATE CATALOG)

Please link to the UTC Graduate Catalog for more detailed information about admission procedures for the Graduate School. Section information can be located under Admissions and Regulations and includes the following topics:

  • Degree Program Requirements
    • International Students
    • UTC Students Eligible for Graduate Credit
  • Admission Classifications
    • Degree Regular Graduate
    • Degree Conditional Graduate
    • Non-degree Candidate
    • Post-Baccalaureate Admission
  • Readmission
  • Graduate Admission Tests
    • GRE (for all ATEP applicants)
    • TOEFL (for international applicants)

WARNING: Misrepresentation of academic credentials constitutes a Class A misdemeanor, under Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 49-7-133.


Required Prerequisite Courses

The ATEP is a limited enrollment program, consisting of a two-year, non-thesis curriculum. To graduate in two-years, students must have already completed specific coursework prior to starting the program. Failing to complete all of the coursework prior to starting the program may extend the course of study to three years. These requirements must be fulfilled for program completion and to take the BOC exam.

The six required courses are listed below. See Prerequisite Information for details.

  • CPR*
  • Anatomy & Physiology (8 hrs preferred, 4hr mixed course minimum)
  • Physiology of Exercise
  • General Psychology (Sports Psychology/Sociology is acceptable)
  • Personal Health & Wellness
  • Nutrition

*CPR/First Aid: Certification may or may not involve a university-sponsored course. Online courses are not accepted; we will accept only courses that include both psychomotor and didactic instruction and evaluation.

The GATEP-Director will formally review all required coursework to determine if there are any deficiencies. Students MUST submit course descriptions. No student will be accepted into the program before they have submitted the required course descriptions. The GATEP Director reserves the right to request course syllabi for greater confirmation about course content.  The GATEP Director will notify the student of any deficiencies before the student begins the curriculum. It is imperative that the students have the equivalent of the required courses in order to satisfy the athletic training educational competencies set forth by the NATA.

A student may be considered for conditional admission to the program if he/she fails to meet any of the requirements outlined above, pending completion of the deficiencies. At the very minimum, First-Aid and CPR, Anatomy and Physiology, and Physiology of Exercise must be completed before an applicant can be considered for program admission.

General Graduate Regulations

A graduate student must assume full responsibility for knowledge of rules and regulations of The Graduate School and departmental requirements concerning the individual degree program.

Please link to the UTC Graduate Catalog for more information about rules and regulations (including Continuation Standards and Graduation) of the Graduate School. Section information can be located under General Graduate Regulations, found under Admissions and Regulations and includes the following topics:

Academic Policies for Graduate Students

Academic Dismissal

Honor Code 

Accommodations and Assistance

Immunization Requirements

Admission to Candidacy

Institutional Review Board Compliance

Application for the Degree

Out-of-State Students Employed in Tennessee

Catalog Effective Date


Certificate Programs

Petitions and Appeals

Classified and Proprietary Research

Prerequisite Courses

Compliance with Institutional Review Board

Program Dismissal (Reasons Other than Grades)

Comprehensive Examinations

Program of Study

Continuation Standards

Records and Transcripts

Correspondence Study


Course Requirements

Repeated Courses

Credit by Special Examination

Residency Classification for Paying Fees

Dissertation-Specific Requirements

Residency Requirements

Doctoral Students with Master’s Degrees

Schedule Limit (Course Loads)

Drug Testing

Stop out

Email Guidelines

Student Appeal Procedure

Incomplete & In-Progress Grades

Thesis/Dissertation Defense and Submission

Faculty Appeal

Thesis-Specific Requirements

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Time Limit of Program of Study

Grade Appeal

Transfer Credit

Grade Point Average Computation

Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit

Graduate Committee

University Use of Email

Graduate School Grades

Veteran’s Benefits


Withdrawal from Graduate Courses


Continuation Standards of the GATP

The GATP reserves the right to establish and enforce retention requirements above and beyond those established by The Graduate School as stated in the GATP Student Manual. All Practicum courses must be passed with a grade of “C” or better for program progression. See GATP Operational Policies and Procedures and Professional Fitness Policy for more continuation criteria.

UTC ATEP Professional Fitness Policy

Professional Fitness Evaluation Form

The GATEP has established standards of professional fitness in compliance with the NATA Code of Ethics, Foundational Behaviors of the NATA Educational Competencies (5th ed.), and the Board of Certification (BOC) Standards of Professional Practice. GATEP students are required to adhere to, and will be evaluated on, these standards for program continuance and graduation.

When a student fails to meet the GATEP professional fitness standards, a recommendation for dismissal can be made by a majority vote of the Athletic Training Review Committee (ATRC) (see below).

Students are first notified of the assessment process after their expression of interest in the program.

  • Students are notified during the admissions process that they will be evaluated on their professional and personal competencies through the program. The assessment process, including the evaluation instrument and the grievance procedure is included in the admissions materials on the website and Graduate Catalog as well as in the GATEP Policy Manual.
  • Students are also informed during annual orientation sessions, through practicum course syllabi (HHP 5525, 5625, 5725, 5825, & 5925) and verbally on the first day of each practicum class about the specific criteria on which they will be evaluated.

The evaluation instrument (Professional Fitness Evaluation Form) will be completed by the GATEP Director, based on input from all of the respective Preceptors, from that semester. The form will be reviewed with the student by the GATEP Director or CEC. Evaluator and student signatures on the PFE form indicate that the evaluator has reviewed the form with the student. Signatures do not imply that the student agrees or disagrees with the review. Students must receive satisfactory scores (no zeros) on the evaluation to pass the practicum class.

When a problem is identified (e.g., zeros on the evaluation form), a faculty or staff member will meet with the student to communicate the concern and afford him or her an opportunity to address the problem (e.g. student may offer remediation suggestions).

  • No decision concerning the student and/or remediation plans will be made or expressed prior to this initial meeting with the student nor will finalized decisions be expressed to the student during this initial meeting.
  • If the problem is not resolved, the faculty member submits a letter to the Program Director requesting that the student meet with the Athletic Training Review Committee (ATRC).
  • Upon receipt of the letter from a faculty member requesting review of a student, the Program Director informs the student in writing and requests his or her presence at the review meeting within five-working days subsequent to the mailing of the letter to the student. The student may bring a representative of choice to the review to assist him or her in the process.
  • The ATRC will assess the student’s performance and recommend a course of action that may include any of the following:
    • The student is ready and fit to continue,
    • The student should undergo remediation
    • The student should be dismissed from the ATEP
    • After meeting with the ATRC, a recommendation by the committee is made to the Program Director who notifies the student of the committee’s decision.
    • The student has the right to appeal the final decision. The appeal process (below) can also be located in the UTC graduate catalog.

The Athletic Training Review Committee (ATRC)

The athletic training review committee will consist of: the GATEP Director (committee chair), the GATEP Medical Director, a GATEP faculty member, a staff athletic trainer, and a member of the health community.

Program Dismissal for Reasons Other Than Grades

The director shall provide written notification of dismissal to the student with-in five working days of the ATRC decision. Such notice shall inform the student of the right to appeal and specific procedures to be followed. Following written notification of dismissal from the program, the student has the right to appeal. A written appeal, including a documented rationale for the basis of the appeal, must be submitted to the GATEP Director within five working days. In all cases, the program faculty shall be presumed to have taken appropriate action and the student appealing shall have the burden of proof to the contrary. The question of whether or not the student may continue to attend classes during the appeal process or register for subsequent semesters will be determined on a case by case basis. In particular, if the student’s presence poses a continuing threat to persons or property or an ongoing risk of disrupting the academic process, the student may be immediately removed and may not attend classes while his/her appeal is in process. Any such determination shall be included as part of the GATEP Director’s written notification to the student.


Step 1. Within five working days of receipt of the student’s written appeal, the Department Head/GATEP Director will meet with the student and review the student’s written appeal with him/her in person. If the student declines such a meeting, the department head/director will proceed to Step 2.

Step 2. Within five working days of the meeting described in Step 1, the Department Head/GATEP Director (in consultation with the dean of the academic college) will notify and confirm in writing to the student the results of this appeal. The Department Head / GATEP Director will also notify the Dean of the Graduate School regarding the results of this appeal. Copies of this notification will be sent to the GATEP faculty.

Step 3. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the Department Head/GATEP Director, he or she may appeal this decision to the Graduate Council Appeals Committee. Such an appeal must be made within five working days of notification of the Department Head / GATEP Director’s decision.

Step 4. Within five working days of receiving the student’s written appeal, the Graduate Council Appeals Committee will meet to hear the student’s appeal. The Chair of the Graduate Council shall preside over this hearing as a non-voting chair. The student may bring such materials and/or witnesses as necessary to support his or her position. The Department Head/Program Director and/or a representative(s) of the GATEP faculty may also attend this hearing in order to explain the reason(s) for the dismissal and answer questions. After the hearing, the Dean of the Graduate School will notify and confirm in writing to the student the results of this appeal. The graduate dean will also notify the college dean and the department head/GATEP director, who will in turn notify the GATEP faculty.

Step 5. If the student remains unsatisfied with this decision, he or she may appeal in writing to the Chancellor of the University. Such request must be made within five working days of notification from the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School shall forward all pertinent information to the Chancellor with a recommendation. The Chancellor’s decision shall be made within ten working days and shall be considered final.

Graduate Assistantship and Scholarship Opportunities

Graduate Assistantships

There are a limited number of partial (half) research and/or teaching graduate assistantship packages available to ATEP students.  To be eligible for a partial graduate assistantship, the student must meet the following criteria:

  • must have completed one academic year in the program
  • have NO disciplinary actions
  • have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50

Students interested in a partial graduate assistantship must submit  a Graduate Assistantship Application to the Graduate School by February 15 for the following academic year.  All interested students, who meet the criteria, are encouraged to apply. The ATEP faculty will make recommendations to the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies based on the established criteria and the student’s professional conduct.  Decisions are made by August. Each assistantship recipient will be notified with a letter from the Graduate School.

Scholarship Opportunities

Several scholarship opportunities are available to students in the UTC GATEP.  These scholarships are available at the state, district and national levels.  Details are below.

Tennessee Athletic Trainers' Society (TATS)

UTC GATEP students have had much success in winning the Graduate Student Scholarship from TATS.  UTC GATEP students have won the scholarship 8 of the last 9 years.  The applications are due on December 1 of each year and are awarded at the Annual TATS Meeting and Clinical Symposium.  Click HERE to be taken to the TATS Scholarship web page where you will find further information.

Southeast Athletic Trainers' Association (SEATA)

SEATA scholarships are for anywhere from $500 to $1000.  UTC GATEP students have been quite successful winning these scholarships.  The application process is open from November 15th (of the fall prior to the SEATA Convention) to January 7th (of the year the scholarship is to be awarded).  Applicants must have a 3.0 and above and be a member of the NATA. Scholarships are awarded during the Annual SEATA Meeting and Clinical Symposium.  Click HERE to go to the SEATA Scholarship web page to find more information about what is required to apply for a SEATA Scholarship.

National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA)

The NATA Scholarship program is run through the NATA Research and Education Foundation.  Since 1991 the NATA Foundation has awarded over $2,000,000 in scholarships to undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level students.  Each scholarship is for $2,300.  Application are usually due by mid-January of the year in which the award is to be granted.  Scholarships are presented at the NATA Research and Education Foundation Awards Breakfast which takes place during the NATA Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium. To be eligible for one of these scholarships, you must have a 3.2 GPA for all academic work, (both graduate and undergraduate) and be in your first year in the UTC GATEP.  Please go HERE for further instructions to apply for one of the many scholarships awarded each year.