University of Oregon

Department of Human Physiology Graduate Studies in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine

duckweb | Blackboard | Webmail | UO Classes | UO Home

Frequently Asked Questions - Student Answered Questions

What would you tell an applicant to ensure their expectations about our program were as accurate as possible?

tonya amann
Tonya Amann

This program is an advanced athletic training program, building off of your undergraduate education. You will learn about some topics to a much greater extent than you did in undergrad and you will also learn entirely new things never touched on in your undergraduate education. There is also a nice addition of discussion-style seminars in which the focus is on sharing ideas and information, instead of a more didactic approach. I really enjoy the expanded knowledge I have received and I absolutely LOVE the new areas I’ve covered. I am growing in so many ways professionally by learning more in depth information about topics in which I am already familiar and by having entirely new knowledge that I had not received in undergrad. This is why I came to grad school!

 

AJ Epperson
AJ Epperson
First of all, I would hope each individual would contact current grad students in the program, more than one, and ask specific questions that might help them develop appropriate and accurate expectations. Another important realization will be that much of what undergraduate programs teach is the tip of the iceberg. The foundation is laid and construction begins yet again once setting foot in Eugene!
Katie Greene
Katie Green

There is tremendous academic support with an emphasis to achieve a balance between your GTF position and your education at the U of O. Too often we joke that student athletes aren’t really students first, but I really feel like I’m here to learn and do research, and not just to be put to work.

While you will have great support for your research here, if that is what you choose to do, you won’t be persuaded to go in any certain direction with it. Some schools like to get their grad students to continue in the school’s area of research, but here, it’s wide open. Get an idea and run with it. It can be your project, not just a piece of someone else’s.

Craig Switzler
Craig Switzler
Don't worry about the grades so much. This program is about exploration. Keep an open mind about what you can gain here. You are in control about what you get out of this program.
Eric Sorenson
Eric Sorenson

Grad school at UO has opened doors that I never expected! Opportunities for involvement outside the classroom include collegiate athletics, high school athletics, recreational and club sports, teaching, and research. Furthermore, the relationships that you will build while attending school here will allow you to flourish in the areas YOU desire, and confidently pursue the professional positions you aspire for.

It is also important to realize that you will be challenged as a student at UO. Balancing academic work and GTF positions is no easy task... but very do-able! You will be encouraged to think critically and expand you current skills as an athletic trainer. If you invest time and effort here, you will come out as a better thinker and professional!

The UO network is rooted deep within the profession of academia and athletic training. You will leave this experience with tons of personal support for all of your future aspirations!

Becky Verkerke
Becky Verkerke
Your graduate program should fit your personality. It should not just be a means to the end, but rather a place where you enjoy the entire journey. The University of Oregon is a place that allows creativity, offers unique research opportunities, provides and encourages teaching experience, and allows you to take the direction that is individual to your needs and goals. The support system here is incredible. The professors in our program are all very challenging, knowledgeable, and willing to help you. Even more importantly, everyone in the department serves as great mentors and friends.


What is an accredited post-certification athletic training masters program, and why would anyone want to pursue a graduate athletic training program instead of a graduate degree in another discipline.

tonya amann
Tonya Amann

This is an advanced athletic training degree. In your undergraduate education,
you can only cover so many topics and only to a certain degree. An accredited post-certification athletic training masters program allows you to expand upon that base information and also learn entirely new ideas and techniques. If your realize that you did not learn everything you need to know in the field of sports medicine during your undergrad, then continuing to learn as much as you can about athletic training is an excellent option. Yes, there are masters programs in exercise physiology, bio-mechanics or other areas and they are all wonderful. If you are an athletic trainer that hopes to focus in one of these areas in your practice, then that might be a good option. However, if you want to learn more about your specific field and advance your education, continue with athletic training. There is so much to know and it all isn’t crammed into 4 years of undergrad.

 

AJ Epperson
AJ Epperson
An accredited post-certification athletic training masters program is an intense continuation of an undergraduate athletic training program. Academically, it builds on fundamental knowledge and concentrates on more specifics found through current research. Some classes in this type of program will also add tools to the tool box in areas such as rehabilitation, modalities, and research. Why go to a program like this? The knowledge you gain gives a person better marketability within the athletic training field and presents more options.
Becky Verkerke
Becky Verkerke
We get to learn a lot about the research in the sports medicine field. It is important to be able to critically think about why we do a lot of the things that we do as athletic trainers daily in practice, and make educated decisions regarding different preventative, treatment, and rehabilitative methods. Also, we become better athletic trainers by getting to take courses (for free) on manual therapy, the female athlete, and other treatment techniques.


Do you believe that as a member of our graduate AT program you have developed important relationships that will provide you with professional or personal support in the future?

tonya amann
Tonya Amann

As in any situation in which you are able to meet people, you make connections that may help you in the future. Instead of merely meeting someone at a conference, you will work with peers and faculty on a daily basis, forming more meaningful and personal bonds which are much more beneficial than a superficial acquaintance.

 

AJ Epperson
AJ Epperson
Absolutely! The athletic training staff in intercollegiate sports, not to mention the academic staff of the program, are extremely respected and well known in the field. Developing the relationship with these people needed for good networking is up to the graduate student!
Greg Waltner
Greg Waltner

The relationships that I have been able to develop between the staff, instructors, and fellow Graduate students will not only aid me in my future as a professional, but also as a person. With the opportunities to host visiting schools and interact with their ATC's the University of Oregon gives each Graduate student a chance to expand their professional network.

Becky Verkerke
Becky Verkerke

Yes!!! I could not think of a better advisor, mentor, support system, professor, and friend than the head of our graduate program, Susan Verscheure. She has allowed me to grow so much as a student, person, and professional during my two years here. She listened to me when I needed professional advice on my clinical experience. She guided me when I needed direction with my thesis. She hugged me when I needed a mother. She took me to lunch when I needed a friend. She always supported me 100% through everything. I can't think of anyone I'd rather have on my side. And I know that she will be a friend and mentor for the remainder of my life.

I have also met many people here who I will remain friends with forever. For that alone, this whole experience was worth it.



What insight about graduate school do you now have that you wish you had when you were applying to graduate programs?

tonya amann
Tonya Amann

Do your research and go with your instincts. Ask EVERY possible question you have before you apply, so you know if the school, program and area will be a good fit for you. If you are looking for particular qualities or opportunities, keep looking until you find them. You donít want to settle on a program or arrive and discover you really hate the town/classes/program, as its hard to turn back and start over again. Donít be afraid to ask questions! I asked a million of them, but I also found the perfect school, program, and town.

 

Katie Greene
Katie Green

Too often I feel we focus on the perfect Grad school -- the best research and athletic facilities, the nicest campus, the best location, the schoolís reputation, the success and prominence of the athletic teams, and the position that we're offered. However, we fail to see what will actually make the greatest impact on our personal successes and experiences -- the people. While it is difficult to judge this important factor prior to attending the university, the emphasis on visiting or at least talking to the people with whom you will be working, including current students, is of utmost importance. For, when we look back on our experiences, it really wonít matter whether or not our team had a losing record, or how far we had to travel to go home over Christmas break. We will remember the people we met, the professors, trainers and advisors who influenced us and the friends who supported us.

The academic programs that are offered are very different from one grad school to another. Find out what interests you, and then look at the classes. Donít arrive at grad school, start attending class and say, "Geez, Iím really not interested in any of these areas." Or "I really wish I could be learning this."

Craig Switzler
Craig Switzler

Make sure the program fits what you want out of grad school. Make a visit to the school so the students there can give you an accurate account of the program. And visit with both the staff and instructors to get a feel on what they are like.

Becky Verkerke
Becky Verkerke
I wish I had more of a direction from the beginning. I came here right out of undergrad, because I thought that it was the next logical step to make. It turns out, I probably would have gained more by taking some time off and figuring things out a little more before I decided to take the next step and attend grad school. Through my two years here, I have come to the realization that I want something really different now then I thought I did when I first came. Although I have no regrets that I came in when I did, I would encourage more people to take their time when deciding to come to graduate school.


Do you believe that you are (or will be) a better athletic trainer because of the academic and/or clinical experiences you are obtaining as a member of this program?

tonya amann
Tonya Amann

After only 2 terms I am already a better athletic trainer. I have learned new ideas and techniques that I have already used in my practice with patients and athletes, some of which were in areas that I had no prior knowledge. Without some of the amazing courses I have taken, I would not have had any information on certain topics and would have been unable to address the needs of my patients. I look forward to everything else I still have awaiting me in the next 4 terms, as I am sure it will only make me a much better athletic trainer.

 

AJ Epperson
AJ Epperson
I already am! The academic knowledge learned in class applies itself almost everyday within the clinical experience. It’s almost eerie how what you learned in class that day can apply to practice later in the afternoon.
Katie Greene
Katie Green

While the U of O offers courses covering the physiological aspects of athletic training, the manual therapy classes have given us not only numerous tools to use in the clinic, but a different approach to treatment as well. By bringing in various professionals to teach these classes, a wide variety of perspectives, philosophies and approaches have been afforded to us.

heather murray
Heather Murray
After completing my first two terms as a graduate student in this program, I can say with confidence that I have gained significant skills and knowledge that are helping me become a better athletic trainer.† With the University of Oregonís broad network of certified athletic trainers, team physicians and physical therapists as a resource, I have learned many new philosophies and techniques. I would have missed these opportunities had this team of people not been available to me.
Craig Switzler
Craig Switzler
The position I currently hold has significantly increased my confidence. I have adapted to different settings and experienced different situations. I believe this is preparing me for a wide variety of future employment positions. .
Greg Waltner
Greg Waltner

I will graduate being a better Athletic Trainer because I'm learning and
using new treatment and rehab techniques that will better prepare and give me more treatment options. My clinical experience thus far has been just that; an experience. One of the best ways to become a better Athletic Trainer is to see many different solutions to familiar problems, but also encounter unfamiliar problems. My clinical experience has given me both familiar and unfamiliar situations that have enabled me to grow as a professional.