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Frequently Asked Questions

Which entry-level or professional degree do you currently offer at Duquesne?

We currently offer a 4-year Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training.  Our program consists of a pre-professional phase and professional phase.  The pre-professional phase includes all of the University core requirements, basic science coursework and three initial Athletic Training courses, which students take during the freshmen and sophomore years.  The final two years in the program (Professional Phase) students are taking almost exclusively athletic training specific coursework.

Will Duquesne be transitioning to offer the entry-level or professional degree at the graduate level?

We are currently exploring the transition within our Department and are discussing the transition with the University.  We anticipate transitioning our program to the graduate level (Master's degree) with our first class of Master's students entering as freshmen in the next 2-3 years.

How many applications, per year, do you normally receive for consideration for your program and how many students do you accept?

Annually, we receive between 140-175 applications and we typicallly accept between 30% - 35% of qualified applications.  From the pool of accepted students, 15-25 students choose to enroll annually into our program. 

What are the faculty to student ratios for the Athletic Training Program?

For our Athletic Training courses our faculty to student ratios typically range between 1:10 and 1:25.  These ratios fluctuate based upon yearly student retention and attrition.  Combining the low faculty to student ratios with our complement of 4 full-time faculty members students receive a great deal of personal attention from both a mentoring and teaching perspective. 

When would I be accepted into the Athletic Training program?

When a student applies to the Athletic Training program through the University application process and is accepted, he/she is accepted directly into the Athletic Training program. As long as the student continues to meet the academic requirements of the program the student maintains his/her seat in the program.

Is there a secondary application process I must complete to advance into the Professional Phase of the program?

As a direct admittance program, students do not go through a secondary application process to enter into the professional phase of the Athletic Training Program.  Once admitted into the Athletic Training program, no additional application process is required.

Who will serve as my academic advisor?

Each student is assigned to a department specific academic advisor within the School of Health Sciences that begins working with the student once he/she has been accepted into the Athletic Training program. The academic advisor works specifically with our athletic training students to help them navigate the class registration process and other academic matters throughout the student's time in the program.

Additionally, each student is assigned to a faculty mentor within the Department. The student and faculty member will meet regularly throughout the professional phase of the program to discuss academic progression, clinical education experiences, as well as future plans in terms of graduate school and employment.

How do I register for classes?

Students will work with the academic advisor assigned to Athletic Training students to register for classes. Students will have an opportunity during the summer prior to the start of the freshmen year to work with the advisor to develop a plan of study. During each subsequent semester students meet with the advisor to register for classes.

Moving into the professional phase the advisor will block register all Athletic Training students within a class cohort for all of their required Athletic Training classes. Our Athletic Training classes are only offered once each year in a specific sequence. All of our Athletic Training students are guaranteed placement in those classes, in the required sequence.

What do I need to do to advance to the Professional Phase?

Students work to complete all required basic science course and University core requirements during the first two years with a 2.75 GPA or higher. All of our students must meet these science and core requirements prior to moving into the professional phase. There are also three required Athletic Training courses that students take during the freshmen and sophomore year prior to advancing into the Professional Phase. Students must earn a 'C' or better in the freshmen Athletic Training course (ATHT 120: Elements of Athletic Training) and B's or better in the two sophomore level Athletic Training courses (ATHT 201: Essential Concepts & Techniques in Athletic Training I and ATHT 202: Essential Concepts & Techniques in Athletic Training II).

Does Duquesne offer cadaver anatomy? 

All of our Athletic Training students are required to take a cadaver anatomy course and are active participants during the dissection. This coursework is beyond the traditional two semesters of anatomy & physiology that our Athletic Training students receive during the sophomore year. At most institutions cadaver dissection courses are typically reserved for graduate students so this opportunity will provide you with an appreciation of the human body that few of your athletic training peers across the country will have.

Who will teach my courses?

Our students have opportunities to be educated by individuals that identify not just as educators but also as athletic trainers. In addition to our passion for athletic training each member of our faculty continues to engage in clinical practice to the extent that their positions allow.

Each faculty member has areas of specialty for which they are nationally recognized. These specialties include emergency care, biomechanics, orthopedic evaluation, therapeutic modalities/interventions, concussion recognition & management, and evidence based practice. Not only do our faculty teach these content areas in our program, they are published in these areas and provide continuing education to athletic training professionals in these areas.

Furthermore, students have the opportunity to learn from other accomplished faculty from within the Rangos School of Health Sciences that have other areas of specialty, within their respective disciplines of physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, and speech language pathology, not to mention the numerous medical experts that we are able to bring in from the city of Pittsburgh and our program alumni.

Where will I do my clinical education?

We have more than 30 active clinical sites and affiliation agreements with various entities in the Pittsburgh region. Students are placed into four different clinical experience rotations during the Professional phase.

In addition to Duquesne University, we maintain agreements with four additional colleges and universities that provide excellent learning environments for our students. We also place students at a number of area high schools, sports medicine clinics, and with various healthcare groups to help us meet the needs of all students. Our students also have opportunities to be placed with professional programs within Pittsburgh, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, Steelers, Riverhounds, and the Pittsburgh Ballet.

In addition to preparing students for the BOC examination, are there other certifications I will receive?

Over the last 25 years, 98% of our graduates have passed the Board of Certification (BOC) exam, enabling them to practice as Athletic Trainers. Beyond the BOC certification exam that all programs prepare their students for, our program provides opportunities and the training necessary for our students to pursue strength & conditioning certifications (PES, CSCS), wrestling weight certification, and EMT certification.

Will I have opportunities to do research as a student?

As part of our curriculum our students engage in independent research projects aimed at evaluating the literature to address clinically relevant questions. The findings of their work are being presented as clinical recommendations for practicing healthcare professionals. Projects such as these are tremendous resume builders for undergraduate students. Students are routinely presenting these findings at state, regional, and national athletic training meetings. Some projects have even been converted to publishable journal articles.

Students may also have opportunities during their time in the program to work with faculty on additional research projects if they desire.

As an athletic training student, can I also participate as a student athlete in intercollegiate athletics?

Students can be enrolled in the Athletic Training program and participate in intercollegiate athletics throughout their entire time at Duquesne.  We value the role that athletics can play in the development of a student and how it may influence the individual as they pursue a career in Athletic Training.  We have been able to work very closely with the Athletics Department to coordinate student academic, clinical, and athletic schedules that enable the student to be successful in the Athletic Training program and on the field of play.  

How successful is Duquesne in placing students following graduation?

We routinely place students in graduate programs and various employment settings each year.  Our goal is to successfully place each graduate within 6 months of graduation.

Our students are securing graduate education placements in the areas of athletic training, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, medical school, exercise science/nutrition, and educational leadership. Many of these students are securing graduate assistantships that are paying for school and/or providing a living stipend.  For those students seeking employment immediately post-graduation, they are often placed in high schools, colleges and clinic settings.

Presently we have alumni working in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB.  We also have alumni working in colleges, universities, high schools, sports medicine clinics, and other professional healthcare venues across the country.