Athletic Training


The Athletic Training Education Program at Harding University is both selective and competitive. For the typical student, the application process begins during the freshman year. The academic committee will conduct candidate interviews and review all application material prior to making its final decision. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision via email prior to the spring semester’s advising period. Those accepted will begin the program during the fall semester of their sophomore year.

Note: All applicants must have a minimum collegiate GPA of 2.50.

Application Process

  1. Must be accepted as a student by the Harding University Admissions Office.
  2. Complete an application for the Athletic Training Education Program.
  3. Submit three (3) Letters of Recommendation.
    Preferably, these will be from athletic trainers, coaches, team physicians, or other supervisory personnel who can attest to your work in the field of athletic training. However, letters from teachers, ministers, and former employers that can verify suitability for the major are acceptable.
  1. Prepare a Letter of Intent.
    This letter/essay will explain your interest in the field of athletic training, career goals, any previous experience as an athletic training student, and extracurricular activities previously or currently involved with during your academic career.
  1. All application materials must be submitted to:

Brian Cox
Director, Athletic Training
Harding University
Box 12281
Searcy, AR 72149-5615


Note: Upon timely receipt of all application materials by the Director, the student will be eligible for the selection process.

Preliminary Selection:

Applicants will be evaluated based on the following criteria:        

  • Non-weighted, cumulative high school GPA / 4.0 scale
  • ACT / SAT score
  • Previous experience in athletic training
  • Letters of Recommendations
  • Letter of Intent / Essay
  • Extracurricular activities / Leadership experience


Final Selection

Top applicants from the Preliminary Process will be evaluated by the academic committee based on the following criteria:

  • All criteria listed above
  • Academic performance (cumulative college/university GPA, etc.)
  • Personal interview


Note: Applicants not selected to enter the Athletic Training Education Program may re-apply the following year. All students re-applying must meet necessary requirements and criteria at time of application.

Student Retention

Student retention will be based on the following criteria:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • GPA of 2.5 or higher in all course work within the major
  • Compliance with all policies defined in the Student Handbook
  • Compliance with all policies and procedures set forth by each clinical site
  • Compliance with all rules and regulations of Harding University

Failure to meet any one of these criteria will result in probationary status for the student. If the student fails to meet the criteria for two consecutive semesters, the student will be dropped from the Athletic Training Education Program.

Student Fees

Students admitted into the Athletic Training Program will be responsible for annual fees totaling $250.

These fees include the following:

  1. ($75) Student membership to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. This affiliation will also include access to Here, the ATS will record clinical hours and assess curriculum proficiencies required by the Commission on Accreditation for Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The student will pay this annual $75 fee directly to the NATA.  
  1. ($175) Student registration for the Arkansas Athletic Trainers’ Association (AATA) annual convention and sports medicine apparel required of each student during clinical practicums. The ATS will submit this $175 fee to the Athletic Training Program when reporting for the fall semester. The Harding University Athletic Training Program strongly encourages professionalism, which can be demonstrated through behavior, appearance, and professional development.

These fees will be associated with the athletic training program only. Additional student fees related to coursework and applied to the student’s tuition total may be found within the Harding University Student Catalog.

Financial Assistance

All students are encouraged to apply for financial aid through the Harding University Financial Aid Office. Scholarships specific to athletic training majors are available through professional organizations; such as the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association (SWATA), and the Arkansas Athletic Trainers’ Association (AATA).

Athletic training students may also apply for the Bob Corbin scholarship, which is available to any Exercise Science and Athletic Training major. Students are assessed and chosen by a committee, which basis its decision on the student’s application, essay, GPA, and community involvement.

The Athletic Training Program will provide all eligible students with financial aid. Requirements include completion of at least two clinical practicums at Harding University and declared ‘in good standing’ with both the University and Athletic Training Program. Allotment will be evenly distributed based on number of students and how many clinical practicums have been completed. Athletic Training Students ineligible for this assistance include intercollegiate athletes and those receiving a full scholarship.

Clinical Practicums

During each semester, the athletic training students (ATS) will be enrolled in a clinical practicum. These provide opportunities for the ATS to apply knowledge and skills, learned within the classroom, to actual patient care under the direct supervision of a Preceptor. The Preceptor can be defined as an appropriately certified/licensed professional who teaches and evaluates students in a clinical setting using actual patients.

In addition to each Harding University athletic team, the Athletic Training Education Program has clinical affiliations with off-campus institutions. Local high schools, Searcy Physical Therapy, Searcy Medical Center, and Harding University Health Services each serve as clinical sites and provide a Preceptor to both educate and supervise ATS.


Clinical Assignments / Clinical Hours

Each semester, the ATS will receive a clinical assignment. All attempts will be made to provide ATS with similar experiences and opportunities. Ideally, each ATS will rotate through a high school, rehabilitation clinic, men’s collegiate sport, women’s collegiate sport, and Harding University Health Services. All assignments will originate with the Director of Athletic Training and eventually be approved by the athletic training staff.

Clinical practicums include a minimum 100 hours (EXSS 253, EXSS 421) or 200 hours (EXSS 352, EXSS 354, EXSS 418, EXSS 420) of hands-on experience. The clinical assignment is scheduled in conjunction with a Preceptor and sport season. The ATS is expected to be active through the entirety of the semester. However, the ATS must be allowed at least one (1) day off from his/her clinical assignment every seven (7) days. In an effort to provide adequate time for academic success, social interaction, and spiritual growth, students should arrange their schedule as to not exceed 400 hours.