Mercyhurst announces new master’s program


Samantha Weber, Staff writer

Mercyhurst University has just announced that it is introducing a new master’s program for students. Making its debut in the summer of 2021, the new Masters of Science in Athletic Training allows for students to make an easy transition into a master’s program. This specific master’s program is a Professional Entry Level Masters program. This change comes after an announcement from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, which requires any athletic training program to allow access to at least an entry-level master’s program.

The Director of Athletic Training Education, Josh Long, notes “Athletic Training education is a part of the fabric of Mercyhurst University and will look to continue to thrive while offering graduated Athletic Training education.” Long talks about the importance of an Athletic Training career, “As athletic training continues to expand and thrive within the healthcare setting, the value of considering the breadth of contributing factors regarding a patient’s health cannot be understated. An emphasis will be placed on preventative healthcare, including healthcare nutrition and therapeutic interventions. Coupling all of this with Mercyhurst’s expansive and engaging alumni network, our students will have advocates across the country and even the globe!”

Mercyhurst has one of the oldest athletic training programs in the nation, as it has been around since 1985, so the switch to adding a master’s program will not be too difficult to implement. The new graduate program can be completed in two years and is 62-credits long. In their time with the master’s program, students will have a clinical placement in a variety of different areas. These placement possibilities include trauma hospitals, family medicine practices, orthopedics, emergency medical services, prosthetics and orthotics, outpatient physical therapy/rehabilitation, and work alongside Mercyhurst’s 25 varsity athletic teams. In addition to diverse options for hands-on experiences, this graduate program will allow students to network with the large alumni network internationally and throughout the United States. Also, the medicine-specific classrooms, including two labs and one classroom, are newly renovated, which provide students with the newest technology in the field.

“Mercyhurst has built a robust tradition through emphasizing the application of knowledge instead of merely classroom learning,” said Long, when asked about what makes Mercyhurst’s program different from other schools. “Coupling the hands-on experience with treating each patient as an individual instead of strictly a ‘walking pathology’ allows students to hit their stride as health-care providers.”

Students are required to start this program in the summer and take several courses over both summers they are enrolled in the program. Long talked about the program starting in the summer. “Unlike other universities, however, Mercyhurst has built-in an academic break during the ‘first summer mini,’ emphasizing the value of maintaining a fertile and vigorous mental health.”

Applications for the summer of 2021 semester are being accepted now on the admissions portal. Unlike some of the other graduate programs that Mercyhurst has to offer, the Athletic Training program must be completed on campus due to the labs the program requires to graduate from the program.