Manchester University said today it would begin a five-year dual program leading to a bachelor's degree in exercise science and fitness and a master of athletic training degree.
The program will enable students to complete two degrees in five years that would normally take six, the North Manchester-based university said in a statement.
Beginning in 2022, anyone who wants to become a certified athletic trainer first must have a master's degree from an accredited athletic training education program such as Manchester's, the statement said.
It said students will complete requirements for the bachelor's degree on an accelerated three-year schedule, taking courses in the summer, fall, January and spring sessions each year.
They will apply to the master's program after the second year, and begin graduate studies in the summer after the third year, the statement said. After completing degree requirements, they are eligible to take the examination leading to the Certified Athletic Trainer credential.
Manchester said it would not accept students to its current undergraduate major in athletic training after the fall 2016 semester "in order to protect the investment and future marketability of its students."