Frequently Asked Questions

Degree Overview and Expectations

  • How does a DAT differ from a PhD or EdD?
    Typical DATTypical PhD
    GoalAdvance the profession through applying the existing body of knowledge. Form questions to make sense of data to advance organizational goals and address societal problems.Advance the profession through executing theoretical research. Construct and disseminate new knowledge or theories.
    DeliverableA capstone compendium that uses existing knowledge to advance or promote ATDissertation that addresses gaps in the current body of knowledge.
    Program Length2-3 years3-7 years
    StudentThose seeking to solve realworld problems and advance clinical leadership in the professionThose seeking to do bench research and contribute to the theoretical foundations of a profession
    AdmissionMaster's degree or equivalentMaster's degree, previous publication history
    Final AssessmentComprehensive exam, project, applied research, or capstone compendiumDissertation or traditional research
  • How is the FIU DAT different from other DATs?
    The FIU DAT focuses on three main areas of growth – Entrepreneurial Leadership, Academic Leadership, and Global Leadership.  Each of these areas emphasize knowledge contributing to Domain V of the CAATE standards. We believe the content taught within these specialized areas contributes most to one’s professional and personal growth. It is well known that the ability to communicate clearly, influence, and be prepared can lead to opportunities. Only when one possesses the necessary skills and understands aspects of healthcare business beyond clinical skills can such opportunities contribute to greater fulfillment.
  • Do I have to relocate to Florida?
    No! All courses in the FIU DAT are offered online. You can live in any state in the country – and you can even live in another country!
  • What does entrepreneurship, globalization, and academic leadership mean?
    The FIU DAT focuses on 3 aspects of leadership that we believe are underutilized and maybe even ignored. These areas are 1) entrepreneurship - learning how to establish the true value of all your skills and how needs are perceived by others, 2) globalization – recognizing that your value has a reach far beyond the athletic training environment in the United States, and 3) academic – educating, organizational structure, and influential skills comprise the all-encompassing process of learning.
  • Is the program accredited?
    There is no standard accreditation for doctoral programs in athletic training, but FIU is regionally accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • What are the extra certificates earned with the degree?
    Upon the successful completion of the 4 courses in the Academic Leadership track, you will earn a Certificate in Academic Leadership.  Upon the successful completion of the 4 courses in the Entrepreneurial Leadership track you will earn a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Leadership.
  • What are the requirements for graduation?
    Enrolled students must complete all 48 credits of the DAT, attend 2 on-campus residency sessions, and satisfactorily meet the expectations of the Capstone Project.
  • Will I be required to complete clinical hours?
    No, there are no clinical hours required as part of the FIU DAT degree.


  • What is the cost per credit hour?
    Each credit hour costs $700 and this includes all fees.
  • Is there a difference between in state and out of state?
    No. Tuition is the same for all DAT students regardless of what state or country one resides in.
  • What are additional costs in the program?
    There is a small application fee ($30) that the University requires to review one’s completed application.  One can estimate approximately $300 in total for books throughout the length of the curriculum. Each person is required to attend two (2) residency weekends in Miami as partial completion of the degree.  These typically occur all day on a Friday, all day on a Saturday, and Sunday morning until approximately 1pm.  Costs for this will vary depending upon where one is travelling from, preferred mode of transportation, and preferred choice of accommodations.  Breakfast and lunches are provided. For those choosing to attend the formal on-campus graduation ceremony, there is a cost for the cap and gown that ranges from $250 - $1,000 based upon your choice of quality.
  • What are the requirements for the FIU graduate application?
    Each DAT candidate must complete the FIU Graduate School online application which will issue one a Panther ID number. Additionally, the following are required: Proof of athletic training certification through the Board of Certification (or the equivalency for International applicants); proof of state regulatory credential (if applicable); three (3) letters of recommendation (at least one from a supervising athletic trainer or other healthcare professional) that specifically speak to your ability to succeed in an online doctoral program that requires high levels of organization, communication, and determination; a resume/curriculum vitae; a statement of professional and personal goals that emphasize how a DAT fits into this plan and why you feel FIU is the best program for you. As part of admissions, one needs to possess a completed master’s degree or have completed a minimum of 27 graduate level credits, with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0/4.0. A final interview will be conducted as well prior to formal acceptance.
  • What type of timeline should I expect after I submit my FIU application?
    FIU admits DAT student cohorts twice annually with curriculum work beginning in the spring and fall semesters. Application deadline for the fall semester cohort is July 15 and for the spring semester November 15. Individuals should always expect additional time for the completion of a full application and not underestimate the time required for transcript delivery, receipt of letters of recommendation, or the time it takes to draft statement of goals.
  • Who do I send my official transcripts to?
    Information for submitting official transcripts can be found here:
  • Who should I seek recommendation letters from?
    The FIU DAT is an online program delivered by distance.  Most enrolled students are working professionals.  As the program focuses on advanced leadership skills and professional growth, it is highly recommended that those identified to write letters of recommended speak directly to your abilities to be organized, focused, communicative, disciplined, and determined to persevere. We are less concerned about your clinical skills and more interested in your abilities to work, manage your personal life, and fully engage in the DAT degree successfully.  Please do not select friends, family, politicians, or clergy to serve as professional references for the DAT application.
  • Is there a minimum GPA required for admission?
  • Do I have to have a minimum amount of work experience?
    There is no minimum amount of professional work experience required for admissions.  However, we have found that having professional experience will contribute to enhanced course discussions.
  • What national and state licensure and certifications are required for admission?
    Athletic training certifications (or equivalent) and state regulatory (licensure, registration, certification) are required to be submitted for review.

International Students



  • What is residency?
    The FIU DAT residency is a 2 ½ day in person experience that takes place on our campus in Miami.
  • How often do I have to attend residency to meet graduation requirements?
    As partial fulfillment for the completion of DAT degree requirements, each student is required to attend 2 residency experiences.  Residency weekends are held annually in January and July.
  • Will I have to pay additional costs for residency?
    If you require transportation and lodging accommodation to be in Miami for 3 days you should expect costs associated with your travel.  Typically, meals are provided during the day and you may want to plan for dinner expenses on your own.
  • What does the typical day of residency look like?
    Most people arrive Thursday evening and get together informally.  Friday and Saturday are full days of academic coursework highlighted by many interactive sessions.  A typical day will run 8am – 6pm with continental breakfast and lunch vouchers provided. The evenings are free, though oftentimes everyone gets together for dinner. Sunday schedule runs 8am – 1pm to allow for those who need to travel ample time to return home.

Experience/Life-Work balance

  • What kind of capstone projects have alumni completed?
    FIU DAT alums complete capstone projects in the areas of entrepreneurial, academic and/or global leadership. Projects range from launching consulting businesses, brand development, International immersion site development, non-for-profit businesses or foundations, educational content, traditional publication portfolio, and many more!
  • How does my experience help me grow as an athletic trainer?
    The FIU DAT focuses on leadership skills that transcend one’s setting, geographical location, or level of experience.  Some refer to many of the skills that are mastered in this program as falling under what we refer to as Domain 5 of the BOC.  According to the 8th Edition of the Content Outline for Practice Analysis effective March 2023, Domain 5 consists of a mere 8% of the weighted content. This large gap in leadership awareness, development, integration, opportunity, and intervention plays a large part in limiting one’s professional advancement. A primary goal of the FIU DAT is to develop one’s professional and personal growth.
  • Will I be able to work a full-time job during my time in the program?
    YES! The majority of the DAT students enroll full-time with classwork while maintaining full-time employment as an athletic trainer.  DAT students work in all settings and have found ways to learn how to manage their time according to their priorities.
  • Are there opportunities for international travel/study?
    YES! FIU faculty will participate in multiple International trips annually of which students have the opportunity to participate in. Many times these trips will include an International conference as well as provide an opportunity to interact directly with our global courtesy faculty.