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Physician Assistant Studies FAQs

Q. Can this program be taken on a full or part time basis? When are classes held?
A: The PA Studies program can only be taken on a full-time basis. Classes are generally held Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (individual days vary throughout the term) for the entire 26 month program.

Q. What is the total number of credits for the degree program?
A: The program is 165 credits over seven terms. There are four terms per year approximately 14 weeks in length each.

Q. Where can I find the curriculum for the program?
A: Search on the PCOM website for catalog and an Adobe pdf image will appear for easy review and printing.

Q. What standardized test scores are required for admission?
A: We do not require standardized test scores as part of the admissions process to the PA Studies program.

Q. What is the cost of tuition?
A: For the 2012-2013 academic year, first year candidates pay $31,833 in annual tuition whereas second year candidates pay $25,613.

Q. What is the prerequisite coursework?
A: Along with a bachelor's degree, candidates need to have completed the following with a grade of C or better:




Biology I 4 With a lab
Biology II 4 With a lab
Other Biology Coursework 3 examples: Genetics, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology
Anatomy and Physiology 8 Can be taken as separate courses or combined as Anatomy and Physiology I & II
General Chemistry I 4 With a lab
General Chemistry II 4 With a lab
Other Chemistry Coursework 3 examples: Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry
Health related Science Course or Physics 3 examples: Physics, Nutrition, Immunology, Virology, etc.
Social Sciences 9 examples: Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, etc.
Math 6 Statistics is an acceptable Math course

Generally, it is acceptable to have 1-2 of those courses "in progress" so long as the acceptable grade of C or better is earned prior to the start of classes in June. All science and math prerequisites must have been completed within the last 10 years. Applicants with graduate degrees and/or over five years of health care experience may be considered on an individual basis.

Q: What is the deadline to apply for admission? What term can I apply for?
A: CASPA (www.caspaonline.org) allows candidates to apply beginning in mid-April for admission the following summer. Applications MUST be submitted through CASPA by December 1st, 2012 for Summer 2013 enrollment. Supplemental applications are sent via email to each candidate once PCOM receives the upload from CASPA. Supplemental applications are due no later than December 31, 2012, however, applicants are reviewed for admission on a rolling basis, so it is strongly encouraged that candidates apply EARLY. All degree candidates begin their studies in the summer term (mid-June start). Candidates are not permitted to begin out of sequence and may not reduce their course load.

Q: Is an interview required?
A: Yes. Interviews are a required part of the admissions process for the PA Studies program and are by invitation only. Interviews are held on some weekdays throughout the months of September through Febuary.

Q: Is there a minimum GPA requirement?
A: Yes. Candidates must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (as calculated by CASPA) to be considered. Every candidate for admission is reviewed on an individual basis and GPAs of admitted candidates vary. However, the average for those admitted in 2012 was 3.47. Applicants with graduate degrees and/or over five years of health care experience may be considered on an individual basis.

Q: What constitutes patient contact in meeting the 200 hour requirement?
A: Candidates complete the requirement in a variety of ways, some of which include: working as a certified nursing assistant, phlebotomist, nurse's aid, EMT, paramedic, etc. Many have experienced medicine overseas as volunteers in clinics. Basically, any volunteer or paid work in a clinical setting wherein candidates are either providing hands on care or witnessing care can be acceptable, depending on the nature of the role. Shadowing experiences are counted and recommended.

Q: How do I document patient contact hours?
A: Candidates must indicate in the CASPA application, the title of the position held, the employer and the supervisor's name and telephone number. No further documentation is required, but is accepted if submitted.

Q: Is the CASPA application the only application?
A: Yes. Candidates may not apply for admission in any other manner. If a candidate is reapplying for admission, he/she must apply through CASPA again and the old file will be married with the new one, once received in the Office of Admissions.

Q: Do all prerequisites need to be completed before submitting an application?
A: All prerequisite coursework and patient contact hours must be completed by the program start date. However, it is imperative that candidates submit a plan to complete those requirements in the CASPA application or after submission to CASPA in writing to the Office of Admissions directly. Failure to inform the Office of Admissions of your plans will result a rejection as it will appear from the application that the pre-requisites are not met and indicating ineligibility for enrollment.

Q: What should I expect if I get placed on the wait list?
A: The wait list is utilized to fill seats that open after interviews have concluded in February.  The wait list is not ranked or ordered.  Typically, candidates are selected as seats become available from February until classes begin in June.  After all expected candidates arrive for orientation in June, those not selected will be sent a final decision letter.



Last Updated: 10/13/14