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South University, Richmond, Physician Assistant. An expectation of hard work. A degree to be proud of.

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An expectation of hard work. A degree to be proud of.

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Admissions

Admissions

Admissions Requirements

The South University, Richmond Physician Assistant program participates with the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Please refer to the application process page for instructions. Individuals whose applications are reviewed positively will be invited for a personal on-campus interview.

 

Applicant Criteria

Selection for the Physician Assistant program is highly competitive. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee an interview or admission. Successful applicants will generally exceed the minimum criteria. The following criteria represent the minimum conditions established for students interested in applying to the South University Physician Assistant Master of Science degree programs:

  • Applicants must have an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution.
  • Applicants must have an overall GPA as calculated by the CASPA service of 3.0 or greater (on a 4.0 scale) (including undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate coursework)
  • Applicants should have a Biology-Chemistry-Physics (BCP) science GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) as calculated by the CASPA service.
  • Applicants must submit scores from the GRE general exam directly to the CASPA service using the South University PA program code 7147.
  • At least one reference on the CASPA application must be from a physician (MD/DO), Physician Assistant, or Nurse Practitioner with whom the applicant has worked or shadowed and to whom the applicant is not related. Impressive, well- articulated, and unequivocal letters attesting to the applicant’s motivation, communication and interpersonal skills, professionalism, and future contribution towards health care are considered competitive. Preference is granted to applicants with letter(s) from a PA.
  • Preference will be given to those with GRE scores at the 50th percentile or above.
  • Preference will be given to those with an overall GPA at or above 3.3
  • Preference will be given to those with a prerequisite (BCP) GPA at or above 3.15

 

Prerequisites

Students must complete all prerequisite courses listed below with a grade of C or better at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university prior to submission of his/her application.

  • Human Anatomy (1 course) and lab
  • Human Physiology (1 course) and lab
  • General Biology (2 courses)
  • General Chemistry (2 courses) and labs
  • Microbiology (1 course) and lab
  • Biochemistry (1 course) –or– Organic Chemistry (1 course) and lab

Prerequisite coursework which is obtained from a four-year college or university and which is designed for science majors is considered more competitive.

In general, prerequisite coursework with titles that include “Essentials of,” “Survey of,” or “Introductory to,” unless specifically designed for science majors, are considered less competitive.

Human Anatomy and Physiology may be taken as standalone courses or as part of a sequence. In the event that the courses are taken as part of a sequence, only a completed sequence of Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II will be accepted.

Basic science courses should be those for science majors. Microbiology courses must be 200/2000-level courses or higher. The General Biology and Biochemistry courses are recommended to include a lab, but it is not required.

Only courses (excluding General Biology and Biochemistry) with an associated lab will be given credit for fulfilling prerequisite requirements. In the event that a laboratory is not offered with a prerequisite course, applicants may request the lab requirement for that course be waived by contacting the program. Lab waivers and/or course substitutions are granted at the discretion of the Admissions Committee. Applicants requesting a waiver should be prepared to submit supporting documents, including, but not limited to, course descriptions.

The South University Physician Assistant program accepts credit for Advanced Placement (AP) courses. AP courses taken and successfully completed will be counted as one course credit towards completion of the respective prerequisite subject. Grades earned in AP courses are not used in the calculation of the applicant’s overall or prerequisite GPA.

The South University Physician Assistant program does not accept College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credit for any prerequisite requirements.

The South University Physician Assistant program does not accept a transfer of credits from other physician assistant programs or provide enrolled students with a waiver of credit (i.e., advanced placement) for any component of the required curricular coursework. All students must complete each course in the South University Physician Assistant curriculum.


Clinical Experience

Clinical experiences should provide the applicant with a knowledge of and orientation to the presentation, signs, and symptoms of a variety of ill or injured patients. Preference is given to applicants with clinical experience that includes direct patient care. However, there is no requirement for a predetermined number of hours (or months) of health care experience to be earned by an applicant. Such experiences are evaluated on an individual basis with regard to time spent with physician assistants or physicians observing or caring for patients.

 

Admissions Committee Selection Factors

Applicants for admission are considered and ranked using multiple factors.  Applicants are awarded preference points based upon the following selection factors:

  • Academic achievement (overall GPA, BCP) and entrance examination (GRE) scores.
    • Preference will be given to those with GRE scores (Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning) at the 50th percentile or above
    • Preference will be given to those with an overall GPA at or above 3.3.
    • Preference will be given to those with a prerequisite (BCP) GPA at or above 3.15.
  • Quality of letters of reference
    • References from PAs are preferred.
    • Letters from personal acquaintances are discouraged.
  • Quality hands-on patient care
    • Preference is given to applicants with clinical experience that requires direct patient care, such as: Physical Therapist, Respiratory Therapist, EMT/Paramedic, Nurse, or Certified Nursing Assistant.
  • Personal statement/essay
  • Prerequisite coursework which is obtained from a four-year college or university and which is designed for science majors
  • PA mentorship/shadowing experiences
  • Community service hours
  • Interview performance

Evidence of an applicant’s interpersonal skills, problem-solving ability, professionalism, motivation, academic potential, communication, knowledge of the PA profession and the health care system with an alignment to the mission and vision of the program are assessed by the Admissions Committee.

 

Post-Acceptance Requirements

Accepted applicants will be required to complete the following items in order to obtain approval for matriculation in January:

  • Satisfactory Criminal Background and Drug Screen Report
  • Health /Immunization Requirements
  • Health Insurance Documentation
  • Baccalaureate Diploma Verification
  • American Heart Association (AHA) Approved Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification
  • FAFSA application (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) submission for those applying for financial aid

Students seeking admissions to the Physician Assistant program in the College of Health Professions should be aware that applicants with a prior felony conviction and/or a serious misdemeanor conviction will not be considered. Acceptance into a South University program or its completion does not guarantee that a student will be able to obtain subsequent licensure or certification.  There is a $1000 acceptance fee, $900 of which is refundable, for those applicants accepted into the Physician Assistant program at South University, Richmond. Acceptance fees are applied towards tuition.

http://www.southuniversity.edu/richmond/areas-of-study/physician-assistant/physician-assistant-master-of-science-ms/admissions
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We make the application process as smooth as possible so you can start earning your degree right away. Visit our Applying page for application instructions.

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