The admission information provides both the potential and matriculated student with details about the educational program leading to a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. It should be viewed as an adjunct to Shenandoah University’s Graduate Catalog and the Shenandoah University Physician Assistant Program Student Handbook, which contain specific information regarding the university and related policies. The information herein is subject to periodic revision and these changes will be relayed to candidate and students in a timely manner. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to be aware of all degree requirements and to work closely with an advisor to ensure that these requirements are fulfilled. Your success is very important to us, and we are committed to helping you achieve your goal of becoming a physician assistant. Please send any questions regarding the application and admissions process to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 540-542-6208.
To be considered for the Physician Assistant program, applicants must:
- Submit all application materials to the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) including official transcripts for all institutions of higher education attended and three recommendations. All applicants are asked to read and adhere to the CASPA Professional Code of Conduct available on the CASPA web site.
- Submit official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing) scores from exams taken within 10 years of application. Scores are to be sent to CASPA. The Shenandoah designated institution code (DI) is 0414. The successful candidate generally has scores above the 50th percentile. Note: GRE test scores are not required if the applicant already possesses a relevant (science-based) graduate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater.
- International students must have their transcripts submitted for independent evaluation of equivalency by an acceptable credential evaluation agency. The preferred international service is World Education Services (WES). We will also accept an evaluation by a company found thru: www.naces.org. International students are also required to demonstrate English language proficiency as outlined in the Graduate Catalog. See Application Process and FAQs documents below for more information.
- Preference will be given to candidates who can demonstrate a commitment to practice in primary care in rural or urban medically under-served areas. Candidates requesting this preference must do so in the form of a letter upload with their CASPA application. Applicants should include their rationale for the request along with documentation supporting the commitment to primary care practice in under-served communities. Documentation is best achieved by identifying and describing prior work or community volunteer experience.
- As a part of the CASPA application, candidates will prepare an admissions narrative, which will be evaluated by the admissions committee and must be considered of graduate student quality. Candidates should use this narrative to explain why they are interested in becoming a PA and demonstrate that they have an in depth understanding of the PA role in the health care system. In addition, candidates are encouraged to use the CASPA narrative to explain any aspects of their application that may require clarification (e.g., gaps in education or work, etc.).
- Health-care experience (voluntary or paid) or observational experience with a PA is not required, but highly recommended and considered by the Shenandoah University PA admissions committee. This will also be documented within the CASPA application.
- To be considered for regular admission, applicants must have the following academic requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree from a college or university regionally-accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or as determined by WES or a company selected thru: www.naces.org.
- A minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) overall cumulative grade point average (GPA)
- A minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) overall science GPA
- A minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) SU Prerequisite GPA
A candidate with less than a 3.0, but greater than 2.80, undergraduate grade point average may be considered for admission with regular student status if he/she has completed at least 15 semester hours of relevant coursework at the graduate level and has a minimum GPA of 3.0 for these courses. See FAQs posted below for the definition of a relevant degree.
Applicants must complete the following prerequisite coursework (documented via official transcripts):
Human Anatomy and Physiology with labs 2 semesters/ 8 credits General or Introductory Chemistry with lab 1 semester/ 4 credits Biochemistry or Organic Chemistry with lab
1 semester/3 or 4 credits
General or Intro. Microbiology with lab 1 semester/ 4 credits Abnormal Psychology 1 semester/ 3 credits Developmental Psychology (Child or Life Span) 1 semester/ 3 credits Mathematics (preferably statistics) 1 semester/ 3 credits Medical Terminology 1 semester/ 1-3 credits
- In order to satisfy a prerequisite, courses must have been passed with a minimum grade of C at a college or university regionally-accredited by an agency recognized by the US Dept. of Education, or as approved by an approved international service. However, in order to be competitive, it is strongly recommended that prerequisites be completed with a grade of an A or B.
- Science courses must be current within ten (10) years of application. The program strongly encourages the Human Anatomy & Physiology prerequisites to be completed within the past 5 years.
- Distance education formats are strongly discouraged for the science courses that require a laboratory component.
- In some cases, work experience specific to the science course older than 10 years may substitute for repeating the course. Upload a formal request, resume, and supervisor letter to your CASPA application.
- Human Anatomy and Physiology sequence (A & P) should be taken at the same university to ensure continuity and must cover all body systems. Comparative anatomy, vertebrate anatomy, functional anatomy, animal physiology, anatomy and physiology designed for specific disciplines, or fundamentals of anatomy and physiology courses are not counted toward the A & P requirement.
- Candidates may take anatomy and physiology as separate courses provided both have laboratory components, both have a human, comprehensive focus, and both have a minimum of 4 credit hours.
- If organic chemistry is taken instead of biochemistry, the course must include a lab.
- A medical terminology proficiency exam will be administered during summer orientation. Failure to meet the minimum benchmark will require a formal remediation plan to be completed during the first summer semester.
8. The PA Program reserves the right to verify credentials documented in the candidate’s application.
9. All applicants are asked to read and adhere to the CASPA Professional Code of Conduct available on the CASPA web site.
Early application is strongly encouraged. After the interview is conducted, the admissions committee may recommend one of the following based upon the collective judgment of the committee and a point scoring system:
- Admission Status: Candidates with a conferred bachelor’s degree and with all prerequisites completed will be recommended for full admission status.
- Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in progress and/or outstanding prerequisites will be recommended for provisional admission status. The number of candidates recommended for admission will be determined annually by the PA program class size.
- Admission Alternates: A limited number of applicants will be selected as alternates and will generally be notified of their admission status by June 1. Applicants not admitted from the alternate list must reapply, if they wish to be considered in subsequent years. Rank or position on the alternate list will not be disclosed to candidates due to its dynamic nature. (See FAQs.)
- Non-Acceptance: Applicants denied admission will be notified in writing. Candidates wishing to be considered in a subsequent admission cycle must reapply and must satisfy all admission requirements for that cycle.
Applicants selected for admission to the program must provide evidence of good health and up-to-date immunizations prior to matriculation. Prior to beginning coursework, students are required to authorize and submit to a criminal background check, including sex offenses and crimes against minors. Students may also be expected to submit to drug testing required by clinical practice sites or the program. Non-compliance with the criminal background checks and/or drug testing policies may be cause for dismissal from the program of study. In addition, students are required to maintain health insurance and liability insurance coverage. Further information will be reviewed in detail at orientation. Admitted students are required to attend all orientation sessions scheduled by the program.
Falsification of any portion of the application process, including the CASPA application, will be cause for immediate rescinding of the admission offer or dismissal from the PA Program.
Documents to help you understand our program and the application process for the 2018-19 admissions cycle.
- Admission Guidelines
- Application Process Timeline
- FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Student Handbook
- Technical Standards
- Graduate Competencies
- Characteristics of Admitted Students