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MU Home » Academics » School of Health Sciences » Physician Assistant Program

Applicant FAQs

The following information may be helpful for applicants who are applying to the program. Please read this information in its entirety before contacting the program

Outstanding Prerequisites/"Planned" vs. "Taken"
As noted in our initial email, the following is a letter noting any outstanding prerequisites and that the program is aware of your planned or in-progress work. If “planned” or “taken” is noted to the side of the coursework, GRE scores or hours, the program is aware that the applicant has taken the GRE, but official scores have not been received, and/or that the applicant is in progress or planning to complete that specific requirement. If “planned” or “taken” is not beside the requirement, but the applicant has a plan to complete the class or hours, please submit in writing (email) the anticipated institution, semester and completion date. If for some reason there are discrepancies in what is listed as an outstanding prerequisite and what you may have already completed, please make sure you first review all prerequisite requirements to ensure you have or will meet our requirements and recommendations.

Requirements that are typically overlooked:

  • The program requires 6 semester hours of psychology, not 3 semester hours.
  • Sociology courses do not fulfill psychology requirements.
  • We require 500 hours of clinical experience. Hours that include comforting patients, stocking rooms, escorting/transporting patients, student training hours (i.e. C.N.A. rotations), and shadowing providers other than a PA, MD, or NP will not be accepted.
  • If you have completed or exceeded 500 hours of clinical experience it is not necessary to update the program of additional hours. If extended an interview, you may update the program of additional hours when requested.
  • Biology and Chemistry courses with a lecture and lab: If you score a C- or below in the lecture portion of a course, but received a C or better in the lab, grades are not averaged. The lecture must be retaken.
  • AP credit from high school for requirements is accepted, but must be reflected on the CASPA application. If AP credit is not listed on the CASPA application, official transcripts must be mailed to the program (see below for mailing address).
  • Please keep reading for recommended GRE scores and how to submit them.
  • Please keep reading in regards to coursework and clinical experience updates and deadlines.

After you have reviewed our requirements and there are still discrepancies
Applicants are asked to email or call the MU PA Program Office of Admissions (contact information is at the end). In some instances, coursework may be overlooked or there was a program decision regarding that specific requirement. The program is more than willing to address any concerns and will review the application again to ensure the accuracy of our initial screening.

GRE
Official GRE scores are to be sent directly to CASPA via code 0399 by March 1. The longer you wait to submit scores to the program, the longer it will take for your application to be considered further. GRE scores must be received before your application will be considered for an interview. The MU PA Program only accepts the GRE and to be competitive with the applicant pool, we recommend a combined score of:

  • Tests taken prior to August 1, 2011: 1050 or higher
  • Tests taken on or after August 1, 2011: 297-300 or higher

GRE scores are not waived for any applicant, and if you are a re-applicant the program does not keep official scores on file.

Letters of Recommendation (LOR)
The MU PA Program requires three LORs. They should be submitted from:

  • A science advisor or professor*
  • A medical coworker or supervisor. If you have shadowed a physician or PA they should write a LOR.
  • Another employer or another medical coworker.

*If the applicant is in progress of completing the bachelor's degree or is a recent graduate (within 1-3 years) he/she will be expected to submit an academic letter of reference.

CASPA will mail your application with at least two letters submitted. If an applicant’s final recommendation is in the process of being submitted, CASPA will make the letter available when it is received. Applicants who have already submitted three letters to CASPA and are deficient in a letter from a professor or supervisor, or who want to submit additional LORs, may have the individual submit their letter via email (preferred), mail or fax the letter directly to the program. No more than 5 LORs may be submitted.

Updating Coursework/Deadlines for Coursework
Applicants have until late-August of the year planning to enter to successfully complete any outstanding coursework requirements with a letter grade of C or better. There are no exceptions or substitutions granted for our coursework requirements. Applicants who need to submit updates of coursework or degree verification must request an official transcript to be mailed to: Methodist University PA Program/Attn: Jennifer Mish/5107 College Centre Dr. /Fayetteville, NC 28311. Transcripts should not be sent unless updating coursework.

Updating Clinical Experience Hours/Deadlines for Experience

  • Outstanding Hours: All clinical experience hours must be completed by July 15th of the year entering. Those applicants who have not completed the 500 hour requirement may submit monthly updates with the number of hours completed since submitting your application. Your supervisor should update the program with hours via
  • Completed Hours: Applicants who have completed or exceeded the 500 hour requirement are not required to update hours unless he/she has been invited for an interview, which at that time, applicants are encouraged to update their hours, if applicable.

Policies for Foreign Graduates and/or Foreign Medical School Graduates
Policies for applicants who have completed their degree outside the United States are as follows:

  • Foreign (International) applicants must have their transcripts evaluated by the World Education Services (WES), or a similar agency, to determine if the degree is equivalent to a bachelor's degree in the United States. If the evaluation determines work done outside the US is equivalent to a bachelor's degree (or Doctor of Medicine) the applicant has completed the bachelor's degree requirement for our program. Degree equivalency is the only item of importance the program will consider on the WES evaluation.
  • All prerequisite coursework requirements must be taken in the United States regardless if the applicant has completed them in another country. Specific coursework on the WES evaluation will not be considered. For example, if the applicant has completed medical school in another country, he/she is still required to take all medical core prerequisites for our program regardless if they have been completed within a foreign medical program. There are NO exceptions to this policy.
  • Foreign graduates whose first language is not English must complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in addition to the GRE. The program will not allow applicants to substitute an English course or certificate in place of TOEFL scores.

How are applicants selected for an interview?
Applicants considered to be competitive based on, but not limited to GPA, GRE, and clinical experience will be invited for an on- campus interview with our Admissions Selection Committee (ASC). On-campus interviews are during the week (usually on Wednesdays), typically begin in September and continue until the class is filled. Previous trends have shown that interviews can run into February and early-March. All applicants selected for an interview will receive an invitation, via email, at least three to four weeks prior to their interview day. The program does not grant acceptance without an on-campus interview and travel expenses are the applicant’s responsibility. Interview format is provided to the applicants who are selected for an interview.

How competitive is the program?
The 2013-2014 application cycle (aka: Class of 2016) yielded 642 applications for 40 seats. 90 (14%) invitations to interview were extended. 40 seats are available for the 2014-2015 application cycle (Class of 2017).

When does the class fill up and is there an alternate list?
Historically, the class can be filled as early as December or January, but as late as March or April. Obviously, every year is different, making it difficult to predict how quickly our class can be filled. Considerations will close May 1 and applicants not selected for an interview will be notified via email. Applicants are encouraged to withdraw their application if there are intentions to attend another institution or if interest in attending PA school is no longer an option.

The program does interview for an alternate list once the class has been filled. If chosen to interview for the alternate list, applicants will be informed in their invitation that they are interviewing for the alternate list. Applicants who are placed on the alternate list and who are not offered a seat in the program because a seat was not available are not guaranteed admission into the next class.

Dos and Don'ts of Contacting the Program

Dos:

  • Applicants should contact the program (email is preferred) immediately if there are any discrepancies in their outstanding prerequisites. Please review all requirements prior to calling or emailing.
  • Make sure to read all correspondences and check your email (including your spam box) often.
  • If you know updated transcript and hours are being submitted, it is ok to follow up periodically to confirm receipt of these items.
  • If you are invited for an interview, but have no plans to interview with the program, you are expected to respond declining the invitation. The program will follow up with phone calls to applicants who do not respond via email to our invitation. Failure to respond results in an automatic withdrawal of your application and is considered a lack of professionalism.

Don’ts

  • Do not continuously call or email to check on your application status. Continuously checking on your application status is considered poor admissions etiquette. If you are chosen for an interview the program will contact you.
  • Do not have others (i.e. parents, spouses, employers, people affiliated with the program) call on your behalf or ask about your application status. It is against policy to share any information regarding an application with anyone other than the applicant.
  • Do not ask or expect the program to make an exception or allow substitutions for any of our prerequisite requirements. It does not benefit the applicant in any way to make this request.

Contacting the Program

Mailing Address:
Methodist University PA Program
Attn: Jennifer Mish
5107 College Centre Dr.
Fayetteville, NC 28311

Email:

Admissions Telephone*: Toll Free: (800) 488-7110 ext. 7615
Direct: (910) 630-7615

*Applicants outside EST: Unless noted, the program will return voicemails on EST. If you are in a different time zone and leave a voicemail, please include a preferred time to call you back.

Admissions Fax: (910) 630-7643

Professional Expectations
Applicants are expected to demonstrate professional courtesy at all times when contacting the program. As stated above, if there is an oversight of an outstanding prerequisite the program will make every effort to review your application again and gently request you to be understanding and patient as we address your questions in a timely manner.

 

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