Frequently Asked Questions: Physician Assistant program

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Thank you for your interest. Some of the following details may change as St. Scholastica's Physician Assistant program takes shape under a new program director.

What are the prerequisites?

  • General Chemistry I & II (CHM 110 and 1120)
  • Organic Chemistry I & II (CHM 2200 and 2210)
  • Biochemistry (CHM 3240)
  • General Biology I & II (BIO 1110 and 1120)
  • Anatomy and Physiology I & II (BIO 2110 and 2120)
  • Microbiology (BIO 2250)
  • Genetics (BIO 3500)
  • Calculus (MTH 2221)
  • Lifespan Developmental Psychology (PSY 2208)
  • Statistics (PSY 3331)
  • Sociology OR Family & Society OR Cultural Anthropology (SOC 1125 OR 2433 OR HIS 2231)
  • Medical Terminology (HSC 2209)

Note: All prerequisites must have been completed within 10 yearsfrom the year of application. Up to three prerequisite courses maybe in progress or planned at the time of the application. All mustbe completed before entry into the program.

What are the minimum GRE and GPA (cumulative and pre-req) requirements?

GPA

Minimum cumulative and prerequisite GPAs of 3.0 All prerequisites must have a minimum grade of C.

GRE

Applicants are required to complete the GRE.  Must have a minimum analytical writing score of 3.5 and a combined score for quantitative and verbal of 870 (GRE) or 290 (GRE Revised). Preferred minimums: analytical writing 4.0; quantitative 500 (GRE) or 144 (GRE Revised); verbal 400 (GRE) or 146 (GRE Revised); combined quantitative and verbal score of 1000 (GRE) or 297 (GRE Revised).  GRE scores must be obtained within the 5 years prior to application.

What is required in terms of work/volunteer/observation hours for my application?

Work Experience

Completion of a minimum of 750 hours of direct patient/client work experience. Typical experiences may include CNA work, personal care attendant through an agency, or other health care professional. The key part of this requirement is that the experience must involve direct, face to face service with the patient/client.

Knowledge of the PA role

You must be able to demonstrate knowledge of the role and responsibilities of a PA. 

Do I need to submit letters of recommendation? How many and from whom?

Letters of recommendation will be expected, yes. Details of how many, and from which sources, will be determined.

How long will this program take to complete?

Approximately 28 months. It's a two-plus year program. That's a fairly standard time frame for Physician Assistant programs. Typically, the first half of the program is didactic or course work, and the second half is typically the clinical rotations.

In what format is the program offered/taught? (online, classroom only, hybrid, evening/day, PT/FT options)

To start with, the format will be classroom only, and primarily day school. Our plan so far is for a full-time option; that doesn't mean that a part-time option won't be developed.

When can I apply for the class of 2016?

The application process is through CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants). The application deadline is September 1, 2015, however, we are unable to accept students into the program until we receive provisional accreditation. We will know if provisional accreditation has been awarded in the spring of 2016. 

When will you know if this program is accredited?

CSS has applied for provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). We anticipate matriculating our first class in May of 2016, pending provisional accreditation in Spring, 2016 ARC-PA meeting. Provisional accreditation is an accreditation status for a new PA program that has not yet enrolled students, but at the time of its comprehensive accreditation review, has demonstrated its preparedness to initiate program in accordance with the accreditation Standards.

Where will classes be held? If in Duluth, what building on campus?

Classes are proposed to be held in Duluth. At this time, space negotiations are in progress. Among the possibilities is the current Woodland School site, which may or may not also house other St. Scholastica graduate health science programs.

Admissions contact information

Graduate and Extended Studies Office
The College of St. Scholastica
1200 Kenwood Ave.
Duluth, MN 55811

(218) 723-6285 | (866) 478-9277

Email: gradstudies@css.edu

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