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Department of Physician Assistant Studies Department of Physician Assistant Studies    

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Physician Assistant Studies
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The 2015-2016 Admissions Cycle opens May 1, 2015, with all materials due on November 1, 2015. Once the admissions cycle opens no changes can be made to the requirements.

• Minimum Requirements
• Class of 2017 Profile
• Advanced Placement and Deceleration
• Application Screening Criteria and Interviews
• Extra Application Points
• Technical Standards
• Veterans
• Direct Patient Contact Experience
• Contact

Applicants who wish to apply to the USA PA program must meet the following minimum requirements. Please note that admission to the USA PA program is very competitive and accepted students typically exceed the minimum requirements.

Minimum Requirements

All of the following requirements must be met to be considered for admission into the program.
  1. Completion of a Baccalaureate degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution prior to the starting date of the program is required. You may have courses in progress through the spring semester prior to matriculation. They must be completed when the program begins in mid-May.


  2. A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, as calculated by CASPA (includes post-baccalaureate work). 


  3. Completion of prerequisite course work completed with a grade of "C" or higher, from a regionally accredited institution with one semester of at least 3 credits for each course below (except Medical Terminology 2+ credits). You may have courses in progress through the spring semester prior to matriculation. They must be completed successfully when the program begins in mid-May, failure to do so may result in the student losing their seat in the program.  Courses are not required to be taken within a timeframe.


  4. Prerequisite Course Chart

    If you have questions about courses, please email Ms. Nancy Dunn at pastudies@southalabama.edu

    Include the course number, description, and school attended.

    COURSE NAME

    SEMESTER

    HRS. REQUIRED

    ALSO ACCEPTED/

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    Biology

    3.0*

    General Biology - Lab required.

    Cell Biology

    Genetics

    Immunology

    Molecular Biology

    Must be for biology or biological/biomedical science majors.

    General Chemistry I

    4.0

    Must be for chemistry majors. Lab required.

    General Chemistry II

    4.0

    Must be for chemistry majors. Lab required.

    Organic Chemistry

    3.0

    Biochemistry

    Must be for chemistry majors.

    General Microbiology

    3.0

    Infectious Disease

    Molecular Microbiology

    Medical Microbiology

    Must be for biology or biological/biomedical science majors.

    Human Anatomy AND

    Human Physiology

    ~ OR ~

    Human Anatomy & Physiology I AND

    Human Anatomy & Physiology II

    3.0

    3.0

    3.0

    3.0

    Comparative, Vertebrate, Mammalian Anatomy/Physiology

    Must be for biology or biological/biomedical science majors.

    Mathematics

    3.0

    College algebra - minimum

    Pre-Calculus Algebra

    Calculus

    Trigonometry

    Statistics

    3.0

    Statistical Reasoning and Applications
    Also accepted: Business or Psychology Statistics, Biostatistics.
    Can be taken in most departments

    General Psychology

    3.0

    Higher psychology courses are accepted.

    Human development courses are also accepted.

    Medical Terminology 

    2.0

    No certifications or clerical/office courses accepted.

    BONUS COURSES for Extra Points**

    Genetics

    3.0

    Genomics

    Biochemistry

    3.0

    Immunology

    3.0

    Physics

    3.0

    Pathophysiology

    3.0

    Pharmacology

    3.0

    COURSES ACCEPTED***

    ·  Online/web-based     ·  Community College     · AP     · CLEP    

    COURSES NOT ACCEPTED

    ·  Physical Education              ·  Exercise Science             ·  Veterinary               ·  Nursing

    *Semester hours required does not reflect any required labs.
    **Extra points are added for applicants who successfully complete bonus courses: See Extra Application Points section at bottom.
    ***Community college courses are accepted if school is regionally accredited.
    ***Online courses are accepted if school is regionally accredited.
    ***AP and CLEP credits for prerequisites are accepted if they appear on an official transcript from a school that is regionally accredited.

  5. Completion of the General Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within the past five (5) years from May 1 cycle start date. The department accepts:
  6. Completion of at least 500 hours in Direct Patient Contact Experience is required:
    Click for Direct Patient Contact Experience examples. Applicants will document these hours on their CASPA application.

    Direct Patient Contact Experience is defined as working directly with patients (in person, talking, touching); assessing patients medically or psychologically; providing some form of medical or psychological treatment (i.e. psychotherapy, CPR, nutrition plan, administering medication, taking vitals, etc.)
    • A minimum of 500 Direct Patient Contact Experience Hours will be required.
    • These hours must be completed at the time of application.
    • Hours credited as part of a training, educational, or internship program will be considered as part of those hours.
    • There is no time frame for when hours have been earned.
    • PA/Physician Shadowing does not count towards these hours.
  7. Submission of three (3) reference letters, one of which must be from a Medical Doctor (MD), Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) or Physician Assistant (PA) submitted to CASPA and included with your CASPA application.  Reference letters sent directly to our office will not be accepted. CASPA will not start the verification process of your application until two of your three letters of reference have been received.


  8. Submission of completed application materials by November 1 as stated in How to Apply. Supplemental Applications with the non-refundable fee of $110.00 must be postmarked no later than November 1. CASPA applications must be VERIFIED by November 1. Please allow at least four weeks for verification. Contact https://caspa.liaisoncas.com for more information.
International Students have additional requirements and application steps. Please see How to Apply for information.

Class of 2017 Profile

Class of 2017 Profile
Total Applications Received (CASPA)
964
Total Applications Meeting Requirements
434
Average Cumulative GPA
3.62
Average Science GPA
3.60
Cumulative GPA Range
3.11 - 4.00
Average GRE - Verbal
155
Average GRE - Quantitative
154
Average GRE - Analytical Writing
4.0
Average Age
27.5
Age Range
21 - 51
Total Alabama/Service Area Students
13/4
Total Out of State Students
23
Total Female Students
25
Total Male Students
15
Average Direct Healthcare Experience Hours
1,868
Average Shadowing Hours
125
Advanced Placement and Deceleration

The program does not offer advanced placement or deceleration.

Application Screening Criteria and Interviews

Selection Process

Upon receipt of the verified CASPA application, supplemental application with application fee and GRE scores, the completed application packet is reviewed by the Admissions Coordinator.  Applicants who meet all of the minimum requirements will be considered for an interview.

Applicants are selected for interviews based on a holistic evaluation.  Many factors are taken into consideration:
Residency Preference

Preference is shown to Alabama residents, however, highly qualified Service Area and out-of-state applicants whose academics and experiences indicate that they may be a success in both the program and the PA profession will be given the same consideration as residents.  Non-residents will be required to pay the non-resident tuition and fees as set by the University.  For information on residency please contact the Office of the Registrar at http://www.southalabama.edu/registrar/residency.htm.

Interviews

The interview process has been designed to complement the evaluation of an academically proven applicant by the holistic appraisal of non-academic traits.

Approximately 120 applicants will be selected to interview.

The applicant will attend one of three interview sessions to be held in November, December and January.  The applicant will have three (3) one-on-one interviews.  Each interview will last approximately sixty (60) minutes.  An information session and tours will also be held that day.  Knowledge of the PA profession, maturity, cultural awareness, general attitude and other intangible traits will be assessed.  Notification of applicant status may be emailed at any time during the interview cycle until the class positions are filled.  All applicants should know their status by the end of January.

Of those interviewed, the top 40 will be invited for the matriculate class.

Currently the program reserves 10 seats for qualified Veteran applicants for the 2016 matriculate class. The USA PA program is the recipient of a 2012 HRSA Title VII PA Training Grant with one of its targeted objectives being the recruitment of veterans to the civilian healthcare workforce by leveraging their military training to becoming certified physician assistants.  

Extra Application Points

Points will be added to the overall academic score for the following categories:
  1. Bonus Courses: Up to nine (9) points will be added to the Academic Score for course work completed in Immunology, Genetics, Biochemistry, Physics, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology.

    Points for extra course credit will be awarded as follows:
    1.50 points each for "A" grade
    0.75 points each for "B" grade
    0.375 points each for "C" grade


  2. Background and Experience:  Points will be awarded for four areas of background and experience, as documented on the CASPA application. Three (3) points will be given for each of the four (4) categories, for a maximum total of twelve (12) points awarded.
Technical Standards

Students must be able to demonstrate abilities in observation, communication and motor functions, as well as critical thinking, interpersonal skills, and behavioral and social attributes. For a full description, visit Technical Standards.

Veterans

Please visit http://www.southalabama.edu/alliedhealth/pa/veterans.html for more information about veteran applicants.

Direct Patient Contact Experience

Direct Patient Contact Experience is defined as working directly with patients (in person, talking, touching); assessing patients medically or psychologically; providing some form of medical or psychological treatment (i.e. psychotherapy, CPR, nutrition plan, administering medication, taking vitals, etc.)

Examples of Direct Patient Contact Experience:

*Please contact Nancy Dunn, Admissions Coordinator, pastudies@southalabama.edu for approval for any other Direct Patient Contact Experience categories not listed. Pharmacy Technician and Medical Scribe work are typically not considered Direct Patient Contact experience.

Contact

Nancy Dunn
Admissions Coordinator
University of South Alabama
Department of Physician Assistant Studies
5721 USA Drive North, Room 3124
Mobile, AL  36688-0002
Office: (251)-445-9345
Fax: (251) 445-9336
pastudies@southalabama.edu

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