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Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions
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Department of Physician Assistant Studies Department of Physician Assistant Studies    

Admissions
Physician Assistant Studies
•  What is a PA?
•  The Program
•  Mission, Vision, and Goals
•  Curriculum
•  Admissions
•  Veteran Applicants
•  How to Apply
•  Tuition and Expenses
•  Technical Standards
•  Program Completion
•  Matriculation Requirements
•  Accreditation & PANCE
•  Primary Care
•  Faculty & Staff
•  Alumni
•  Resources
•  Contact Us

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Please note that the 2013-2014 Admissions Cycle is closed.

The 2014-2015 Admissions Cycle will open on May 1, 2014, with all materials due on November 1, 2014.  Any changes in the requirements will be posted prior to May 1, 2014. Once the admissions cycle is opened you cannot change requirements.

• Minimum Requirements
• Class of 2015 Profile
• Advanced Placement and Deceleration
• Application Screening Criteria and Interviews
• Extra Application Points
• Direct Patient Care and Shadowing
• Residency Preference
• Technical Standards
• Veterans

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

Minimum Requirements

The following requirements are necessary to be considered for admission into the program.
  1. Completion of a Baccalaureate degree in any field provided the prequisite courses listed below are completed with a grade of "C" or higher. A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, as calculated by CASPA, from an accredited institution prior to the starting date of the program is also required. You may have courses prior to matriculation in progress through the spring semester. They must be completed when the program begins in mid-May.


  2. Completion of prerequisite course work completed with a grade of "C" or higher, with one semester of at least 3 credits for each course below. 


  3. Prerequisite Course Chart

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

    Include the course number, description, and school attended.

    Please Note:  Labs are not required.

    COURSE NAME

    SEMESTER

    HRS. REQUIRED

    ALSO ACCEPTED/

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    Biology

    3.0

    General Biology

    Cell Biology

    Genetics

    Immunology

    Molecular Biology

    Must be for biology or biological/biomedical science majors.

    General Chemistry I

    3.0

    Must be for chemistry majors

    General Chemistry II

    3.0

    Must be for chemistry majors

    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 Anatomy

    Mammalian Anatomy

    Mammalian Physiology

    Must be for biology or biological/biomedical science majors.

    Mathematics

    3.0

    College algebra - minimum

    Pre-Calculus Algebra

    Calculus

    Trigonometry

    Statistics

    3.0

    Biostatics

    Can be taken in any dept. (business, psychology).

    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

    Please note that:

  4. Completion of the General Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within the past five (5) years. The department accepts:
    • (1) a revised score of 290 combined, with a minimum of 145 in both the Verbal and Quantitative sections, and a 3.5 in Analytical Writing; or (2) an old combined total score of 1000 in the Verbal and Quantitative sections, and a 3.5 in Analytical Writing.
    • About the GRE: visit www.ets.org for more information.
    • The highest complete exam score is used in the ranking of applicants: We do not mix and match scores from different attempts.
    • The GRE should be taken at least 14 days prior to the application deadline to ensure that official test scores are received by the deadline.
    • Official scores should be sent to Institution Code 1880. Applicants can self-report unofficial scores on their CASPA, but this does not replace official score reports.
  5. Completion of at least 250 hours in experience as listed in CASPA: (1) patient contact, (2) other work, (3) other healthcare, (4) community service, (5) research, and (6) shadowing. Applicants should document these hours in their CASPA application.


  6. Submission of completed application materials by November 1 as stated in How to Apply.
International Students have additional requirements and application steps. Please see How to Apply for information.

Class of 2015 Profile

Class of 2015 Profile
(entering 2013)
Total Applications Received
561
Total Applications Meeting Requirements
270
Total Applicants Interviewed
78
Average Cumulative GPA
3.58
Average Science GPA
3.48
Cumulative GPA Range
3.21 - 3.87
Average GRE - Verbal
154
Average GRE - Quantitative
152
Average GRE - Analytical Writing
4
Average Age
25.5
Age Range
22 - 42
Total Alabama/Service Area Students
22
Total Out of State Students
18
Total Female Students
25
Total Male Students
15
Average Healthcare Experience Hours
1,553
Average Shadowing Hours
503
Advanced Placement and Deceleration

The program does not offer advanced placement or deceleration.

Application Screening Criteria and Interviews

Based on the current Dept of Physician Assistant Studies Admissions Policies and Procedures, the following steps are conducted. If an application is completed and submitted on time, the program conducts an initial assessment of the overall application quality and accuracy, and then ranks qualifying applications by academic score. Academic scores consist of cumulative GPA, science GPA, last 64-hour GPA, and GRE scores. Those who rank in the top 90 are invited for interviews.

The interview process consists of two segments: the Group Case Scenario Interview and the Individual Interview. Both segments of the interview process have been designed to complement the evaluation of an academically proven applicant by the holistic appraisal of non-academic traits.

In the group interview, three applicants will be given a healthcare dilemma to discuss for 15 minutes. The individual interview will answer questions posed by two or more interviewers. Knowledge of the PA profession, maturity, cultural awareness, general attitude and other intangible traits will be assessed.

Extra Application Points

Points will be added to the overall application for the following categories:
  1. Course work completed in Immunology, Genetics, Biochemistry, Physics, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology.


  2. Specific background or experience as evidenced in the CASPA application:
Direct Patient Care and Shadowing

Direct patient care and shadowing a PA are recommended but not required. Although the program does not require a certain number of hours, applicants must show that they are capable of providing care to patients, and that they understand the role of a physician assistant.

Examples of direct patient care are occupational therapy, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, Emergency Medical Technicians, Certified Nursing Assistant, Medical Assistant, or any related healthcare fields involving the hands-on care of patients.

Residency Preference

Residency preference will be applied only when an Alabama or Service Area applicant and a non-resident applicant receive the same score. This preference will be applied both to the interview invitation list and the accepted list.

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.

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