- When will the USF PA program be accredited?
Our timeline is posted on the website. The provisional accreditation visit is scheduled to occur during the month of June in 2014. The Commission on Accreditation will meet in September of 2014 and we will receive results and notification of provisional accreditation when results are verified and posted, usually 3 to 5 weeks after the Commission meets.
- What is provisional accreditation?
Provisional accreditation is the initial accreditation for all Physician Assistant programs. It allows programs that have not yet graduated a class of students to accept their first cohort of students. When the first cohort is near graduation, the Commission will return to visit our program again in order to decide whether we will get the final step in accreditation, continuing accreditation. This will be granted for multiple years and will be ongoing after the provisional period.
- When will the USF PA Program start accepting applications?
The USF PA program will begin accepting applications through CASPA near the end of 2014, after we receive notice that we have provisional accreditation. This will tentatively be in or around November of 2014.
- When will the USF PA Program’s first class begin?
The first cohort will begin in the summer of 2015. The dates are not finalized at this time, but the program will begin with its first group of students in or around June of 2015. The first series of clinical rotations, supervised clinical experiences, will begin one year later.
- How many applications does the School of Physician Assistant Studies receive each year?
The USF PA program has not gotten its first batch of applicants, but the PA schools in Florida receive between 7 and 15 applicants per available seat. Therefore it is a very competitive acceptance process.
- How many applicants are accepted into an entering class?
The first class will have 24 students.
- What prerequisites and academic degree are needed, to be accepted into the School of Physician Assistant Studies?
- Applicants must have received a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a four point grading scale and a minimum science GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale. Successful applicants in the past have had science and cumulative grade point averages above 3.0. Upper level courses completed longer than 10 years prior to application will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
- The program requires applicants to earn a grade of C or better in each of the following required subjects:
- College Algebra or better - 3 semester hours
- General Chemistry (I & II) including laboratory – 7 or more semester hours
- General Microbiology including laboratory - 4 semester hours
- General Biology and lab OR Zoology including laboratory - 4 semester hours
- Human Anatomy - 3 semester hours (with lab preferred)
- Human Physiology - 3 semester hours (with lab preferred)
- Biochemistry or Organic Chemistry - 3 semester hours
- Statistics – at least 3 semester hours
- Medical terminology – one course at least 1 semester hour
- English Composition - 3 semester hours
- Humanities/Arts - 3 semester hours These include art, music, literature, foreign language, history, philosophy, religion, linguistics, English, critical theory, or classics
- Social Sciences - 9 semester hours (includes but is not limited to; anthropology, sociology, geography, political science, government, economics, culture studies, gerontology, psychology, ethics, law)
- English Literature / or other Humanity - 3 semester hours
- Courses in the following subject areas will help provide the applicant with a solid foundation for the study of medicine although they are not prerequisites:
- Medical Terminology
- Technical Writing
- Public Health
- Human Growth and Development
- Medical Ethics
- Note: Graduates of foreign institutions where English is not the primary language of instruction must present transcripts showing at least 18 semester hours of study from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States.
- Course breakdown of these 18 semester hours are as follows:
- 3 semester hours in English Composition
- 3 semester hours in English Literature / or other Humanity
- 3 semester hours in Public Speaking
- These courses cannot include ESOL
- The remaining nine semester hours can be any course of the applicant's choosing physical education cannot be included in these 18 hours.
Foreign students can have transcripts and courses evaluated using one of the following services:
Academic Evaluation Services, Inc.
11700 N 58th Street Suite G & H
Tampa, FL 33617
Phone: (813) 374-2020
Fax: (813) 374-2023
Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
International Education Consultants
7101 SW 102 Avenue
Miami, FL 33173
Ph: (305) 273-1616
Fax: (305) 273-1338
Translation Fax: (305) 273-1984
International Education Evaluators (IEE)
P.O. Box 545863
Surfside, FL 33154
Ph: (305) 503-9063
Fax: (305) 993-5550
- All international applicants for whom English is not the native tongue must provide proof of competence in the English language: International applicants from non-English speaking countries must provide a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 taken within 2 years of the desired term of entry or a minimum TOEFL score of 79 (internet-based test) or 550 (written test). If you are from one of the English speaking countries listed, you are not required to submit TOEFL scores. NOTE: Positive results on the SAT (Critical Reading and Writing) or ACT (English/Writing and Reading) may be used to waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirement. (Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Belize, Bermuda, Canada except Quebec, Cayman Islands, Commonwealth Caribbean, Including Belize, Dominica, Fiji, Guyana, Jamaica, Liberia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa where English is the first language, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, Virgin Islands)
- GRE Standardized Test: All applicants are required to submit official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test or the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) with their application, attention USF MCOM, Physician Assistant Program. The GRE must have been taken within the past 5 years and must be taken early enough for official scores to be received in the admissions office by the supplemental application due date of February 15th. Applications will not be considered complete without GRE scores.
- Direct Patient Care Experience is highly preferred: Applicants must have an awareness of the intricacies of health care delivery as it exists today and be prepared to commit to a profession that aids the sick and injured. Applicants will be expected to have some amount of direct ‘hands-on’ health care experience. This may include, but is not limited to, experience as a medical assistant, military corpsman, EMT or paramedic, nurse, surgical technician, athletic trainer, health educator, therapy aide, medical scribe or Peace Corps volunteer or other cross-cultural health care experience.
- Would it be beneficial to shadow a PA before applying to the School of PAS?
Applicants with minimal exposure to physician assistants should arrange with one or more PAs to “shadow” them on a regular basis, especially in a primary care setting (family medicine, general internal medicine, or general pediatrics). The Florida Academy of Physician Assistants (FAPA) is in the process of revamping their website and plan to update their shadowing list (www.fapaonline.org
). One good place to start is with you own health care provider. Interest the Physician Assistant profession often starts with exposure to a PA in the process of taking care of your own health. Shadowing experiences should be listed as “Related Health Care Experience” on the CASPA application
- What kind of patient care experience should I seek?
Direct, or “hands-on,” patient care is the most beneficial, especially in the company of a Physician Assistant. However, related experiences such as laboratory technician, radiology technician, scribe, nursing home volunteer, patient transport, health administrative aide, all are helpful. Keep a log of your experiences so that you will be able to easily transfer them to the CASPA application. Track your job title, supervisor, institution or practice, and whether it was a compensated or volunteer position. The number of hours and the time span are also important data bits for you experience log. There is no minimum number of shadowing hours or patient care experience, but those applicants with more experience will be more prepared to compete in the admissions process. If you are already a licensed health professional, your work will constitute patient care experience. Enrolling and completing a short professional program like the emergency medical technology or medical assisting programs can be a pathway to direct patient care experience.
- What degree will the program offer?
The degree will be a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS).
- Must I have a bachelors degree to enter the program?
Yes, and along with the bachelors degree, all the prerequisites must be completed prior to class start.
- Are there any standardized testing required for admissions?
Yes, applicants must take the Graduate Record Exam or the Medical College Admissions Test, GRE or MCAT within 5 years of applying to the program.
- Is there financial aid available?
There will be financial aid available through our Financial Aid office.
- I already have a baccalaureate degree do I still have to complete all the prerequisite courses?
Yes, there is no fast track or advanced placement, you do have to complete the prerequisite courses no matter what your prior degree. Since all applicants are evaluated individually everyone must complete all prerequisite course work. No exceptions or substitutions. Again, advanced standing is not given for previous course work or life experience.
- I'm applying to the program, but I still need to complete one or two prerequisites during the Spring semester following the application deadline. Will this reduce my chances of getting admitted into the program?
Possibly, sciences and math courses are difficult and you will be compared to the students who have already successfully completed the courses. If you have more requirements that can comfortably be completed in the semester immediately prior to class start, you may not be granted an interview.
- I have a medical degree from another country. Do I still have to complete the requirements?
Yes. All of the requirements must be met by everyone, including International Medical Graduates (IMGs). All transcripts from other countries must be evaluated by one of the evaluation services listed in the prerequisite section We will not consider international transcripts without official evaluation.
Foreign medical graduates cannot challenge the USF PA program or the national certification test, obtain a PA license or practice as a PA in Florida. You must complete the entire program and courses cannot be substituted for program courses although they may help you fill the prerequisites.