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Admissions Questions

1. How many applications does the School of Physician Assistant Studies receive each year? 

Since 2013, the number of applicants choosing to apply to the University of Florida School of Physician Assistant Studies has exceeded 1000.

2. How many applicants are invited for interview? 

The number of invitations varies each year, depending on the quality of the applicant pool. Since 2012, the School has invited an average of 120 - 150 highly qualified applicants each year.

3. How many applicants are accepted into an entering class? 

The School selects the 60 most qualified interviewed applicants to fill the entering class.

4. What is a composite picture of the successful applicant who is admitted?
The following table shows the Class Profiles for the past four years:

2011 2012 2013 2014 Range   (most recent year)
Undergrad Cumulative GPA 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.01 – 3.97
Undergrad Science GPA 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.6 2.74 – 4.0
GRE scores:
      Verbal 496 501 522 155 146 - 169
     Quantitative 651 652 644 154 147 – 162
     Combined total 1147 1155 1166 309 296 – 323
     Analytical writing 4.1 4.3 4.3 4.1 3.0 – 5.5
Health care experience 2.0 yrs 2.3 yrs 2.4 yrs 2.5 yrs 6 mo – 21 yrs
Highest academic degree
     Bachelors 56 56 57 55
     Masters 4 4 3 5
     Doctorate 0 0 0 0
Age (in years) 25 26 26 26
Gender:
     Female 51 48 45 37
     Male 9 12 15 23
Ethnic Group:
     Caucasian 53 50 51 46
     Non-Caucasian 7 10 9 14
Home state:
     Florida 53 42 51 39
     Non- Florida 7 18 9 21

5. What prerequisites and academic degree are needed, to be accepted into the School of Physician Assistant Studies? 

Applicants must complete a BACHELOR’S DEGREE and all preprofessional prerequisite courses at colleges or universities accredited by one of the six regional accrediting bodies, such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. To determine if a college or university is regionally accredited, visit the following website: http://www.chea.org/Directories/index.asp

All applicants must complete the following PREPROFESSIONAL PREREQUISITE COURSES with a grade of C or better by the end of the fall semester before the School’s academic year begins in late June.

Human Anatomy & Physiology, including labs: 6-8 semester hours
Microbiology, at the pre-med level, including lab: 3-5 semester hours
General (Inorganic) Chemistry, a complete sequence geared toward science majors, including labs: 8-11 semester hours
Statistics, including statistical tests and analysis: 3 semester hours
Medical Terminology: at least 1 semester hour

Applicants who have attended Florida public colleges and universities can find a list of approved prerequisites at the following link: http://pap.med.ufl.edu/admissions/program-requirements/prerequisites-2/public-universities/

Approved prerequisites from Florida community colleges are listed in the following link: http://pap.med.ufl.edu/admissions/program-requirements/prerequisites-2/florida-community-colleges/

Approved prerequisite courses offered by independent (private) Florida institutions are listed in the following link: http://pap.med.ufl.edu/admissions/program-requirements/prerequisites-2/private_institutions/

Applicants completing courses at non-Florida institutions can send a copy of the course description and content to the UF School of Physician Assistant Studies for review to determine whether a course fulfills a prerequisite requirement.

6. Which undergraduate courses and/or majors best prepare an applicant for the rigorous School of Physician Assistant Studies curriculum? 

The School of Physician Assistant Studies does not require that applicants major in any specific academic subject. The School accepts applicants from a wide range of undergraduate majors. Regardless of the major, a heavy concentration in science-based courses that are highly correlated with medicine is recommended. Additional chemistry, biology, and social science courses beyond the minimum will strengthen an application. See the Prerequisite and Other Courses menu for suggestions for additional electives that help to prepare applicants for the rigorous PA curriculum.

7. What is the deadline for completing prerequisites? 

Prerequisites must be satisfactorily completed by the end of the fall semester preceding the start of the School’s academic year in late June.

8. Are there any “flags” that might suggest potential academic difficulties in the School? 

Applicants’ transcripts are carefully reviewed to identify concerns such as numerous withdrawals from courses, light courseloads, particularly in the “heavy” sciences, science courses taken more than five years ago, and inconsistencies in academic performance.

9. What kind of patient care experience will be most beneficial for admission into the School of PAS? 

Applicants must provide information on both direct (“hands-on”) and indirect (“related”) health care experience, including role or job title, name of institution, name of supervisor, description of tasks, number of hours worked per week, and number of weeks worked at that institution. Applicants should be careful not to duplicate information in each section and to provide accurate dates and hours so that the Admissions Committee can calculate total amount of time spent in each type of clinical experience. Clinical experience can be on a paid or volunteer basis.

The School recommends that all applicants complete the equivalent of at least one year (2000 hours) of direct (“hands-on”) patient care experience before entering the School. Examples of such care may include drawing blood, taking vitals, providing personal hygiene care, serving as technician in Radiography, etc. For applicants who are already health professionals, such as nurses, paramedics, or respiratory therapists, the practice of your profession for the recommended length of time would constitute such clinical experience.

Applicants without previous health care experience are often able to acquire good direct patient care experience working as a medical or nursing assistant or aide in settings such as hospitals, clinics, or physicians’ private practices where a wide range of patients are seen and there is opportunity for exposure to numerous types of health care providers.

Applicants often complete a short nursing assistant or EMT program in order to secure paid employment while gaining clinical experience. Patient care experience can be acquired on a paid or volunteer basis, as long as the recommended amount of time is met in an acceptable health care setting.

Related Health Care Experience is considered to be any experience working with patients that does not permit hands-on delivery of health care to patients. Examples include patient transport, health related research assistant, front office and clerical work in a private physician’s office, medical records clerical work in a hospital or private office, etc.

10. 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) in order to gain a clear understanding of the role that the PA plays on the healthcare team. Shadowing experiences should be listed as “Related Health Care Experience” on the CASPA application.

11. What kind of references should I request for my application? 

PROFESSIONAL references are recommended by the Admissions Committee. The School recommends at least one reference from a physician who has supervised the applicant in a clinical setting, one reference from a PA who is familiar with the applicant’s clinical work, and one reference from another health professional who has worked alongside the applicant and/or is familiar with the applicant’s clinical skills. In order to be considered “familiar with an applicant’s clinical skills,” the reference should have worked with the applicant for a minimum of six months.

References written by academic instructors and advisors will not carry as much weight as references provided by professionals who are familiar with the applicant’s clinical skills.

The School does not accept references written by relatives, personal friends, or friends of the applicant’s family. “Character references” (from pastors, teachers, counselors, family doctors, etc.) are also not acceptable.

12. Will the School of PAS accept additional reference letters and materials beyond what CASPA requires? 

Applicants are discouraged from sending additional materials unless requested to do so. In most cases, the items required for the CASPA application provide sufficient information for the Admissions Committee to conduct a thorough review of an application. However, if the Admissions Committee determines that additional materials are needed, the Program will contact the applicant to request specific materials.

13. How will I know that all my application paperwork has been received by the School of PAS? 

Once CASPA verifies information provided on the application and forwards the application to the School of PAS, the Admissions Office will inform the applicant that the application has been received by the School. If an application is incomplete (missing items such as GRE scores, references, etc.), the School will notify the applicant. Following receipt of any missing items, the applicant will again be notified that the application is complete.

14. When are applicants invited for interview? 

The School begins conducting interviews in late August or early September and continues through December. As soon as CASPA processes an application and forwards it to the School, the Admissions Committee reviews the application and determines whether an applicant is to be invited for interview. If so, several weeks prior to the scheduled interview date the School will invite the applicant for interview. Because of the heavy volume of applications and the time required for CASPA to complete its verification of each application, invitations for interview can be extended as late as the end of November, before interviews close and final selections are made.

15. When is the final selection for an entering class made? 

Final selections are made in December, and offers of seats in the entering class are extended into early January.  All applicants, whether offered seats in the class or not, are notified of the Admissions Committee’s decision regarding their application.