Admission Process | M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies
Admission to the Carroll University Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program requires a baccalaureate degree, satisfactory completion of prerequisite coursework and direct patient care experience. The program considers all qualified applicants without discrimination regardless of race, color, creed, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status, national or ethnic origin, or handicap that does not interfere with the performance of professional physician assistant practice as provided by law.
Carroll University utilizes the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) to collect admission materials, which will be forwarded to the university.
Covid-19 impact on admission for the 20-21 application cycle:
- Prerequisite courses successfully completed as pass/fail (without letter grades) during the spring, summer and fall 2020 terms will be accepted
- Prerequisite lab science courses successfully completed online during the spring, summer and fall 2020 terms will be accepted
- Candidates with less than the minimum of 500 hours of direct patient contact at the time of application MAY be considered for admission
- CASPA has offered several essay opportunities to describe any hardships related to your candidacy as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic
- April 30, 2020: CASPA opens
- September, October and November: On-campus interviews conducted
- October 1: Application Deadline; all required application materials including a verified CASPA application are due
- September: Offers begin as interviews are completed
It is expected that seats will remain available throughout the interview timeline. A minimum of 28 seats will be offered in the 2021-2022 application cycle.
Required Application Materials
- Verified CASPA application
- Three letters of reference, preferably from a college instructor, a supervisor from a work or volunteer clinical experience and a health care professional such as PA, NP, MD or DO. Letters of reference must be submitted via CASPA.
- Official GRE score report submitted directly to Carroll University/CASPA (code 0409). Only scores sent to CASPA will be considered. The most recent GRE scores will be used. GRE exams must be taken within the last 5 years to be valid.
- Carroll University Supplemental $50.00 Fee (a link to submit the supplemental fee will be made available when CASPA opens in April 2021)
CASPA calculated cumulative GPA and science GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale
Patient Care Experience
500 hours of direct patient care experience is required. Experience as a medical scribe, a student in training or in observation will not be accepted as patient care experience.
Knowledge of the PA Profession
It is important that candidates fully understand the role of a physician assistant. Although this understanding can be obtained in many ways, time spent shadowing is highly regarded.
A baccalaureate degree must be awarded from an accredited institution prior to matriculation.
Completion of all prerequisite courses with a C or better is required prior to matriculation. Courses in kinesiology, exercise science or nutrition will not satisfy prerequisite coursework. It is advised that no more than two prerequisite course be pending at the time of application.
Five Semesters Biological Science - Required is 1 semester each anatomy, physiology (or A and P I & II) and microbiology. Anatomy and physiology coursework must be completed in a face to face format within 5 years of matriculation.
The two additional biological science electives could include general biology I and II, genetics, cell biology, immunology, endocrinology or other upper division biological science related to medicine. Additional biological science coursework is recommended.
Four Semesters Chemistry - Suggested course options include general chemistry I and II, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry and organic chemistry. Upper division courses are highly recommended.
Two Semesters Psychology - Suggested course options include general psychology, developmental psychology, lifespan psychology, abnormal psychology
One Semester Statistics – any discipline
Other courses highly recommended for success in PA education: pathophysiology, medical terminology, epidemiology, pharmacology, foreign language
Additional Information About Prerequisite Coursework:
- Competitive candidates will have completed biological science and chemistry coursework designed for science majors
- Survey courses may not provide the depth and rigor needed for success in PA education
- Coursework is accepted from community colleges and through regionally accredited four year institutions
- Labs are highly suggested for coursework in biological science and chemistry
- Completion of biological science and chemistry prerequisites within the last 5 years is preferred
- All prerequisite courses must be completed with a "C" or higher. Note that a "C-" will not be accepted
- AP courses are accepted for general psychology, general biology I, general chemistry I and statistics. AP courses must be listed in CASPA and included on university transcripts
This worksheet is for planning purposes only. It is not necessary to submit the worksheet.
The Carroll University MSPAS program will not accept transfer students or transfer credits for any required course in physician assistant studies. Student accepted into the program must complete all required physician assistant courses. Advanced placement will not be granted for any reason, including prior academic studies or professional experience. Only full-time students are admitted to the program.
Additional Information About the Selection Process
The selection process for the PA program is highly competitive. Each application is evaluated on individual merits. The submitted materials will be used to evaluate applicants for potential success in the program based on proven academic performance and potential; knowledge of the PA profession; work, community service and other experiences; letters of reference; and essays. Personal interviews, offered to the most qualified applicants, will aid the committee in assessing a variety of non-cognitive factors, including interpersonal skills, personal maturity, motivation and life experiences. Applicants may not be accepted without a personal interview. Invitations for admission will be extended to applicants who appear to be the most highly qualified to meet the mission and goals of the program. Students will be admitted to the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program based on their admission materials and their interview.
Students need not have received their bachelor's degree from Carroll University, but those who do will receive additional admission consideration.
Any student accepted for admission to the program must have official college transcripts documenting completion of all requirements sent directly to Carroll University prior to matriculation.
Accepted students are required to have completed a health screening, updated immunizations and tuberculosis screening according to current Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for health professionals, criminal background investigation and drug screening as required by internship placement sites. Exceptions to the immunization requirements will be considered on a case-by-case basis where, for example, a student has an allergy to a vaccine or one of its components. If an exception to the immunization requirements is approved, the University cannot guarantee that its affiliated hospitals and clinics will allow the student to participate in patient care, which is a fundamental requirement of the clinical education component of the program.
International applicants and those who graduated from a non-US college or university must provide the following in addition to the above materials:
- Documented completion of baccalaureate degree from accredited institution or equivalent via an international credit evaluation sent directly to CASPA with an unofficial copy send to Carroll University.
- Proof of English proficiency. Please reference the English Proficiency Requirements.
- Proof of citizenship, permanent U.S. visa or visa appropriate for education
- Statement of financial sponsorship
- Three (3) hours of English composition is required at a US or Canadian college or university if the initial education was not taken at an English-speaking university
- All non-Canadian international graduates must provide transcripts reflecting a minimum of 20 hours of natural sciences taken at an accredited U.S. college or university. These hours must include a full sequence of anatomy & physiology and microbiology.
See Carroll University's Office of International Education for more information about international admissions.