Admissions Questions

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

How many applicants are invited for interview?

How many applicants are accepted into an entering class?

What is a composite picture of the successful applicant who is admitted?

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

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

What is the deadline for completing prerequisites?

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

What kind of patient care experience will be most beneficial for admission into the School of Physician Assistant Studies?

Would it be beneficial to shadow a PA before applying to the School of Physician Assistant Studies?

What kind of references should I request for my application?

Will the School of Physician Assistant Studies accept additional reference letters and materials beyond what CASPA requires?

How will I know that all my application paperwork has been received by the School of Physician Assistant Studies?

When are applicants invited for interview?

When is the final selection for an entering class made?


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

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

How many applicants are invited for interview?

The number of invitations varies each year, depending on the quality of the applicant pool. The School has invited an average of 120 – 140 highly qualified applicants each year.

How many applicants are accepted into an entering class?

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

What is a composite picture of the successful applicant who is admitted?

Please visit our class profile and demographics page.

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

Please visit our degree requirement page and prerequisite page.

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.

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.

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 course loads, particularly in the “heavy” sciences, science courses taken more than five years ago, and inconsistencies in academic performance.

What kind of patient care experience will be most beneficial for admission into the School of Physician Assistant Studies?

We strongly recommend a minimum of 2,000 hours of patient care experience, preferably “hands-on” direct patient care. Direct patient care (DPC) is the best experience (and the one we count most heavily) whereby you are actually “working on” the patient and involved in their care (taking vitals, drawing blood, bathing/dressing, etc.). There are numerous ways to acquire this experience including, but not limited to, nursing assistant, medical assistant, patient care tech, ER scribe, paramedic, etc. Positions that are viewed as Health Related Experience (HRE) where you may have contact with a patient but are not actually “working on” the patient are not weighed as heavily and include, but are not limited to, patient transporter, medical records clerk, etc. It does not matter whether your experience is acquired in a paid position or as a volunteer. The important consideration is the amount of direct involvement you have with patients and the type of hands-on care you provide. To be considered highly competitive, we recommend approximately 2,000 hours of direct, hands-on patient care experience, and preference will be given to applicants who have completed 1,000 hours of such direct patient care by December during the year in which they apply.

Visit our web page elaborating on what experiences we count as DPC and HRE and for a detailed review of positions.

 

Would it be beneficial to shadow a PA before applying to the School of Physician Assistant Studies?

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.

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.

Will the School of Physician Assistant Sudies 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.

How will I know that all my application paperwork has been received by the School of Physician Assistant Studies?

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.

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.

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.