How many applications does the School of Physician Assistant Studies receive each year?
Each year more than 2,000 applicants designate the University of Florida School of Physician Assistant Studies (UF PA) as a school of their choice. The number of completed applications received annually by UF PA in any given year is 1300-1500.
How many applicants are invited for interview?
UF PA invites an average of 145 highly qualified applicants to interview 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?
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 UF’s rigorous School of Physician Assistant Studies’ curriculum?
The UF School of Physician Assistant Studies does not require that applicants major in a science. 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 for UF must be satisfactorily completed by the end of the fall semester of the year applying.
Are there any “flags” that might suggest not getting an interview or potential academic difficulties at UF?
Applicants’ transcripts are carefully reviewed to identify concerns such as multiple course withdrawals, light semester course loads, light number of sciences, light number of upper level 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 direct patient care experience. This is synonymous with “hands-on” patient care in all cases, but for UF, does also include in-person scribing. Direct Patient Care (DPC) is the best experience and the one we count most heavily. Think of DPC as actually caring for the patient, meaning being involved in taking vital signs, bathing, dressing, toileting and other aspects of nursing care. There are a number of ways to acquire this experience including, but not limited to these positions: certified nursing assistant, medical assistant, patient care tech, ER scribe, paramedic.
Health Related Experience (HRE) counts but is not weighed as heavily as DPC. HRE includes, but is not limited to these positions: patient transporter, unit clerk, medical records clerk.
Visit our web page elaborating on what experiences we count as DPC and HRE and for a detailed review of positions.
It does not matter whether DPC is acquired in a paid or volunteer position. The important consideration is the amount of direct involvement you have with patients and the type of hands-on care or scribing you provide. To be considered highly competitive, we recommend a minimum of 2,000 hours of direct, hands-on patient care experience, and preference is given to applicants who have completed 1,000 hours of direct patient care by December of the application year.
Would it be beneficial to shadow a PA before applying to UF’s School of Physician Assistant Studies?
Applicants should arrange with one or more PAs to “shadow” them on a regular basis, i.e., 3-4 hours a week for the equivalent of a semester. Primary care (family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, emergency medicine) and surgical service settings are recommended, but any hospital or clinic setting where the PA is a member of the medical team will help you to gain a clear understanding of the role that the PA plays. Shadowing experiences are to be included on the CASPA application.
What kind of references should I request for my application?
Professional references are recommended by the Admissions Committee. The university of Florida School of Physician Assistant Studies requires a minimum of three references. The School recommends at least one reference from: a physician or nurse who has supervised the applicant in a clinical setting; a PA familiar with the applicant’s clinical work and/or mentored the applicant; 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.
The School will accept up to five references. References written by professors and advisors are often required by other PA Schools and we accept them. Academic references may not carry as much weight as clinical references.
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 UF’s School of Physician Assistant Studies?
Once CASPA verifies the information you provided on the application and forwards the application to UF, the PA Admissions Office will inform the applicant that the application has been received. If an application is incomplete (missing items such as GRE scores, references, etc.), the UF PA Admissions Office 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 interviews continue through December. As soon as CASPA processes an application and forwards it to UF, the Admissions Committee reviews the application and determines whether an applicant is to be invited for interview. Several weeks prior to the scheduled interview date UF PA Admissions Office will extend the invitation 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 extend into mid-November.
When is the final selection for an entering class made?
Final selections are made in December. Offers of seats to our entering class may extend into early January. All applicants are notified of the Admissions Committee’s final decision by the end of December.