Logistics for Interviewees
What airports are convenient to Gainesville?
The Gainesville-Ocala area is served by the Gainesville Regional Airport, a small facility with limited flights arriving and departing. Major commercial airlines serving this airport are Delta Connection/ASA and US Airways Express/PSA. There are also airports in Jacksonville, which is 1.5 hours driving time from Gainesville, and Orlando or Tampa, which are each approximately 2 hours driving time from Gainesville.
Where are the best accomodations in Gainesville?
A wide range of accomodation rates, locations, and conveniences exist in Gainesville. Several motels are within walking distance of the School of Physician Assistant Studies offices and the Health Science Center. Several others provide shuttle service. Applicants who are invited for interview are invited to use the University of Florida Travel Portal http://www.campustravel.com/university/ufl/, which provides useful infomation about local accomodations, as well as special UF Rates offered in some participating establshments . For a more complete listing, visit the following websites: www.cityofgainesville.org, www.gainesvillechamber.com or www.visitgainesville.net or contact a national hotel chain directly.
Where are some moderately-priced restaurants located in Gainesville?
Gainesville has an abundance of moderately-priced local and national chain restaurants. Many restaurants are located in nearby downtown area and on Archer Road, a main artery which feeds directly into UF’s Health Science Center. For more information on dining facilities in the area, contact the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce at www.gainesvillechamber.com or the visitor’s bureau at www.visitgainesville.net.
Where can I park if I choose to drive to campus?
Applicants visiting the campus should allow plenty of time if they plan to park their car on campus.
Health Science Center visitor parking also exists in Parking Garages 2, 3, and 10 for a fee of $10 per day, or with a reduced fee voucher, the cost is $4 per day. Parking Garage 10 is the closest to our facilities and is a visitor only garage. For maps and more information: www.health.ufl.edu/about_the_hsc_Find_Us.shtml and www.parking.ufl.edu
Gainesville residents, and those staying with friends in the Gainesvile area may want to arrange for others to transport them to/from interviews.
For public transportation servicing the Gainesville metropolitan area, visit the website for the Regional Transit System (RTS): http://go-rts.com. Taxi service is also available.
What should I wear to Orientation and Interviews?
Applicants should dress casually, but appropriately, not flip-flops, shorts, or jeans, for the Monday oreintation activities. Formal interviews are conducted on a second day, either Tuesday or Wednesday, and interview buisness attire is expected.
Why does the School of Physician Assistant Studies require two days for interviewing?
Our students are integrally involved in the orientation activities. Since they have to be in class during the morning, they are not available for orientation until the afternoon. We schedule orientation for the first afternoon and begin the interviews the next day, after applicants have been appropriately oriented and had dinner with current students. We also want applicants to be as relaxed as possible for the interviews, and we believe that having the prior afternoon to become familiar with various facets of the school is beneficial and helps to reduce stress for our applicants.
What will the 2-day Orientation/Interview process include?
Orientation begins mid-afternoon on the first day with faculty introductions and an information session that includes the history of the School and a presentation about financial aid for potential students. The group processing experience also occurs during the first afternoon. This is followed by a one hour session with current students who present each course and clinical rotation in our curriculum. A virtual tour of the Health Science Center will take applicants through the common areas that a UF PA student might see on any given day on campus. There will also be a physical tour of the Harrell Medical Education Building. After the tour, applicants are invited to an informal (Dutch treat) dinner with UF PA students. Applicants find this a highlight in the 2-day process, and are encouraged to ask any questions they may have pertaining to UF’s PA School. Faculty are not present at this activity. Guests accompanying the applicants are encouraged to attend the dinner as well.
Applicant interviews are conducted one-on-one with three PA faculty members. Each interview typically lasts 15-20 minutes.
Will I have an opportunity to meet current students in the School of PAS?
Students from both the academic and clinical years present the curriculum during the afternoon Orientation. Ten or more 1st year students from the academic year usually attend the dinner and sit with applicants and their guests, for informal discussions.
Can I bring my spouse, other family member, or friends to the Orientation?
Guests of applicants are encouraged to participate in all Orientation activities on the day preceding Interview day.
What happens during the group processing experience?
During the first day of the Orientation/Interview process, applicants participate in a group processing experience. This is a 15 minute session during which applicants are divided into groups of 3-4 and asked to discuss a topic or scenario. Discussion is observed by a faculty member who will not participate in the discussion. The experience is not intended to be intimidating or stressful, and hopefully, will be an enriching experience for the applicants.
Is the dinner with students required?
The dinner is optional. However, applicants from prior years have consistently rated the dinner as a highlight, and most beneficial to their understanding of the PA School process. The casual environment of dining and conversing with PA students is conducive to getting burning questions answered, and gathering more information that may have not been included in their earlier Orientation sessions. Faculty do not attend the dinner, thereby allowing for open, stress-free discussions related to all aspects of UF’s School of Physician Assistant Studies.
Will attending the optional PA class increase my chances for acceptance?
Attendance in the classroom is optional and does not influence the Admissions Committee’s decisions However, since the purpose of the orientation/interview is for both the applicant and the Program to determine whether this particular School is a “good fit,” it is advantageous for the applicant to gather as much information as possible and to get a “flavor” for what it would be like to be a student in this School. Attending a current class offers an opportunity to experience the program academically.