Introduction - Physician Assistant Program Admission Process
Included below is information pertaining to the admission requirements and process for the Misericordia University Physician Assistant Program. The information will be presented in four distinct sections – Admission Requirements, Process, Technical Standards, and Frequently Asked Questions. If you intend to submit an application for the MU Physician Assistant Program, please review all of this information carefully and proceed by applying through The Central Application Services for Physician Assistants (CASPA) link, which is provided below.
The Misericordia University Physician Assistant Program will adhere to a rolling-admission process. You do not need to complete a GRE, GMAT, or MCAT examination to qualify for entry. The admission cycle will run from May 20, 2019 until March 1, 2020.
Completion of a baccalaureate degree or graduate degree (from a regionally accredited college or university) by June 1, 2020.
- Foreign Educational Experience
Applicants who intend to use foreign educational experiences and degrees (those obtained outside of the United States), must have their higher education record, including all course work and completed degree(s), evaluated by an organization accredited and licensed to do so.
- English Language Proficiency
If applicable must be completed prior to entry into the PA Program.
If English is not your first language, or if English is not the primary language spoken in your home, you must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The following are the minimum score requirements: Internet-based TOEFL exam (iBT): The Internet-based TOEFL has four subsections, with a grading scale for each section from 1 to 30 (30 being the highest score). Misericordia University will look closely at the score for each section rather than the total score.
The minimum scores for each section are as follows:
Students should indicate on the registration form that they wish the test results to be sent directly to Misericordia University. The TOEFL code for Misericordia University is 2087. https://www.ets.org/toefl
Academic Requirements (minimums):
- Overall GPA = 3.2 or higher (on a 4.0 scale)
- Science GPA = 3.2 or higher (on a 4.0 scale)
- Prerequisite Courses must have received any grade of “B” or higher. All prerequisite courses must have been completed within the last 10 years. Applicants may apply with no more than two prerequisite courses in progress or planned. Official transcripts are required to be submitted once courses are completed.
- Required Prerequisite Courses are as follows:
- A&P I (w/ lab – 4 credits)
- A&P II (w/ lab – 4 credits)
- Microbiology (w/ lab – 3 credits)
- Biochemistry (3 credits)
- Genetics (3 credits)
- Statistics (3 credits)
- Medical Terminology (1 credit)
PA PROGRAM POLICY: ADVANCED PLACEMENT
ARC-PA STANDARD A3.15: The program must define, publish and make readily available to prospective students admission related information to include:
c) policies and procedures concerning awarding or granting advanced placement,
The Misericordia University PA Program does not grant advanced placement to anyone. Advanced standing or special consideration for previous coursework or degrees are not provided. All applicants will be evaluated and assessed through the same application and interview processes.
Completion of a minimum of 500 hours of (acceptable) patient care experience.
All patient care experience must be documented on the MU “DOCUMENTATION of DIRECT PATIENT CARE EXPERIENCE FORM”, printed for signature, then uploaded into your CASPA application. Please access the Misericordia University “DOCUMENTATION of DIRECT PATIENT CARE EXPERIENCE FORM” using the following link:
A personal statement in which the applicant clearly and concisely describes his or her motivation for wanting to become a PA, their understanding of the PA role, and why they have chosen to apply to the MU PA Program.
Two to three letters of recommendation are required. Medical Professional (PAs, MDs, DOs, and NPs) recommendations will be scored at a higher value. Other recommendations will be considered.
APPLICATION: All applications for entry into the MU PA Program must be completed through CASPA. Those candidates who meet the minimum Admission Requirements (see Admission Requirement information above) will be reviewed for interview consideration. Each application that is evaluated will be reviewed in an equitable and unbiased manner.
OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS: Official transcripts and all admission materials must be submitted through CASPA. Applicants who have completed their undergraduate degree (or graduate degree) within the United States must present an official transcript which demonstrates a specific and distinct grade for each course and an overall GPA. (If a grade is listed as Pass / Fail, a “Pass” will be considered it as equivalent to any “C” grade and a “Fail” will be considered an “F”)
PRE-REQUISITES: All courses, including medical terminology, must have an associated grade. Pass/Fail grading will not be accepted. Any “C” grades or lower are not acceptable and will result in an applicant being disqualified for that application cycle. Applicants may repeat prerequisite course once for grade improvement. However, all grades for science courses, whether a course is repeated or taken once, will be included in the calculation for the undergraduate science GPA. Greater points are awarded to higher grades in the prerequisite courses.
MU GRADUATE PROGRAMS: All students who matriculate into Misericordia University Graduate Programs must meet and comply with the MU requirements for admission into graduate programs.
SCORING OF INITIAL APPLICATION MATERIALS:
Cumulative GPA (Increased points are awarded based on GPA)
Science GPA (Increased points are awarded based on GPA)
- A&P I (w/lab – 4 credits)
- A&P II (w/lab – 4 credits)
- Microbiology (w/lab – 3 credits)
- Biochemistry (3 credits)
- Genetics (3 credits)
- Statistics (3 credits)
- Medical Terminology (1 credit)
Special Misericordia University Advantage: Applicants who have completed a bachelor or master’s degree through Misericordia University will receive higher scoring of their initial application materials.
Military Advantage: Applicants who are on active duty reserve status or who are a United States Military Veteran will receive higher scoring of their initial application materials.
Direct Patient Care Experience (increased hours earn more points)
Acceptable experiences include but are not limited to:
Pharmacist; Chiropractor; Corpsman/ Medic /Independent Duty Corpsman; Forensic Pathologist; International Medical Graduate with US Healthcare System Experience; Registered Nurse; Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner; Osteopathic Physician; Medical Doctor; Paramedic AAS; Physical Therapist; Podiatrist; Anesthesia Tech; Cardiovascular Tech; Athletic Trainer; Emergency Room Tech; Surgical Tech; Massage Therapist; Occupational Therapist; Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant; Physical Therapist; Physical Therapy Assistant; Speech-Language Pathologist; Emergency Medicine Tech; Licensed Practical Nurse; Medical Assistant; Phlebotomist; Certified Nursing Assistant; Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy Tech; Pharmacy Tech; Personal Trainer; Medical Scribe.
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of Recommendation are scored by the following types: highest score goes to PAs, MDs, DOs, NPs, middle score goes to Professor(s), other Health Care Professionals, Supervisors who don’t meet above categories, and lowest score goes to Personal References, Friends, etc.,
Northeastern Pennsylvania Counties Advantage: Applicants who reside in one of the following northeastern Pennsylvania counties will be advantaged in the scoring of their application materials: Bradford, Susquehanna, Wayne, Pike, Monroe, Carbon, Schuylkill, Luzerne, Lackawanna, Wyoming, Sullivan
Combined Advantages: Applicants who have graduated from Misericordia University and live in one of the northeastern Pennsylvania counties identified above will receive both of the advantages previously described.
Combined Advantages: Applicants who are on active duty reserve status or are a United States Military Veteran and live in one of the northeastern Pennsylvania counties identified above will receive both of the advantages previously described.
POST INTERVIEW REVIEW FOR ACCEPTANCE:
Applicants who are invited to and participate in the on-campus interview are considered for program admission and will be evaluated and scored on the following criteria:
Understanding of the Misericordia University PA Program
Patient Care Experience
Commitment and Preparation Inquiry
PA PROGRAM POLICY: EMPLOYMENT DURING THE PROGRAM
ARC PA STANDARD A3.14: The Program must define, publish and make readily
available to enrolled and prospective students general information to include:
(h) policies about student employment while enrolled in the program.
Misericordia University does not prohibit admission into or progression through the PA program if a student determines that he or she must work while in the program. HOWEVER, students are strongly discouraged from working during their time in the PA program.
If a student chooses to work during the academic year, the work schedule must not interfere with class performance, course schedules, or clinical rotation schedules.
DEPOSIT: Candidates will be notified in writing of acceptance and will be given two weeks to reply and pay a $500 nonrefundable deposit.
Technical Standards for Admission
and Successful Academic Progression
“Misericordia University is committed to creating an environment where all are welcome and does not discriminate in the recruitment, admission, educational process, or treatment of students. In the spirit of hospitality and justice, we comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended. In order to receive services, students must self-identify their disability and provide documentation from a healthcare professional. Eligibility for accommodations such academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aides is determined through an individualized, interactive process in the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD).”
The OSD is located in the SSC, on the lower level of Alumnae Hall. Individuals seeking accommodations may call 570-674-6408 or email Kristen Ricardo, Assistant Director SSC/Office for Students with Disabilities at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following are required of all individuals who seek entry into and for successful progression through the Misericordia University Physician Assistant Program. As such, candidates and students must meet the following Technical Standards:
Each Physician Assistant student must possess the following capabilities, with or without accommodations:
Adequate functioning of the senses of vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Each candidate’s and student’s senses must be keen enough to allow for gathering, integrating and analyzing data obtained during physical examinations, and in a consistent and reproducible manner. Additionally, candidates and students must possess the ability to detect temperature differences, pain, pressure, vibration and movement. The ability to gather and analyze such information must be accurate when compared to accepted physical examination standards, and physical findings confirmed by experienced clinicians. Finally, sufficient emotional health and stability is required for exercising good judgment and promptly completing all academic and patient care responsibilities.
Perform Motor Tasks
Students must possess sufficient fine and gross motor control to effectively conduct inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation activities, all of which are required to complete a physical examination. Additionally, all students must possess stable equilibrium, postural control, good motor function, and sound eye – hand coordination, as is necessary to for satisfactory performance in patient care and classroom or laboratory settings, including handling surgical instruments and providing routine and emergent medical procedures. Students must also possess sufficient mental and physical stamina to meet the demands associated with extended periods of sitting, standing, moving, lifting, and physical exertion required for satisfactory performance in patient care, clinical education, and classroom or laboratory settings.
Communicate effectively and sensitively with persons of any cultural and social background using appropriate verbal, nonverbal, and written communication skills with faculty, peers, other members of the health care team, and patients/clients/caregivers. Read, write, and interpret written and nonverbal communication in a timely manner at a competency level that allows one to safely function in the academic or clinical setting. Answer calls, make calls, and communicate needs on a telephone.
Maintain a safe environment for students, faculty, patients, and colleagues. Recognize and respond appropriately and in a timely manner to a medical emergency.
Students must be able to accurately observe, through vision, hearing, and smell, a patient’s physical and emotional condition, as a means to differentiate between states of good health, acute illness or injury, and chronic illness.
Receive, remember, analyze, interpret, evaluate, and synthesize information from multiple sources, in a timely fashion. Attend to multiple tasks throughout the day of scheduled classes and clinical education experiences. Organize and prioritize information to make safe, appropriate, and timely decisions regarding patients for the purpose of further examination, intervention, or referral. Problem solve, recognize deviations from a norm, formulate evaluations, and derive clinical judgments from information collected, in a timely fashion. Observe and accurately interpret patient responses and adjust examination and/or intervention as indicated by the patient response.
Demonstrate Professional and Social Behavior
Students must demonstrate the emotional health and stability that is required to persevere in spite of longs hours of classroom instruction, challenging laboratory settings, unsettling patient care experiences, differences of opinion with peers and instructors, and personal sacrifice. They must demonstrate the flexibility and personal resolve that is necessary to endure long hours of physical and intellectual stress, without demonstration of adverse behavior. Work with multiple patients/families and colleagues at the same time. Work with lab partners, patients, families, and others under stressful conditions, including but not limited to medically or emotionally unstable individuals, situations requiring rapid adaptations, the provision of CPR, or other emergency interventions. Organize and prioritize multiple tasks, integrate information, and make decisions. Adhere to the “Guidelines for Ethical Conduct for the Physician Assistant Profession”, established by the American Academy of Physician Assistants, which may be found by clicking here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I submit my application?
All applications must be submitted through CASPA. The Misericordia University Physician Assistant Program will adhere to a rolling-admission process. The admission cycle will run from May 20, 2019 until March 1, 2020.
Must all of my prerequisite courses be completed at the time that I submit my application?
All prerequisite coursework must be completed prior to June 1, 2020. Applicants may apply with no more than two prerequisite courses in progress or planned. Official transcripts are required to be submitted once courses are completed.
I have completed organic chemistry I and II. Am I still required to complete a biochemistry prerequisite?
Yes, we do not accept substitutions for any of our prerequisites. You must complete each prerequisite that is listed in our admission requirements.
Am I required to complete a lab with the Microbiology prerequisite?
Yes, you must take a lab with the Microbiology prerequisite course.
Will online courses be accepted for the prerequisite courses?
Lab courses cannot be taken online. However, all lecture courses may be taken online.
How do I complete and submit “DOCUMENTATION of DIRECT PATIENT CARE EXPERIENCE FORM”?
All patient care experience must be documented on the MU PA “DOCUMENTATION of DIRECT PATIENT CARE EXPERIENCE FORM”, printed for signature, then completed and uploaded into your CASPA application.
Is completion of an interview required for admission?
Yes, all applicants who successfully matriculate into the Misericordia University PA Program must have successfully completed an interview.
Must I complete graduate admission testing to be eligible to apply to this PA program?
No, pre-graduate program entrance examinations are not required for admission into the Misericordia University PA program. You do not need to complete a GRE, GMAT, or MCAT examination to qualify for entry.
If I completed the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree (or higher level degree) outside of the United States, what must I do to be eligible for admission?
You must have your higher education record, including all course work and completed degree(s), evaluated by an organization accredited and licensed to do so. This evaluation must result in the determination of level of degree equivalency, as compared degrees completed and recognized within the United States. You must also be assigned a letter grade to each course and an overall GPA by the evaluating organization.
If I have completed another health professions degree, or a medical degree from a United States or foreign medical school, am I eligible for advanced standing? Will I be given credit for some of the PA program coursework for courses that I completed prior to entering PA school?
No, the Misericordia University PA Program does not grant advanced placement to anyone. All students who enter the PA program must complete all courses and required activities successfully and in the sequence required.
I am a foreign medical graduate. Will I automatically be granted an interview or acceptance into the Misericordia University PA program?
No, the Misericordia University PA Program does not grant advanced placement for anyone. Advanced standing or special consideration for previous coursework or degrees are not provided to anyone. All applicants will be evaluated and assessed through the same application and interview processes.