Physician Assistant Studies Program: Applying for Admission
Applications to be accepted Late April - October 1 through CASPA
The NSU Physician Assistant Program does not require the GRE or other standardized test. Admission decisions are based on a holistic review of the entire application and interview. Consideration of each applicant is based on the following:
- strong academic preparation
- previous healthcare experience
- knowledge of the PA profession
- extracurricular activities
- alignment with NSU PA program's mission
- critical-thinking skills
- life-enhancing experiences
- commitment to the PA profession
- understanding of the rigors of the program
- strong letters of recommendation
If selected for further consideration, an on-campus interview will be required.
Applying for admission
All applicants to the NSU Physician Assistant program must apply through CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants). In addition, applicants will need to pay an application fee to the PA program.
Applications are available through CASPA beginning each April. Applicants must submit their completed application on or before 11:59 p.m. CST on October 1. All required documents must be received at CASPA by the deadline or the application will be considered incomplete and will be removed from further consideration. There will be a period from October 1 to October 31 where CASPA will try to verify the remaining completed applications. All applications not verified by CASPA by October 31 will not be eligible for review by the PA program for a possible in-person interview. The deadline to pay the NSU application fee to NSU is also by October 31. There are no exceptions to the posted deadlines.
Supplemental application fee
A link for the NSU application fee will be provided after the applicant’s CASPA application has been verified.
Preference is given to applicants who have completed all required prerequisites by the October 1 deadline and Oklahoma residents. Highly-qualified, non-resident applicants are strongly encouraged to apply and may successfully compete for admission.
The admissions committee will evaluate each applicant's academic record including the overall GPA, science GPA, and last 60-hour GPA as calculated by CASPA. In addition, the committee will review the complexity of the applicant's undergraduate degree plan and performance. Competitive applicants will demonstrate not only a strong academic record, but the ability to excel in PA curriculum. Applicants should be aware that simply meeting the minimum GPA requirements does not guarantee an interview.
Although previous health care experience is not required for admission, it is expected that a competitive applicant would provide evidence of direct hands-on patient care experience. The admissions committee will evaluate the number of hours and type of direct hands-on patient care experience. It is important to note, the more hours of direct patient care experience the stronger the application will be considered for admission. Direct patient care experience includes any position that actively cares for patients in a pre-hospital, hospital, or clinic setting. The program does recognize applicants working as medical scribes as an acceptable type of healthcare experience. The admissions committee examines each application comprehensively and applicants with no patient care experience are strongly encouraged to apply despite the competitive nature of this personal attribute.
Consistent with the PA program's Mission Statement, applicants with a demonstrated commitment to northeastern Oklahoma, rural communities, and American Indian populations will be viewed favorably.
Knowledge of the profession
Applicants considering a career as a PA, must demonstrate knowledge of the profession. The PA program encourages each applicant to seek out an opportunity to examine the role of the physician assistant within the healthcare system.
The admissions committee will consider each applicant's level of commitment to service within the community and who have demonstrated a commitment to service of rural communities and American Indian populations. Applicants are encouraged to seek out opportunities to volunteer or demonstrate a strong desire to serve.
NSU requires three letters of recommendation. The applicant is encouraged to find professional references that can comment on academic standards, professionalism, commitment to the medical profession, leadership abilities, and service. All three references must be received by the application deadline.
Interview and selection process
The admissions committee will carefully review each completed application received by the deadline. Other than the preferences identified above, an applicant's attributes will be viewed in a holistic manner by the interview team and the admissions committee.
Applicants selected for an interview will be notified by email shortly after the October 1 application deadline. The interview will be conducted at the NSU Muskogee campus. Travel accommodations will be the responsibility of the applicant.
Applicants offered a position in the class must also be formally admitted to the NSU Graduate College. Admission to the Graduate College requires online registration and a $25 fee. Students who are admitted to the PA program will be contacted by phone with a follow-up offer letter. The PA program will require a $500 non-refundable deposit to secure the seat. The deposit will be applied to tuition at matriculation. Competitive applicants who are not initially admitted will be placed on an alternate list to fill any vacancies should they occur.
Due to the challenging nature of the curriculum, employment while enrolled in the program is discouraged.