Physician Assistant FAQs
What is the application deadline?
April 1 is the preferred deadline and June 1 is the general deadline. To be eligible for the preferred deadline, all coursework, shadowing and direct patient care hours must be complete.
How many students do you admit per cohort?
We admit to fill a class of 35 seats a majority of which are students who enter through our undergraduate pre-professional program. Graduate students are admitted on a space-available basis to ensure that the class size is exactly 35.
Do I have to complete all the prerequisite courses before I can apply?
If you are applying for the April 1 preferred deadline then yes, all prerequisite coursework must be completed. If applying for the June 1 deadline, then no, you can still apply.
Are prerequisite courses waived if I have a college degree?
No, you must have a bachelor’s degree for entry into the graduate program, including all of the required prerequisite coursework completed within the seven-year timeframe.
I am a bachelor's graduate of the Springfield College Physician Assistant Program. Can I come back and finish a master's degree at the school?
As of Jan. 31, 2014, the College no longer offers this option.
Are admissions tests required?
No (this includes GRE and MCATs).
I have completed some of the courses in the curriculum. Can I jump ahead in the program?
No. All students begin and end the program as a cohort group.
I took the general chemistry course, but I did not take the lab. Do I need to take it?
Yes, the laboratory component is required for the prerequisites courses as indicated.
I have a medical degree from another country. Am I granted an automatic interview and entry into the program?
No. Regardless of one’s background and previous education, all applicants are required to fill out the application and may or may not be granted an interview.
Do I have to job-shadow a physician assistant?
Yes, you are required to shadow a practicing physician assistant for at least 30 hours. A note from the physician assistant you shadowed (on office stationary or a prescription pad) should be included in your application stating how many hours you were present. You should not shadow a first-degree relative.
What is direct patient care?
Here are examples of acceptable forms of hands-on patient care experience.
- Athletic trainer in a clinical setting
- Certified Nursing Assistant
- Clinical Nutritionist
- Clinical research assistant doing hands-on procedures
- Emergency room technician
- EMT doing more than patient transfer
- Exercise Physiologist in a clinical setting
- Licensed practical nurse
- Medical corpsman
- Medical/clinical assistant
- Mental health technician
- Nurse, Nurse’s aid
- Occupational therapist
- Occupational therapist assistant
- Peace Corps volunteer doing hands-on procedures
- Physical therapist
- Physical therapist assistant
- Radiology technician
- Rehab assistant
- Respiratory therapist
Here are examples of unacceptable forms of hands-on patient care experience.
- Caregiver for relative or friend
- Clinical research assistant doing consenting/counseling
- Dental Hygienist
- Life coach
- Medical device salesperson
- Medical lab tech
- Peer educator
- Pharmacist or pharmacy tech
- Researcher doing bench work only
- Shadowing (PA or MD)
- Social Worker
- Unit secretary/ward clerk
- Veterinarian/veterinary tech
Non-clinical related positions
- Housekeeping, dietary aid, transport, etc.
What does the admissions committee look for in a competitive applicant?
We look for overall academic excellence, particularly in the sciences, recent coursework, a passion for and clear understanding of the physician assistant profession, as well as patient care experience and physician assistant job-shadowing hours.
What is the daily schedule like?
Students are expected to be in class Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., for 27 consecutive months. The program is full-time and is not able to be done on a part-time basis.
Can I work and still attend the physician assistant program?
Working is not suggested while in the program. This program is accelerated and very intense for the full 27 months.
Does the admissions committee accept online credit or credit from a two-year institution?
We accept credit from any regionally accredited two year institution. We accept online credit from a regionally accredited institution.
Is the program accredited?
Yes, the program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on the Education of Physician Assistants (ARC-PA).
What are the prerequisites required for admission to your program?
The following prerequisite courses must have been successfully completed:
- General Chemistry (eight credits)
- Biology (eight credits)
- Pre-Calculus (three credits) or higher level math
The following prerequisite courses must have been successfully completed within 10 years of enrollment:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology (eight credits)
- Microbiology (three credits)
- Organic Chemistry (four credits)
- Biochemistry (three credits)
- Statistics (three credits)
When comparing prerequisites from other institutions the course description and course prerequisites should be equivalent to the prerequisite courses offered at Springfield College.