Skip to main content

Physician Assistant Admissions Requirements

Find admission requirements for the Physician Assistant Program at University of the Cumberlands.

Williamsburg

 The 2019-2020 application cycle has now closed. The 2020-2021 application cycle will open in April 2020.

Curriculum for the Physician Assistant Program, on the Williamsburg Campus,  is open to applicants who have earned, or will earn, by the end of the fall semester prior to spring semester entry, a baccalaureate degree and have met, or will have met, by the end of the fall semester prior to spring semester entry, the following prerequisites:

***The following admissions requirements must be completed by the time of the interview unless otherwise noted.

  • Completed CASPA application
  • Completed PA Supplemental application
  • An earned bachelor’s degree with an overall cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0
  • A minimum average of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 in required pre-requisite courses
  • A minimum of 3.0 average on a 4.0 scale in the sciences as figured by Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA)
  • Ability to fulfill any university admission requirements
  • Successful completion (as defined above) within ten years prior to admission of the following undergraduate science courses:
    • Anatomy with lab (Human preferred)- 3 semester hours or more
    • Physiology with lab (Human preferred)- 3 semester hours or more
    • Microbiology with Lab- 3 semester hours or more
    • Medical Terminology
    • Biology electives- 6 Credit Hours (Must be upper-level Biology courses, Highly recommend genetics, molecular biology, histology, immunology)
    • General Chemistry 1 and 2 with labs- 3 semester hours or more
    • Organic 1 or Biochemistry
    • Psychology (Abnormal or developmental preferred)- 3 semester hours or more
    • Statistics- 3 semester hours or more
  • Direct Patient Contact Hours (minimum of 500 hours of paid employment or volunteer hours; must include a minimum of 50 hours PA shadowing)
  • Completion of the GRE (Score of 300 or higher is considered competitive)
  • Submission of 3 letters of recommendation (Acceptable references: MD, DO, PA, or NP as well as academic advisors)
  • Successful completion of an interview with and positive recommendation from program faculty
  • If admitted: Student will be required to Complete a satisfactory level 1 background check, urine drug screen, and physical exam with documentation of required immunizations:
    • Proof of TB Test (positive results will require the students to receive a chest x-ray and further evaluation)
    • Proof of Hepatitis B vaccine and positive Hep B Ab (titer)
    • Proof of MMR vaccine or immunity
    • Proof of Varicella history or vaccination
    • Proof of Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis vaccine
    • Annual influenza vaccine while on clinical year
    • Proof of Meningococcal vaccine**
    • Pneumococcal polysaccharide PPV vaccine**

**These vaccinations are not required by the program based on current CDC guidelines. If a clinical site requires these vaccinations, students must comply with facility guidelines.

  • Demonstration to program principal faculty of ability to meet the following technical standards:
    • Sufficient capacity for observation in academic, clinical, and other medical settings; functional vision, hearing, and tactile sensation sufficient to observe a patient’s condition and perform procedures regularly required during a physical examination
    • Effective written and verbal communication skills sufficient to both academic and healthcare settings
    • Sufficient motor function to carry out movements necessary for patient diagnosis and care; for free movement inpatient care and between facilities and buildings in academic and healthcare environments; physical stamina to complete didactic and clinical coursework
    • Sufficient intellectual ability to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize, in the context of medical problem-solving and patient care
    • Sufficient emotional health and stability required for exercising good judgment and promptly completing all academic and patient care responsibilities

** Waivers will be considered by the admissions committee on a case-by-case basis. If requesting a waiver for one of the admissions criteria, please contact the MSPAS program. Under no circumstances will the minimum requirements for entrance to the program be waived.

English Fluency
International students who have not graduated from an accredited college or university in the United States and whose native language is not English, must achieve satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or complete an approved English as a Second Language (ESL) course.

Admission to Pre-Professional

Undergraduate students interested in applying for early admission to the University’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) program must complete the following coursework in total or in part at the University of the Cumberlands as Pre-PA Biology majors. Additionally, students must complete all requirements of the General Education curriculum for undergraduates as outlined in the University of the Cumberlands Undergraduate catalog. Admission is made during the third year of undergraduate study. Students must complete all PA admissions requirements by the time of application. Completion of the Pre-PA curriculum does not ensure acceptance into the MSPAS program.

Students who complete the Pre-Professional PA curriculum but do not continue on to the professional phase of the PA program will need nine hours of biology, five hours of chemistry and sixteen hours of electives to complete a major in biology. Alternatively, they can complete a Biology of Science degree in Independent Directions with a focus on applied health sciences. A third alternative is to complete a Bachelor of General Studies degree. Information on these alternatives may be found elsewhere in the University of the Cumberlands’ Undergraduate catalog.

Students who successfully complete the pre-physician assistant curriculum and are accepted into the MSPAS program are awarded a Bachelor of Health Science degree by the University after the successful completion of the first year of didactic coursework in the MSPAS program. Students are then awarded the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree after the successful completion of the second year of coursework.

In addition to the admissions requirements noted above for general applicants, the following courses are required prior to application for Pre-professional students:
BIOL 113 - Intro. to Population Biology Lab.
BIOL 114 - Intro. to Cellular Biology Lab.
BIOL 121 - Medical Terminology
BIOL 133 - Intro. to Population Biology
BIOL 134 - Intro. to Cellular Biology
BIOL 244* - Human Physiology OR BIOL 443 - General Animal Physiology
BIOL 246 - Biodiversity
BIOL 340 - Genetics
BIOL 343* - Human Anatomy OR BIOL 442 - Comparative Anatomy
BIOL 345 - Microbiology
CHEM 111 - General Chemistry Lab. I
CHEM 132 - Chemistry 1 w/ lab- 3 semester hours or more
CHEM 211 - General College Chemistry Lab. II
CHEM 232 - Chemistry 2 w/ lab - 3 semester hours or more
CHEM 321 - Organic Chemistry Lab. I
CHEM 322 - Organic Chemistry I
Biology electives (6 credit hours of 300 level or higher courses in addition to BIOL 340 - Genetics. Highly recommended: molecular biology, histology, embryology, and immunology)
Upper-level Psychology courses
Statistics

*preferred

Admission to Professional Phase

University of the Cumberlands Pre-professional Physician Assistant students are not guaranteed admission to the PA program however pre-professional students that meet all requirements for admission will be granted an interview. Each PA applicant that meets all admissions requirements is graded using an admissions rubric that awards points based on academic performance, geographic location of the applicant, clinical work experience and letters of recommendation.

Clinical Experience

Direct Patient Contact Hours: Applicants are required to have a minimum of 500 hours of direct patient contact by August 1st. A minimum of 50 of these hours must be PA shadowing. Other experience can be paid or voluntary. Examples of acceptable direct patient care include EMT, paramedic, LPN, CNA, therapists (RT, PT/PTA, OT, SLP), medical assistant, medical scribe, pharmacy technician, xray technician, surgical technician, athletic trainer, and phlebotomist. Non-acceptable options include lifeguard, pharmacy representative, medical secretary, or transporter. Other questions regarding acceptable options can be directed to the Graduate Admissions Department. The number of direct patient contact hours will be used as part of the applicant ranking process for all applicants that meet all other admissions requirements. Points will be awarded as follows:
Direct Patient Care Experience Hours


Number of Hours

Points Rewarded

>3000

20 Points

1,000-2,999

15 Points

500-999

10 Points

>50 hours of PA Shadowing

5 Additional Points

The University of the Cumberlands Physician Assistant Program does not grant advanced placement to students or applicants

Northern Kentucky

The 2019-2020 application cycle for the Northern Kentucky Campus Physician Assistant Program is open to applicants who submit all requirements listed below by the following deadlines:

March 1, 2020 Deadline

  • Completed CASPA application
  • Completed PA Supplemental application
  • Completion of the GRE (at or above the 50th percentile considered competitive)
  • Submission of 3 letters of recommendation with at least one from a physician (MD/DO) or PA
  • Proof of English Fluency: Students who have not graduated from an accredited college or university in the United States and whose native language is not English, must achieve satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), IELTS or complete an approved English as a Second Language (ESL) course. *International students seeking to study in the Physician Assistant program under an F1 student visa can only apply to study at our Williamsburg, KY campus.*

September 1, 2020 Deadline

  • Earned Baccalaureate degree with overall minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • A minimum Biology-Chemistry-Physics (BCP) GPA average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale calculated by Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA)
  • A minimum letter grade of C in all undergraduate or graduate prerequisite courses (listed below) within ten years prior to admission:
    • Human Anatomy with lab - 3 semester hours or more
    • Human Physiology with lab - 3 semester hours or more
    • Microbiology with lab - 3 semester hours or more
    • Medical Terminology
    • Biology electives - 6 credit hours (Must be upper level Biology courses; highly recommend Genetics, Molecular Biology, Histology, Immunology)
    • General Chemistry 1 and 2 with labs - 3 semester hours or more
    • Organic 1 or Biochemistry
    • Psychology (Abnormal or Developmental preferred) - 3 semester hours or more
    • Statistics - 3 semester hours or more
      • Waivers for the above prerequisite courses will be considered by the admissions committee on a case-by-case basis. If requesting a waiver for one of the admissions criteria, please contact the Northern Kentucky Campus Physician Assistant Program. Under no circumstances will the minimum requirements for entrance to the program be waived.
         
  • Direct Patient Contact Hours: Applicants are required to have a minimum of 500 hours of direct patient contact. A minimum of 50 of these hours must be PA shadowing. Other experience can be paid or voluntary. Examples of acceptable direct patient care include EMT, paramedic, LPN, CNA, therapists (RT, PT/PTA, OT, SLP), medical assistant, medical scribe, pharmacy technician, x-ray technician, surgical technician, athletic trainer, and phlebotomist. Non-acceptable options include lifeguard, pharmacy representative, medical secretary, or transporter. Other questions regarding acceptable options can be directed to the Graduate Admissions Department. The number of direct patient contact hours will be used as part of the applicant ranking process for all applicants that meet all other admission requirements.

Additional requirements before possible admission

  • Ability to fulfill any university admission requirements
  • Successful completion of an interview and positive recommendation from program faculty

If admitted 

  • Completion of a satisfactory level 1 background check, urine drug screen, and physical exam with documentation of required immunizations:
  • Proof of Hepatitis B vaccine and positive Hep B Ab (titer)
  • Proof of MMR vaccine or immunity
  • Proof of Varicella history or vaccination
  • Proof of Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis vaccine
  • Annual Influenza vaccine
  • Proof of TB Test (positive results will require the student to receive a chest x-ray and further evaluation)
  • Proof of Meningococcal vaccine**
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide PPV vaccine**

**These vaccinations are not required by the program based on current CDC guidelines. If a clinical site requires these vaccinations, students must comply with facility guidelines.

Demonstration to program principal faculty of ability to meet the following technical standards:

  • Sufficient capacity for observation in academic, clinical, and other medical settings; functional vision, hearing, and tactile sensation sufficient to observe a patient’s condition and perform procedures regularly required during a physical examination
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills sufficient to both academic and healthcare settings
  • Sufficient motor function to carry out movements necessary for patient diagnosis and care; for free movement in patient care and between facilities and buildings in academic and healthcare environments; physical stamina to complete didactic and clinical coursework
  • Sufficient intellectual ability to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize, in the context of medical problem-solving and patient care
  • Sufficient emotional health and stability required for exercising good judgment and promptly completing all academic and patient care responsibilities

Admission to Pre-Professional

Undergraduate students interested in applying for early admission to the University’s Northern Kentucky Campus Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) Program must complete the following coursework in total or in part at the University of the Cumberlands as Pre-PA Biology majors.

Additionally, students must complete all requirements of the General Education curriculum for undergraduates as outlined in the University of the Cumberlands Undergraduate catalog. Admission is made during the third year of undergraduate study. Students must complete all PA admissions requirements by the time of application (unless specified above). University of the Cumberlands Pre-Professional Physician Assistant students are not guaranteed admission to the PA program; however, Pre-PA students that meet all requirements for admission will be granted an interview.

Students who complete the Pre-Professional PA curriculum, but do not continue on to the professional phase of the PA program, will need nine hours of biology, five hours of chemistry and sixteen hours of electives to complete a major in biology. Alternatively, they can complete a Biology of Science degree in Independent Directions with a focus on applied health sciences. A third alternative is to complete a Bachelor of General Studies degree. Information on these alternatives may be found elsewhere in the University of the Cumberlands Undergraduate catalog.

Students who successfully complete the Pre-PA curriculum and are accepted into the Northern Kentucky Campus MSPAS program will be awarded a Bachelor of Health Science degree by the University after the successful completion of the didactic phase coursework in the Northern Kentucky Campus MSPAS Program. Students are then awarded the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree after the successful completion of the program curriculum.

In addition to the admission requirements noted above for general applicants, the following courses are required prior to application for Pre-PA students:

  • BIOL 113 Introduction to Population Biology Laboratory
  • BIOL 114 Introduction to Cellular Biology Laboratory
  • BIOL 121 Medical Terminology
  • BIOL 133 Introduction to Population Biology
  • BIOL 134 Introduction to Cellular Biology
  • BIOL 246 Biodiversity 
  • BIOL 340 Genetics
  • BIOL 343 Human Anatomy 
  • BIOL 345 Microbiology
  • BIOL 443 General Physiology 
  • CHEM 111 General Chemistry Laboratory I
  • CHEM 132 General College Chemistry I
  • CHEM 211 General College Chemistry Laboratory II
  • CHEM 232 General College Chemistry II
  • CHEM 321 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
  • CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I
  • Additional 6 or 10 credits of 300 or 400 level Biology courses 
  • Upper-level Psychology courses
  • Statistics

PA Applicant Review

Each PA applicant that meets all admission requirements is graded using an admissions rubric that awards points based on academic performance, geographic location of the applicant, clinical work experience and letters of recommendation.

The University of the Cumberlands Northern Kentucky Campus Physician Assistant Program does not grant advanced placement to students or applicants.