Master of Physician Assistant

Minimum requirements for application to the PA program:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university is required prior to matriculation with additional prerequisite coursework below if not included in the bachelor’s degree. Core science prerequisite coursework more than 10 years old is subject to departmental review and in most cases applicants will be required to repeat core science prerequisite courses completed more than 10 years ago. Acceptance of foreign bachelor’s degrees is decided on an individual basis and after evaluation by a transcript evaluation service.
    1. Core Science Prerequisites (must be complete at the time Central Application Service for Physician Assistant [CASPA] application is submitted)
      • chemistry (minimum 12 credit hours with lab). Recommended sequence—chemistry I, chemistry II, biochemistry
      • biology including microbiology (minimum 9 credit hours with lab). Recommended sequence biology I, biology II, microbiology
      • human anatomy and human physiology with lab (minimum 5 credit hours);
    2. Prerequisites (other)
      • statistics (minimum 3 credit hours)
      • medical terminology
      • general psychology (minimum 3 credit hours) or higher level psychology
    3. Recommended Courses
      The following courses are not required for admission, but are recommended. These and courses like these provide valuable background to prepare students for admission to the program and allow applicants to demonstrate their ability to succeed in rigorous science/medical courses similar to what they will encounter in the program.
      • pharmacology - strongly recommended
      • genetics - strongly recommended
      • pathophysiology - strongly recommended
      • biochemistry - strongly recommended
      • organic chemistry - strongly recommended
      • additional courses in anatomy and physiology beyond the required 5 hours - strongly recommended
      • human nutrition
      • epidemiology
      • gerontology
      • medical ethics
      • health care policy
      • abnormal psychology
  2. Ideally, candidates should have a bachelor’s degree and all prerequisite coursework completed at the time of application. Those who have not completed all coursework can apply if outstanding coursework is within two semesters of completion, however all core science prerequisites must be completed at the time of application and only graded components will be counted toward prerequisite coursework. (Other prerequisites can be outstanding at the time of application.) Also, at the time the submission of the CASPA application is made, applicants whose native (first) language is not English must submit their TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE-Academic score. If no TOEFL, IELTS or PTE-Academic score is received at the time of application, the applicant will not be considered for admission. The bachelor’s degree and prerequisite coursework in progress must be completed before starting the program. Successful completion of degree and coursework must be verified if accepted and before acceptance is finalized. All prerequisite coursework must be completed with a C- grade or higher.
  3. GPA requirements (on a 4.000 scale) apply to both the degree and core science prerequisites: 3.000.
  4. Demonstrated commitment to diversity, leadership and service.
  5. Completion of on-site interview with program faculty, which will include (but not be limited to) an assessment of academic potential, motivation and commitment to the PA profession, and interpersonal and communication skills. Not all applicants will be offered an interview.
  6. Health care experience (direct patient care) is strongly preferred, but not required.
  7. To be considered for the PA program the following three steps must be completed:
    1. Primary CASPA (national) application, including all transcripts and letters of recommendation (deadline Oct. 1);
    2. Supplemental application - if the program determines that the applicant meets minimum admission requirements (after review of the CASPA application), a supplemental application is emailed to the applicant to be returned by the assigned deadline; and
    3. University Graduate School application, including official transcripts from all institutions attended (deadline Nov. 1).

Notes:

  1. The ability to meet the academic and technical standards for physician assistant students is required (contact the program for more information).
  2. Application to the program is competitive, which means there are more applications than positions offered each year.
  3. Refer to the department’s website for complete information.
  4. Due to the lock-step nature of the curriculum, senior rule admission is not applicable to the physician assistant program.
  5. Applicants with foreign coursework must apply to the WSU Graduate School and be determined admissible prior to submitting their CASPA application.

Special Requirements

Students will be required to purchase lab coats, medical equipment, professional liability insurance and health insurance coverage. Each year while enrolled in the program, students are required to have an annual health history and physical examination (with documentation of appropriate immunizations and screening tests). Students, at their own expense, must pass a background check prior to entering the program.  Clinical sites may also require students to undergo random serum or urine drug testing, at the expense of the student. 

Students are expected to provide their own transportation to and from the health care facilities used for clinical experiences (located throughout Kansas). During clinical assignments outside Wichita, students may be required to pay all living expenses.

Students are referred to the department of physician assistant student handbooks for more details on special departmental policies and procedures.

Financial Assistance

Many MPA students seek the assistance of WSU’s Office of Financial Aid in applying for loans and grants available for graduate students. In addition, the College of Health Professions awards several fellowships each academic year, and the department of physician assistant has several fellowships available to MPA students once enrolled in the program. Furthermore, there are several national scholarship programs supported by the federal government and national PA associations. Information about such programs is distributed to students during interviews.

Program Requirements

The following courses are required of all students for program completion:

Plan of Study Grid
Summer SemesterCredit Hours
PA 789 Clinical Anatomy 5
PA 789L Clinical Anatomy Lab 1
PA 717 Professional Issues 1
 Credit Hours7
Fall Semester
PA 700 Clinical Practice I 3
PA 700L Clinical Practice I Lab 1
PA 716 Clinical Laboratory 2
PA 718 Clinical Medicine Cardiology 3
PA 727 Preventive Medicine 2
PA 729 Clinical Behavioral Medicine 2
PA 731 Clinical Medicine Dermatology 2
PA 732 Clinical Medicine EENT 2
HS 710 Applied Clinical Pharmacology 3
HP 800 Research Methods for Evidence-Based Practice 2
 Credit Hours22
Spring Semester
PA 719 Clinical Medicine Pulmonology 3
PA 722 Clinical Medicine Gastroenterology 3
PA 724 Clinical Medicine OB/GYN 3
PA 728 Clinical Medicine Endocrinology 2
PA 730 Clinical Medicine Musculoskeletal 2
PA 734 Clinical Medicine Neurology 2
PA 736 Clinical Practice II 2
PA 736L Clinical Practice II Lab 1
HS 711 Pharmacological Management of Acute and Chronic Diseases 3
HP 801 Interprofessional Evidence-Based Practice 1
 Credit Hours22
Second Year
Summer Semester
PA 721 Clinical Medicine Genitourinary/Renal 2
PA 801 Advanced Clinical Rotation I 4
 Credit Hours6
Fall Semester
PA 802 Advanced Clinical Rotation II 4
PA 803 Advanced Clinical Rotation III 4
PA 804 Advanced Clinical Rotation IV 4
PA 896 Directed Study Research I 2
 Credit Hours14
Spring Semester
PA 805 Advanced Clinical Rotation V 4
PA 806 Advanced Clinical Rotation VI 4
PA 807 Advanced Clinical Rotation VII 4
PA 897 Directed Study Research II 2
PA 850 Experiential Learning in Professionalism, Service, Research & Interprofessional Collaboration 1 0
 Credit Hours14
Third Year
Summer Semester
PA 899 Advanced Clinical Rotation VIII 7
 Credit Hours7
 Total Credit Hours92
1

 PA 850 will become 1 credit hour in Spring 2019, increasing the required number of credit hours to 93.