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DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT

Admission 

On this page you will find important dates to remember, requrements for admission and information regarding additional admission exams.  

Admission Timeline

The WSU PA Program does not have rolling admissions! Our process occurs once annually, please see the timeline information below. Deadlines are FIRM: no exceptions will be made. 

Important Dates Applications, Letters and Events
April 26, 2018 CASPA Portal Opens for Applications
*Individually assigned deadline WSU PA Program supplemental application deadline
September 1 CASPA Application Deadline
(applications must be complete and verified)
September 1 WSU Graduate School Application Deadline
December 2018 Invitations for onsite interviews are sent to select qualified applicants
January 2019 Onsite Interviews
February 2019 Offer letter for the WSU PA Class of 2021 are sent
June 2019 Mandatory Orientation/Classes begin

* Qualified applicants will be emailed a link to the supplemental application with an individually assigned deadline to submit the application and fee.

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Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants must have a bachelor degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university.
     
  2. Prerequisite coursework must be completed if it was not included in the bachelor degree (see prerequisites).
    A. CORE prerequisite coursework should be no more than 10 years old.

    B. Coursework taken at a university outside of the U.S. must be from a recognized institution in that country whose requirements for a bachelor degree are substantially equivalent to a U.S. four year bachelor degree.

    Foreign coursework must be evaluated by a foreign transcript evaluation service before it will be accepted for consideration by CASPA. The applicant is responsible for arranging for evaluation of all transcripts (refer to the CASPA website for details).

    C. Applicants with foreign coursework must apply to the WSU Graduate School and be admissable prior to submitting the CASPA application.
     
  3. Ideally, the bachelor degree and all prerequisite coursework should be completed before application.
    A. All Core Science Prerequisites must be completed with a grade submitted to CASPA at the time of application.

    B. A candidate can apply while completing other bachelor degree coursework and other prerequisites, but these must be completed before starting the program, and completion must be verified before acceptance into the program is finalized.
     
  4. A minimum GPA of 3.00 (4.0 scale) is required for both overall coursework and science course work.
    A. Both GPAs will be calculated by CASPA using all courses on the transcripts you submit to CASPA and reported to us on your CASPA application.
     

    B. All prerequisite course work must be completed with a “C-” grade or higher. 

    C. Prerequisites not verified on an official transcript or taken for “credit only” or “Pass/Fail” will not be accepted to satisfy a prerequisite requirement.
     
  5. Selected applicants will be invited to an on-site interview with program faculty. Attendance is required but does not assure admission to the program. 
    A. The interview includes (but is not limited to) an assessment of academic potential, motivation and commitment to the PA profession, and interpersonal and communication skills.
     
  6. Applicants must be able to demonstrate a commitment to diversity, leadership, and service.
     
  7. Applicants must be able to meet the Academic and Technical standards.
     
  8. Health care experience (direct patient care) is strongly preferred, but not required.
     
  9. Applicants, at their own expense, must pass a background check prior to program admission. Admitted students will be required to obtain and pass a drug screen. In addition, clinical rotation sites may also require students to undergo random serum or urine drug testing at the expense of the student. Inability or refusal to do so will require the program to suspend or dismiss the student from the program.
     
  10. Acceptance of foreign bachelor's degrees is decided on an individual basis and after evaluation by a transcpript evaluation service.
     
  11. Applicants whose native (first) language is not English must submit English proficiency scores by November 1, 2018. 

    Program requirements will not be waived for any reason. Likewise, experiential credit toward prerequisites or advanced standing will not be granted. Transfer credit policies can be found in the latest edition of the WSU Graduate Catalog. 

    Student positions will not be held from year to year. If an applicant rejects or cancels an offered position at any time prior to starting the program, the individual will have to re-apply if he/she desire admission at a future date.

Program Admission Practices

We understand that selecting the right PA program is important and your decision will include a variety of factors such as value, excellence, location, relationship with faculty, mentorship, co-curricular activities, leadership opportunities, philosophy and culture of the program and finally, your intuition.  Some of these criteria are quantifiable, and others subjective.  Similarly, the admissions process for the WSU PA Program is highly selective and is based on a variety of objective and subjective criteria including the applicant’s overall strength relative to the applicant pool.  The Program is looking for applicants who best demonstrate the strongest potential to meet our Program’s vision, mission, and guiding principles.  For a better understanding of the strength of the typical applicant pool, please review the Program’s Quick Facts and the preferences listed at the end of this page. 

Points are awarded based upon the following:

  • CASPA overall GPA, science GPA, and last 60-hour GPA
  • Direct patient care experience
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Writing skills
  • Diversity facets
  • Ability to meet the Program’s vision, mission, and guiding principles
  • Military/Veteran status
  • State of residence
  • Interview

Step 1 (CASPA Application):  Applications are received and processed through CASPA for completeness and verification that minimum Program admission criteria have been met.  The WSU PA Program processes over 1000 applications each year. 

Step 2 (Supplemental Application):  All qualified applicants are sent a link to complete the supplemental application.  The supplemental application asks additional questions that provide the selection committee with a holistic evaluation of other criteria important to selecting applicants demonstrating the strongest potential to meet our Program’s vision, mission, and guiding principles. 
  
Step 3 (Pre-Interview Score):  All qualified applicants completing the supplemental application are assigned a pre-interview score according to the Program’s confidential, electronic standardized scoring process, as well as a manual, standardized assessment of prior healthcare experience and certifications.  The pre-interview score is based upon GPA (75%), prior healthcare experience and certifications (12%) and additional Program-specific criteria from the CASPA and supplemental applications (13%).  Because GPA is the strongest indicator of academic achievement, it is weighted heavily.  GPA includes overall GPA, science GPA, and last 60-hour GPA. 

Step 4 (The Interview):  Interviews will be offered in sequential order to applicants with the top pre-interview scores until all interview slots are filled.  The number of applicants able to be interviewed varies slightly each year depending upon scheduling but typically ranges between 120 to 150.  The interview scores are based upon GPA, rigor of undergraduate and prerequisite coursework, prior healthcare experience, letters of recommendation, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, maturity, and other factors meeting the Program’s vision, mission and guiding principles.  The interview process includes an overview of the WSU PA Program, an individual interview with a faculty member and a community partner, often an alumnus of the Program or current Program preceptor, a tour of the facilities, and an interactive session with current students.  There is also an optional financial aid overview.     

Step 5 (Selection Process):  Following the interviews, the WSU PA Admissions and Progression Committee (includes all Program faculty) meets to discuss and categorize each candidate as 1) highly recommend, 2) recommend without reservation, 3) recommend with reservation, and 4) do not recommend.  There is no pre-determined minimum or maximum number of students allowed within each category.  Candidates are then ranked within each category using their total overall score from highest to lowest.  The total overall score is a combination of the pre-interview (50%) and interview (50%) scores. 

Step 6 (Offer of Acceptance):  Offers of acceptance are extended to Category #1 applicants in sequential order by rank.  Offers of acceptance are then extended to Category #2 applicants in sequential order by rank, followed by Category #3 until 48 offers have been extended.  Applicants in Categories 1, 2 and 3 not initially offered a position are placed on the alternate list.  As the original offers are declined, offers are extended to the next applicant on the alternative list until all 48 offers are accepted and the class is at full capacity.   

Preferences for Selection

  • The Program does not offer advanced placement status
  • High quality, health care experience (direct patient care) is strongly preferred, but not required
  • Strong potential to meet the Program’s vision, mission, and guiding principles
  • Demonstrated commitment to leadership, diversity, and community/professional service
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills
  • High level of maturity and emotional intelligence
  • Completion of upper-level and graduate coursework
  • Ability to meet Academic and Technical Standards

We hope this page helps provide clarification and transparency into our admissions process.  Please contact (316) 978-3011 or physician.assistant@wichita.edu if you have further questions.  We hold information sessions throughout the year.  You may find it useful to attend one of these sessions.  To register for the upcoming information session, go to our website: http://webs.wichita.edu/?u=pa&p=/news/infosession2/
 
Please Note:  This scoring process is confidential.  Applicants will not be told their pre-interview scores, interview scores, selection category or where they stand in order of rank on the alternate list.  Also, applicants will not be told the individual components of the scoring process (e.g. Applicants will not be told which elements of the CASPA or supplemental applications are scored or how many points are awarded for different questions or criteria.) 

Definitions

  • Applicant:  A person wishing to attend the WSU PA Program who has submitted an application through CASPA.
  • CASPA:   Central Application Service for Physician Assistants
  • Potential to meet our Program’s vision, mission, and guiding principles:  Confidential objective criteria added to our scoring process which is designed to holistically evaluate an applicant’s ability potential to meet our Program’s vision, mission, and guiding principles. 
  • Prior healthcare experience and certification:  Refers to both the quantity and quality of direct patient care experience, the applicant documents on the CASPA application, and the healthcare certifications.
  • Qualified applicant:  An applicant who meets the minimum required Program admission criteria.
  • Supplemental application:  A WSU PA Program specific application that will be completed online.  You will receive the application link via email after your CASPA application has been reviewed and verified.
     

Standardized Test Scores

  • GRE— We DO NOT require GRE scores
  • English Proficiency — Applicants whose native (first) language is not English are requireed to satisfy one of the following English proficiency requirements:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
      Minimum Internet-based score is 79
    • International English Language Testing Service
      (IELTS)
      Minimum Internet-based score is 6.5
    • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE)
      Minimum Internet-based score is 58

Official scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to Wichita State University (Institutional code of 6884) and must be less than two years old. TOEFL scores can be submitted directly to CASPA.

The deadline to submit English proficiency test scores is November 1, 2018.

 

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