Physician Assistant Studies Program Frequently Asked Questions

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General Program Information

Can I transfer credits to reduce the number of courses I must take?

No. Classes are taken as a single cohort and there are no advanced standing or transfer credits permitted for the program.

Can I work while attending the program?

This is a very intense program, and students are strongly discouraged from working while enrolled. There are a number of evening and weekend activities as well as the demands of the program that will not permit time for employment. Students are not allowed to work for the PC Physician Assistant Program.

Can I enroll in the program as a part-time student?

No. This is a full-time program only.

Do you offer an accelerated 5-year bachelor's/baccalaureate degree program?

Not at this time. However, we will re-evaluate this for future classes. Presbyterian College does, however, have a very strong undergraduate degrees that will prepare students for the rigors of the PA program. The College also offers an accelerated biology degree that may fulfill most of the PA program prerequisites. Finely, the College offers concentrations in pre-med and pre-PA studies.

Do I need to purchase a laptop for the program, and is any other technology required?

Students will be expected to provide a laptop and smartphone or other devices with the capabilities to download medical applications.

Are there clinical experiences during the first year?

There are targeted opportunities to shadow clinicians during the first year to provide students with early experiences in the healthcare field. This will also help strengthen didactic learning.

How are clinical rotations scheduled?

Rotations will be scheduled by the PA program. Students can help determine their preferences for geography and clinical settings; however, students are not permitted to schedule their own clinical rotations.

Where do students do their clinical rotations?

Students will perform rotations with affiliated clinical sites in the surrounding area.

You state you are a church-related, Christian-based College. Do I need to be a Christian to attend the College?

No. We have people from many faiths that attend our College and we welcome everyone to the campus and enrollment at PresbyterianCollege. Our college does have a strong Christian faith-based component and as such, there are many religious ministries available on campus. Presbyterian College is committed to nurturing an inclusive environment that fosters mutual respect for all members of our campus.

Does the PA Program provide student health insurance?

No. Students are required to maintain their own health insurance for the duration of the program.

Admissions

Is healthcare work experience required for admission to the program?

No, prior healthcare work experience is not required. If students do not have healthcare work experience they can shadow all 250 required hours. All applicants must shadow a PA for a documented 50 hours. Fill out the Shadowing Hours Form. As part of the review process for new applicants, healthcare experience is considered along with other work and volunteer experiences.

Can foreign graduates apply to the program?

All students must have received a baccalaureate from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States with a 3.2  science and 3.2 overall GPA or better on a 4.0 scale. Due to federal regulations, all international students entering the United States on an F-1 Visa are required to prepay their tuition before registering for classes. International students are not eligible for time-payment plans.

Can I defer my acceptance into the program for a future class?

Offers of acceptance are valid for the current entering class only. However, deferrals are considered only for military reasons, and each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Are any groups or individuals favored for admission?

All Presbyterian College students and graduates who meet the minimum requirements will be granted an interview. The Presbyterian College Physician Assistant Studies Program encourages all applicants with diverse life experiences to apply. Attributes beyond the minimum requirements will be considered during the interview process.

Is it possible to be accepted if I have a criminal record?

All prospective students must be honest about their criminal record. Background checks will be performed by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and CastleBranch. Presbyterian College PA Program has the right to deny enrollment based on previous convictions or false information. Appeals to any information found during the background check or drug screen must be made directly through CastleBranch according to their listed policies and procedures. All cases will be reviewed individually.

When can I expect to receive an admission decision?

Applicants are notified of an admission decision within two calendar weeks following your interview date. Upon acceptance, the candidate has two weeks to submit a $1,500.00 non-refundable matriculation deposit to secure his or her seat in the program. If the deposit is not received in the required time, the individual will lose his or her seat in the program. Deposit, tuition, and fees are subject to change without notice.

What can I do to prepare for the Physician Assistant Studies Program after I have been admitted?

Once you have the prerequisites complete, consider doing additional clinical observation beyond the minimum required for the program. In addition, you are strongly encouraged to continue to review medical terminology as well as anatomy and physiology.

CASPA

When should I have my materials into CASPA in order to meet the deadlines?

CASPA recommends having your application completed 4-6 weeks prior to the deadline. You may complete your application later but you risk further delays in processing and this could jeopardize your admissions status. Rolling admissions will be used and it is beneficial to apply early.

Does the program require any additional tests?

The GRE is required; however, there is no minimum GRE score. GRE scores will be sent directly to CASPA system from ETS. Presbyterian College GRE code is 2176.

If I have retaken a class, does the College and CASPA look at the new grade or the average of both?

CASPA does their overall GPA calculation based on every course taken, including repeated courses. Presbyterian College uses the overall and science GPAs as calculated by CASPA. Presbyterian College takes the newer or better grade for your prerequisite coursework.

Will you review my application before it is complete?

No. An application will not be reviewed until it is made available to us as a complete, verified application by CASPA. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact CASPA directly to verify the receipt of all application materials by CASPA and the current status of his/her application.

Prerequisites

Do I need to have all the prerequisites complete in order to apply?

No. Each prerequisite course must, however, be successfully completed with a grade of “B” or higher prior prior July 31st of the year of matriculation into the PA program. The only exception is that organic chemistry needs a “C” or higher. Special circumstances will be reviewed by the faculty on an individual basis. You must indicate on the CASPA application which courses you still need to complete and the terms in which you plan to complete them.

What if I have not completed my prerequisites at the time of matriculation?

If the prerequisites are not complete by July 31st of the year of matriculation, you will not be permitted to enter the program.

May I take prerequisite courses at another college or at a community college?

Absolutely, as long as the college is regionally accredited in the United States. You are also permitted to take prerequisite courses through online classes if the college/university is accredited.