Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I learn more about the program to help me apply? Can I meet personally with a member of the admissions team or program faculty?
  2. How can I apply to UT’s PA program?
  3. Is there a supplemental application process?
  4. Does the PA program offer part-time classes?
  5. How long is the PA program?
  6. How many seats are available for each incoming class?
  7. When do classes begin and end?
  8. Does the PA program have admission interviews? When will they occur? What is the interview schedule?
  9. Do I need to take the GRE or MCAT for admission?
  10. What is the minimum required GPA for the application?
  11. My last 60 credit hours GPA and/or prerequisite GPA is below 3.0. Will my application still be considered?
  12. Can I request a review of my whole application, including references and transcripts, prior to submission?
  13. Does the PA program offer advanced placement, accept transfer students or provide credit for experiential learning?
  14. If my prerequisite courses were taken more than 10 years ago, can I still apply for admission?
  15. How much direct patient care experience should a competitive applicant have?
  16. Is there a requirement to shadow a PA?
  17. Does my experience count as patient care experience? If so, what level is it considered to be?
  18. Are there requirements for applicants educated outside of the United States?
  19. Do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS?
  20. Are international students eligible for admission?
  21. Are foreign medical graduates required to complete all PA program courses?
  22. How can applicants make their application stronger and more competitive?
  23. What are the program preferences?
  24. Is there a rolling admission process for the PA program?
  25. When will the PA program start accepting applications?
  26. Do all application materials need to arrive at the same time?
  27. Can an applicant send in additional letters of recommendation, beyond those included in the CASPA?
  28. I’ve submitted a CASPA application. When will I hear a status update?
  29. When will applicants know if they have been selected for an interview?
  30. I’ve completed other courses since submitting my initial application. How do I update the PA program?
  31. How do I update other parts of my application, such as patient care or volunteer experience?
  32. Are electronic transcripts accepted?
  33. Who is on the admissions sub-committee, and who makes the final decision?
  34. Does it matter what my academic major or degree is from undergraduate/graduate school?
  35. Is there a preference for residents in the State of Florida?
  36. Is there a preference for UT alumni or legacy? 
  37. Can I apply before completing all the prerequisite courses for admission?
  38. Can I apply before completing my bachelor’s degree?
  39. What are the prerequisite courses for admission?
  40. I’m a UT student. What UT prerequisite courses and sequence do you recommend if I want to apply during my senior year?
  41. Do prerequisite courses need to be completed at a four-year university?
  42. Does UT accept prerequisite courses completed online?
  43. What are the technical standards for admission?
  44. Can clinical rotations be completed outside the State of Florida?
  45. Where are the clinical rotations sites?
  46. Are all clinical rotation sites within the Tampa Bay area?
  47. Do PA students have to secure their own clinical rotation sites?
  48. Is housing provided for clinical rotations?
  49. Can a PA student take time off during the clinical year?
  50. Is there a mandatory graduate research project during the PA program?
  51. Is UT’s PA program accredited?
  52. What degree is awarded from the PA program?
  53. What are UT’s NCCPA pass rate scores?
  54. What are the demographics of the first PA cohort?
  55. Are PA students able to work outside of the PA program?
  56. Does the PA program require drug screening?
  57. Are background screenings conducted in the PA program?
  58. Does UT provide feedback for denied applicants?
  59. May I tour UT’s PA program facility?
  60. What is UT's policy regarding delayed or deferred admissions?


1. How do I learn more about the program to help me apply? Can I meet personally with a member of the admissions team or program faculty?  Back to top.
Our intent is for the PA program website, FAQ section, class admission profile and virtual advising sessions to assist applicants in completing the CASPA and the program’s supplemental application. Unfortunately, due to the volume of applicants, PA faculty are unable to meet individually with all applicants. The information sessions offer an excellent opportunity for applicants to interact with faculty and learn more about the profession. If you have used all of the resources and continue to need assistance, we recommend sending an email to the admissions team at pam@ut.edu. Please allow five business days for us to reply. If you don’t receive an email response after that time, then resend the email.  

2. How can I apply to UT’s PA program?  Back to top. 
All applicants must apply through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). The application must be completed in CASPA by Sept. 1 and verified by CASPA no later than Oct. 1 in order to be considered for an interview for the next class.

3. Is there a supplemental application? Back to top.
Yes. There is a supplemental application. There is no fee for the supplemental application, which is due by Sept. 1. The supplemental application is included in the CASPA application and will be completed with the CASPA application.

4. Does the PA program offer part-time classes? Back to top.
No. The program must be taken full time. Students can expect to be in classes Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

5. How long is the PA program? Back to top.
UT’s PA program is 27 months in duration, with seven semesters and a total of 112 credit hours.

6. How many seats are available for each incoming class? Back to top.
Each class will admit a maximum of 48 applicants.

7. When do classes begin and end? Back to top.
Each class will begin the program in mid-August of year one and graduate in December of year three.

8. Does the PA program have admission interviews? When will they occur? What is the interview schedule? Back to top.
Yes, selected applicants will be sent notification by the PA program for an on-campus interview by Oct. 18, 2019. The program will interview 120 applicants divided into four sessions. Each interview session takes place over two days on a Sunday-Monday. Applicants are required to attend both days. The tentative dates are Nov. 3-4, 10-11, 17-18 and 24-25, 2019. The following is a draft schedule of an interview session:
Sunday
5-5:45 p.m.: Dinner and meet-and-greet with department chair and program director
6-6:30 p.m.: Written question exercise and survey in computer lab
6:30-9:30 p.m.: PA-CAT exam in computer lab

*Completion of the PA-CAT exam is required for admission. It is an examination of basic science knowledge that is under development and performance will not be used to make an admission decision. You do not have to study for this exam.

Monday
7-7:15 a.m.: Registration for Group 1
7:15-7:30 a.m.: MMI interview instructions for Group 1
7:30-9:10 a.m.: MMI interview for Group 1

8:45-9 a.m.: Registration for Group 2
9-9:15 a.m.: MMI interview instructions for Group 2
9:15-10:55 a.m.: MMI interview for Group 2

10:45-11 a.m.: Registration for Group 3
11-11:15 a.m.: MMI interview instructions for Group 3
11:15 a.m.-12:55 p.m.: MMI interview for Group 3

1-3:30 p.m.: Lunch with PA program faculty and program overview presentations
3:30 p.m.: Dismissal. Flights at 5 p.m. or later

The applicant is responsible for all travel related expenses (flight, lodging, local travel and off-campus meals), and there are no grants or scholarships available to offset interview expenses.

9. Does an applicant need to take the GRE or MCAT for admission? Back to top.
No. UT’s PA program does not require the GRE or MCAT for admission, and faculty do not look at scores on applications for those who report scores.

10. What is the minimum required GPA for the application? Back to top.
The minimum last 60 credit hours GPA is 3.0, and the minimum prerequisite GPA is 3.0. The last 60 credit hours is defined as the last 60 credit hours you have taken chronologically, whether it is undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate coursework.

11. My last 60 credits hours GPA and/or prerequisite GPA are/is below 3.0. Will my application still be considered? Back to top.
No. Applicants must meet our minimum standards to be considered for admission.

12. Can I request a review of my whole application, including references and transcripts, prior to submission? Back to top.
No. The PA program receives hundreds of applications and is unable to review individual applications prior to submission. The information posted on the PA program website describes the admission process.

13. Does the PA program offer advanced placement, accept transfer students or provide credit for experiential learning? Back to top.
No. UT’s PA program does not offer advanced placement for students with prior graduate or doctoral level work, nor does the program accept transfer students or offer credit for experimental learning. The program does not offer credit for prior experience working in the health care field. All incoming students will be required to complete all coursework in the program curriculum.

14. If my prerequisite courses were taken more than 10 years ago, can I still apply for admission? Back to top. 
Prerequisite courses greater than 10 years from the date of graduation (degree during which prerequisites were completed) will not be accepted unless the applicant has provided direct patient care for at least 4,000 hours within the last 10 years from Sept. 1 of the year applied.

15. How much direct patient care experience should a competitive applicant have? Back to top. 
While direct patient care is not required, the program has a preference for applicants with a minimum of 500 hours of hands-on patient care experience. The program also has a preference for an applicant with moderate or high level classification of direct patient care experience.

16. Is there a requirement to shadow a PA? Back to top.
Physician assistant observation or shadowing is not required for application. However, competitive applicants will have observed a PA for as many hours as necessary to demonstrate they are knowledgeable of the PA role on the healthcare team and will be evaluated during the interview. The class admission profile reports on the average number of shadowing hours for past admitted cohorts.

17. Does my experience count as patient care experience? If so, what level is it considered to be? Back to top. 
The faculty have evaluated patient care experiences and classified those experiences for an admissions preference. The classification of direct patient care experience (found on the admissions page tab under Direct Patient Care Experience) includes the criteria used to categorize the experience. If your patient care experience type/category is omitted, then you can submit a PA program petition form to have your experience evaluated. Please access the form and follow the instructions. It is your responsibility to complete the form and provide the necessary rationale to assist the program in evaluating your petition. The decision of the program is final and may not be appealed.

18. Are there requirements for applicants educated outside of the United States? Back to top.
If you have attended a college or university outside of the United States, you must arrange to have all post-secondary records evaluated by WES.

19. Do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS? Back to top.
Official TOEFL or IELTS scores will be required of all applicants who have not earned a baccalaureate degree or graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S., Commonwealth Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia or New Zealand. The minimum score is a 90 on the TOEFL and a 6.5 on the IELTS, and may not be waived.

20. Are international students eligible for admission? Back to top.
No. All applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The PA program has not been approved for international students at this time.

21. Are foreign medical graduates required to complete all PA program courses? Back to top.

  • Yes, all applicants are required to complete the entire PA curriculum in the same time frame as other PA students.
  • Per Florida statute 458.347, section 6 a, b and c, a PA program may admit unlicensed physicians, as authorized in subsection 7, who are graduates of foreign medical schools listed with the World Health Organization.
  • The unlicensed physician must have been a resident of this state (Florida) for a minimum of 12 months immediately prior to admission to the program.
  • The foreign medical graduate must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to qualify for admission to the UT PA program.

22. How can applicants make their application stronger and more competitive? Back to top.
The admissions process for UT’s PA program is highly competitive. Applications are holistically reviewed relative to our program preferences, prerequisite GPA, last 60 credit hours GPA, patient care experience, personal statement, letters of reference and interview performance. Applicants can review our mission, vision and values and our class applicant profile to evaluate the extent to which the applicant aligns with the program preferences for admission.

23. What are the program preferences? Back to top.

  • Direct patient care experience characterized as moderate or high level
  • Direct patient care experience >500 hours
  • Work experience or research hours >500 hours
  • Community service/mission work >250 hours
  • Leadership activities ≥1 year
  • Graduate degree earned in any discipline by Oct. 1, 2019
  • Military service — veterans must have an honorable or entry-level discharge
  • UT alumni

24. Is there a rolling admission process for the PA program? Back to top.
No. UT conducts a lockstep admissions process, in which all interviews are conducted after the application closes and all decisions are made after all interviews have been completed.

25. When will the PA program start accepting applications? Back to top.
Applications for the class matriculating in August 2020 opens through CASPA on April 25, 2019. We encourage applicants to complete their application as soon as possible to facilitate faculty review.

26. Do all application materials need to arrive at the same time? Back to top.
No, but only completed applications are reviewed for consideration. A complete application includes a CASPA application, fee payment to CASPA, supplemental application (included within the CASPA application), transcripts and three references. Applicants are not penalized if required parts of the application are received at different times. The complete application with all supporting documents must be submitted to CASPA by Sept. 1 and verified by Oct. 1 in order to be considered for the August 2020 enrollment. You may send one email to pam@ut.edu alerting us of all program preference changes to your application after submission but not later than Sept. 1, 2019. The changes should also be uploaded to your CASPA application. Transcripts for prerequisites and graduate degrees completed after your application submission must be uploaded to CASPA and an email sent to pam@ut.edu by Oct. 1, 2019. 

27. Can an applicant send in additional letters of recommendation, beyond those included in CASPA? Back to top.
No.

28. I’ve submitted a CASPA application. When will I hear a status update?  Back to top.
Once you have submitted a CASPA application, you will receive an email notification from CASPA that it has been received and then verified. At this point, your application will be made available to UT’s PA program as verified for processing purposes. Interview decisions are made by Oct. 18, 2019.

29. When will applicants know if they have been selected for an interview? Back to top.
Interview invitations will be extended by Oct. 18, 2019. Applicants not selected for an interview will be informed by the beginning of January, when the interview cycle has concluded.

30. I’ve completed other courses since submitting my initial application. How do I update the PA program? Back to top.
Your CASPA profile has a feature called "Academic Update." For courses added and/or grades earned after submitting the CASPA application, this feature provides an unofficial update to your CASPA course listing. Entered grades and courses will not be re-verified, but this can provide your designated programs with an updated, unofficial picture of your academic profile. You may send one email to pam@ut.edu alerting us of all program preference changes to your application after submission but not later than Sept. 1, 2019. The changes should also be uploaded to your CASPA application. Transcripts for prerequisites and graduate degrees completed after your application submission must be uploaded to CASPA and an email sent to pam@ut.edu by Oct. 1, 2019.  

31. How do I update other parts of my application, such as patient care or volunteer experience? Back to top.
Updates to patient care, volunteer or community service and shadowing experiences can be made through CASPA.

32. Are electronic transcripts accepted? Back to top.
All transcripts should be sent directly to CASPA. Please refer to CASPA for their requirements.

33. Who is on the admissions sub-committee, and who makes the final decision? Back to top.
The admissions team consists of the PA program faculty, other UT health professions faculty, admissions personnel and college administration. Final admission decisions are made by the admissions sub-committee.

34. Does it matter what my academic major or degree is from undergraduate/graduate school? Back to top.
No. Applications are reviewed holistically, and no specific academic major or degree is preferred.  

35. Is there a preference for residents in the State of Florida? Back to top.
No. The University of Tampa is a private university. No preference is given to State of Florida residents. 

36. Is there a preference for UT alumni or legacy? Back to top.
Yes. There is a preference for UT alumni applicants defined as the applicant’s degree having been conferred by UT, but applicants must be competitive in their entire application and admission is not guaranteed nor automatic. There is no preference given for those with a UT legacy, which is defined as having parents, grandparents or siblings who are UT alumni.

37. Can I apply before completing all the prerequisite courses for admission? Back to top.
Yes, but applicants must earn a "C" or better in prerequisite courses and they must be completed at a regionally accredited institution by Oct. 1, 2019. You may send one email to pam@ut.edu alerting us of all program preference changes to your application after submission but not later than Sept. 1, 2019. The changes should also be uploaded to your CASPA application. Transcripts for prerequisites and graduate degrees completed after your application submission must be uploaded to CASPA and an email sent to pam@ut.edu by Oct. 1, 2019.  

38. Can I apply before completing my bachelor’s degree? Back to top. 
Applicants may apply before they have completed their bachelor’s degree; however, the degree must be earned by July 1, 2020, and the last 60 credit hours GPA.

39. What are the prerequisite courses for admission? Back to top.
Prerequisite science courses (must include labs):

  • Two general biology with lab. Upper division biology courses will not waive General Biology II requirement
  • One microbiology with lab
  • Two human anatomy and physiology with lab (can be one semester anatomy and one semester physiology, or combined anatomy and physiology courses)
  • Two general chemistry with lab
  • One statistics (not a lab science) — may be met by educational/psychology or biostatistics course

The following recommended supplemental courses assist students in the academic transition to the PA program curriculum. No preference is given, and these courses can not be used to substitute for any required prerequisites.

  • Medical terminology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Organic chemistry

40. I’m a UT student. What UT prerequisite course and sequence do you recommend if I want to apply during my senior year? Back to top.
The following prerequisite schedule will meet the PA program’s prerequisites by the end of your junior year, and the sequencing meets the required courses needed to enroll. The ability to enroll in the sequence is based on conditions outside the PA program’s control, and you are encouraged to work with your academic advisor to meet your educational goals and requirements for graduation. The PA program has no preference for your academic major. We encourage you to work with Jackie Mikulski, academic program specialist for pre-professional programs, for advisement.

Freshman year
Fall Semester: CHE 152 and CHE 153L
Spring Semester: CHE 154 and CHE 155L

Sophomore year
Fall Semester: BIO 198 and BIO 198L
Spring Semester: BIO 199 and BIO 199L

Junior year
Fall Semester: HSC 230 and HSC 234 or BIO 250/250L and BIO 330/330L
Spring Semester: HSC 231 and HSC 235 or BIO 302/302L
Either semester: BIO 307 and BIO 307L

Statistics: Recommend BIO 230 or HSC 350, but SOC 355, MAT 201 or CRM 240 are acceptable alternatives. If you choose to take psychology statistics, you must take both PSY 211 and PSY 312 to meet the statistics requirement for the PA program. Statistics can be taken in any year, but would recommend freshman or sophomore year.

41. Do prerequisite courses need to be completed at a four-year university? Back to top.
Prerequisite courses can be completed at a four-year university or a junior college. Use the PA program petition form to petition the program to accept alternative prerequisites.

42. Does UT accept prerequisite courses completed online? Back to top.
UT will accept online courses as long as they meet our prerequisite course requirements. Use the PA program petition form to petition the program to accept alternative prerequisites.

43. What are the technical standards for admission? Back to top.
Please review the admissions page under "Technical Standards for Admission."

44. Can clinical rotations be completed outside the State of Florida? Back to top.
Not at this time.

45. Where are the clinical rotations sites? Back to top.
UT’s PA program has established partnerships with multiple highly regarded hospital systems, clinics and private providers in the Tampa Bay area.

46. Are all clinical rotation sites within the Tampa Bay area? Back to top.
Yes. All clinical training sites are located within the Tampa Bay area.

47. Do PA students have to secure their own clinical rotation sites? Back to top.
No. The clinical education faculty and staff secure all required clinical rotation sites for students. Students may make requests in planning for their elective experience, but all arrangements and contact are made by the program faculty and staff.

48. Is housing provided for clinical rotations? Back to top.
No. All sites are within driving distance of campus.

49. Can a PA student take time off during the clinical year? Back to top.
No. In the event of a medical/personal emergency, the student may request a leave of absence. If granted, this will result in delayed graduation.

50. Is there a mandatory graduate research project during the PA program? Back to top.
Yes. All students enrolled in the PA program must successfully complete a master’s capstone project and receive a passing grade in order to graduate. Faculty will guide, monitor and assess the quality of each student’s work in this process.

51. Is UT’s PA program accredited? Back to top.
The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the The University of Tampa’s Department of Physician Assistant Medicine.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program's ability to meet the ARC-PA standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

52. What degree is awarded from the PA program? Back to top.
Each graduate will be awarded a Master of Physician Assistant Medicine (MPAM) degree.

53. What are UT’s NCCPA pass rate scores? Back to top.
As a developing PA program, there are no current NCCPA pass rate scores. However, UT will post a pass rate summary report on the website once the first class of PA students completes the PANCE examination.

54. What are the demographics of the first PA cohort? Back to top. 
The baseline admission characteristics of the applicants and those accepted can be found in the class admission profile.

55. Are PA students able to work outside of the PA program? Back to top.

  • PA students are not prohibited from working while enrolled in the PA program; however, due to the amount of study and intensive nature of the curriculum, students are generally discouraged from obtaining or maintaining employment while enrolled. No special academic accommodations or scheduling arrangements will be made or granted for students who choose to work while enrolled.
  • PA students are not required to work for the program.
  • PA students are not allowed to substitute for or function as instructional faculty.
  • PA students are not allowed to substitute for clinical or administrative staff during clinical rotations.
  • In addition, PA students are not permitted to engage in any paid or salaried role in conjunction with completion of their clinical rotations.

56. Does the PA program require drug screening? Back to top.
Yes. Drug screenings are required. Clinical rotation sites may also require additional drug screens.

57. Are background screenings conducted in the PA program? Back to top.
Yes. UT requires a level two background screening within the PA program. Clinical rotation sites may also require additional background screens.

58. Does UT provide feedback for denied applicants? Back to top.
No. The PA faculty and the graduate admissions staff are unable to provide individualized feedback by phone or by email. The PA program conducts one webinar each year in April for denied and wait-listed applicants to strengthen their reapplication. Please save any questions for the webinar.

59. May I tour UT’s PA program facility? Back to top. 
Yes. The dates and times for tours for applicants are as follows: 

Summer 2019:  
Monday, May 13, 2019, 1-3 p.m. 
Monday, July 15, 2019, 6-8 p.m.

Spring 2020:  
Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, 1-3 p.m. 

Summer 2020: 
Monday, May 18, 2020, 1-3 p.m.
Monday, July 13, 2020, 6-8 p.m. 

Go to www.ut.edu/gradvisit to schedule a spot in one of our tours. Space is limited, so please plan accordingly.   

60. What is UT's policy regarding delayed or deferred admissions? Back to top.

Conditionally accepted students may be permitted to delay matriculation for up to one year on a case by case basis. The written request must be submitted to the chair of the progression, promotion and professionalism committee as soon as possible, but no later than the first day of class. The chair will forward the committee's recommendation to the physician assistant medicine chair for a final decision. The decision may not be appealed.