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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can an applicant apply to The University of Tampa PA program?
  2. Is there a supplemental application process?
  3. Does the PA program offer part-time classes?
  4. How long is the PA program?
  5. How many spots are available for each incoming class/cohort?
  6. When do classes begin and end?
  7. Does the PA program have admission interviews? When will they occur?
  8. Does an applicant need to take the GRE or MCAT for admission?
  9. What is the minimum required GPA for the application?
  10. Can applicants request a review of their whole application, including references and transcripts, prior to submission?
  11. Does the PA program offer advanced placement, accept transfer students or provide credit for experiential learning?
  12. If an applicant’s prerequisite courses were taken more than five years ago, can he or she still apply for admission?
  13. How much direct patient care experience should a competitive applicant have?
  14. Is there a requirement to shadow a PA?
  15. Are there requirements for international student applicants?
  16. Are foreign medical graduates required to complete all prerequisite courses?
  17. How can applicants make their application stronger and more competitive?
  18. What are some examples of experiences indicating maturity/leadership?
  19. Is there a rolling admission process for the PA program?
  20. When will the PA program start accepting applications?
  21. Do all application materials need to arrive at the same time?
  22. Can an applicant send in additional letters of recommendation, beyond those included in CASPA?
  23. An applicant has submitted a CASPA application. When will he or she hear a status update of the application?
  24. When will applicants know if they have been selected for an interview?
  25. An applicant has completed other courses since submitting the initial application. How does he or she update the PA program?
  26. How do you update other parts of the application such as patient care or volunteer experience?
  27. Are electronic transcripts accepted?
  28. Who is on the admissions team, and who makes the final decision?
  29. Does it matter what your academic major or degree is from undergraduate/graduate school?
  30. Is there a preference for residents of the State of Florida?
  31. Is there a preference for UT alumni or legacy?
  32. Can applicants apply before completing all the prerequisite courses for admission?
  33. What are the prerequisite courses for admission?
  34. Are prerequisite courses accepted from community or junior colleges?
  35. What are the technical standards for admission?
  36. Can clinical rotations be completed outside the State of Florida?
  37. Where are the clinical rotations sites?
  38. Are all clinical rotation sites within the Tampa Bay area?
  39. Do PA students have to secure their own clinical rotation sites?
  40. Is housing provided for clinical rotations?
  41. Can a PA student take time off during the clinical year?
  42. Is there a mandatory graduate research project during the PA program? 
  43. Is The University of Tampa's PA program accredited?
  44. What degree is awarded from the PA program?
  45. What are UT's NCCPA pass rate scores?
  46. Are PA students able to work outside of the PA program?
  47. Does the PA program require drug screening?
  48. Are background screenings conducted in the PA program?
  1. How can an applicant apply to The University of Tampa PA program? Back to top.
    All applicants must apply through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA), available at http://caspa.liaisoncas.com. The application must be CASPA verified by Oct. 1 in order to be considered for the next August enrollment. 

  2. Is there a supplemental application process? Back to top.
    No, there is no supplemental application.

  3. Does the PA program offer part-time classes? Back to top.
    No, the program must be taken full time.

  4. How long is the PA program? Back to top.
    UT's PA program is 27 months in duration, with seven semesters and 112 credit hours.

  5. How many spots are available for each incoming class/cohort? Back to top.
    Each class/cohort will have a maximum of 48 spots.

  6. When do classes begin and end? Back to top.
    Each class/cohort will begin the program in mid-August of year one and end in December of year three. UT's inaugural class is scheduled to commence in mid-August 2019, with graduation in December 2021.

  7. Does the PA program have admission interviews? When will they occur? Back to top.
    Yes, selected applicants are invited by the PA program for an on-campus interview. Interviews will occur in the fall and winter. 

  8.  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.

  9. What is the minimum required GPA for the application? Back to top.
    The minimum overall undergraduate GPA is 3.0 and the minimum prerequisite GPA is 3.2. The program also reviews the science GPA and last 60 credit hour GPA; however, no minimum has been set for these GPAs for application purposes.

  10. Can applicants request a review of their 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.

  11. 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 participate entirely in the course outlined in the program curriculum

  12. If an applicant’s prerequisite courses were taken more than five years ago, can he or she still apply for admission? Back to top. 
    Science prerequisite courses completed more than five years ago will not be accepted unless the applicant has been employed or participated in a health care or science position during the last five years.

  13. How much direct patient care experience should a competitive applicant have? Back to top.
    While direct patient care is not required, competitive applicants should have a minimum of 500 hours of hands-on patient care experience. The more health care experience, the more competitive the application.

  14. Is there a requirement to shadow a PA? Back to top. 
    PA observation is required. There are no minimum hours required; however, competitive applicants will have observed a PA for as many hours as necessary to demonstrate they are knowledgeable of the role.

  15. Are there requirements for international student applicants? Back to top.
    Applicants educated outside the U.S. and Canada must have their transcript reviewed by the UT admissions team. In certain instances, the admissions team may require an independent certification of the degree by a transcript evaluation service.

  16. Are foreign medical graduates required to complete all prerequisite courses? Back to top.
    • Yes, all applicants are required to complete the same prerequisites in the same time frame.
    • 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. 
     
  17. How can applicants make their application stronger and more competitive? Back to top.
    The admission process for the PA program is highly competitive. Applications are reviewed relative to their undergraduate intensity of studies, cumulative GPA, prerequisite GPA, science GPA and last 60 credit hour GPA, patient care experience, personal narrative, letters of reference and life experiences that indicate maturity and leadership.  

  18. What are some examples of experiences indicating maturity/leadership? Back to top.
    • Service in the military/veteran status  
    • Full time employment while completing higher education  
    • Graduate degree  
    • Intercollegiate athletics or other extracurricular activities  
    • Multiple community service or mission trips  
    • Direct patient care, with higher preference given to those who have been a licensed health care professional  
     
  19. 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. 

  20. When will the PA program start accepting applications?  Back to top.
    Applications for the class matriculating in August open through CASPA in April/May of the preceding year. 

  21. Do all application materials need to arrive at the same time?  Back to top.
    No. However, only completed applications are reviewed for consideration. A reviewable application includes a complete CASPA application, fee payment and three references. Applicants are not penalized if required parts of the application are received at different times. 

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

  23. An applicant has submitted a CASPA application. When will he or she hear a status update of the application?  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. 

  24. When will applicants know if they have been selected for an interview? Back to top.
    Once an application is received, it may take a few months to process, depending on application volume. From this point, applicants can hear at any point if they have been selected for an interview. Applicants not selected for an interview will be informed at the beginning of January, when the interview cycle has concluded.  

  25. An applicant has completed other courses since submitting the initial application. How does he or she 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. 

  26. How do you update other parts of the application such as patient care or volunteer experience?  Back to top.
    Updates to patient care, volunteer, community service and shadowing experiences can be made by contacting graduate admissions at pa@ut.edu.  

  27. Are electronic transcripts accepted? Back to top.
    Transcripts sent electronically to UT are accepted only if they come directly from the college or university through a secure web portal. Transcripts that are emailed, faxed or represent unofficial versions of official transcripts are not accepted. 

  28. Who is on the admissions team, and who makes the final decision? Back to top.
    The admissions team consists of the PA program faculty, other UT health profession faculty, admissions personnel and clinically practicing health care professionals. Final admission decisions are made by the PA program director and faculty.  

  29. Does it matter what your 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. Because the PA program is a professional health science graduate program, previous coursework in the sciences is expected and grades should be competitive. 

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

  31. Is there a preference for UT alumni or legacy?  Back to top.
    Yes. There is a preference for UT alumni or legacy applicants, but applicants must be competitive in their entire application, and admission is not guaranteed nor automatic. 

  32. Can applicants apply before completing all the prerequisite courses for admission?  Back to top.
    Applicants may have no more than two outstanding prerequisites at the time of application. 

  33. What are the prerequisite courses for admission? Back to top.
    Prerequisite science courses (must include labs):  
    • Two general biology with lab  
    • 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 
    • Recommended additional courses (prefer lab courses when applicable):  
    • Medical terminology 
    • Biochemistry  
    • Genetics  
    • Organic chemistry  
     
  34. Are prerequisite courses accepted from community or junior colleges? Back to top.
    Yes. UT will allow prerequisite courses from regionally accredited community or junior colleges. 

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

  36. Can clinical rotations be completed outside the State of Florida?  Back to top.
    Not at this time. 
  37. 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. 

  38. Are all clinical rotation sites within the Tampa Bay area? Back to top.
    All clinical training sites are located within 80 miles of campus. 

  39. 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. 

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

  41. 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.  

  42. 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. 

  43. Is The University of Tampa's PA program accredited?  Back to top.
    The University of Tampa has applied for provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). UT anticipates matriculating its first class in August 2019, pending achieving Accreditation – Provisional status at the March 2019 ARC-PA meeting. 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. For more information, visit www.arc-pa.org/accreditation.           

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

  45. 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 its website once the first class of PA students takes the PANCE examination. 

  46. 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. 
     
  47. Does the PA program require drug screening?  Back to top.
    Yes, drug screenings are required. Clinical rotation sites may also require additional drug screens.    

  48. 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.