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FAQ's

Admissions FAQ

When does the application open?

The CASPA application opens each year in late April. MSU typically begins inviting applicants to complete our supplemental application in June each year.

When is MSU's PA medicine application deadline?

You will need a CASPA verified application by November 1st in order to be considered for a May matriculation each year. The supplemental application is due November 15th.

Where can I find MSU’s supplemental application?

After your CASPA application is submitted and verified, you will be emailed a link to MSU supplemental application information beginning in June each year. You will complete this supplemental application through our MSU admissions portal.  The deadline for the MSU supplemental application is November 15.

Does MSU offer a supplemental fee waiver?

MSUCOM will offer a supplemental application fee waiver to any candidate who received the CASPA fee waiver.  To have your supplemental application fee waived, please provide a copy of your CASPA fee waiver award email to admissions@pa.com.msu.edu prior to paying your supplemental application fee.  You will receive a confirmation email indicating that your fee has been waived.  You MUST submit documentation PRIOR to paying your supplemental application fee.  We will not offer refunds of the supplemental application fee. Learn more about the CASPA Fee Assistance Program here

What does it mean to have a rolling admissions process? When do you recommend applying to the program? 

We will review applicants, interview, and offer seats in our class on a rolling basis. We do not wait until the deadline to start reviewing applicants and making admissions decisions. For this reason, we recommend submitting your best and most complete application early in the application cycle.

Am I able to update grades and experiences after submitting the CASPA application?

You will be able to add coursework, grades, and experiences to your CASPA application after you have submitted it. Updated grades must be submitted and verified through CASPA. You will also have the opportunity to add additional experiences or any additional information through MSU’s supplemental application portal. 

How do I request a bachelor’s degree waiver?

In rare scenarios, a waiver may be granted for completion of a comparable educational program or degree. Approval is granted at the discretion of the MSU Graduate School and must be obtained BEFORE applying to the program. The process for waiver submission is as follows:

  • Reach out the PA Admissions Department explaining the situation and submit transcripts and proof of any degree to: admissions@pa.com.msu.edu.
  • Review may take several weeks; at which time an Admissions counselor will reach out to provide the outcome.

What is the deadline to complete my prerequisite courses?

All prerequisite courses need to be complete by December 31 in the year applying in order to be considered for a May matriculation. For example, if you plan to apply in the 2022-23 cycle which opens in April 2022, your prerequisite courses need to be completed by December 31, 2022.

Is it OK to take online courses to cover prerequisites?

Yes, online courses will meet the prerequisite course requirements.

Do you have time frame requirement for how recent your prerequisite courses need to have been taken?

No, we do not have a requirement around how recent your prerequisite courses need to have been taken.

Does your program have a requirement around university level of prerequisite courses taken?

No, we do not have a requirement around university level of the prerequisite.

Do you accept undergraduate degree programs who do not utilize conventional letter grades?  

We do not accept narrative evaluations in place of grades. The program requires a 3.0/B or better grade in each prerequisite course, and a narrative evaluation would not suffice to prove this. Of note, a pass/fail grade is NOT the same as a narrative grade (we do accept pass/fail if it was taken during the COVID pandemic from 2020 through December 2021).

Does your program accept pass/fail grades?

We do accept pass/fail if a course was taken during the COVID pandemic from 2020 through December 2021. Otherwise, pass/fail grades are not accepted. If your classes beyond December 2021 are still only available in pass/fail format DUE TO the COVID pandemic, please email the program at admissions@pa.com.msu.edu for a case-by-case consideration.

Can I use AP credit to fulfill prerequisite requirements? 

Candidates may apply AP credit to our English Composition and Statistics requirements only.  Any credit applied must be reported on the candidate’s official undergraduate transcript. IB and CLEP exam credits are not accepted. Applicants should be able to provide proof of AP credit.

What are some parameters around prerequisite courses?

Here is some additional guidance around what courses may fulfill our prerequisites:

  • Human Anatomy - Must be > 50% human anatomy content if another type of anatomy course. Combined A&P classes are acceptable but must be a minimum of 6 credits in total to fulfill both pre-requisites.
  • Statistics- Can be taken in any University Department.  AP credit accepted for statistics (must be able to provide proof of AP credit).
  • English Composition - Will accept designated writing intensive courses where > 50% of the course grade is based on writing.  AP credit accepted for English composition (must be able to provide proof of AP credit).
  • Microbiology with Lab - May be separate lecture and lab courses or a combined lecture and lab course. 
  • Developmental Psychology - Must be a course that focuses on the social, cognitive, and behavioral development across the lifespan or a portion of the lifespan.  Introductory psychology or abnormal psychology courses will not suffice.
  • Human Physiology - Must be > 50% human physiology content if another type of physiology course. We will accept a combined human anatomy & human physiology (A&P) course. Combined A&P classes are acceptable but must be a minimum of 6 credits in total to fulfill both pre-requisites.
  • General Chemistry or Organic Chemistry – only one or the other is required.
  • Biochemistry – We will accept a combined organic and biochemistry course to fulfill this requirement, but at least 50% of the course needs to be biochemistry focused.

How will I know if a prerequisite course I have taken/plan to take will meet the program requirements?

Please refer to the pre-requisite courses tab.  If there is a course for which you are unsure if it meets a prerequisite requirement, email a copy of the catalog course description and/or syllabus for the prerequisite in question to admissions@pa.com.msu.edu . An admissions counselor will review the course and get back to you.

How will the application process be affected by the pandemic?

Please review the statement on the website regarding grading due to the interruption. Any adjustments will be communicated on our website. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email admissions@pa.com.msu.edu

From whom should I get a letter of recommendation? 

We do not have any specific requirements regarding letter authors. The best letter writers are those who can speak to your skills and abilities in healthcare, know you well, and can best describe your fit with the PA profession. 

Does the program offer a wavier to only review the last 60 credit hours?

We do not have a minimum cumulative GPA requirement; therefore, we do not currently offer the last 60 credit hour waiver.

Do you require the GRE, MCAT, or PA-CAT?

No, we do not have a testing requirement as part of the initial application. Your grades and course work are of primary importance to us in terms of academic preparation.

Do you have a healthcare experience requirement? 

No, we do not require healthcare experience. However, it is strongly encouraged and applicants who have healthcare experience are given preference. We expect applicants to have a solid understanding of the profession and of what a role in healthcare entails.

What kind of student are you looking for? Is there a specific profile?

The MSUCOM PA medicine program takes a holistic approach to admissions. We will look at academic success, exposure to medicine and the PA profession, passion for service (especially with underserved populations), diverse life experiences, and disadvantaged status. There is no one mold to fit the PA profession. It is important for PAs to have strong communication skills, leadership, grit, and adaptability. We encourage applicants to highlight these attributes.

How should I prepare if I am invited to an interview?

Just be yourself—this is your opportunity to demonstrate your readiness for a career in medicine. Medicine is a service profession that impacts the lives of many people. Reflect on your willingness, passion, and preparation to do so, along with experiences you have had and how you have learned from them.

Program FAQ

What is the programs Accreditation status?

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Michigan State University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Michigan State University.  Read more about our accreditation status here.   

What size will be the matriculating cohort for May 2023?

We anticipate matriculating a class of 35 in May 2023.

Where will the PA program be held?

The PA medicine program will be conducted on the East Lansing campus. Placements in the clinical year will be statewide.

Does your program offer housing for PA students?

While we do not provide housing, there are many different on-campus housing options available at MSU. You may also choose to live off-campus in the abundant rental options close to campus. 

Is there a seat deposit for admitted students?

Yes, there is a $500 non-refundable seat deposit.

What is the program’s tuition cost?

In-state and out-of-state program costs can be found here

How will your curriculum be taught? 

Our curriculum plan is listed here. One thing that is fairly unique about MSU PA Medicine is the opportunity to learn side by side with medical students in an interprofessional program. You will spend about half of your course time in the same courses as our osteopathic medical students. Expect your time at MSU to be hands on, team-oriented, and engaging in the classroom.

What hospital rotations will students in your program participate in?

Students will get a variety of experiences in the clinical training year throughout the state of Michigan to ensure well-rounded training. You can see the variety clinical courses offered listed here

Do you offer any international elective rotations?

The program offers statewide clinical experiences and will offer some national and international elective opportunities for students in good academic standing who choose to pursue them. International rotations are only allowed for the clinical elective rotation course (PA 910). Our other elective options are listed on the curriculum page.

What sets you apart from other programs?

MSU PA Medicine program provides unique opportunities only seen at a few programs nationally. With the collaborative interprofessional approach, you will train in the same classes as medical students in a Big Ten setting and a renowned osteopathic medical school. Additionally, there is ample flexibility in the clinical year to explore areas of interest or solidify knowledge due to the time for multiple electives in internal medicine sub-specialties, surgical sub-specialties, and ambulatory areas of medicine. As a new program, we’ve had the chance to implement an innovative, up-to-date curriculum.  Our program faculty is passionate about preparing students who are ready to begin the practice of medicine confidently upon graduation and facilitating involvement in leadership, advocacy, and service within the profession for those interested.​​​​​