PA Program Admissions Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are your requirements for entrance into the PA Program?
Click here to view requirements.
2. What are your minimum recommendations to be considered?
- 3.0 or higher overall GPA
- 3.2 or higher prerequisite (medical core) GPA
- Meeting or exceeding the 1,000 hours of clinical experience requirement at the time of application.
3. What makes an application more competitive? If I’m meeting, not exceeding the academic selection factors, will I be accepted?
We recognize academic success with review of total, science, and prerequisite GPA. Further, the MUPAP values diverse backgrounds within its cohorts and specifically identifies the below qualities in application review as contributing to the diversity of our program and profession.
- Students who are from economically and/or environmentally disadvantaged backgrounds
- Military affiliation (active duty, veteran, reserves, military spouse)
- Exceeding the 1,000-hour clinical experience requirement
- Extracurricular activities (i.e. student athlete, club/organization member/leader, significant volunteer experiences, etc.)
- Completion of an honors program
- Graduate of a master’s level science program
- Rigorous post-bacc performance (with 25 or more semester hours and above a 3.0 GPA)
- Cape Fear region resident
- Extraordinary life or healthcare experiences
4. Where can I access an application for admission to the MUPAP?
Applicants must apply through the Centralized Application Service for PAs (CASPA). Currently, the program does not utilize a supplemental application, nor do we have an application fee. Please click here to view CASPA’s FAQ page.
5. When does the application open and what is the deadline for admissions?
The CASPA application opens for all programs in late-April of each year, 16 months in advance of our start date. Deadlines for admissions may be found on our Application Process page. Applicants are encouraged to apply early as the program can fill its class prior to the deadline. Interviews will begin an entire year in advance of the start date. Those applicants who have applied at an earlier date have a greater chance of being considered for an interview.
6. Is there a time limit on the prerequisite coursework and can certain courses be waived/substituted? Is there a time limit on the clinical experience hours?
No, we do not have a time limit on courses or clinical experience hours. However, it is strongly recommended prerequisite courses, in particular Biology and Chemistry requirements, that were taken 5 years ago should be retaken as a refresher. The program will not waive or substitute any courses for our prerequisites regardless of previous education or experience. Clinical experience that was completed several years ago will count, but applicants are encouraged to obtain recent hours.
7. Do I have to have all coursework completed when I submit my application?
No. Applicants who have a plan in place or are in progress of completing outstanding coursework for the program will still be considered if selection factors have been met. Applicants are encouraged to have most of the coursework completed at the time their application is received. If an applicant has 20-30 credits of outstanding coursework at the time of application, he/she is encouraged to wait until the next application cycle to apply to be a more competitive applicant.
8. Where can I document my planned or in-progress coursework?
There is a section on the CASPA application where applicants can list these courses.
9. Community college vs. online courses vs. college/university level courses?
Through the admissions process, the program places a lot of emphasis on how an applicant has demonstrated their academic preparation for our rigorous curriculum. Applicants who take most of the coursework at the college/university level and in the classroom are more competitive than those who have taken all prerequisites at the community college level or online. Community college or online coursework for the prerequisites will be accepted but are discouraged especially for the biology and chemistry requirements.
10. How does the program view repeated coursework?
The MUPAP evaluates the following GPAs: prerequisite GPA (calculated by the program), science GPA, and overall GPA (both calculated by CASPA). We will take the higher grade of the repeated course when determining a prerequisite GPA. Repeated coursework will be factored in with old coursework when calculating your science and overall GPA, as these are calculated by CASPA. Click here to read more about how CASPA determines an applicant’s overall GPA.
11. I have been in the medical field for several years. Do I still have to take Medical Terminology?
Yes, regardless of your past or present experience you must complete a medical terminology class. Applicants must receive a letter grade or a pass/fail in the class not CME credit or a certificate of completion.
12. What are Direct Patient Contact hours and how can I obtain them?
Please see our page on Direct Patient Contact hours.
13. Explain the interview process.
Those applicants deemed to be the most competitive and who have applied early are invited to campus for an interview with our Admissions Selection Committee. Unfortunately, the program cannot and does not interview all applicants. Interviews begin in the fall of each year and continue monthly until the class is filled. The program does interview for an alternate list.
Currently, interviews are held during the week. Through a series of program interactions, individual interviews, applicants will be assessed on non-cognitive factors such as, but not limited to: interpersonal skills, understanding of the role of the PA, compatibility with the program and profession, professionalism, communication, ethical decision making, problem solving, teachability and critical thinking skills.
Admissions decisions are made at the conclusion of the interview day and applicants are notified within two weeks of their interview of our decision.
14. How many seats are available vs. how many apply?
The program receives over 1,000 applications a year for 40 seats. Previous trends have shown close to 90-100 applicants a year are invited for an interview. The program does interview for an alternate list, but the alternate list is only active for the current application cycle and does not fill up seats in the next class.
15. Do you give preference to in-state residents?
Methodist University is a private institution and is not mandated by our state to accept only N.C. residents.
16. What is the difference in tuition for in-state and out-of-state students?
Since MU is a private institution, all costs are the same for in-state and out-of-state students.
17. Where can I view class averages?
Click here to view the Class Profile link.
18. I see many states represented in class profile, but did not see my state. Does that mean you don’t accept applications from this state?
No. Just because the class profile shown may not have a student from your state, it does not mean we do not have applicants who apply from your state, that we do not accept them, or that some students have not relocated to N.C. from another state at the time their application is received (i.e. military spouses). Every class will have a different demographic profile, but overall, the program has a good number of states outside of N.C. represented and accepts applications from all states.
19. I am a foreign Medical Doctor and have completed all coursework requirements in medical school, but in another country. Will I have to retake the prerequisite coursework requirements for the program although I have already completed them in a foreign medical program?
Yes, you will have to retake all coursework requirements for the program in the U.S. regardless of if you have already completed them within a foreign medical program. The program will not make exceptions to this policy regardless of experience. Although transcript evaluations will have coursework evaluated, we will not consider any courses taken outside the U.S. The only item of importance the program is looking for on the WES evaluation is the degree equivalency (typically located on page 2 or 3 of an evaluation).
20. My undergraduate grades are not very strong. Would retaking some classes help my chances of being more competitive?
Applicants who have completed their degree many years ago and who may be close, but below the recommended overall GPA are sometimes encouraged to retake prerequisite courses to boost their prerequisite GPA to make them a more competitive applicant. In instances such as these, we focus on the last 60 credits of coursework and look for an upward trend in academic performance. Applicants in these situations exceed the recommended prerequisite GPA of 3.2, GRE scores and health care experience requirements.
It is not always recommended that applicants consider redoing an entire bachelor’s degree. Applicants who have “redeemed” themselves after a below average undergraduate career have completed one of the following routes post-graduation:
- Health post-bachelor (post-bacc) programs are designed to help enhance, improve and complete/retake prerequisite courses within a short time.
- Master’s program in a relevant field. Applicants considering a master’s degree to show potential to handle graduate level coursework should consider fields such as, but not limited to: physiology, anatomy, biomedical sciences, or biology.
- If an applicant does not want to enroll in an official post-bacc program or master’s program applicants should demonstrate their ability to handle our curriculum by course loading with a high number of credits, taking difficult courses simultaneously, and taking courses at the university level and in the classroom.
21. I have no clinical experience and have plans to apply to the program. I do have a plan in place to complete my experience hours by July 15th, am I still competitive?
No, you would not be as competitive with the applicants whose other factors are equal. The purpose of clinical experience is to allow for exposure to the PA profession, communication skills, and is critical to helping applicants establish a comfort level when working with patients and members of the health care team. The program looks favorably upon applicants who have invested time to prepare themselves prior to applying. Most competitive applicants have completed or exceeded the 1,000-hour minimum at the time of application. If the applicant has no patient contact, he or she is strongly encouraged to wait until the next application cycle to apply; thus allowing ample time to accumulate quality hours.
22. Do student hours towards a certification count for clinical experience?
No, only hours after you have been certified will count.
23. How does the program view paid hours vs. shadowing hours for health care experience?
Direct patient care positions allow for more patient interaction and may afford an applicant a better environment to gain an understanding of how the healthcare system works. Common ways applicants have accrued paid healthcare experience have been through, but are not limited to: CNA, EMT, paramedic, phlebotomy, patient care tech, ER tech positions. Only half of the 500 hours of clinical experience can be fulfilled with shadowing experiences. Therefore, applicants must have a position that allows them to obtain the remainder of hours via direct patient contact.
24. How does the program consider volunteering for health care experience?
The program accepts volunteering hours in a clinical setting IF he/she is performing duties that allow for direct patient encounters. Hours that include prepping exam rooms, stocking rooms, comforting patients by reading or playing games, etc. will not count.
Although not all volunteer experiences may count for health care experience, applicants who have volunteer or leadership experience are encouraged to list these experiences on their CASPA application. The program seeks applicants who are well rounded, and outside of academic selection factors, volunteering and leadership experiences speak a lot about an applicant.
25. Do I have to provide documentation of my hours to the program?
No. Hours completed are documented on the CASPA application with the dates of employment, number of hours completed, description of duties, and a contact person. However, the applicant should keep pay stubs (if applicable) and/or a log of the number of hours completed each day and have the supervisor sign off on the hours. This way, if the program has any doubt, documentation can be easily provided by the applicant and the supervisor will be called.
26. Do I have to major in nursing to get into the program?
No. The program does not have a specific major required or preferred for applicants, and many nursing classes do not fulfill the prerequisite coursework requirements. If an applicant has not completed their bachelor’s degree and is looking for a recommended major, we recommend majoring in Biology or Chemistry because these majors will help cover prerequisite coursework within the major. If an applicant does not major in Biology or Chemistry, it will not hurt their chances of being considered.
27. I would like to visit the program and have someone look over my transcripts, what do I need to do?
Prospective students who are interested in visiting the program review may view our online information session and/or information on how to schedule an appointment with our Admissions Director. If a transcript review is requested, you may email unofficial transcripts to Jennifer Mish email@example.com.
28. Will the program make exceptions based on amount of experience?
No, every applicant is required to have the same requirements regardless of his or her academic and/or healthcare experience.
29. Does attending Methodist University to take my prerequisites guarantee me an interview even if I have an unsatisfactory GPA and/or unsatisfactory GRE scores?
No. Please review the MU preference program.
30. How long is your program? Do you have 1 or 2 start dates?
The program is a full-time, in-person, 27 month curriculum. There are no nighttime track, part-time tracks, or online versions of the program. Classes are held Monday through Friday from 8 am-5 pm and clinical rotation (phase 2 of the program) schedules are based on the hours of the PA or Physician with whom the student is assigned. The program has one start date a year, late August.
31. Can I work during my enrollment in the PA Program?
Due to the demands of the program, through academics and clinical rotations, students are prohibited from working while enrolled.
32. What is the program’s passing rate on the PANCE?
Please click here to view the PANCE pass rates.