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Prospective Students

Physician assistants (PAs) are vital members of a patient’s health care team and are in demand nationwide. 

In response to this national demand for physician assistants (PAs), the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine is developing a physician assistant program with 28 months of rigorous academic courses and challenging clinical rotations as set forth for Provisional Accreditation, per ARC-PA. Physician assistants are in high demand because they are integrated into all health care disciplines and settings, are cost-effective for the health care industry, and because of the shortage of physicians. As a matter of fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of PAs is expected to grow 37 percent between 2016 and 2026. 

Marshall University’s PA graduates will earn a Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant degree (MMS PA), and will be prepared to evaluate, diagnose, and manage patients in primary and specialty care across all stages of life as well as patients in culturally diverse and rural settings. Additionally, the program will provide its students with the competencies and skills to support lifelong learning, to apply evidence-based medicine in practice, and to work in interprofessional teams. When this team approach of health care professionals is used, a wider range of services can be offered and more patients will benefit at the regional, state, and national levels.

October 1, 2020 - Deadline for application to be verified by CASPA

August–November 2020 - Virtual interviews with CASPer assessment, supplemental application and Technical Standards Form to be signed

Within 30 days of interview - Admission offers disseminated to applicants

Within 10 days of admission offer - Date to accept admission offer

December 1, 2020 - Deadline for matriculating students to submit required documents as requested by the PA program. The PA program will provide instruction to accepted students as to what is necessary to submit. 

January 4–8, 2021 - Orientation week (students are required to attend)

January 11, 2021 - First day of class

The Physician Assistant program at Marshall University is a non-thesis, 28-month graduate-level program awarding the Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant (MMS PA) degree upon completion.

Applicants will be evaluated using the applicant’s academic record, recommendations, entrance exam, essay, and interview. Consistent with our mission, applicants who are West Virginia residents will be given additional points in the admission rubric.

Marshall University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, marital or family status, pregnancy, veteran status, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or gender expression in the administration of any of its educational programs, activities, or with respect to admission or employment.

Rolling Admission

Admission is selective and operates on a rolling admission cycle. Therefore, it will benefit applicants to complete their applications early. Applications verified prior to the October 1st deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications that are not verified by Marshall’s Physician Assistant program admission deadline will NOT be considered.

Advanced Placement

No advanced placement is granted in the program. All courses must be taken in the Marshall University Physician Assistant Program.

Application Deadline – October 1, 2020

Applicants who wish to join the cohort in January 2021 must have their CASPA application verified by October 1, 2020.

Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution; no specific major is required so long as the prerequisites are successfully completed.

Required minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) overall, as calculated by CASPA
Required minimum prerequisite coursework GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale), as calculated by Marshall University’s PA program
Required minimum science GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale), as calculated by CASPA

Prerequisite coursework. All prerequisite coursework should have been taken within the last 10 years. No Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) coursework will be accepted in lieu of taking the courses themselves. All courses must be taken for a letter grade and be passed at the C or better level; a C minus is not acceptable. Applicants who are currently enrolled in required undergraduate prerequisite courses, or obtaining their Bachelor’s degree,  may apply for preliminary admission. Once all required courses are successfully completed, prior to the designated start term of the application and as evidenced by an official transcript from the sending institution, those applicants may be regularly admitted to the program.

The credit hours (cr) of the following prerequisites are considered equivalent to semester hours. Please take this into consideration if you are taking courses using a different system. Quarter hour system prerequisite courses must equal the listed semester hour requirements. To calculate semester credit hours, multiply the number of quarter hour credits by 0.67.

General Chemistry with associated lab 8 cr
Statistics 3 cr
Human Anatomy with lab 4 cr
Human Physiology with lab 4 cr
Organic Chemistry I with lab – 4 cr (or Biochemistry – 3 cr) 4 cr OR 3 cr
Microbiology with lab 3 cr
Medical Terminology One semester (1 - 3 cr)
Psychology 3 cr
College Algebra – May be replaced with college-level pre-calculus or calculus 3 cr

Prerequisite coursework notes:

  • Combined Human Anatomy and Physiology courses are accepted in lieu of separate Human Anatomy with lab and Human Physiology with lab courses. However, applicants must take two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology with associated labs.
  • No Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credit will be accepted for any prerequisite courses.
  • All prerequisite courses must have an assigned letter grade and not Pass/Fail or CR/NC.
  • *Online or virtual labs will not be accepted as prerequisite courses.

    *In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Marshall University Physician Assistant Program realizes, through no fault of the applicants, that scheduled labs for the spring, summer and fall 2020 semesters may have been changed to online learning courses. For these three semesters only, the program will accept virtual labs. If this is the case, please contact paprogram@marshall.edu.

Recommendations. Three recommendations are required. They must be submitted through CASPA and be from recommenders who can attest to the applicant’s abilities to succeed, such as the capacity to learn, work ethic, and/or educational or professional goals. Recommendations should NOT be from family members or friends.

Entrance exam – Graduate Record Exam (GRE).The MCAT may be substituted for the GRE*. GRE/MCAT scores must be less than five years old at the time of application. There is no minimum score required. Official scores must be submitted electronically to CASPA directly from ETS using a special CASPA code. Visit the CASPA Official GRE Scores webpage to learn how to submit your official GRE scores. Visit the CASPA Official MCAT Scores webpage to learn how to submit your official MCAT scores.

*NOTE:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting ongoing safety concerns and social distancing requirements, ETS now offers at home GRE testing. Please visit https://www.ets.org/s/cv/important-update/ for details. ​

Essay. The essay, or commonly referred to as personal statement, must be submitted through CASPA.

CASPA and supplemental application. Complete both the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) application and Marshall’s PA program’s supplemental application; this includes the non-refundable supplemental application fee ($40 for domestic applicants and $65 for international). The supplemental application will be completed only by applicants who are invited for and accept an interview. Interviewees will be expected to complete and submit their supplemental application onsite at the time of their interview.

PA shadowing. Shadowing a current physician assistant in the field is encouraged, but not required. Shadowing can help an applicant better understand the role of a physician assistant. If invited for an interview, the applicant will be expected to discuss briefly the role of a physician assistant.

Basic computer skills. Skills must include the use of email and web-based and electronic searches.

Patient care experience. Not required.

October 1, 2020 Deadline for application to be verified by CASPA

August–November 2020 Virtual interviews with CASPer assessment, supplemental application and Technical Standards Form to be signed

Within 30 days of interviewAdmission offers disseminated to applicants

Within 10 days of admission offer – Date to accept admission offer

December 1, 2020 Deadline for matriculating students to submit required documents

January 4–8, 2021 Orientation week

January 11, 2021 First day of class

    1. Make sure you meet the admission requirements.

    2. Submit an application through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA), which must be verified by October 1, 2020. Applications that are not verified by Marshall’s PA application deadline will not be reviewed for admission. Note: CASPA recommends that applicants monitor their applications for at least four to six weeks until verification status is achieved.

      Questions regarding your application in CASPA should be directed to CASPA (https://help.liaisonedu.com/CASPA_Applicant_Help_Center).

      Marshall requires the following materials to be submitted via CASPA:
      1. CASPA application and non-refundable application fee.
      2. Official transcripts of all institutions of higher learning attended
      3. Three recommendations – CASPA only requires two, but Marshall requires three
      4. Official GRE or MCAT scores – GRE code is 4752
      5. Essay/Personal Statement – CASPA sets a limit of characters so be sure to follow the guidelines
    3. All applications verified by October 1, 2020, will be reviewed, and a decision will be made to reject or offer an interview to the applicant. Decisions will be made using a rubric designed to be objective and based on the following content:
      • Grade Point Averages (overall, prerequisite, science)
      • Recommendations
      • Personal Statement
      • GRE or MCAT Score
      • Residency – WV residents will receive additional points in this rubric.
      • Marshall University Graduates – Applicants who have obtained, or will obtain by matriculation, an undergraduate degree from Marshall University and who meet the minimum admission requirements will be offered an interview.

    4. Due to COVID-19 concerns and precautions during the current application cycle, the interview process will be performed virtually. The applicant will be interviewed virtually by our PA Program faculty, Admissions Committee members, and/or other designated interviewers. Once the interview has been accepted, additional information about the virtual interview process will be provided to the applicant.

    5. Applicants who are offered a virtual interview will receive notice via email to the email address listed on the CASPA application. Interviews will be held in the months of August through November and will be scheduled on a rolling basis. Rejection notices will be sent via mail to the current address listed on the CASPA application. Invited applicants will be given an interview date, provided a Marshall University supplemental application and questionnaire to be completed as well as a technical standards document to review and sign.

    6. Due to COVID-19, the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) portion of the interview day has been changed to the CASPer assessment, which is an online situational judgement test (SJT). There is no required score on this test; however, the test results will be used by the program as part of the applicant’s overall application. More information about CASPer, including registration and test dates, can be found at https://takecasper.com/. There is a fee of $25.00 to take the CASPer test and $12.00 to distribute it to the MUPA Program. If these fees cause any financial hardship to the interviewee, please contact the Program Director at bolesg@marshall.edu.

    7. If any applicant would like to visit our campus, we would be glad to arrange an individual tour utilizing Marshall University’s COVID-19 safety precautions.
    First Semester – Spring 2021
    Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
    PAS 500 Foundations of Medicine 7
    PAS 520 Gross Anatomy for the PA  4 (with lab)
    PAS 530 Pharmacology Principles 3
    PAS 550 History and Physical Exam 3 (with lab)
    Second Semester – Summer 2021
    PAS 600 Clinical Medicine I 6
    PAS 601 Pharmacology for the PA I 2
    PAS 602 Clinical Concepts I 2
    PAS 603 Clinical Assessment I 2
    PAS 604 Testing and Procedures I 2
    PAS 605 PAs in Health Care 2
    PAS 606 PA Evidence Based Prac 2
    Third Semester – Fall 2021
    PAS 610 Clinical Medicine II 6
    PAS 611 Pharmacology for the PA II 2
    PAS 612 Clinical Concepts II 2
    PAS 613 Clinical Assessment II 2
    PAS 614 Testing and Procedures II 2
    PAS 615 Health Policy for the PA 2
    PAS 616 Clinical Specialties I 3
    Fourth Semester – Spring 2022
    PAS 620 Clinical Medicine III 6
    PAS 621 Pharmacology for the PA III 2
    PAS 622 Clinical Concepts III 2
    PAS 623  Clinical Assessment III 2
    PAS 624 Testing and Procedures III 2
    PAS 625 PA Professional Practice 2
    PAS 626 Clinical Specialties II 3
    PAS 627 Psychiatry for the PA 2
    Clinical Year - Summer 2022 - Graduation – May 2023
    PAS 650 PA Primary Care I 4
    PAS 651 PA Primary Care II 4
    PAS 652 PA Psychiatry I 4
    PAS 653 PA Internal Medicine I 4
    PAS 654 PA Internal Med Sub 4
    PAS 655 PA Women’s Health 4
    PAS 656 PA Pediatrics 4
    PAS 657 PA General Surgery 4
    PAS 658 PA Emergency Medicine 4
    PAS 659 PA Orthopedics 4
    PAS 660 PA Clinical Elective 4
    PAS 690 Senior Seminar 3

    Applicants who have obtained, or will obtain by matriculation, an undergraduate degree from Marshall University and who meet the minimum admission requirements will be offered an interview. Note: The application requirements, process, and deadline still apply to Marshall students.

    Applicants who are West Virginia residents will receive additional points in the admission rubric.

    These technical standards for admission are set forth by the Marshall University Physician Assistant (PA) Program to establish the expectations and requisite abilities considered essential for students admitted to its educational and training programs. These standards are intended to achieve the levels of competency stipulated by the PA Program, its accrediting agency (the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant – ARC-PA), and the Higher Educational Policy Commission of the State of West Virginia. 

    A practicing physician assistant must possess the physical, mental, behavioral, and social competencies to function in a variety of clinical situations and to render a broad spectrum of patient care in multiple and varied settings. 

    Accepted students must be able to perform the academic and clinical competencies to meet the full requirements of the school’s curriculum. 

    The academic and clinical competencies of the school’s curriculum include the capacity to observe and communicate and demonstrate sufficient motor ability to perform physical examinations and basic laboratory and diagnostic procedures. Students must demonstrate emotional stability, exercise sound judgment, work effectively in stressful situations, and have the intellectual ability to synthesize data and solve problems. 

    Applicants for admission to the PA Program at Marshall University who are invited for an interview are required to certify prior to their interview that they understand and can meet the Technical Standards described herein with or without reasonable accommodations. A description of the actual disability and the need for accommodations should not be disclosed at this time. 

    Reasonable accommodations can be made for accepted students with appropriately documented disabilities. An accommodation is not reasonable if it poses a direct threat to the health or safety of self and/or others, if making it requires a substantial modification in an essential element of the curriculum, if it lowers academic standards, or poses an undue administrative or financial burden. Except in rare circumstances, the use by the candidate of a third party (e.g., an intermediary) to perform any of the functions described in the Technical Standards set forth would constitute an unacceptable modification. 

    An accepted student who has a disability and needs accommodations should initiate the appropriate steps to register with the Marshall University Office of Disability Services. The Office of Disability Services will notify the PA Program Director as soon as the accepted student is to receive services. Once the accepted student is approved for disability services, the student should contact the PA Program Director regarding the approved accommodations. Accepted students with disabilities which may compromise their educational process and their ability to practice medicine or which might compromise the educational process of their classmates may be required to undergo appropriate evaluation to assess their ability to meet the school’s competencies and/or continue in the program. 

    Candidates for admission to the Marshall University Physician Assistant Program must meet the following Technical Standards: 

    1. Must be able to obtain information presented in classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences, including but not limited to lecture, anatomical dissection, and simulated and real treatment situations;

    2. Must be able to process information presented in classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences, including but not limited to lecture, anatomical dissection, and simulated and real treatment situations;

    3. Must be able to learn information presented in classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences, including but not limited to lecture, anatomical dissection, and simulated and real treatment situations;

    4. Must be able to acquire information from a variety of sources, including but not limited to texts, journals, written documentation, videotapes, films, slides, and advanced media resources;

    5. Must have the mental capacity to, in a timely manner, assimilate, learn, and communicate large volumes of complex, technically detailed information, to perform clinical problem-solving, and synthesize and apply concepts and information from different disciplines to formulate evaluative and therapeutic judgments;

    6. Must be able to measure, calculate, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information;

    7. Must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand spatial relationships of structures;

    8. Must be able to process information in a timely manner;

    9. Must be able to solve clinical problems in a timely manner;

    10. Must be able to observe simulated and real patients accurately close at hand and at a distance;

    11. Must be able to assess verbal and non-verbal communication from others;

    12. Must be able to demonstrate effective, efficient, and sensitive verbal, non-verbal, and written communication skills with faculty, peers, patients, and other members of the health care team from different cultural and social backgrounds;

    13. Must be able to consistently perform a complete history and physical exam on any patient regardless of the patient’s race, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, age, or sexual orientation;

    14. Must be able to tolerate long periods of sitting as well as long periods of physical activity;

    15. Must be able to manipulate parts of, or whole bodies of, simulated and real patients;

    16. Must be able to tolerate close physical contact with patients for instructional purposes while maintaining professional deportment;

    17. Must possess the emotional health necessary for the full use of intellectual abilities, the exercise of sound judgment, and the effective completion of all responsibilities attendant to the educational expectations, assessment and treatment of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, family members, colleagues, and others;

    18. Must be able to endure physically and mentally stressful workloads and function effectively and professionally under stress;

    19. Must be able to adapt to changing environments and expectations;

    20. Must be able to prioritize activities effectively;

    21. Must possess adequate sensory function to fulfill the minimum competency objectives for auscultation, percussion, and other physical assessment and treatment procedures commonly used in the medical practice;

    22. Must have the capacity to learn, model and abide by the professional competencies of the profession;

    23. Must have the ability to record examination and diagnostic results clearly, accurately and efficiently, and communicate them effectively to the patient and colleagues.

    Approved by Marshall University Associate General Counsel April 3, 2019
    Approved by Curriculum Committee PA Program Marshall University April 4, 2019

    Applicants who are accepted to the Marshall University Physician Assistant program will receive a packet of information to complete by a specified date prior to matriculation. The packet will provide the date and outline the following requirements:

      • Acceptance of seat in Class of 2023
      • Payment of seat deposit with supplemental application fee
      • Official transcript showing bachelor’s degree has been conferred
      • Have health insurance before matriculation
      • Background check and drug screen
      • History and physical examination to include required immunizations
      • Signing of Technical Standards

    Tuition and Fees

    Academic Year 2020-2021

     

    Tuition Per Semester

    Fees Per Semester

    Total  Per Semester

    WV Resident

    $8,820.00

    $866.00

    $9,686.00

    Non-resident

    $13,630.00

    $1,461.00

    $15,091.00

     

    WV Resident – for total of seven (7) semesters

    $67,802.00

    Non-resident – for total of seven (7) semesters

    $105,637.00

     


    Required Expenses – Not Tuition Related

    Unless indicated below, students will be given specific order/purchase instructions for required items.

    Lab Coat and Scrubs

    $60.00 lab coat
    Two sets of program-required scrubs, $60.00 each

    In addition, students must have one pair of scrubs (their preference) for anatomy lab – these will be disposed of after anatomy lab course – estimated cost is $20.00

    Books and equipment (includes stethoscope)

    $1,500.00 (program estimate) **

    Physical Examination

    Prior to matriculation, cost will vary depending on student insurance and area. After students matriculate into the program for year two, costs are covered. 

    Immunizations

    Prior to matriculation, cost will vary depending on previous student immunizations. After students matriculate into the PA program, immunization costs are covered.

    Background Check

    $139.60 – this will be performed two times at $69.80 each – once prior to matriculation and once prior to beginning clinical rotations. Various healthcare sites may require additional testing.

    Drug Screen

    $45.00 prior to matriculation/ $45.00 prior to going on rotations (random drug screens are paid by the program)

    AAPA Dues

    $75.00 (one-time fee)

    WVAPA Dues

    $10.00 (one-time fee)

    Marshall PA Student Society Dues

    $10.00 (one-time fee)

    Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam

    $425.00

    Health Insurance

    $6,055.00 per year ***

    Computer (student’s preference of laptop or desktop)

    $2,000.00

    BLS/ACLS Trainings

    $35.00/$175.00

    Graduation Fees

    $50.00 to be paid in last semester

    **Cost for books and equipment above reflects the purchase of texts not available via our online database. Many of our required texts are available as e-texts at no additional cost to students resulting in significant savings.

    ***All students are permitted to waive health insurance as long as they have one of the following means of credible Insurance:

    1. Medicare/Medicaid: must provide full coverage in the state of West Virginia.
    2. VA or Tri-Care
    3. Valid health insurance (individual coverage, from parents or from employer) including emergency services, local urgent care facilities, diagnostic x-rays, laboratory services, mental health coverage, prescription drugs, and inpatient and outpatient hospitalization. 
       

    Living Expenses Estimate

    Living Expenses(per month)

    Rent/Mortgage $650

    Utilities

    • Electric @ $95
    • Gas @ $75
    • Water @ $50
    • Telephone @ $75
    • Internet @ $50

    Food @ $400

    $15,900 per year

    Loan Fees

    $616 (based on 2019-2020 fees)