Contact

Physician Assistant Studies Program

Health Science Building
9200 University Blvd., Charleston, SC 29406
P843-863-7427
Epaprogram@csuniv.edu

IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

With COVID-19 continuing to have a significant impact on potential applicants, it has been decided that the Charleston Southern University Physician Assistant Program will allow the following changes for the 2022-2023 CASPA application requirements:

  • Courses taken between January 1, 2020 and September 1, 2021 and awarded satisfactory completion (P), to meet prerequisite requirements, will be accepted to accommodate students enrolled in these courses whose universities who have moved to a P/F grading scale.
    • Please note – In situations where candidates are awarded P/F grades, the grade point average (GPA) for those grades is not impacted in the calculation of GPA. The CSU PA Program will only consider CASPA calculated GPAs.
  • Courses taken between January 1, 2020 and September 1, 2021 including those with lab components that were transitioned to an online format will be accepted if completed with a grade of “C” or higher or with a satisfactory completion (P).
  • The minimum of 1,000 hours of direct patient care experience required at the time of application submission will be reduced to 500 hours of direct patient care experience to accommodate for situations in which an applicant may not have been able to complete these hours due to clinic closures or removal of students from those settings.
    • Please note – This requirement will be modified for the 2020 – 2021, 2021 – 2022, and 2022 – 2023 application cycles only.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required for the application to be considered complete. However, only one of these letters must be from a healthcare setting. All remaining requirements for letters of recommendation are unchanged.
    • Please note – This requirement will be modified for the 2020 – 2021, 2021 – 2022, and 2022 – 2023 application cycles only.

All other prerequisite requirements and deadlines will remain the same.

If you have any questions regarding these changes or the application process in general, please reach out to the program at paprogram@csuniv.edu.

Requirements for applying

Centralized Application Service for PAs (CASPA)

The Charleston Southern University Physician Assistant Program utilizes the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) for application processing. 

  • All applications and supporting documents must be submitted directly to CASPA. 
  • We will only consider verified CASPA applications, so please ensure that you submit your application before the deadline.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to confirm that all application materials have been submitted to and received by CASPA. The PA Program and University are not responsible for notifying applicants of incomplete applications.
  • All required materials must be received by the specified deadlines. No exceptions will be made. 
  • Applicants may apply with 2 remaining prerequisites provided they complete each with a B (3.0) or higher before September 1st. Official transcripts must be received at University by October 1st  or a selected candidate will relinquish their seat.

CSU’s Application Opens: April 2022

CSU’s Application Deadline: September 1, 2022


Baccalaureate Degree with Official Transcripts

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution must be completed at the time of application. 
  • The degree can be from any field of study, provided that all prerequisite coursework requirements are met.
  • Transcripts sent directly to the University will not be accepted.
  • All official transcripts must be received by CASPA for the application to be considered complete. 

Minimum Grade Point Averages (GPA)

  • The minimum requirement for both cumulative GPA and science GPA is 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). 
  • There is no minimum requirement for the prerequisite GPA, but it is considered in the application review process.
  • CSU follows CASPA GPA calculation and coursework reporting policies.
  • Please see CASPA website for detailed information on course grade reporting and GPA calculations. 

Graduate Records Exam (GRE) – Code 2179

  • The GRE is required for all applicants applying to the program.
  • There is no minimum score requirement for the GRE.
  • No other test scores will be accepted in place of the GRE.   
  • The GRE must be taken after April 1, 2017.
  • Scores are to be submitted through CASPA. GRE scores submitted directly to the University will not be accepted.
  • CASPA must receive official GRE scores by September 1st for applications to be reviewed and scored.
  • GRE Code is 2179.

Prerequisite Courses

  • Applicants may apply with up to 2 work in progress prerequisites provided they complete each with a B (3.0) or higher before September 1st. Official transcripts must be received at the University by October 1st or a selected candidate will relinquish their seat.
  • Prerequisite coursework must have been completed within the past seven (7) years at a two-year or four-year regionally accredited institution.   
  • All prerequisite coursework must be awarded a letter or numeric grade and completed with a grade of “C” or higher. “C-“ or 1.7 on CASPA 4.0 GPA scale will not be accepted, with the exception of work in progress classes as noted above. 
  • All prerequisite course hour requirements are in semester hours.
  • The program will accept online labs to satisfy prerequisite requirements for admission.
  • We will not accept the following to satisfy prerequisite requirements: 
    • Survey Courses
    • Advanced Placement (AP) Credit
    • CLEP Credit
    • Exam Credits
    • Competency Testing 
    • Work Experience 
Required CourseworkMinimum HoursCourse Information
Human Anatomy and Physiology Lecture with Lab8 semester hours
Microbiology Lecture with Lab4 semester hours
Organic Chemistry with Lab OR Biochemistry Lecture with Lab4 semester hours
Upper Level Biology, Chemistry, or Physics Courses6 semester hoursUpper level courses are considered 300- or 400-level courses and may be designated by the university as “UL” or “U.”
Suggested courses include: 
-Genetics
-Embryology
-Immunology
-Histology 
-Molecular or Cellular Biology
-Epidemiology
-Hematology
-Neuroscience
-Pharmacology
-Pathophysiology
-Biomechanics
-Exercise Physiology
-Biochemistry (This can only be used once)
-Kinesiology
Statistics3 semester hours
Medical Terminology1 semester hourA certificate of completion is not acceptable. 
College credit hour(s) MUST be received upon completion of the course.

Total Prerequisite Hours: 26

If you are interested in taking prerequisite courses at CSU please contact our Enrollment Services Office at 843-863-7050. 


Health Care Experience

  • A minimum of 1,000 hours of direct patient care experience is required at the time of application submission.  
  • Acceptable forms of patient care experience: 
    • Acupuncturist
    • Athletic Trainer
    • Certified Physical/Occupational Therapist
    • Chiropractor
    • Corpsman
    • Dental Hygienist/Assisting
    • Dietician
    • Emergency Medical Technician
    • Laboratory Technician
    • Massage Therapist
    • Medical Assistant
    • Military Medic
    • Nursing (CNA, LPN, RN, MSN)
    • Paramedic
    • Patient Care Technician
    • Pharmacy Technician
    • Phlebotomist
    • PT/OT Assistant
    • Radiological Technician
    • Respiratory Therapist
    • Scribe
    • Shadowing of Medical Provider (PA, NP, MD or DO)
    • Surgical Technician
  • Unacceptable forms of patient care experience include:
    • Administrator or Business Manager for Physician’s Office
    • Aesthetician
    • Fitness Trainer
    • Inpatient Patient Transport or Orderly
    • Life Guard
    • Medical Interpreter
    • Medical Research Assistant
    • Medical Transcriptionist
    • Nanny or Babysitter
    • Receptionist for Physician’s Office
    • Veterinarian Assistant

Foreign Applications

  • A bachelor’s degree must be completed from a regionally accredited institution or an equivalent from a foreign institution.
  • CSU requires that all official transcripts be submitted, including foreign, study abroad and overseas US transcripts. 
  • All foreign transcripts are to be submitted to a U.S.-based evaluation service for a U.S. equivalency report. The equivalency report will then need to be submitted directly to CASPA from the evaluation service. Please reference the CASPA website for a list of suggested evaluation services and detailed instructions on how to submit study abroad, US overseas and foreign transcripts. 
  • The program requires international applicants or those who have foreign transcripts to complete the 26 semester prerequisite credit hours at a regionally accredited institution prior to applying to the program.
  • Transcripts sent directly to the University will not be accepted. 
  • Additionally, the Test of English as a Foreign Language must be taken by those whose native language is not English. Please note the score requirement is different than the University’s Graduate School requirement. 

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

For international applicants whose native language is not English, TOEFL scores are required. Only the internet-based testing is accepted and must be submitted through CASPA. A minimum total score of 94 on the exam and minimum scores on the following sections are required: 

  • Reading: 22
  • Listening: 22
  • Speaking: 26
  • Writing: 24
  • Total: 94

Questions?

If you have specific questions about applying to the PA Program as an international student, please contact CSU’s International Student Enrollment Counselor for more information at international@csuniv.edu.


Recommendation Letters

  • Three letters of recommendation are required for the application to be considered complete. 
  • Two letters must be from a healthcare setting and one of these must include a medical provider (PA, NP, MD, DO).
  • Letters cannot be from a family member or friend. 
  • We recommend that you choose references that have known you in a professional setting for at least six months.    

Interview

  • Interview invitations are extended to the most competitive applicants for admissions.
  • Applicants who are invited for the interview portion of the selection process must participate in the interview to be considered for a position in the program.
  • Interviewees will be notified of their status within one month of the interview. The decision will be one of the following: accepted to the program, placed on the waitlist or declined. 
  • The program uses a rolling admissions process and with this approach, it is possible for the program to fill all available seats prior to September 1st application deadline. 

Updated on 1/13/2022