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Physician Assistant Program

Prospective Students

The Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant Studies (MMSPAS) Program at Charleston Southern University will be accepting applications in April 26, 2018 through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). 

Starting your path to becoming a PA can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. The Charleston Southern University PA Program is here to help you through your journey by fostering your dedication to studies and academic success. Students will be provided with an engaging learning environment and the tools necessary for fostering relationships with peers, faculty, staff and preceptors.

Admissions Process

Step 1 : Review Application Requirements

The following requirements must be met to be eligible to apply for the program:

  • A bachelor’s degree must be completed from a regionally accredited institution or an equivalent from a foreign institution. 
  • The minimum requirement for both cumulative and science GPAs is 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
  • The GRE is required for application to the program.
  • A minimum of 1,000 hours of direct patient care experience is required.
  • The program prerequisite requirements must be met.

For additional information please review the application requirements found here.

Step 2 : Apply

The Charleston Southern University Physician Assistant Program utilizes the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) for application processing. A supplemental application is not required. 
     CASPA Application Opens: April 26, 2018
     CASPA Application Deadline: September 1, 2018
     Classes Begin: January 2019
Get started on your CASPA Application.

Step 3 : On-Campus Interview

Interview invitations are extended to the most competitive applicants for admissions . The interviews will be held during the summer of 2018, and exact dates will be communicated to candidates with an offer to interview.

Step 4 : Acceptance Requirements

For the accepted applicant, the program requires a response within two weeks of the offer.  A $1000 non-refundable payment to the CSU Office of Enrollment Services (OES) is required to reserve the seat in the program at the time the offer is accepted. Instructions for payment will be provided with the acceptance letter. 

If an applicant commits to another program, we request the professional courtesy of notifying the CSU PA Program so that other candidates may be considered.
Candidates offered a position will be required to complete the following prior to enrollment:
      1. Official Transcripts from all College and Universities
      2. Proof of Health Insurance
      3. Technical Standards Attestation
      4. Immunization Records (Click for detailed requirements)
      5. Background Check
      6. Urine Drug Screen
      7. Release Form

Detailed instructions on how to complete the above requirements will be communicated to candidates.

Prospective Student Qualities

CSU is a Christian university, which prides itself on an ethnically diverse student body.  Applicants from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Special consideration will be given in the following instances:

  • CSU PA Program is looking for prospective students who are well rounded and have demonstrated leadership abilities, maturity and a commitment to community service.
  • The University is a Yellow Ribbon Program participant and welcomes veterans to apply to the PA Program.
  • The University supports its alumni and will take into consideration any CSU graduates who apply to the Program. 
  • Strong academic aptitude, as demonstrated by GPA, GRE, advanced degrees, and additional medical certifications or training will be favored in the admissions selection process. 
  • A good understanding of the physician assistant profession and health care team is valued and medical provider shadowing experiences are encouraged as part of the required health care experience hours.  
  • Additional qualities that the program values include excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills, life experience, empathy, strong ethical character, adaptability, and critical thinking skills. 

Selection Process

The PA Program uses a rolling admissions process. The Admissions Committee will evaluate completed verified CASPA applications based upon GPAs (cumulative, prerequisite, and science), GRE, healthcare experience, and personal and professional characteristics. Based upon these factors, the Admissions Committee will invite qualified individuals for on-campus interviews. These interviews will be conducted using a multiple mini interview approach.

Interviewees will be notified of the admissions decision within one month of the interview. During each applicant review process, applicants will be placed in one of three categories: Accept, Waitlist*, and Decline. 

*Waitlist: These candidates will be notified within one month of completing the interview. Each candidate on this list will be reviewed during each subsequent interview selection process. At that time their status will be updated to one of the following: admit now, continue waitlist or declined.


Advanced Placement

Advanced placement is defined as a waiver of required coursework in the program curriculum.  The CSU PA Program does not accept any advanced placement under any circumstances and no course waivers will be provided for pre-admission experiential learning or credit transfers from another university in lieu of completing the required curriculum.  The program's curriculum presents all of the medical and clinical science content that students are expected to acquire in order to achieve the PA Program’s Student Learning Outcomes. Each student must attend the program full-time and complete mandatory course requirements. 

Student Employment

The Charleston Southern University PA Program does not allow students to work for the PA Program in a paid or volunteer capacity under any circumstances.

The PA Program does not allow students to substitute for or function as instructional faculty regardless of the prior knowledge, education or experiences the students have.  Students are not to be the primary instructor or instructor of record for any component of the curriculum under any circumstances.

During clinical rotations, students will not be used to substitute for regular clinical or administrative staff under any circumstances. If a student is asked to substitute for a staff person on a rotation, he or she must contact the Director of Clinical Education.  Information collected will be presented to the Curriculum Committee to determine the suitability of continued use of the preceptor. The Curriculum Committee may consider the following actions: conducting a site visit prior to the next student experience with the preceptor, conducting a site visit in conjunction with the next student placement, telephone contact with the preceptor, or removal of the preceptor from program use. Assignment of preceptors will be modified as necessary to ensure the expected learning outcomes will be met by each student by program completion.

The PA Program strongly discourages any form of employment while enrolled as a PA student.  This intensive graduate-level training requires full-time attendance during both the didactic and clinical years.  Outside work obligations will not be considered an acceptable excuse for poor performance or absence from any scheduled course activities.

Updated on 10/6/2017



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