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Master of Science, Physician Assistant (PA) Admissions

After graduation from an accredited physician assistant educational program and certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, students are licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. Physician Assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision-making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services under the general supervision of the physician.

UNE offers an undergraduate "early assurance" designation to a select group of students interested in graduate health programs. If the student completes all requirements of the early assurance designation option, meets all admission standards, and performs satisfactorily during the campus interview, preference for admission is granted.

A female physician assistant student confers with a patient in a hospital room

Important Application Dates

Application Process

  • All verified applications received on or before the October 1, 2020 application deadline will receive full admission consideration. Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed on a space-available basis.
  • UNE will communicate all status updates, notifications and admission decisions via email.
  • Qualified applicants will be invited to interview during Fall 2020. All interviews are by invitation only.
  • Admissions is rolling and decisions are sent out soon after each interview session. 

For specific academic dates, please view the UNE Academic Calendar.

Admissions

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS
 

APPLICATION

The University of New England Master of Science, Physician Assistant program participates in the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). All applicants are required to apply online through this service.

DEGREE REQUIREMENT

Completion of Bachelor’s Degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution, or international equivalent, prior to matriculation.

  • All applicants are required to submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Official transcripts should be sent directly to CASPA. Please see CASPA application for additional information and instructions.

GPA REQUIREMENTS

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, as calculated by CASPA (inclusive of all coursework taken with no forgiveness for retakes).
  • Minimum Biology, Chemistry, Physics (BCP) GPA of 3.0, as calculated by CASPA.
    - BCP is the standardized GPA calculated by CASPA and includes all completed biology, chemistry, and physics coursework.
  • Last 60 credit GPA, as calculated by CASPA, will also be considered.
  • All applicants must meet minimum GPA requirements to be considered for admission. However, due to the competitive nature of the program, meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee an interview or acceptance.

PREREQUISITE COURSEWORK REQUIREMENTS

  • Science Courses
    • Biology I & II (w/labs; 8 semester or 12 quarter credits)
    • General Chemistry I & II (w/labs; 8 semester or 12 quarter credits)
    • Human Anatomy & Physiology (w/labs; 8 semester or 12 quarter credits)
      • Completed within seven (7) years of matriculation
      • Must include all body systems and encompass a full-year, two-semester sequence or equivalent
      • Combination of courses must consist of both 4 credits of anatomy with lab and 4 credits of physiology with lab OR 8 credits of A&P I & II (both with lab)
      • Animal Physiology/Exercise Physiology will not satisfy the physiology prerequisite
  • Other Courses
    • Psychology/Sociology or related behavioral science (6 semester or 9 quarter credits)
    • English (6 semester or 9 quarter credits)
    • Statistics (3 semester or 4.5 quarter credits)
  • Recommended Courses
    • Microbiology w/lab **  (highly recommended)
    • Pathophysiology
    • Advanced Physiology
    • Biochemistry
    • Physics

Other Important Prerequisite Coursework Notes:

  • All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed with a grade of “C” or better (“C minus” grades are not acceptable).
  • Prerequisite courses may be in progress or planned at the time of application, although all courses must be completed with official transcripts submitted to CASPA no later than December 31, 2020. All courses must be completed with an official transcript submitted to the Office of Graduate Admission prior to the start of the program.
  • Official transcripts for coursework and/or degrees completed in the summer/fall term should be submitted to CASPA for verification during the fall Academic Update period.
  • Official transcripts for coursework and/or degrees completed in the spring term should be submitted directly to UNE’s Office of Graduate Admission prior to the start of the program.

**For the entering class of 2021:

Microbiology is highly recommended and preference will be given to applications with this successfully completed course as it is indicative of future success in the rigorous PA program. Other recommended courses include: genetics, biochemistry, immunology, cell biology, advanced physiology, and pathophysiology. Added value will be given to applications with these successfully completed recommended courses.

**For the entering class of 2022:

Microbiology will be a required prerequisite course. Added value will be given to applicants that have successfully completed coursework in genetics, biochemistry, immunology, cell biology, advanced physiology, and pathophysiology.

All planned or in-progress coursework should be listed on the CASPA application at the time of application submission; not doing so will result in the applicant not meeting all admissions requirements and therefore will not be eligible for admission review.

Online courses offered through UNE’s Online Science Prerequisites as well as online courses from other regionally accredited U.S. colleges or universities are acceptable with program approval.

LETTERS OF EVALUATION

Three (3) letters of evaluation are required- submitted via CASPA

  • One (1) letter from a clinician (allopathic physician, osteopathic physician, physician assistant, or registered nurse) is required.
  • Two (2) letters from other clinicians, supervisors, or co-workers. Letters should be requested from those who can speak to the applicant’s academic abilities and/or professional experiences.
    Letters from friends or family members are not acceptable.

EXPERIENCE HOURS

All experiences should be documented in the CASPA application.

Applicants are required to complete a minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care experience:

  • Hours can be completed through paid employment or volunteer work.
  • Hours completed for academic credit, e.g. internship hours to complete a bachelor’s degree is acceptable.

Preference is given to applicants who have completed 20 hours of Physician Assistant (PA) shadowing prior to the application deadline:

  • Shadowing hours must be completed with a licensed PA.
  • Shadowing in more than one practice facility and practice area is recommended in order to gain a clear understanding of the PA role within a medical team.
  • Shadowing hours do not count toward direct patient care experience hours.

PERSONAL STATEMENT

  • Please refer to the CASPA application for a specific writing prompt and additional information.

INTERVIEWS

On-campus interviews are a required part of the application and admission process:

  • Qualified applicants will be contacted and invited to interview by the Office of Graduate Admission.
  • Interviews are done by invitation only.
  • Alternate interviewing modalities (including virtual interviews) may be instituted as necessary to address ongoing public health concerns with COVID-19. The Office of Graduate Admissions will be in touch with any updates, as necessary.

INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

International applicants and those with foreign degrees and coursework are required to satisfy the following additional requirements:

  • Official credential evaluation by World Education Service (WES), confirming degree and grade equivalency to that of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. The completed credential evaluation should be submitted directly to CASPA. Please refer to the International Admissions section of the UNE website for more information on the type of credential evaluation required for admission review.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate written and spoken fluency through the successful completion of a UNE approved English language proficiency test.
  • Applicants should refer to the English Language Proficiency page on the UNE website for specific information and minimum score requirements.
  • Please refer to the CASPA application for test score submission instructions.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

Prior to matriculation, accepted and deposited students will be required to complete the following compliance requirements:

  • Completion of physical examination with proof of up-to-date immunization status. Please refer to UNE’s Student Health Center for detailed information.
  • Satisfactory completion of a criminal background check and/or drug screen prior to matriculation, as well as periodically throughout the program (as required by clinical affiliations).
  • All students must have a current American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) certification at the time of matriculation. BLS certification status must remain current throughout the duration of the program.
  • Proficiency with computer technology strongly recommended.
  • All students must be able to meet the Academic and Technical Standards of the Physician Assistant profession.

Note: All materials submitted as part of the application become the property of UNE and will not be returned or released to anyone, including the applicant. This policy includes letters of reference, primary and secondary applications, personal statements, transcripts, and other supporting materials.

Due to continuing developments with the COVID-19 pandemic, some application requirements and processes may change during the cycle for the health and safety of the university, its employees, and prospective students/applicants. We appreciate your flexibility and consideration.

POLICY EXCEPTIONS

  • Policies have been established to ensure fair and consistent admissions practice for all applicants
  • Exceptions to existing admission policies are rare and made on a case by case basis, only when it is deemed necessary and appropriate to maintain fair and consistent practice for all candidates
  • All academic (coursework and degree) and experience requirements presented in this summary are subject to change per accreditation mandates or clinical affiliation requirements

ADVANCED STANDING

  • No advanced standing available

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

  • No credit awarded for experiential learning

Learn more about Patient Care Experience required for admission (PDF) >

Transfer Credit

TRANSFER CREDIT

  • Transfer credit is not accepted or awarded.

Contact Graduate Admissions

For more information, contact our Portland Campus office at (207) 221-4225 or gradadmissions@une.edu. We are located in Hersey Hall room 108 at 716 Stevens Ave., Portland, Maine. Our office hours are Monday–Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.