PAS Program FAQs
Q: I am ready to apply, but am still working on my prerequisites; How many courses may be pending at the time of application?
A: Up to two courses may be pending at the time of application via CASPA. However, all courses must be completed by the application deadline of September 1. Updated official transcripts should be sent to CASPA in a timely manner to update your application. It is recommended that coursework be completed within 7 years of the class start date.
Q: When is the deadline for prerequisite coursework to be completed?
A: All prerequisite courses must be completed by the application deadline of September 1.
Q: I am ready to apply, but I have not completed the minimum shadowing or health care hours yet. Can you still consider my application while I work on getting these complete?
A: Beginning in 2017, verification of shadowing and healthcare experience must be included with your completed application. The most competitive applicants have demonstrated completion of these items beyond the minimum requirements at the time of application submission. Therefore we will not consider an application complete without the minimum documentation. Additional documentation may be submitted at a later date if you are invited to an interview and wish to provide additional hours.
Q: I work alongside Physician Assistants often at my job. Does this count as shadowing/observation?
A: Yes. Please give us your best estimate of hours, and provide the contact information and signature of at least one PA for verification on the required form. Also, if you have a recommendation letter from a Physician Assistant which indicates a working relationship of a specific time frame, we will count this towards shadowing hours.
Q: Do I still need to enter the details of my PA shadowing and Health Care Experience in CASPA if I submit my forms?
A: Yes. These should be entered under “Experiences.” This will assist Faculty reviewing your application in knowing the details of your experiences. The forms are for verification purposes only.
Q: My GPA does not meet the minimum. However, this is due to older coursework, and I have taken more recent coursework or earned another degree and I believe my total GPA does not reflect my true ability. Will you consider an exception?
A: We encourage lifelong learners and we do take into consideration the overall trajectory of your academic history. If your GPA (overall or science) is less than 3.0, we will look at your most recent 60 credit hours completed. We also encourage you to address previous academic shortcomings in your personal statement.
Q: When will I hear about the status of my application?
A: We begin screening your application once it enters “verified” status by CASPA. However, we will consider your application “complete” once we have received all required materials, including official GRE scores, Health Care and Observation Verification, and three letters of recommendation. At this time, we will let you know by e-mail that your application is complete and under review. If your application appears to be missing any items, or does not meet our minimum criteria, we will contact you as well. Once your application is complete, you may be notified at any time during the application cycle if you are invited for an interview. Our interviews will begin in the summer months.
Q: What happens after I interview?
A: The admissions committee meets monthly. While some offers of admission are extended early, others may be extended at anytime during the interview cycle, regardless of how early you interview. Due to our rolling admissions process we will make our best effort to notify you of decisions in a timely manner. All notifications of final decisions will be sent by the time interviews are completed in the fall.
Q: What is meant by rolling admissions?
A: Rolling admissions means that we begin reviewing applications and offering interviews as the applications are completed. We do not wait until all applications are submitted before beginning to review them all. This does not guarantee an interview to those who apply early, nor does it rule out those who apply closer to the deadline. However, it is to your advantage to apply early with a complete and competitive application. It is possible that we may have filled all interview spots before the application deadline.
Q: Can I meet with faculty to review my application or discuss my candidacy?
A: At this time we are unable to offer individual meetings or discussions with faculty to review application materials. CASPA application materials will all be reviewed equally by the committee once submitted and complete. We recommend having your application reviewed by a pre-health advisor or trusted mentor. We also encourage all prospective applicants to attend one of our information sessions in the spring and summer, at which time you are encouraged to meet and speak with faculty. Please check our website periodically for dates.
Q: Do you accept international medical graduates?
A: We will consider any applicant who meets the minimum criteria, which must include a bachelor's degree at an accredited institution within the United States. No exceptions can be given for work experience or international degrees. Individual coursework taken outside of the U.S. will be considered on a case-by-case basis (i.e. studying abroad).
Q: How does the program prepare me for the PANCE?
A: Medical knowledge is assessed throughout the curriculum with frequent examinations aiming to prepare students to be successful on the PANCE> The curriculum is organized by specialty to mirror the allocations on the PANCE and test questions are written to match the content and formatting that is expected on the PANCE. In addition, during the Bridge Course just prior to clinical rotations, 2nd year PA students take the PACKRAT exam, a national exam with strong predictive value of PANCE scores.
In order to achieve our goal of a high PANCE pass rate, DU has added to the curriculum a recognized board review course for our students to be completed as part of the Senior Seminar class in December just before graduation, at no additional cost to students.
Q: How is Anatomy taught in your program?
A: Anatomy is taught over a semester in lecture and lab formats. Anatomy lab is approached in a hybrid manner: half of lab time is spent studying virtual cadavers with the Anatomage Table, and half the time utilizes traditional cadaveric study.