Prospective students have a wide variety of background questions. Some of the most frequently asked questions are outlined.
▼ Who do I contact about unofficial transcript evaluations?
Augusta University does not provide unofficial transcript evaluations. Students are welcome to use the Transfer Equivalency Guide to best determine how their credits will transfer, as well as reviewing the PA Program Admissions Requirements.
▼ How do I find out the status of my application? What has been received? What is missing in my application? What do I do if I need to change one of my references?
Please login to your application to check your status here: Applicant Status Check. It will show you what has been received and what is still missing/needed. Missing transcripts should be mailed to the Office of Academic Admissions. If you need to update your references and are unable to do so online, please contact the Office of Academic Admissions at (706) 737-1632.
▼ How do I know if my course work completed at another school will transfer to Augusta University?
Here is a link to help you see what courses should transfer from your undergraduate studies: Transfer Equivalency Guide.
▼ I know your application is online, when is your online application cycle?
Our online application cycle generally begins July 1 with a deadline of Oct 15 to have all materials in for the following years May entry into our program. (Example: July 1, 2016 with deadline of Oct 15, 2016 for entry May 2017)
▼ Where do I send application components?
Please apply online and the rest send to the Office of Academic Admissions.
▼ How should we track our shadowing hours?
Keep a log noting who you shadowed, the date, the time (to and from), the name of the clinic or practice and the address/phone number.
▼ I have been working diligently to meet the prerequisites to apply for the Masters of Physician Assistant degree. How can I find out what the prerequisites are?
The prerequisites for the MPA degree can be found here: Requirements.
▼ How long is the Master of Physician Assistant Program?
Our program begins in May and ends 27 months later in August.
▼ What is the application date?
The online application usually opens up July 1st of each year with a deadline of October 15th of the same year to receive all application materials. Applicants in progress must ensure all required materials (which include your personal statement, 3 letters of reference, official school transcripts and GRE scores) to complete the application have been received by October 15th of each year to the Office of Academic Admissions. Do NOT send application materials to the Physician Assistant Department. Interviews are scheduled as completed applications are received, so early application is encouraged.
▼ What "counts" in admission?
We use an evaluation system that is based on the overall undergraduate grade point average, transfer grade point average, math/science grade point average, and work experience in the medical field in order to determine who is qualified for further consideration and a personal interview. After the initial screening of the application you may or may not be qualified for a personal interview. Once the interview is completed, we then also include an evaluation of the quality of references, writing ability, personal interview and an overall assessment of the application by several members of the admissions committee.
▼ How many are usually interviewed?
We try to interview between 100 and 150 applicants for the 44 program spaces.
▼ Do you accept out of state residents?
Yes, we do accept out of state residents.
▼ What about my references?
Augusta University requires that you have at least three references for admissions. We recommend strongly that at least one of your references be provided by a physician assistant who has seen you in action with patients or in a volunteer capacity. More weight is given to references that are provided by individuals who have observed your interactions with people in a clinical setting.
▼ Is the G.R.E. required?
Yes, a minimum combined GRE score of 900(old scale)/290 (new scale) is needed for full admission. The results of all three components (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections) of the general GRE exam must be provided. GRE scores dated within the last 5 years will be acceptable. Test results must be received in Academic Admissions by October 15th.
▼ What kind of GPA do I need to have?
We require a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall and a 3.0 in your math/science courses for the PA program. However, due to competition, the previous classes have averaged a GPA of 3.5 both overall and in math/science coursework.
▼ I had to retake some of my science courses because I got D's the first time. Will this hurt my chances?
It will be a disadvantage for you since it will affect your GPA, although it will not eliminate you from consideration provided you have successfully completed all of the prerequisite courses at a grade of "C" or higher. We include all college courses in calculating your overall undergraduate and math/science GPA.
▼ I didn't know what I wanted to do when I went to school ten years ago and got poor grades. After working for five years, I now know that I want to work as a physician assistant. I've gotten good grades since returning to school. Can you "forgive" my old grades?
We do look at the overall trend and definitely take that into consideration when we evaluate your application, especially if you have returned to school and have done well with a significant course load. You will need to be more competitive in other areas such as experience and references. However, your overall GPA will still reflect your entire academic career and must meet the minimum 3.0 requirement.
SCIENCE COURSES FOR PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS
▼ Would it be to my advantage to take more science courses than the minimum required?
While it is not necessary, and usually will not increase your chance to be admitted (unless your previous grades were poor) it still may be beneficial to have taken several other science courses. We always recommend that you apply to more than one PA program. Successful completion of a course in human anatomy and physiology contributes to successful completion of the courses you will be taking here at Augusta University.
▼ It's been more than ten years since I took some of my science courses. Will I have to retake them?
No, but it would be helpful for you to review areas that would be appropriate for our program such as anatomy/physiology and your chemistries.
▼ Do I have to complete all my prerequisites before I can be accepted?
No, but applicants who have completed the majority of their core courses are more competitive. We like to see applicants within 1 or 2 courses of completing prerequisites.
▼ Why do you want volunteer/work experience?
We want to be assured that you have adequately explored the entire field of physician assistant and are certain of your career choice. We also have found it to be extremely helpful for students in our program to have some experience in the medical field. This helps us to determine your abilities to work in a patient care area and gives us information about your potential for success in a clinical setting.
▼ How much volunteer/work experience do you expect?
We prefer that you have direct patient contact in a variety of clinical or patient care settings. If most of your experience has been in another type of health care setting such as nursing, you still need to spend enough time in a patient care area in order to demonstrate that you have adequately explored the field of physician assistant. We prefer that you spend time in a variety of clinical settings such as rehabilitation, acute care, emergency medicine or pediatrics rather than observing just one type of practice setting. You can work as a CNA, CMA, Medical Scribe, EMT or Paramedic. You could also volunteer at a hospital, doctor's office, blood bank or at any free clinics to gain experience.
▼ If English is not my first language, do I need to present official TOEFL scores?
Applicants whose first language is not English must submit official TOEFL and TSE-P scores. A minimum score of 600 on the TOEFL and a minimum score of 50 on the TSE-P is required. The TSE-A exam scores will not be accepted. Applicants must take both the TOEFL and TSE-P no later than October 15th in order to be considered for admission for the class admitted the following year.
*Exemption from the TOEFL requirement is allowed for graduate students who submit proof of earning a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university at which English is the language of instruction.
TIME, WORK AND MONEY
▼ Can I go part-time to your program?
No. At this time we only offer a full-time program.
▼ Will I be able to work while attending your program?
We strongly discourage our students from working while in school. Our program is very demanding. Classes generally meet all day Monday through Friday with homework assignments that fill evening and weekend hours. We cannot prohibit you from working while in school, but most students find it extremely difficult. At times working has been the major factor in academic failure which resulted in dismissal. The Office of Financial Aid is very helpful in finding alternative resources. There are also many companies that will provide financial assistance in return for a specified amount of time spent working at that facility. You will need to identify these resources and treat them as you would any employment contract by determining your willingness to work at their facility, assessing the terms involved and comparing it to other opportunities. It is our policy that students may not work within the program while enrolled as a student.
INFORMATION ABOUT ACCEPTANCE
▼ When will you let me know if I'm accepted?
Offers of acceptance are extended by letter throughout the interview season to selected candidates.
▼ What is an alternate list?
We often have more qualified applicants than places in the class. Some qualified applicants may be placed on an alternate list. If an accepted applicant withdraws, an alternate may be contacted to fill that position.
▼ I already have a medical professions degree. Can I count any of my professional courses and exempt some of the PA courses?
There is no advanced placement, transfer of credit (except for the 90 semester hours of prerequisites at an accredited college or university) or credit for experiential learning allowed. Previous medical professions course work will not be accepted toward completion of the MPA degree. It is important that our students are exposed to specific course content. To ensure this, only courses taught within our curriculum are accepted for credit toward graduation.