NOTE: Effective April 15, 2019, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has allowed a time extension of NSU's application for provisional accreditation. Interested applicants are encouraged to monitor the program website for further information. https://academics.nsuok.edu/healthprofessions/Degree-Programs/Graduate/Physician-Assistant-Studies
OSRHE Program Code: 155
CIP Code: 510912
Major Code: 7920
The mission of the Physician Assistant Studies Program at Northeastern State University is to address the ever increasing shortage of healthcare professionals in Northeastern Oklahoma and surrounding communities by graduating exceptionally qualified and compassionate physician assistants. we seek to address the healthcare needs, resident well-being, and economic health of this region and state by providing a high quality graduate program designed to educate exceptional physician assistant practitioners with the highest ethical standards and sensitivity for the underserved and American Indian populations in this region utilizing a modern campus and outstanding medical educators.
The Northeastern State University Physician Assistant Studies Program has applied for Accreditation - Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Northeastern State University Physician Assistant Studies Program anticipates matriculating its first class July 1, 2019, pending achieving Accreditation - Provisional status at the March 2019 ARC-PA meeting. Accreditation - Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program's ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.
Upon completion of all program requirements and degree conferral, candidates are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE), developed by the The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, the U.S. certifying organization for physician assistants. After passing PANCE, PAs are issued NCCPA certification and can use the PA-C designation until the certification expiration date (approximately two years). Fees apply for the examination and licensure credential. Students are encouraged to talk with their faculty mentor about licensure requirements and to consult the National Commission on Certifcation of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) organization for more information
Admission Policies and Procedures
The Physician Assistant Studies Program accepts one cohort of students per year with a maximum cohort size of 20. All application materials must be received by October 1 of the calendar year prior to entry to the program for consideration for inclusion in the cohort beginning the following summer. Members of the program's admissions committee review application materials, and the top applicants will be invited to the NSU-Muskogee campus for an interview. Once interviews are complete, admission decisions will be made, and applicants will be contacted regarding the decision of the committee.
- Must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or legal permanent resident alien.
- An earned bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college completed prior to matriculation into the program.
- Completion of all prerequisite courses listed below with a grade of "C" or better. Students may apply with outstanding prerequisite courses as long as they demonstrate a plan to complete those courses and have no more than two prerequisite courses in progress after December 31 of the year prior to entering the program. The health-related upper division biology courses must be completed within seven years of matriculation into the program.
- Be in good standing with the college or university last or currently attending.
- Have a minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale as computed by Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). A minimum science GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale as calculated by CASPA is also required. No exceptions will be made. Applicants not meeting GPA requirements will be ineligible for admission and removed from further consideration.
- Although not required for admission to the program, prior healthcare experience is expected. In the program's anticipated competitive selection process, the length and depth of healthcare experience is a selection factor.
- Complete the NSU Graduate College Application Form online.
- Submit an on-line application through CASPA during the application period June 1 through October 1 of the year prior to intended entry to the program.
- Submit Graduate Record Examination General Test scores to both CASPA and to the NSU Graduate College (GRE Code 6485). All GRE scores must also be submitted to CASPA using the NSU PA Program CASPA GRE Code 7376 by the application deadline. Scores available from ETS in the five-year reporting window will be accepted.
- Three letters of reference submitted directly to CASPA.
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (including NSU) must be submitted directly to both CASPA and to the NSU Registrar for Graduate College admission. For applicants offered an interview, updates to grades for courses completed after the application deadline must be submitted directly to the Physician Assistant Studies Program as courses are completed and an updated official transcript to the Registrar's office before matriculation into the program.
- Foreign coursework must be submitted to World Education Services for evaluation.
- Completion of a mandatory on-campus interview will be required of those selected for final consideration from the CASPA applicant pool.
- Review post-acceptance requirements and affirm ability to meet each before matriculation into program including immunization requirements, technical standards, health insurance verification, drug screen and background check. All post-acceptance requirements and forms must be completed before matriculation into the program.
- Be formally admitted to the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program through the PA Program Admissions Committee and receive final admission approval with completion of post-acceptance requirements.
Advanced Placement, Transfer of Credit, Credit for Experiential Learning
The Physician Assistant Studies program does not allow for advanced placement in the program or exemption from coursework for any student.
Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average or above in all didactic and clinical coursework. Students must pass all courses with a grade of "C" or higher in order to progress in the program.
To graduate from the Northeastern State University Physician Assistant Studies program, each student must satisfactorily complete all of the following:
- All didactic coursework
- All clinical rotations (required and elective)
- The capstone paper
- All assignments designated by the Program as required including any assigned remediation
- A summative evaluation of all clinical knowledge and skills, consisting of both objective examinations and skill performance evaluations
"Satisfactory completion" means completing all courses, clinical rotations, and summative evaluation with a letter grade of "C" or higher and demonstrating professionalism appropriate for an entry level physician assistant.
All students who have successfully completed the Physician Assistant Studies program graduation requirements are recommended for graduation by the Program Director to the Dean of the College of Science and Health Professions.
The following prerequisite coursework must be completed with a grade of "C" or better. Students may apply with outstanding prerequisite courses as long as they demonstrate a plan to complete those courses and have no more than two prerequisite courses in progress after December 31 of the year prior to entering the program. The health-related upper division biology courses must be completed within seven years of matriculation into the program.
- Biology (one semester, prerequisite for several upper division sciences listed below)
- Microbiology with laboratory
- Human Anatomy with laboratory (one semester) *
- Human Physiology with laboratory (one semester) *
- Health-related upper division Biology +/- Biochemistry (two courses **)
- General Chemistry I with laboratory (one semester)
- General Chemistry II with laboratory (one semester)
- Organic Chemistry (Upper Division, one semester)
- Mathematics (College Algebra or higher, one semester)
- Statistics (one semester)
- Psychology (two courses one must be 200 level or higher) ++
*Combined Anatomy and Physiology courses may be taken provided a minimum of 8 semester hours are completed.
**Must complete a minimum of 6 semester hours. (i.e., Cell Biology, Embryology, Genetics, Histology, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Medical Microbiology, Virology, Pathophysiology, or Biochemistry.) Please note that there may be additional science prerequisites for these courses that are not listed above.
++ Must complete a minimum of 6 semester hours. Recommended psychology courses include Introduction to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology or Developmental Psychology.
Required Clinical 4 Week Rotations