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Frequently Asked Questions
- What does it mean to be a Provisionally Accredited program?
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.
The provisional accreditation process begins with a thorough review of the planning, organization, and proposed content of a program that is in the advanced planning stages, but not yet operational. The provisional accreditation pathway is the only entry way for proposed new programs into the accreditation process.
- What will happen if the school does not receive accreditation?
Students will only be allowed to begin matriculation into the Program after Accreditation-Provisional status has been awarded.
- What is the application cycle for MSM-PA program?The application cycle for 2023-2024 will open April 27, 2023 and closes September 1, 2023.
- What is the interview period for MSM-PA program and how many applicants will be chosen?Chosen applicants will be invited to interview during September - December. We anticipate interviewing 160 applicants and will seat a class of 40 students.
- Does MSM-PA have a supplemental application?No, MSM-PA does not have a supplemental application this cycle.
- What is holistic admissions?Holistic admissions is an approach that assessing an applicant’s capabilities individually. It emphasizes balanced consideration for experiences, attributes, and academic metrics and, when considered in combination, how the individual might contribute value as a student and physician assistant.
- Do you give preference to any applicants?
Yes, the MSM-PA program awards preference to applicants who have a specific interest in meeting the primary healthcare needs of the underserved urban and rural populations, and/or are Georgia residents, and/or rural area, and/or veterans, and/or part of the Atlanta University Center Consortium Legacy. Those considered most competitive will be invited to an on-campus interview.
- Can you explain more about the GA preference?
Preference is awarded to residents of Georgia or applicants with Georgia Heritage. Georgia Heritage is defined as 1) an applicant with one or both parents residing in Georgia at the time of application, 2) an applicant who graduated from high school in Georgia with at least two years at a high school in Georgia, or 3) an applicant who graduated from a Georgia institution of higher education with a bachelor's or advanced degree with at least two years of attendance at an institution of higher education in Georgia.
- Can you explain more about the AUC legacy preference?
AUC legacy status is given to applicants who have attended at least two years at an Atlanta University Center school, obtained a degree from an MSM program or participated in an MSM Pipeline program.
- Can scribing be used to fulfill the 500 hours medical experience requirement?
Yes, medical scribing can be used to achieve the 500 hours of direct patient care experience.
- If I have not met all of my admissions requirements, can I still apply?
Yes, two prerequisite courses can be outstanding at the time of application. Additionally, direct patient care experience and shadowing hours can be in progress at the time of application.
- What kind of experience can count for direct patient care experience?
Examples include EMT or paramedic, health educator, RN, patient care attendant or nurse’s aide, clinic assistant, Peace Corps volunteer or other cross-cultural health care experience, technologist, phlebotomist, therapist, clinical research assistant, etc.).
- Will you accept a Master's degree GPA in place of an undergraduate GPA?
No. Ideally, MSM-PA prerequisites include both an undergraduate science and cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. However, the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework for a candidate with less than a 3.0, may be considered.
- Do you waive standardized tests requirement?
No, prerequisite requirements cannot be waived.
- What is the minimum PA-CAT score that you will accept?
MSM PA program does NOT have a minimum score requirement for the PA-CAT.
- In what time frame must the PA-CAT be completed?
The PA-CAT must be completed by September 1, 2023.
- How do I report my PA-CAT score?
When registering for the PA-CAT you must select MSM PA program as a recipient of your scores and the program will be able to access your scores.
- What are the prerequisites needed to apply to MSM?
Completion of bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university prior to matriculation into the program. (Completion of your bachelor’s degree is required by May of the year of program entry.)
A minimum science and cumulative grade point averages (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale must be achieved. (A candidate with less than a 3.0, but greater than 2.80, undergraduate cumulative GPA or science GPA may be considered for admission with regular student status if he/she has completed at least 20 semester hours of relevant coursework at the graduate level and has a minimum GPA of 3.0 for these courses.)
- Do you accept online courses or courses from community colleges?
Yes. We accept prerequisites from any regionally accredited university or college, online or in person, including community colleges. However, online labs are strongly discouraged. Students are encouraged to take in person labs.
- What prerequisite courses are required?
Please see our Prerequisites page for more information.
- What is the minimum grade for my prerequisite courses?
Prerequisite coursework must be taken from a regionally accredited college or university. Prerequisites must be completed with a grade of “C” or better.
- My anatomy and physiology courses were combined; do I need to take another?
Yes, taking Anatomy & Physiology I and Anatomy & Physiology II would satisfy both requirements. Taking only one accelerated Anatomy & Physiology course will NOT meet the requirement.
- Is there a timeframe for completing prerequisites courses?
Prerequisites should* be completed within the last 7 years of applying to the MSM-PA program. However, recent prerequisite coursework may demonstrate readiness for entry into a rigorous academic environment. If accepted with contingencies, all prerequisite courses must be completed and verified by matriculation.
*In keeping with ARC-PA, our accrediting body, the definition should is defined as “the term used to designate requirements that must be met unless there is a compelling reason.”
- Do you accept Advanced Placement (AP) or transfer credits?
We do not accept Advanced Placement or transfer credits.
- Should I retake courses in which I scored poorly, or take upper level courses instead?
Either is acceptable, however it may better show your capabilities to take, and do well in, a more rigorous course.
- Is there a time limit for direct patient care?
Although there is no specific time limit on direct patient care, we encourage you to acquire as many hours as possible. All direct patient care hours must be completed before matriculation into the program, if you are selected. Hours do not expire.
- Does the MSM-PA program accept international students?
International applicants are required to submit TOEFL/ECFMG English test scores and a Silny or WES evaluation of foreign academic credentials.
International students: Please contact the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at (404) 752-1613 for additional international student requirements and information.
- Can someone review my transcripts if I have questions about my prerequisites?
Yes, please email us your request at email@example.com.
- Do you have any on campus information sessions?
Yes, please see http://www.msm.edu/physicianassistantprogram/infosessions.php for dates and registration?
- Do you have any virtual information sessions?
Yes, we will participate in the PAEA virtual fair. Please register here.
- How long is the physician assistant program?
The MSM PA Program is 28 months divided between the pre-clinical and clinical phases of the program.
- What type of recommendations do you require?
CASPA accepts up to five recommendation letters. We require three recommendation letters. Letters of reference from a PA or physician, academic professor and former employer are recommended. All three letters of recommendation should be submitted to CASPA by September 1st to ensure your file is complete.
- Can you mail me more information?
All of our information can be found electronically here via website; as such we do not mail information.
- Can I still add information to my CASPA application once I have submitted it?
Yes, CASPA applications can be updated until CASPA closes, however, students should pay close attention to application deadlines for each school. MSM-PA applicants can continue to update outstanding patient care and shadowing hours.
- How do I report my final grades for outstanding prerequisite courses?
In the event that an applicant is selected for interview with two outstanding prerequisite courses, instructions to report final grades and transcripts will be discussed with individual applicant.
- Does MSM-PA have scholarships?
Yes. The MSM PA program awards several merit and need-based scholarships to incoming students. Students will be identified based on the submitted application information.
- What is the timeline for admissions decisions?
MSM-PA will review applications and begin inviting for interviews early September. Interviews will be conducted October - December. Members of our class will be accepted throughout the interview process.
- Does the MSM PA program have a "rolling admissions" process?
The MSM-PA program does not have a "rolling admissions" process. Currently, the program accepts, screens, and reviews applications between the months of April-September each year. Forty (40) candidates are offered seats after interviews and the admissions cycle is concluded.
- What are the MSM previous Admissions Statistics?
The numbers presented in the table below are the averages from the selected cohort beginning June 2023. These statistics are subject to change based on seats accepted. The statistics below are intended to provide information to individuals who are interested in our program and should not be construed as either necessary or sufficient for admission. Admission decisions are based on a holistic evaluation of the unique attributes of each applicant.