Physician Assistant Program - Orlando

Frequently Asked Questions

Graduates of the Orlando program will receive a Masters degree in Medical Sciences. All students must enroll in the degree program regardless of previous work or education history.

Yes, a baccalaureate degree must have been received prior to matriculation into the physician assistant program. See the requirements for admissions for more information.

No. All entry-level classes for the program are taught in Orlando, Florida. You will live and work in the Orlando, Florida area for the duration of the program. We do, however, have a distance learning option for a masters degree, but only for individuals that have graduated from an accredited PA program and want to pursue a masters degree (Note: not all accredited programs offer a masters degree).

The successful applicant to the NSU PA Program Orlando will possess a combination of life, educational and work experience that shows a commitment to patient care, an understanding of the PA profession and the ability to perform in a demanding academic and professional setting. Competition for entrance into PA programs is strong.

Although not required, health care experience is highly recommended. This experience can be either paid or volunteer and should include exposure to mid level practitioners. Applicants may gain valuable information from the material available as Associate Members of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

Past educational performance, while not indicative of current abilities, can predict performance in the program. Every attempt should be made to enhance overall and science course GPA prior to application. The first year is extremely demanding and the applicant will benefit by taking courses that simulate this type of education. Maintaining a high GPA and/or improvement of the GPA in most recent academic endeavors are considered in evaluating applicants.

The PA Program in Orlando has full, continuing accreditation by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for Physician Assistants (ARC-PA) Inc. and will undergo its next accreditation review in 2014.

For the June 2010 class, we had 12 applicants for each seat. Competition for these seats is strong and you are encouraged to apply as early as possible to the program through CASPA. There is no guaranteed number of applications or interviews in any given year.

We anticipate that 50-60 positions will be available each year.

No. Pre-requisites MUST be completed before the time of matriculation (starting the program) in June, but you must be enrolled in these classes by the time of your interview. It is possible to be accepted into the program contingent on completion of these courses with satisfactory grades. We make every attempt to accommodate individual situations, but you MUST complete courses and provide transcripts by the time of matriculation. Proof of registration and progress may be required to verify this requirement.

There is no set number of hours, but the more the better. It is important that one is very familiar with their career choice to which they are committed. The type of experience is valued more than total number of hours. Clinical experience is NOT required for admission, but will enhance your application substantially when compared to others that apply to the program.

Yes. Many of the NSU students rely on some form and combination of financial aid from public and private sources. When planning for entry you should include planning for the financial situation faced by PA students. Students should not work during the program. Additional information can be obtained from the NSU Financial Aid Office.

No. Students accepted into the program can find housing in some of the neighboring communities. More housing information can be obtained from the office of the NSU PA Program at Orlando by calling (407) 264-5150.

No. You must apply through the centralized application service called CASPA. However you will be requested to submit a supplemental application directly to the program after your CASPA application has been received. There is an additional $50 fee for that supplemental application.

You must have minimum cumulative and science GPAs of 3.00 on a 4.0 scale at the time of application in order for your application packet to be considered for review. All prerequisites courses must be passed with a grade of "C" or better. As with any other university or college, higher GPAs are more competitive. Science grades above a "C" are more competitive. Maintaining and/or improving GPA courses is considered in evaluating applicants. Your goal is to be competitive and academically prepared to successfully handle the demands of the program's curriculum. However, THE ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE DOES NOT BASE ITS DECISION SOLELY ON GRADE POINT AVERAGES. It evaluates the application packet as a whole; therefore, strong reference forms/letters of recommendation, prior "hands-on" health care experience and a demonstrated commitment to under served communities are EQUALLY important.

Yes. The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and Writing Assessment is REQUIRED for admission.

Keep in mind that your goal is to become a physician assistant; therefore, your volunteer experience should provide you with as much exposure/experience as possible to the roles and responsibilities of physicians, PA's and or other medical professional, whose responsibility is in primary patient care. Familiarity with the "tools of the trade," hospital, and various medical procedures is valuable.

No. See the list of prerequisites on the web site.

Yes. Each applicant is viewed equally; therefore, each must complete all prerequisite course work outlined in the flyer. No exceptions or substitutions. Course credit is not given for previous work of life experience.

The program does not offer a certificate. You must complete the MMS degree requirements. Every student must complete the entire curriculum regardless of previously completed course work or degrees.

All prerequisite courses must be completed at the college level, and transcripts from foreign countries must be translated to show college courses, grades, and semester units equivalent to the U.S. educational system.

It is possible, especially if you need to take any prerequisite science courses. This will not necessarily eliminate you from consideration; however you will be competing against many other applicants, many of applicants whom will have fulfilled ALL admission requirements prior to the application deadline. Remember, your goal is to be as competitive as possible.

No. Read the PA program's brochure, catalog and online material very carefully. Everything you need to know about the application and supporting materialsis explained in these documents.

Perhaps. Individual advisor appointments (in person or by phone) are very limited, due to the volume of applicants. If you desire an appointment, contact admissions as early as possible. The closer to the application deadline, the less chance you will have for you to see an advisor.

No. This is not recommended. Advisors may not be available on a walk-in basis. To ensure available individuals to answer your questions, we recommend that you make an appointment. All of the information you need to succeed in the application process is on the NSU Orlando PA web site.

Yes. You can make an appointment to meet with a counselor at the college you are attending. College counselors/advisors are usually very familiar with general education programs and can advise you of the courses you should take to fulfill the course prerequisites. If they have any question, they are welcome to call the program or admissions office.

The Committee On Admission members consists of faculty representatives who change from year to year.

A single applicant interviews with a team of 2-4 committee members with a flexible format.

Please consult the current catalog or PA program brochure for most recent costs.

  • Tuition - $69,940 (total over 27 month program)
  • Post Acceptance Fees ($1,000 total)
    • Acceptance Fee (Due within 2 weeks of acceptance) - $500
    • Deposit (due February 15th) - $500
  • Student activity fees - $1,050 per year
  • Health Professions Division General Access Fee - $145
  • Graduation fees - $275
  • Physical examination course equipment - $550
  • Required books - $1500
  • Recommended books - $500
  • NCCPA Review Course and books (optional) - $400
  • NCCPA PANCE (National Entry Level Board Exam) - $475
  • Florida State Licensing Fees - $305
  • Housing (variable) - Area apartments run from $600-950 per month
  • Parking - free on campus
  • Computer lab, e-mail account, MDConsult database - free on campus
  • Computer (laptop) and printer- approximately $1500-2000

Yes. All of the requirements must be met by everyone, including International Medical Graduates (IMG's). All transcripts from other countries must be evaluated by an evaluation service within the United States. (Please see Evaluation Services for a listing of suggested services used by our applicants who are graduates of medical schools from other countries.) International transcripts that are submitted without official evaluation will not be considered. Also, please note that there is no test which IMG's can take to challenge the NSU PA program in Orlando, obtain a PA license or become nationally certified as a PA. All IMG's accepted into the program must complete the entire program. Courses previously taken in medical school can not be substituted for courses to be taken in the NSU PA program. Graduates of foreign institutions where English is not the primary language of instruction must present transcripts showing at least 18 semester hours of study from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States. Of these 18 semester hours: 3 hours must be in English Composition, English Literature, and Public Speaking (courses do not include ESOL). The remaining nine semester hours can be any course of the applicant's choosing (excluding physical education).

No. While you may note that there are some IMG/FMG's in Florida, practicing as PA's that never attended PA school, that route was closed legislatively several years ago. No longer may an IMG/FMG become a PA in Florida without successfully completing an accredited PA program and passing the national NCCPA Certification exam.

This question is difficult, if not impossible, to answer. There is no way to determine what the applicant pool will look like each year. A variety of people with various backgrounds apply to the program each year, and a variety of applicants are accepted. There is no way to say who will or will not be admitted, nor guarantee anyone's admittance. Do your best to present yourself well on paper. While we expect a minimum of 600 applications to be submitted each year, only 60 will be admitted. Unfortunately, we cannot admit all who apply to NSU's PA program in Orlando; therefore, it is always a good idea to apply to other schools as well. Many applicants are not considered due to incomplete applications, or the student does not meet the minimum admission requirements.