For FAQs regarding School of Physician Assistant accreditation status, visit:
General Admissions Questions
- Can I transfer credits into the PA program?
No. The PA program does not offer advanced standing or accept graduate transfer credits. All students must complete the entire established curriculum at FSU.
- What credentials will I have when I complete the program?
After successful completion of the program, students will graduate with a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Practice (MSPAP) degree. Students will also be eligible to sit for the PANCE exam to be certified as a clinical PA.
- How many students will you accept into the PA program?
We admit 60 students each fall.
- When do classes start?
The first day of class for Fall 2020 is August 24, 2020.
- What is the approximate cost of the PA program?
View the program costs page
- What is rolling selection?
Rolling selection means that we will interview until the class is full.
- How long does it take CASPA to verify an application?
It usually takes 2 to 3 weeks to verify a completed application
- How long does it take to complete the CASPer test?
The CASPer test takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.
- I am unable to make any of the listed testing dates, can my schedule be accommodated?
No. All test dates are pre-arranged by CASPer in conjunction with academic programs, and individual schedules cannot be accommodated.
- How current must my CASPer score be?
CASPer scores are only valid for a single application cycle. A new CASPer test must be taken for each application cycle.
- Where do I go to take the CASPer test?
The CASPer test is completed on a computer and location of your choice. You will need your ID, a computer with an internet connection, and a webcam to complete the test.
- The classes I took did not have a lab, will you still accept them?
No. All courses that are identified as having a required lab component must have a lab component. Classes without a lab will not be considered as meeting admissions requirements.
- My undergraduate advisor suggested that I take Survey of Organic Chemistry (General Chem, Bio Chem, Micro, etc.) but your requirements say all courses must be for science majors. Will you still accept my course?
No. All required science courses must be courses designated for science majors.
- I still have prerequisites in progress, can I still apply?
Yes. Due to COVID19 pandemic, the FSU SPAP will permit applicants to have up to 2 (two) prerequisite courses outstanding at the time of application for the 2020 cycle begininning May 1, 2020. Please see COVID19 Statement on Admissions Page.
- How old can my prerequisites be?
There is no time limit on prerequisite coursework. However, the length of time since the courses were taken will be taken into consideration as part of the overall admission decision. More recent is considered favorable.
- How current must my GRE score be?
The GRE exam must be taken within 3 years prior to matriculation into the PA program.
- My most recent GRE was taken 3 ½ years ago. Am I still eligible for admission to the FSU PA program?
No. The GRE must be taken within 3 years of matriculation into the PA program.
- Can foreign medical graduates apply to the program?
Yes. But all must meet the prerequisite requirements for the PA program. International transfer credit is awarded for coursework completed at an accredited (recognized) institution of higher learning. No credit is awarded for technical, vocational, or below-college-level coursework, or courses completed with grades below "C." “C-“ will not be accepted. An official course-by-course evaluation is required for all academic records from non-U.S. institutions. We recommend the evaluation be done by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services or the International Education Credential Services provided by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.
- I took 1 year of vertebrate anatomy and physiology, not human anatomy and physiology. Can I substitute the course?
No. All anatomy and physiology courses must be in human anatomy and physiology.
- Where can I take prerequisite courses?
Prerequisite coursework can be completed at any regionally accredited college or university. Community college courses are accepted.
- What is the best undergraduate degree for the PA Program?
Many will tell you a degree in the sciences will best prepare you for your PA education. However, there are required prerequisite courses that will prepare you. Our suggestion is to study something you are passionate about. Your performance, not the degree will set you apart.
- Do you accept AP courses?
Yes, but not for the science prerequisite courses. AP courses will only be accepted for Statistics, College Algebra, English Composition, General Psychology and Medical Terminology. No exceptions.
- Do you accept CLEP and DSST/DANTES exams for prerequisite coursework?
No. Unfortunately we cannot accept these exams for prerequisite course credit.
Direct Patient Care Experience Questions
- Do volunteer hours count for patient care experience?
Yes. Your experience does not have to be paid to count as direct patient care. However, you must be in a role that requires medical skill and direct patient contact. Volunteer experiences that are more observational do not meet this requirement.
- What qualifies as direct patient care experience?
There is a wide range of direct patient care experiences that will be accepted by the PA program (examples are listed below). The key to getting a quality patient care experience is to a gain skill or certification that will allow you to work directly with patients. If you have any questions regarding the patient care experience requirement, please email PAadmissions@med.fsu.edu.
• Athletic Trainer
• Cardiovascular Perfusionist
• Military Medical Corpsman
• Dental Hygienist
• Caregiver (trained)
• Exercise Physiologist
• Foreign Medical Graduate – Physician
• Home Health Care Aide
• Medical Assistant
• Nursing Assistant
• Orthopedic Technician
• Patient Care Technician
• Physical Therapist
• Physical Therapist Assistant
• X-Ray Technician
• Ultrasound Technician
• Respiratory Therapist
• Surgical Technician
- If I have not completed all of my patient care hours, can I still apply?
Yes, but you must have your minimum hours met by May 2021. Please see the COVID19 Statement on Admissions Page.
- I am an undergraduate student, how can I meet the patient care experience requirement?
Clinical experience is difficult to obtain while enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student, but it is possible. Look for options in obtaining a certification (nursing assistant, EMT, etc.) and/or direct patient contact experiences. Working part-time in schedule and on breaks is an excellent opportunity.
- Is there a way to waive the 500 hour minimum clinical hours?
Yes. Students enrolled at FSU can take the course PAS 2054, Introduction to the PA Profession, to waive the 500-hour minimum requirement. This course is an intensive exploratory course designed for individuals considering a career as a PA. However, the intent is not for the applicant to have no patient care experience, but rather for the student who will not quite hit the 500-hour mark at the time of application. Minimal patient care hours will likely reflect negatively on the applicant during the student selection process.
- Is working as a medical scribe considered for direct patient care?
No. Although working as a medical scribe is an excellent experience, it is not considered direct patient care experience for the purpose of our program. We consider this “related health care experience.”
- I am an EMT. Does on-call hours count for patient care experience?
No. Hours actually caring for patients will qualify for direct patient care experience.
At its September 2020 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) placed the Florida State University School of Physician Assistant Practice Program sponsored by Florida State University on Accreditation-Probation status until its next review in September 2022.
Probation accreditation is a temporary accreditation status initially of not less than two years. However, that period may be extended by the ARC-PA for up to an additional two years if the ARC-PA finds that the program is making substantial progress toward meeting all applicable standards but requires additional time to come into full compliance. Probation accreditation status is granted, at the sole discretion of the ARC-PA, when a program holding an accreditation status of Accreditation - Provisional or Accreditation - Continued does not, in the judgment of the ARC-PA, meet the Standards or when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.
Once placed on probation, programs that still fail to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk having their accreditation withdrawn.
The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website