Academic Requirements

Academic Requirements

Prerequisites: All prerequisite courses must be completed by January 15, 2018 to be eligible for the September 2018 enrollment date. All prerequisites must be completed at a college or university accredited by one of the U.S. Regional Accrediting Associations. Prerequisites in the core sciences (chemistry, microbiology, anatomy, and physiology) must have occurred within the last 7 years from the time of application.

Most Physician Assistant programs require a certain number of basic science prerequisites to be admitted. We offer over 15 accelerated science courses that may satisfy prerequisite requirements for any prospective student regardless of institution they choose to attend. These have been accepted as transfer credit by many PA programs for years. All the requirements below that can be satisfied by our accelerated science courses are marked with an asterisk.

Prerequisite unit requirements are calculated in semester hours. If you took quarter hour classes the conversion to semester units is: 2/3 x quarter units = semester units.

I. A Bachelor’s Degree from a Regionally Accredited College or University

II. Prerequisite College Courses in Core Sciences

  • Chemistry* (8 semester units) must include lab credits, acceptable chemistry courses include: General, Organic, Inorganic, Biochemistry*
  • Human Anatomy* (4 semester units) must include lab, must be Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology* (4 semester units) must include lab, must be Human Physiology
  • Microbiology* (4 semester units) must include lab

III. Prerequisite General College Courses

  • Mathematics, algebra or higher (2 semester units)
  • Psychology* (3 semester units)
  • English Composition (3 semester units)
  • Sociology or Cultural Anthropology (3 semester units)
  • Statistics in addition to mathematics requirement. Must be within math, social sciences, or health sciences departments (3 semester units)

IV. Recommended Courses

  • Medical Terminology
  • Conversational Spanish
  • Genetics*

V. Healthcare Experience: 500 Hours Clinical Experience is Required.

Examples of the types of clinical experiences (not limited to):
  • Military medic or corpsman
  • Chiropractic
  • Naturopathic Medicine
  • Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
  • Back Office Medical Assistant (MA)
  • Certified Nurses’ Aide
  • EMT (patient care hours only)
  • Licensed Vocational Nurse
  • Paramedic
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Physical Therapy Aide
  • Radiological Technician
  • Occupational Therapist Aide
  • Registered Nurse

**Additional consideration will be given to applicants with volunteer community service or military experience (verifiable by DD-214)

Qualifying duties during clinical experiences must consist of direct patient contact. This may include, but is not limited to: consultation, assessment, diagnosis or treatment

VI. Other Requirements

  • Cumulative: 3.0 or above is required
  • Core science prerequisites: 3.0 or above is required
  • Entrance Exam: GRE or MCAT is not required
  • International Students: TOEFL is required
  • TOEFL Scores:
    • Internet Based: 100 (this is divided into the following categories: Listening/Reading/Writing/Speaking) some programs require specific Sub scores in each category
    • Computer Based: 250
    • Paper Based: 550
    • CASPA requires applications to have a 250 score if the test is Computer Based and a score of 100 if it is Internet Based
  • Letters of Recommendations: Two (2) required: One Academic, One Professional
  • Official Transcripts: submitted through CASPA (Online)
  • Criminal background check with drug testing is required.
  • Veteran Support Available

There is no advanced standing recognized for the MSPA Program. SCU’s MSPA program does not accept transfer students

  • How to Apply: Applications are processed through CASPA (online):
  • Currently, the fee to apply to one PA school through CASPA is $175 and each subsequent school is $50.00.
  • CASPA application deadline: January 15, 2018 for the matriculating class of fall 2018.

After a thorough application review process, those applicants selected as potential program candidates will be invited to interview with SCU Physician Assistant program faculty. Invitees are required to submit two passport sized photographs. These photos will not be returned.


Once a student has been notified that they are accepted into the program:

  • A $1,000.00 deposit is required.
  • Proof of current health status and immunizations is required.
  • University approved medical insurance is required.

Additional Information:

  • There may be additional fees associated with this program in addition to the tuition. These fees may include, but are not limited to, immunizations, housing, textbooks, medical equipment, health insurance, criminal background check and drug testing.
  • SCU MSPA students are required to successfully complete all course requirements and corresponding testing in order to progress forward to the clinical year. Continued enrollment is contingent upon satisfactory academic achievement and payment of outstanding debts to the University.
  • Prerequisites: We offer over 15 accelerated science courses that may satisfy prerequisite requirements for any prospective student regardless of institution they choose to attend. These have been accepted as transfer credit by many PA programs for years.

The university requires MSPA students to have the following immunizations as a minimum: Hepatitis B, Influenza, MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella). Varicella (Chickenpox), Annual PPD or chest x-rays, Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis), and Meningococcal.

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