Is the SCU PA Program Accredited?

Yes. The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation – Provisional status to the Master in Science: Physician Assistant program sponsored by Southern California University of Health Sciences. 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. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

If SCU does not maintain its accreditation, how will this affect my Board eligibility?

According to the ARC-PA,

Provisional accreditation is an active accreditation status….in order to be eligible to take the PANCE, students must successfully complete a program that was accredited at the time the student matriculated. It is best to check with the NCCPA concerning exam eligibility criteria.
What does Integrative Health focus mean?

SCU’s MSPA students will be offered a unique training experience that allows them to gain a solid foundational knowledge applicable to their chosen medical field. In addition, our students will have the opportunity to learn alongside chiropractic and Eastern Medicine students in a portion of their courses, allowing them to develop an awareness and understanding of other disciplines as well as an appreciation of teamwork in optimizing learning outcomes and ultimately, overall patient health.

Do my prerequisite classes need to be completed prior to the application deadline?

Yes. You must complete all your required prerequisite classes prior to the January 15, 2020 registration deadline. All applicants’ degrees must be conferred by August 31, 2020, to enroll in the fall semester.

How do I document my clinical hours on my application?

You do not need to provide documentation; however, we may contact your references to verify the information on your application.

What is the application process timeline?

All applications will be accepted until the application deadline of January 15, 2020. Applicants who are considered for admission will be notified for an interview date.

When do you anticipate contacting applicants with admission offers?

Applicants will be contacted with an admissions offer by spring.

When do you anticipate having seated the class?

It is anticipated that the program will have seated its class by May 1st.

How many will you seat this year?


Is there a waiting list?

The program does have an alternate list. However, a seat will be offered to the first 50 ranked applicants. In the event that that an offer is not accepted, an offer will be extended to the next applicant on the list.

Do I need to do a background check, drug screen and fingerprinting?

Yes, all applicants who have accepted an offer for admission will be required to complete a background check and drug screening. Any applicant who fails either or both the drug screen test and/or the background check, will have their offer of admission rescinded. Additionally, any information that is falsified or inaccurate will lead to recension of the admission offer. Students will also be required to retake the drug screening test and the background check prior to entering their clinical rotations. If the drug screen result is positive or if the student has new convictions on their record, the student will be dismissed from the program. No fingerprinting is required at this time.

When will I receive information about financial aid and registering for classes?

After a student is contacted with an admissions offer, and the background check, drug screen and fingerprinting test are cleared, information regarding financial aid and registering for classes will be related.

What is a typical week like?

Classes are held Monday-Friday during the day on the university campus. Throughout training, there will be supplemental training opportunities and experiences that may occur outside of the typical week.

When should I submit my application?

Applicants must have a complete date on or before the January 15, 2020, deadline. A complete date is given when an application is e-submitted and all transcripts, payments, and at least two letters of reference have been received by CASPA and attached to the application. Documents should be sent several weeks prior to the application deadline to ensure items arrive on time.

I have e-submitted my application. Can I change it?

Once you e-submit your application, your CASPA application is locked and you may NOT make changes to it. The only sections you may change after submitting are: your contact information, your password and security information, references which have a status of “new” or “in-progress” and you may add additional schools to apply to. You may also add NEW experiences, achievements, certifications, and test scores, but you can NOT edit those already entered. All other sections will be read-only. Make sure you check over your application information closely before e-submitting to avoid any errors as these cannot be corrected later.

I have received my final grades for current courses, but transcripts are not yet available. Should I wait to submit the application until CASPA receives the updated transcript?

You have two choices in this case:

  1. You may list your current courses as completed on your online application, and wait to e-submit your application until CASPA has received the updated transcript, which will cause a delay in your application. Please note that once all materials have been received, it may take four weeks for your application to be verified. CASPA recommends that all information arrive at CASPA at least four weeks prior to your earliest deadline.

  2. You may leave the course listed as in-progress on your CASPA application and submit your application. In this case, you would send the transcripts with only the completed courses to CASPA and, once the in-progress courses are complete, either update your information via academic update or send updated transcripts directly to the schools to which you are applying. This would avoid a delay in your application, and this is not an uncommon practice.

How is my GPA calculated?

CASPA calculates a standardized GPA to help PA programs evaluate applicants using uniform and consistent criteria. The CASPA GPAs are likely to be different from those calculated by the colleges and universities attended due to the CASPA grade standardization process. Each category is calculated by adding up the total number of quality points in that category (your credits multiplied by the numeric value of your grade) and dividing this number by the total credits you attempted to earn in this same category. ALL CASPA GPAs ARE CALCULATED IN SEMESTER HOURS. If you took quarter hour classes, the conversion to semester units is: 2/3 x quarter units = semester units.

Do clinical hours need to be paid assignments?

2000 paid hours are required. Volunteer hours are also recommended.

Do I need a TOEFL?

The ability to speak, read, and understand English fluently is an important factor in admissions decisions.

Applicants for whom English is not a native language must submit an official copy of their TOEFL score.

SCUHS does not grant exemptions to the TOEFL or TSE requirement, regardless of an applicant’s citizenship status in the U.S., or study at another university or college taught in English.

All applicants for whom English is not their native language will be considered for a program of study in accordance with their TOEFL/TSE score(s). Applicants will not be admitted without an official score on file.

For all degree programs, the minimum required TOEFL score is 500 (paper based), 250 (computer based), or 100 (internet based).

When must my immunizations be up to date?

Upon entry to the MSPA program, students must be up to date on all immunizations listed for the program. Prior to beginning classes, students will have the opportunity to upload their personal immunization information. In addition, the TB immunization must be retaken within 5 months of beginning clinical rotations.

I took coursework or earned a bachelor’s degree from a foreign/international institution. Will you accept foreign/international degrees and coursework to fulfill the admission requirements?

At this time, foreign/international degrees will not fulfill the bachelor degree requirement for admission. In addition, all acceptable coursework to fulfill prerequisites must be earned from a regionally accredited college or university as indicated by the United States Department of Education.

Can I fulfill Prerequisite College Coursework through Advance Placement (AP) or CLEP Examination?

SCU will accept passing scores for AP and CLEP examination for general college coursework only (Mathematics, Psychology, English Composition, Sociology, Statistics).

  • A passing score for AP credit is a 3 or above.
  • A passing score for CLEP is a 50 or above.

Please be advised that you must submit an official AP or CLEP transcript to your CASPA application for consideration of credit.

NOTE: All core science coursework must be taken from a regionally accredit college or university with a passing score of C or higher to be considered.

Applicant data average 16/17 cohort

Average GPA – 3.3

Average Prerequisite GPA – 3.4

Age – 29

Gender – 16 Female; 10 Male

Applicant data average 17/18 cohort

Average GPA – 3.3

Average Prerequisite GPA – 3.5

Age – 26

Gender – 22 Female; 14 Male

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