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FAQs

FAQs

COVID-19

Are there any changes for the 2021-2022 cycle due to COVID-19?

All admissions requirements are published on our Admissions page. No exceptions will be made due to COVID-19.

Click here for more information regarding COVID-19.

ACCREDITATION

Is the SCU MSPA Program accredited?

Yes. At its September 2020 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) placed the Southern California University of Health Sciences Master of Science: Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Southern California University of Health Sciences 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, a program that fails to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and is subject to having its accreditation withdrawn.

Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s). The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website here.

How does the program's Accreditation-Probation status affect my ability to find a job?

There is no effect on the job market from graduating from an accredited program on probation.

How will the Accreditation-Probation status affect future entering classes?

The program will still be admitting students during our regular admissions cycle and will continue to do so. The program is not restricted to admitting future cohorts under the probation status.

How will the Accreditation-Probation status affect the curriculum and clinical experiences?

There is no change to didactic or clinical instruction under this status. The program will still be delivering a robust didactic curriculum as well as robust clinical clerkship experiences for every student in the program.

Is a program on probation still accredited?

Yes, The ARC-PA awards the accreditation status of “Accreditation-Probation.” 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.

If the program is on probation, can I take the PANCE?

Yes, even though the program is on probation, it is still accredited, which allows all program graduates to take the PANCE.

Can I apply for licensure if the program I graduated from is on probation?

Yes, the program’s probation status has no bearing on a graduate’s ability to obtain licensure. The primary requirements for licensure are graduation from an accredited program and NCCPA certification.

ADMISSIONS

What are the demographics of SCU’s MSPA program?
Class of 2021Class of 2020Class of 2019Class of 2018Gender DistributionDemographicsClinical Experience
Ethnicity and Race as reported by students.
Ethnicity and Race as reported by students.
MSPA class of 2019 diversity chart. Gender distribution: 22 femaile, 14 male. Average GPA: 3.30, average age: 26, clinical hour average: 4,218
MSPA class of 2018 diversity chart. Gender distribution: 16 femaile, 10 male. Average GPA: 3.39, average age: 29, clinical hour average: 5,036
Nationally, for US PA schools, gender is comprised of 31.8% male to 68.2% female ratio. As seen above, the 2020 seated class has: 18 males (37.5%) and 30 females (62.5%).
Nationally, for US PA schools, gender is comprised of 31.8% male to 68.2% female ratio. The 2021 seated class has 14 males (28%) and 36 females (72%)
Nationally, for US PA schools, gender is comprised of 31.8% male to 68.2% female ratio.  The 2020 seated class has 17 males (35%) and 30 females (63%) and 1 that did not state gender (2%).
Nationally, for US PA schools, gender is comprised of 31.8% male to 68.2% female ratio. The 2020 seated class has 17 males (35%) and 30 females (63%) and 1 that did not state gender (2%).
Nationally, for US PA schools, gender is comprised of 31.8% male to 68.2% female ratio.  The 2019 seated class has 15 males (42%) and 21 females (58%).
Nationally, for US PA schools, gender is comprised of 31.8% male to 68.2% female ratio. The 2019 seated class has 15 males (42%) and 21 females (58%).
Nationally, for US PA schools, gender is comprised of 31.8% male to 68.2% female ratio.  The 2018 seated class has 9 males (35%) and 17 females (65%).
Nationally, for US PA schools, gender is comprised of 31.8% male to 68.2% female ratio. The 2018 seated class has 9 males (35%) and 17 females (65%).
United States racial demographics are: `White 60.4%, Hispanic 18.3%,  Black 13.4%, Asian 5.9%, Amerindian and Alaska native 1.3%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.2%, other 2.7%.
Race and Ethnicity (United States)
United States racial demographics are: `White 60.4%, Hispanic 18.3%, Black 13.4%, Asian 5.9%, Amerindian and Alaska native 1.3%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.2%, other 2.7%.
The estimated self-identified racial make-up of the State of California According to the 2018, US Census Bureau.
California Demographics
The estimated self-identified racial make-up of the State of California According to the 2018, US Census Bureau.

 Self-Identified race in the city of Whittier, CA
Race and Ethnicity (Whittier, CA)
Self-Identified race in the city of Whittier, CA
Patient Care Hours
Can I fulfill prerequisite courses through Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)?

AP and IB credit will be accepted to fulfill the Mathematics, Psychology, English Composition, and Statistics prerequisites only. You must receive a passing score of 3 or above for AP and IB to be accepted. The CLEP will not be accepted to fulfill any prerequisites.

Will an accepted introductory course fulfill the prerequisite course requirement for the core sciences?

Yes, we do accept introductory courses to fulfill prerequisite requirements, however, we prefer upper-level core science courses.

Will SCU prequalify my classes prior to submitting my CASPA application?

We do not prequalify courses, however, SCU does offer several prerequisite courses through our Accelerated Science courses.

These courses must meet all minimum prerequisite requirements to qualify.

My school uses a quarter system. Will this affect the number of prerequisite course credits I need?

While CASPA automatically makes a quarter to semester conversion of all credits, SCU does not follow this conversion. For example, if you have 4 units of a course under a quarter system, this will still be counted as 4 units for the purposes of our prerequisite requirements.

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

Yes. All prerequisite courses must be completed, and the transcript verifying the successful completion of the course must be received by January 15, 2022. All degrees must be conferred by August 31, 2022 to be eligible for fall enrollment.

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?

No, we do not accept courses or degrees from foreign or international institutions.

Do I need a TOEFL?

No, a TOEFL is not required.

Do clinical hours need to be paid?

Yes, 2,000 paid clinical hours are required.

Can I drop off a sealed official transcript or any other admissions documents on campus?

No. Please upload all admissions documents through CASPA. If you have a transcript for an AP or a pending course, please send these directly to CASPA or mail them to the address below. Please note, transcripts mailed directly to us will not be visible to other schools.

Southern California University of Health Sciences
MSPA Admissions
Attn: Trina Cicinelli
16200 Amber Valley Drive
Whittier, CA 90604

What is the application process timeline?

The 2021-2022 application cycle for our program begins April 29, 2021 and closes January 15, 2022 for students who desire to be considered for the class entering in fall 2022. All applications must be verified by the deadline to be considered.

When are admissions decisions made and when will I be notified of my application status?

We anticipate that interviews will be held in February 2022. Rolling admission offers will be made after interviews begin. We anticipate that all applicants will be notified of their application status by June 2022.

How many students will you seat this year?

Our program is approved to admit 50 students each fall.

Is there a waitlist?

Yes, applicants will be notified of their waitlist status by June 2022. Applicants on our waitlist may be offered a seat through the first week of classes.

Why did I not meet the minimum admissions requirements?

There are many reasons why an applicant may not meet our minimum admissions requirements. The most common are related to GPA, PCE hours, missing prerequisites, and science classes taken more than 7 years ago. Please monitor your email throughout the cycle as we’ll do our best to communicate any missing prerequisites with you.

I met the minimum qualifications but did not get invited for an interview. What can I do to improve my application?

We receive over 1,200 applications each cycle and only interview 200 applicants each year. This means that the majority of applicants who qualify for application review will not be invited for an interview. Below are a few tips to help you qualify for an interview.

  • Take additional courses to improve your overall GPA
  • Take additional courses in chemistry, microbiology, human anatomy, and/or human physiology to improve your core science prerequisite GPA
  • Start or continue working in a paid clinical role to increase the number of paid clinical hours you have
  • Seek out clinical positions with direct patient care in common settings such as a hospital, urgent care, outpatient clinic, or surgical center
Why was I not selected after an interview?

Our program is limited to 50 students each year. We invite applicants who align with our mission and who we believe will succeed in our program. We specifically look for applicants who show a passion for delivering integrative healthcare. Below are a few ways you can improve your interview in the future.

  • Practice your interview skills
  • Acknowledge what makes our PA program unique
  • Attend a virtual or on-campus preview day or open house
  • Demonstrate experience in leadership and volunteer roles
Can I meet with an admissions advisor to go over my application prior to submitting it to CASPA?

No. We receive over 1,200 applications each year and are unable to provide one-on-one advice or application review to applicants. Please carefully review the admissions requirements listed on our website. If you are unable to find an answer to your question after a careful review of our website, you may email physicianassistant@scuhs.edu.

ACCEPTED STUDENTS

When must my immunizations be up-to-date?

For official acceptance, immunization records and titers must be submitted before the first day of classes.

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

Yes, all applicants who have accepted an offer for admission will be required to complete a background check and drug screen. Any applicant who fails the drug screen 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 be required to retake the drug screen and the background check before starting their clinical rotations. If the drug screen is positive or if the student has new convictions on their record at this time, the student will be dismissed from the program.

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

Financial aid information will be provided once an applicant accepts their seat in the program. An individualized financial aid plan will be provided to each student to meet their financial aid needs. Registration information will be sent to students prior to orientation.

What is the anticipated schedule for classes? Am I able to work while in the program?

Schedules are made at the discretion of the program. In general, students can expect to be on campus Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm during the didactic year. Clinical hours may vary and may include nights, weekends, and holidays. The PA program is a full-time program and students are discouraged from working while in the program.

Where are the clinical rotations located?

Clinical rotation hours are typically assigned within 75 miles from the university, however, placement in sites outside of this range, including out of state, may be made.

Does the program require students to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors?

No. The program does not require students to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors

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