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FAQs

When will the program start accepting applications?
What are the prerequisites for the program?
How will applications be submitted to the program?
How can I make my application as competitive as possible?
What work experience will I need in order to satisfy the experience portion of the prerequisites?
How long will the program be?
What will be the structure of the program?
Where is the program in the accreditation process?
Will there be any information sessions coming soon?
Where will classes be held for the new PA program at Westfield State University?
Where will the clinical clerkships be located for the program?
How long will classes be in the program?
What credentials will I have upon completion of the Physician Assistant program at Westfield State University?
What financial aid options are available for students in the program?
Will there be university housing available to the students in the program?
Is there a GRE requirement for applicants to the program?
Will the program require letters of recommendation for the applicants?
Will the program require a personal statement from the applicants?
Does the program have rolling admissions?
Does the program accept prerequisites taken at a community college or online?
What kind of documentation must applicants provide to verify patient contact hours?
Can applicants have outstanding prerequisites when they apply to the program?
What kind of course may be permitted to substitute for the ethics course prerequisite?
When will the program hold interviews for the applicants?

 

Overview of the seating area outside of the science and innovation center

 


When will the program start accepting applications?

The Program started accepting applications through the CASPA system when the 2017-2018 cycle opened on April 27, 2017. The deadline for CASPA applications to the WSU PA Program was August 1st, 2017. A supplemental application is due at the same time and final materials for pending prerequisites can be sent directly to the school after that. Applicants can refer to our CASPA program page for more information and the link to the supplemental application when our cycle is open.

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What are the prerequisites for the program?
  • A baccalaureate or graduate degree from an accredited institution with an overall GPA of 3.0
  • A minimum of 500 hours of patient contact are required (such as EMT, scribe, paramedic, lab tech, volunteer, nurse's aide)
  • All prerequisite courses below must be completed with a grade of "C" or better, resulting in a 3.0 or higher GPA
    • One university/college-level statistics course
    • One university/college-level ethics course
    • One general psychology course
    • 30 semester hours of biological, chemical and physical sciences, which must include Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II with lab, Microbiology, Genetics, and Biochemistry. The statistics, ethics, and psychology courses do not count toward the 30 semester credit hours.
  • A personal statement

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How will applications be submitted to the program?

Applications will be submitted through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). An additional supplemental application is submitted through the University directly.

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How can I make my application as competitive as possible?

In addition to having a strong GPA in the science courses, competitive applicants will have high quality patient care experience.

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What work experience will I need in order to satisfy the experience portion of the prerequisites?

Many different types of patient care experience (such as EMT, scribe, paramedic, lab tech, volunteer, nurse's aide) are accepted so long as they involve direct contact with patients.

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How long will the program be?

The program can be completed in twenty four months.

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What will be the structure of the program?

The first year will focus on didactic studies, in which students will complete coursework employing a systems approach and learn a variety of pedagogical techniques. The curriculum is full-time and very demanding. Following the successful completion of coursework, a competency-based course will be offered to assure the readiness of the student to enter clinical clerkships. The student will then progress to 12 months of clinical clerkships throughout the region and beyond. The clinical clerkships will be in private medical offices, hospitals and medical centers in areas such as primary care, pediatrics, hospital medicine, surgery, and emergency medicine.

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Where is the program in the accreditation process?

The Westfield State University Physician Assistant Studies program has been granted "Accreditation - Provisional" status by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The full accreditation statement is:

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation - Provisional status to the Westfield State University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Westfield State University.

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.

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Will there be information sessions?

We hold information sessions almost monthly now, at Westfield State University. You can RSVP to one of the dates by going to the main page of our Program. A link is provided there to RSVP. You can also follow our social media accounts for announcements.

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Where will classes be held for the new PA program at Westfield State University?

Courses will be held in the new Dr. Nettie M. Stevens Science and Innovation Center as well as in our program classroom.

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Where will the clinical clerkships be located for the program?

Clinical clerkships will be located throughout Massachusetts and beyond. The clinical clerkships will be in private medical offices, hospitals, and medical centers.

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How long will classes be in the program?

During the didactic year, the program involves course work that will fill the entire day.

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What credentials will I have upon completion of the Physician Assistant program at Westfield State University?

Upon completion of the Physician Assistant program, students will be awarded a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Westfield State University.

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What financial aid options are available for students in the program?

Students will be able to make use of a variety of financial aid options through the Westfield State University College of Graduate and Continuing Education (CGCE). You can contact Simone Backstedt for more information that is specific to financial aid for the PA Program.

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Will there be university housing available to the students in the program?

Graduate students will have the opportunity to use university housing, subject to availability. Students can contact the Associate Director of Housing, Dr. Joshua Hettrick.

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Is there a GRE requirement for applicants to the program?

There is not a GRE requirement for applicants to the program.

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Will the program require letters of recommendation for the applicants?

Yes. The program will require three letters of recommendation for the applicants. The letters should come from different aspects of their academic and professional career. For example, applicants can submit letters from a professional supervisor, clinical mentor, and a professor.

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Will the program require a personal statement from the applicants?

Yes. The program will require a personal statement from the applicant.

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Does the program have rolling admissions?

The WSU PA Program does not have rolling admissions. All applications will be reviewed prior to selecting who to invite to interview.

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Does the program accept prerequisites taken at a community college or online?

The WSU PA Program accepts prerequisites taken at accredited institutions of higher education. These include courses taken at community colleges and accredited online programs. The courses must have credit hours. Certificates do not satisfy course prerequisites. Applicants may email the program to confirm that their specific course will be accepted. Please include a copy of the course description and syllabi for the Admissions Committee to review.

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What kind of documentation must applicants provide to verify patient contact hours?

Applicants must provide documentation from the HR or coordinator of the organization(s) from which they had the patient contact. This can be in the form of a letter detailing the hours and experience as well as a report generated by the organization.

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Can applicants have outstanding prerequisites when they apply to the program?

Applicants may have up to two (2) prerequisites in progress when they apply through CASPA. Applicants must list their plan to complete the prerequisite(s) prior to matriculation. They will be required to submit a copy of their final transcript directly to the program. Applicants will not be able to matriculate without completion of all prerequisites.

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What kind of course may be permitted to substitute for the ethics course prerequisite?

Applicants interested in substituting another course for the ethics prerequisite must email a copy of the desired course's description and syllabus. Acceptable courses must list dilemma and conflict processing and resolution in the objectives and outcomes. The Admissions Committee will review the description and syllabus. A response with approval or denial will be sent once a decision has been made.

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When will the program hold interviews for the applicants?

The Admissions Committee will review all applications and select which applicants will be invited to interview here at Westfield State University. More information will be provided when candidates are invited to interview.

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