Physician Assistant Program - Fort Lauderdale
Frequently Asked Questions
Graduates of the program receive a Master of Medical Science (MMS) degree in Physician Assistant.
Yes, a baccalaureate degree must have been received prior to matriculation into the physician assistant program. See Requirements for Admission for more information.
No. All entry-level classes for the program are taught in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. At this time there is no distance learning or part-time format for our program. It is required that you are located in South Florida for the duration of the program.
The successful applicant to the NSU PA Program will have a combination of life, educational and work experience that shows a commitment to patient care, an understanding of the PA profession and the ability to perform in a demanding academic and professional setting. Competition is strong for entry into this program.
Although not required, health care experience is highly recommended. This experience can be either paid or volunteer and should include exposure to mid level practitioners. Our applicants have an average of 30+ months of health care experience. Additionally many former applicants gained valuable information from the material they had access to as Associate Members of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
Past educational performance, while not necessarily indicative of current abilities, can predict performance in the program. Every attempt should be made to enhance overall and science course GPA prior to application. The first year is extremely demanding and the applicant will benefit by taking courses that simulate this type of education.
In recent years, the program has received 1400 or more applications each year. We traditionally interview approximately 250 persons. There is no guaranteed number of applications or interviews in any given year.
We anticipate 70-75 positions will be available each year, with classes entering each June.
The programs in Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Jacksonville, and Orlando are distinct. As such, applications must be made to each if you wish to be considered at all four. While admission requirements and prerequisites are similar, each considers applicants independently and there is no guarantee that an interview at one program will lead to an interview at another.
No. Science prerequisites MUST be completed by the end of the fall semester prior to matriculation. The remainder of pre-requisites MUST be completed by the time of matriculation (starting the program) in June, but you must be enrolled in those classes by the time of your interview. It is possible to get accepted into the program contingent on completion of those courses with satisfactory grades. We make every attempt to accommodate individual situations, but you MUST complete courses by the time school starts. Proof of registration and progress may be required to verify such.
There is no set number, but the more the better. It is important that one is very familiar with the career he/she is planning to make a commitment to. We value the type of experience more than total number of hours. Clinical experience is NOT required for admission, but will enhance your application substantially when compared to others that apply to the program.
Yes. Most students have some form and combination of financial aid from public and private sources. Part of planning for entry should include planning for the financial situation faced by our students. We recommend that our student not work during the program. Much of that information can be obtained from the NSU Financial Aid Office.
Yes. Students find housing in many of the neighboring communities. NSU graduate housing is available, and information can be obtained online at www.nova.edu/reslife.
No. You must apply through the centralized application service called CASPA. You do however, have to submit an online supplemental application after your CASPA application is completed. There is an additional $50 fee for that supplemental application.
You must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (both cumulative and science GPA) in order for your application packet to be considered for review. All prerequisite courses must be passed with a grade of "C" (2.0) or better. All science prerequisites need be completed within 10 years of application date. As with any other university or college, higher GPAs are more competitive. Science grades above a "C" are more competitive. Once again, your goal is to be competitive and academically prepared to successfully handle the demands of the program's curriculum. However, THE ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE DOES NOT BASE ITS DECISION SOLELY ON GRADE POINT AVERAGES. It evaluates the application packet as a whole; therefore, strong reference forms/letters of recommendation, prior "hands-on" health care experience and a demonstrated commitment to under served communities are also important.
Yes. The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and Writing Assessment are required.
Keep in mind that your goal is to become a physician assistant; therefore, your volunteer experience should provide you with as much exposure/experience as possible to the roles and responsibilities of physicians, PAs and or other medical professional, whose primary responsibility is patient care. Familiarity with the "tools of the trade," hospital, and various medical procedures is valuable.
No. See the prerequisites on this page.
Yes. Each applicant is viewed equally; therefore, each must complete all prerequisite course work. No exceptions or substitutions. Advanced standing is not given for previous course work or life experience.
The program does not offer only a certificate. Every student must complete the entire curriculum regardless of previously completed course work or degrees.
Science prerequisites MUST be completed by the end of the fall semester prior to matriculation. You will not be offered an interview unless your science prerequisites have been completed. You may have two of your remaining prerequisites outstanding, but they do need to be completed prior to matriculation. Keep in mind that you're competing against HUNDREDS of applicants, most of whom have fulfilled ALL admission requirements. Your goal is to be as competitive as possible. You will not be invited for an interview if you have more than two missing prerequisites.
A single applicant interviews with a team of 2-4 interviewers. This format is flexible and individual interviewers may be used in some cases. Please be flexible when coming to campus for interviews.
Please consult the current catalog or PA program brochure for most recent costs. You can expect the following approximate costs:
- Tuition (approximate) - $29,975 per 12 months (we are a 27 month program)
- Post Acceptance Fees ($1,000 total)
- Acceptance Fee (Due within 2 weeks of acceptance) - $500
- Deposit (due February 15) - $500
- HPD General Access Fee - $145 per year
- Student Services fee - $900 per year
- Clinical Year Support Charge - $400 per semester during clinical training
- Graduation fees - approximately $300
- Physical examination course equipment - $550
- Required books - $1250
- Recommended books - $500
- NCCPA Review Course and books (optional) - $400
- NCCPA PANCE (National Entry Level Board Exam) - $425
- Florida State Licensing Fees (Initial) - $400
- Parking - free on campus
- Computer lab, e-mail account, MDConsult database - free on campus
- Computer (home) - approximately $1500-2000
Yes. All of the requirements must be met by everyone, including International Medical Graduates (IMGs). All transcripts from other countries must be evaluated by an evaluation service within the United States. (Please see Evaluation Services for a listing of suggested services used by our applicants who are graduates of medical schools from other countries.) International transcripts that are submitted without official evaluation will not be considered.
Also, please note that there is no test which IMGs can take to challenge the NSU PA program, obtain a PA license or become nationally certified as a PA. All IMGs accepted into the program must complete the entire program. Courses previously taken in medical school can not be substituted for courses to be taken in the NSU PA program.
No. While you may note that there are some IMGs in Florida, practicing as PAs that never attended PA school, this opportunity was shut off approximately 10 years ago. No longer may an IMG become a PA in Florida without attending an accredited PA program and passing the national NCCPA/PANCE boards for PAs.
No. You will need to complete all courses outlined in our curriculum. We do not offer advanced placement.
Due to the demands of the program curriculum, we STRONGLY discourage any outside employment.