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College of Health Professions & McAuley School of Nursing

Frequently Asked Questions

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    1. I am an undergraduate. What are my application requirements?

    Undergraduate students at the University of Detroit Mercy can prepare for the PA program by completing the Pre-PA program offered by the Department of Biology or Biochemistry. This program awards a bachelor's degree, requires the student complete 1000 hours of health or helping experience (paid or volunteer) and includes specific course work in preparation for the graduate PA program. Entry into the Pre-PA program does not guarantee admission to the PA program. Dr. Greg Grabowski, chairperson of the Biology Department, can be reached at 313-993-1181 or by email at grabowgm@udmercy.edu. Dr. Mathew Mio of the Biochemistry department can be reached at 313/993.1188 or miomj@udmercy.edu.

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    2. Can I apply through CASPA (the Centralized Application Service for PAs)?

    Yes. The deadline for submission of ALL application materials submitted to CASPA is January 15. The PA program also has a supplemental application which will be incorporated in CASPA in the application cycle for fall of 2016 and it will must be submitted CASPA by the deadline date of January 15th.

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    3. What is health care experience or helping experience?

    By the January 15th deadline, a minimum of one thousand (1,000 hours) of work demonstrating personal maturity and knowledge of healthcare systems. The applicant should demonstrate leadership or increasing levels of responsibility in their work experience. The work may be paid or volunteer, full or part time. It may or may not include direct patient care. At minimum it should be service and health related.

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    4. Who is an appropriate reference?

    A professional reference is a supervisor, co-worker or academic advisor - someone who can evaluate your professional skills. Not someone you have shadowed for a short time, a family member or friend. The program would prefer a reference from a PA or physician who is familiar with PA practice but only if they can provide a professional reference.

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    5. What is "Contingent Admission"?

    If your bachelor's degree has not been completed by the application deadline but will be completed before beginning classes in the fall, your application may then be considered for contingent admission. Transcripts for your bachelor's degree not completed by the deadline are the ONLY part of the application you may submit after the deadline in a contingent application. All other application materials MUST be submitted by the deadline to be considered for admission.

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    6. How do I "test out" of a prerequisite?

    Beginning with application for  fall 2014 there will NO LONGER be the option to demonstrate competency by exam (ie: NLN or CLEP).

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    7. How will I know if a prerequisite course I plan to take will meet the program requirements?

    A copy of the catalog course description and/or syllabus for the prerequisite in question should be sent to the program for approval. It is highly recommended that applicants have course descriptions approved prior to submission with the application (and include a copy of the approval with the application). Course descriptions can be emailed (chpgrad@udmercy.edu) or mailed. Please include the course name and number and the name of the institution where the course is offered in your request.

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    8. I am interested in taking the required prerequisites for the PA program at the University of Detroit Mercy but I am not a registered student. How do I register?

    In order to register for courses that are prerequisites for the PA program, candidates must submit a completed CASPA application and apply to the PA Program. When the CASPA application is received the candidate should contact chpgrad@udmercy.edu to obtain an unclassified student status.

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    9. What if I have foreign transcripts?

    If you are a permanent resident/U.S. citizen, you may apply through CASPA. Applicants must submit official foreign transcripts to an approved foreign transcript evaluation service for a course-by-course U.S. equivalency report including degree equivalency (i.e. specifically stating the coursework is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree). If evaluation of the foreign transcript does not specify the equivalency of a US bachelor's degree, the applicant must be able to document a bachelor's degree from an accredited US  institution.


    Please arrange for foreign transcript reports to be sent directly to CASPA from the foreign transcript evaluation agency by the January 15 deadline. Contact the foreign transcript evaluation service as early as possible. The services may take several weeks to process your foreign transcript once it is received. If you are not  permanent resident/U.S. citizen, you must apply using the International Physcian Assistant application (select International Physician Assistant at the bottom of the Select Application page)

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    10. Who must take the GRE?

    All applicants must submit official GRE scores unless they have completed a graduate degree with a 3.0/4.0 CGPA from an accredited U.S. university or college. These scores must be sent directly to CASPA from the Educational Testing Corp by the admission deadline. (Official MCAT scores may be used in lieu of GRE and should be sent directly to the PA program. MCAT scores will no longer be accepted after the admission cycle for Fall of 2015). When sending the the GRE scores, you will need the University of Detroit Mercy's PA program code: GI 0509. This will ensure your scores reach CASPA in a timely manner. To schedule the GRE exam visit the GRE web site at http://www.gre.org.

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    11. What if I have a U. S. graduate degree already?

    If you have a US graduate degree with a 3.0/4.0 CGPA from an accredited U.S. university or college, you will not need to submit GRE scores. Request your official graduate transcripts indicating completion of your degree and a cummulative GPA, be sent to the PA program with your application. Your graduate GPA will be used in place of your GRE score to evaluate your ability in a graduate program. Only those applicants who have documentation of a completed degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better in an accredited US institution by the deadline may submit their graduate GPA in place of their GRE. Degrees in progress or transcripts without a GPA (ie those with Pass/Fail grades) cannot be used in place of the GRE.

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    12. What is an acceptable score on the GRE?

    As of the 2012 admissions cycle, applicants must have a total, minimum score of 900 for exams taken before August 2011 to be considered for admission. GRE revised the General Test and has implemented new score scales for exams taken after August 1, 2011. For exams taken after that date, the minimum combined score for application to the PA program is 291.

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    13. What type of bachelor degree is preferred?

    There is no preference. We do recommend if you are just starting to take classes that you consider a medical/health or science related degree.

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    14. How will my courses transfer?

    Prerequisites don't transfer, they are taken prior to matriculation into the program. Students with graduate level courses believed to be equivalent to course work within the PA curriculum are considered on a case by case basis after admission - these courses are not transferred but may waive courses within the curriculum if equivalent and recent. See the Waiver of Required Course Work policy in the PA program policy manual.

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    15. What is meant by "upper division" courses?

    Usually 300 level or higher course numbers.

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    16. When do I have to have all my prerequisites completed?

    Official transcripts for prerequisite courses must be received  by the deadline date of January 15th for CASPA.

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    17. How recent do my six pre-requisite courses need to be?

    Prerequisite course work must have been completed within six years prior to the year of admission to the PA program e.g. for application for fall of 2016 they must have been taken January 2010 or after.

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    18. What happens after I submit my application?

    Applications are reviewed for completeness. Applications complete by the deadline are forwarded to faculty for review and selection for interview. Interviews are usually scheduled from mid-March through mid-April with the goal of contacting all applicants by mid April.

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    19. Can I choose whether I am admitted to the 2 year or 3 year program?

    Applicants to the program are asked at the time of application to submit a preference for the 2 or 3 year program. The selection committee makes an attempt to give each applicant his or her first choice but we have limited seats in each class. Applicants accepted may be accepted into the alternate track with the option to change based on space coming available.

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    20. What does a successful applicant profile look like?

    For the class entering 2015, the average cumulative undergraduate grade point average was 3.62. The average cumulative graduate degree GPA used in lieu of GRE scores was 3.69. The average Graduate Record Exam score was 307.98.

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    21. Who can provide me with individual admissions guidance?

    You can email chpgrad@udmercy.edu. Be sure to put, "I have a PA question" in the subject of your email. Interested candidates are advised that there are no "walk-in hours" for guidance either with the faculty or with the PA program administrators for admissions.  Candidates are best served when they submit their questions in writing and will receive a written response to which they can refer.

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    22. How can I meet with faculty?

    Attend our Information Meetings on the third Monday of each month at the McNichols Campus. Meetings are held at 5:30 p.m.

    Interested candidates should be aware that the e-mail sent to chpgrad@udmercy.edu is answered by a member of the PA program faculty.

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    23. Where can I find information on financial aid?

    For more information, see the financial aid page.

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    24. What if I don't have a bachelor's degree?

    If you are a high school student, check out our accelerated 5 year PA track. If you have some college credit or an Associates Degree, you may want to consider one of the Pre-PA programs at Detroit Mercy. The Pre-PA program in the Department of Biology or Biochemistry.

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    25. How do I find out more about PA's?

    More information can be found at the American Academy of Physician Assistants web site, http://www.aapa.org

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    26. What is the graduation or completion rate for the PA Program?

    The average graduation/completion rate for the past five years from the PA Program is 84%.

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    27. What is the employment rate of the graduates* of the PA Program?

    100% of graduates responding to a survey six months after graduation in 2015 were employed as a PA.
    *results reflect alumni wishing to be employed at time of survey
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    28. How well do students meet the goals and objectives of the PA Program?

    For the past 5 years, student were rated by their clinical supervisors in their final clinical experience, on average, to always meet expectations and usually or frequently exceed them in all areas evaluated including, medical knowledge; technical skills and professional ethics, conduct and attitude.

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