PA Program Admission
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The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), 12000 Findley Road, Suite 150, Johns Creek, GA 30079 accredits Physician Assistant programs in the United States.

Christian Brothers University has applied for Accreditation - Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). CBU anticipates matriculating its next class in 2018 for the new program, pending achieving Accreditation - Provisional status at the September 2017 ARC-PA meeting. 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.



When and how to apply

The CBU PA program will accept applications, conditionally, starting June 1, 2017 through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) for its January 8, 2018 program start date. If the program does not achieve accreditation, all deposits, fees,  and tuition paid to CBU for the PA program will be refunded. CBU does not charge a fee to apply to its program and does not have a supplemental application.

PA Program Academic Admission Requirements

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
    Applicants can apply to the program prior to earning a Baccalaureate degree and prior to completion of all prerequisite courses. If conditionally accepted, applicant must earn a Baccalaureate degree prior to the start of the program.
  2. Cumulative GPA: 3.0 or higher
  3. Science Prerequisite GPA: 3.0 or higher
  4. Course Prerequisites (“C” or better needed, will use highest grade to calculate GPA if course is repeated)
    • General Biology I and II with labs
    • Anatomy and Physiology I and II with labs (will accept 1 semester of anatomy and 1 semester of physiology with labs)
    • Microbiology with lab
    • General Chemistry I and II with labs
    • Organic Chemistry I and II with labs
    • Statistics
    • Psychology
    • Medical Terminology

      Applicants can apply to the program prior to completion of all prerequisite courses. If conditionally accepted, applicant must complete all prerequisite courses with satisfactory grades prior to the start of the program.
  5. Official Transcripts
    Applicants will be required to submit official transcripts through CASPA. 

Other Admission Requirements

1. Technical Standard Requirements
The technical standards for Christian Brothers University’s PA program have been established to ensure that students have the ability to demonstrate academic mastery, competency when performing clinical skills, and ability to communicate clinical information with sound physical and mental capacities. These technical standards are intended to ensure that each student has the academic, physical,  and behavioral ability to acquire competencies, as defined by the National Commission on Accreditation of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), the Accreditation Review Commission for Education of the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). These technical standards are consistent with and modeled after the technical standards set forth by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). These technical standards are required for admission and must be maintained throughout a student’s progress through the Physician Assistant Program. In the event that a matriculated student is unable to fulfill the technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodations, the student may be counseled to pursue alternate careers.

All students must be able to independently meet the following technical standards:

  • General Abilities
    • A functional sense of vision, touch, hearing, taste, and smell in order to integrate, analyze and synthesize data in a consistent and accurate manner
    • Perceives pain, pressure, temperature, position, vibration, equilibrium, and movement
  • Observational Abilities
    • Observe dissected cadavers and specimens
    • Observe microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states through microscopic study
    • Observe demonstrations, exercises, and patients accurately at a distance and close-up
    • Observe non-verbal as well as verbal signals
    • Use of observation to obtain a medical history and perform a complete physical examination in order to integrate findings and develop an appropriate diagnosis(es) and treatment plan
  • Communication Abilities
    • Speak intelligently
    • Hear sufficiently
    • Interpret non-verbal and verbal aspects of communication
    • Effectively and efficiently elicit and transmit patient information in oral and written English to members of a healthcare team
    • Describe changes in mood, activity, and posture
    • Communicate effectively, efficiently, and sensitively with patients and their families
    • Read at a level sufficient to accomplish curricular requirements and provide clinical care for patients
    • Write or type appropriate medical documents according to protocol in a thorough and timely manner, accurately and clearly 
  • Sensory and Motor Abilities
    • Possess gross and fine motor skills sufficient to directly perform palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other basic diagnostic procedures, maneuvers and examinations
    • Execute motor movements reasonably required to provide basic medical care, such as airway management, placement of catheters, suturing, phlebotomy, application of sufficient pressure to control bleeding, simple obstetrical maneuvers, and extended standing and retraction in surgery
    • Respond to emergency situations in a timely manner
    • Provide general and emergency care
    • Adhere to universal precaution measures
    • Meet safety standards applicable to inpatient and outpatient settings and other clinical activities
  • Critical Thinking Abilities
    • Assimilate detailed and complex information presented in the curriculum
    • Learn through a variety of modalities, such as classroom instruction, small group, team and collaborative activities, individual study, report preparation and presentation, computer technology, active learning, clinical experiences, and interprofessional activities
    • Independently access and interpret medical histories and files
    • Identify significant findings from history, physical examination, and laboratory data
    • Provide a reasoned explanation for likely diagnoses, prescribed medications, and therapy
    • Recall and retain information in an efficient and timely manner and see the relationship between retained information and its application in clinical practice
    • Memorize, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize
    • Incorporate new information from peers, teachers and medical literature in formulating diagnoses and plans
  • Behavioral and Social Attributes
    • Possess maturity and emotional stability
    • Accept responsibility for learning
    • Understand the legal and ethical aspects of medical practice
    • Function within the law and ethical standards of the medical profession
    • Possess ability to use intellectual capacity, exercise good judgment, and promptly complete responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, sometimes under potentially stressful circumstances, emergency situations, and extended hours
    • Develop empathic, sensitive, professional, and effective relationships with patients
    • Work effectively, respectfully, and professionally as part of a healthcare team
    • Exhibit flexibility and adaptability to changing environments and learn in the face of uncertainties that are inherent to the practice of medicine
    • Contribute to collaborative and constructive learning environments, making appropriate positive changes
    • Accept constructive feedback and respond to supervision appropriately
    • Act within the appropriate scope of practice
  • Applicants should possess, at minimum, with or without the help of compensatory techniques and/or assistive devices, the following abilities, demonstrating proficiency of and attesting to these abilities prior to matriculation into the Program if asked.
    • Manual Dexterity of wrists, hands, fingers, and arms
    • Ability to grasp, palpate, pinch, hold, and percuss
    • Ability to lift, pull, push, rotate, and twist
    • Ability to cut
    • Ability to measure
    • Ability to use sterile technique
    • Ability to use universal precaution methods
    • Ability to operate and maintain equipment (ventilators, monitors, defibrillators, etc.)
  • Sensation to allow for palpation, auscultation, percussion, vision, and smell
  • Physical Strength
    • Ability to support another person
    • Ability to position another person
    • Ability to transition from/to walker, cane, crutches, bed, chair, and gurney
    • Ability to provide motion exercises
    • Ability to stand for long periods of time
    • Ability to perform CPR/resuscitation
  • Other Abilities
    • Ability to be poised and self-confident
    • Ability to read, write, understand, and communicate proficiently and effectively in the English language
    • Ability to remain calm during emergency situations
    • Ability to meet and deal with people of differing backgrounds and behavioral patterns
    • Ability to display and maintain mental and emotional stability
    • Be free from any active diseases that are infectious and may be spread by routine means, such as handshakes, skin contact, or breathing

If applicant states an inability to meet all the technical standards without accommodation, Christian Brothers University will determine whether the student can meet the technical standards with reasonable accommodation. This includes a review of whether the accommodations requested are reasonable, taking into account whether the accommodation would jeopardize patient safety or the educational process of the student or the institution, including all coursework, clinical experiences, labs, and rotations deemed essential to graduate. Students with documented disabilities who wish to request academic accommodations should contact Karen Conway-Barnett, Dean of Students, Director of Disability Services, Student Life, at (901) 321-3536 or kconway@cbu.edu.

2. Prior Work Experience
No prior work experience is required.

3. Supplemental Application
No supplemental application is required.

4. References
Applicants will be asked to provide two (2) references through CASPA. References will only be accepted through CASPA. References sent to the PA program directly will no be accepted.

5. Interview
Competitive applicants will be offered a day-long interview. A successful interview is required for admission into the program. Competitive applicants will be notified in writing what interview days are available, and the potential to achieve a career as a PA will weigh strongly in the admission decision. Interviewed applicants will be notified in writing of the Admissions Committee decision shortly after the interview. Interviewed applicants will be accepted, waitlisted, or denied. Offers will be extended on a rolling admissions basis.

6. Transportation
Students accepted into the program must have their own mode of transportation while enrolled in the program. Students will be expected to participate in all assigned clinical experiences during the didactic and clinical phases of the program. Required rotations can occur outside of the Memphis region.

7. Seat Deposit Fee
A seat deposit fee of $750 will be required to hold a seat in the PA program. Applicant will have two weeks to pay the seat deposit after receiving an acceptance letter. This deposit will hold a seat in the program for the applicant. If the program is not awarded accreditation, the seat deposit paid to Christian Brothers University for the January 2018 PA program matriculating class will be refunded. If the program is awarded accreditation, but the accepted applicant fails to meet admission requirements prior to the start of the program, there will be no seat deposit refund. If the program is awarded accreditation and the accepted applicant meets admission requirements prior to the start of the program, the seat deposit will be applied toward the cost of tuition.

8. Tuition and Fees
All tuition and fees must be paid in accordance with university policy. Failure to do so can result in dismissal from the university. If the PA program does not earn accreditation, deposits, tuition, and fees paid for the PA program will be refunded.

9. Standardized Testing (e.g. GRE, MCAT)
No standardized testing scores are required to apply to the PA program.

10. Background Check
If offered a seat in the PA program, a level 1 background check is required prior to the start of the program. Failure to do so will result in seat forfeiture. A background check that does not match what was recorded on the application will result in seat forfeiture. The applicant is responsible for associated costs. Details will be provided upon acceptace. Seat forfeiture will result in the loss of seat deposit (if program does not earn accreditation, all deposits will be refunded).

11. Child Abuse Clearance
Applicants offered a seat in the PA program must undergo a child abuse clearance prior to the start of the program. Failure to do so will result in seat forfeiture. A child abuse check that does not match what was recorded on the application will result in seat forfeiture. The applicant is responsible for associated costs. Details will be provided upon acceptance. Seat forfeiture will result in loss of seat deposit (if program does not earn accreditation, all deposits will be refunded).

12. Drug Screening
Applicants offered a seat in the PA program must undergo a drug screen prior to the start of the program. Failure to do so will result in seat forfeiture. A positive drug screen can result in seat forfeiture. Applicant is responsible for associated costs. Details will be provided if accepted. Seat forfeiture will result in loss of seat deposit (if program does not earn accreditation, all deposits will be refunded).

13. Medical Clearance
Applicants offered a seat in the PA program must undergo a physical examination, immunizations and/or titers, TB testing, and completion of Health Forms prior to the start of the program. Requirements will be based on current CDC guidelines for healthcare workers. Failure to comply prior to the start of the program can result in seat forfeiture. Under no circumstance will students be permitted to participate in clinical experiences without medical clearance. This can have a significant impact on course grades associated with clinical experiences and, ultimately, lead to dismissal from the Program. The applicant is responsible for the associated costs. Details will be provided if accepted. Seat forfeiture will result in loss of seat deposit (if program does not earn accreditation, all deposits will be refunded).

14. Health Insurance
Applicants offered a seat in the PA program must provide proof of personal health insurance throughout the entire program. Failure to comply prior to the start of the program can result in seat forfeiture. Failure to comply while in the program can result in dismissal from the program.

Admission and Enrollment Preferences

The CBU PA program gives seat preference to applicants who meet all basic admission requirements and meet one or more of the following:

  • Metro-Memphis residents and those living in the Mid-South
  • CBU students and graduates
  • Applicants with service in the armed forces
  • Applicants with health care exposure and/or experience
  • Applicants who have successfully completed upper-division advanced science courses with a grade of B or better

Transfer & Part-Time Students

The CBU PA program does not accept transfer or part-time students.

Advanced Placement

The CBU PA program does not grant advanced placement. Prior completion of PA program courses or PA program-like courses completed at other schools, experiences in the medical field, and other degrees earned in medicine or other health-related fields will not grant applicant advanced placement.

International Applicants

  1. Transcript interpretation by WES
    The PA program requires applicants to have International transcripts evaluated through WES (University requirement), with results sent to CASPA when you are completing the CASPA application. Do not send the results directly to the PA program, unless directed to do so.
  2. Minimum TOEFL Score
    The PA program will also require TOEFL scores for International applications. Minimum TOEFL scores are 577 paper version, 230 for the computer-based test, and 90 for the Internet-based test; or IELTS of 6.5. Please follow all other university guidelines and requirements for International applicants. To inquire about any additional university international application processes or requirements, please contact the Dean of Academic Services and Faculty Development, Cory Major, at cmajor@cbu.edu or call (901) 321-3758. 

PA Resources and Links

NCCPA • AAPA •  PAEA • TAPA • ARC-PA CASPA • Pi Alpha