Frequently Asked Questions
What will make me a stronger candidate and guarantee that I get in?
There are no guarantees in life but the strongest candidates are individuals who have relevant life experiences coupled with good strong academics. Applicants should score within the top 50th percentile rankings on the GRE.
My early college grades aren’t the best but I did graduate and have taken graduate courses. Do they count?
We look at all grades and utilize them in evaluation of your academic performance. A person who has overcome early academic adversity and demonstrates strong performance on upper level or graduate level work deserves consideration. We look for maturation during education.
Are considerations given to “special” groups?
We recognize the efforts of veterans and local applicants. We provide additional consideration to graduates of CBU and other local schools based on academic performance. “Hands on” experience is also noted by the Admissions Committee as compared to solely shadowing exposure.
What is the accreditation status of the program?
"The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Christian Brothers University Physician Assistant Program. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status. The status indicates that the plans and resource allocation for the proposed program appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards, if fully implemented as planned. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class."
What is “provisional accreditation”?
Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status. The status indicates that the plans and resource allocation for the proposed program appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards, if fully implemented as planned. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class."
What is the incoming class size?
CBU has been approved by ARC-PA to accept up to 42 students in each cohort. The program accepts one cohort a year.
How many applications do you get?
We have seen an annual increase in the number of applications. Currently we are seeing a 5 to 1 ratio of applications to seats available.
What is the application deadline?
To be considered for the upcoming class, an application MUST be on file with the program by July 1 of the preceding year. ALL materials supporting the application must be complete and into the program by July 31.
When do classes start?
We have a Spring Semester start date which is in January.
Are there breaks?
During the didactic portion of the program we follow the academic calendar as posted by the University. The summer semester does begin for the program before the remainder of the University. Otherwise, breaks and holidays are as listed. Once the student begins their clinical rotations the schedules vary from the academic calendar and may include nights, weekends, and holidays. Students on clinical rotations follow the schedule posted by their preceptor.
When can I apply?
Applications are accepted year round. Once a file is complete it is reviewed in late Spring by a member of the Admission Committee and a decision is made as to whether to interview the applicant. Interviews are held in the summer and selections are made in early September. We DO NOT do rolling admissions.
What is your average GPA per application cycle?
Applicants usually hold a 3.2 to a 4.0 GPA.
What is the average GRE score for your applicants?
Applicants should score within the top 50th percentile rankings on the GRE.
What are the prerequisites for your program?
These prerequisites must come from an accredited university:
- Anatomy with lab (four semester hours)
- Physiology with lab (four semester hours, or combined Anatomy/Physiology with lab eight semester hours)
- General Chemistry with lab (eight semester hours)
- General Biology with lab (eight semester hours)
- Genetics with lab (four semester hours)
- Organic Chemistry with lab or Biochemistry with lab (four hours required, eight hours are recommended)
- Microbiology with lab (four semester hours)
- General Psychology (three semester hours)
- Medical Terminology (complete course)
Do I have to have healthcare experience to apply?
Individuals with prior healthcare experience often are able to acquire concepts presented in the Program more easily than someone who has limited or no exposure. While the Program does not mandate a specific number of hours or type of exposure applicants with greater exposure and direct care experiences are credited appropriately in the application process. It should be noted however that this and of itself does not result in a guaranteed interview or admission to the program.
How long is the program?
The program consists of 27 months or seven consecutive semesters.
Can I work while attending the program?
It is not advised to try and work while attending the program.
Do you have to have a Bachelor of Science in order to apply for your program?
No, you may hold a bachelor's degree in anything, but you must have also completed the prerequisites.
Are all clinical rotations only available in the Memphis area?
Although you can receive your degree with all local rotations, out-of-town rotations are available upon requests through our Clinical Coordinator.
How old can my science courses be?
Your science courses completion should be within the last eight years.
How many healthcare hours are required?
We do not have a specific number of healthcare hours that are required in order to apply. The more experience you have in a healthcare setting the better it is for you as an applicant. That will help you make sure that the healthcare field is for you.
I am taking a class in the summer semester and my transcript will not be available until after the July 31 deadline. How will this affect my application?
You will need to contact your professor and have them contact the office and inform the program what your prospective grade is by the end of July.
Is there a specific format for the letters of recommendation and personal statement?
No, we do not have a specific format for you to use. Your personal statement needs to be longer than a paragraph but shorter than four pages. The letters of recommendation should have a point of contact for the author in case the Admissions Committee would like to verify the content.
I have a degree from overseas, how does that affect the application process?
It is the University’s policy to have an evaluation from WES (World Education Services www.wes.org). This is the only evaluation system the University accepts for non US degrees and transcripts. These must come straight from the WES not a copy from your personal collection.
Are there any special considerations given to applicants?
The Program recognizes the opportunity to address the need for Primary Care Providers in our community. Applicants to the Program from the Memphis Metropolitan area are awarded up to 5 points on their application for residency credit. In addition, graduates from Christian Brothers University are provided 5 points to their application total. Lastly, the Program recognizes its' roots in the military and wishes to honor military veterans who seek application to the program. Again a total of five points may be earned for active military service. Those who have served in the Reserve are awarded half of the maximum of credit. Each of these credits are added to the application score calculated by the applicants academic performances and any prior healthcare experiences, as well as, those of other application requirements.