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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is the Master in Physician Assistant Studies program accredited?

    The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation – Provisional status to the Florida International University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Florida International University-Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. Visit ARC-PA for more information.

  • How can I apply for the Master in Physician Assistant Studies program?

    For application information visit Apply.

  • What are the requirements for admissions to the Master in Physician Assistant Studies program?

    For admissions and prerequisite requirements visit Program Prerequisites.

  • How are GPA’s (Quality Point Averages) calculated?

    The HWCOM MPAS program utilizes the GPA's calculated by CASPA and does not recalculate GPA's. For more information on CASPA's GPA calculation visit Verification: Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculations.

  • Do the prerequisites need to be completed prior to applying to the program?

    Applicants can apply to the program while completing the prerequisites but the prerequisites must be completed by December 31 and all outstanding transcripts sent to the Admissions Coordinator upon completion. Applications will not be reviewed until all documents are received.

  • I have a medical degree but my prerequisites are older than 7 years, can I still apply to the program?

    All applicants with prerequisites older than the seven year matriculation period MUST retake the science prerequisites to be considered for acceptance into the program. Foreign graduates must complete all prerequisite courses from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States to be considered.

  • Are applicants required to shadow a PA prior to applying to the program?

    It is highly recommended that applicants have shadowing experience prior to applying, applicants with over 1000 shadowing hours will receive additional points. The number of hours submitted on the CASPA application will be calculated towards your score, no hours completed after submission of the CASPA will be added.

  • What types of experience counts as direct patient care?

    Direct patient care or “hands-on” patient contact is required and enhances your application, examples of direct patient care are CNA or affiliated nursing fields, EMT, paramedic, medical assistant.Note: patient transporter, acupuncturist, phlebotomist etc. are not considered direct patient care experience.

  • Can I update my direct patient care experience and send in additional letters of recommendation after submitting my CASPA application?

    No, we do not accept any additional information after CASPA has verified your application. It is in your best interest to submit your CASPA application with all the information you want your application to be evaluated with.

  • When does the Master in Physician Assistant Studies classes begin?

    Classes begin the first week in August but there is a mandatory professional development seminar that is held the last week in July.

  • How many students will be selected for enrollment?

    45 students will be selected for enrollment, to date we have received over 1400 applications making selection highly competitive.

  • How are students contacted?

    Applicants are communicated with via the email address listed on their CASPA application.

  • Is there a seat deposit required?

    A non-refundable professional development seminar fee seat deposit of $550 is required to secure your seat in the program.

  • Is a background check performed for admission?

    All students selected for admission will be required to have a criminal background check, health assessment and immunizations completed prior to matriculation. The offer of admission is conditional upon results of the background check and health assessment, to include a drug screen. During enrollment, repeat background checks, health and drug screens may be required. If a prospective student declines to undergo the background check, health assessment, or drug screen or if findings of a grievous nature are revealed, the offer of admission will be revoked. If a student declines to undergo a background check, health assessment, or drug screen while enrolled in the program or if findings of a grievous nature are revealed, this will be grounds for dismissal from the program. Acceptance into and successful completion of the FIU HWCOM MPAS Program does not imply or guarantee that the student will be able to obtain state licensure upon graduation.

  • Is there on-campus housing available?

    At this time there is no on-campus housing available for graduate students but students can visit off-campus housing for options near campus. Our program also creates a Facebook page where students can network to find roommates and other resources from the incoming class.

  • Will students be able to work while attending classes?

    The program is very demanding and intense therefore students are strongly discouraged from working while committing to the program. The program requires a full-time commitment for the duration of the program i.e. days, nights and weekends.

  • Who can I speak with regarding admission?

    During the year there will be open houses for applicants to learn more information about the program. All of the information needed is listed on our website so please visit the website before contacting us. FIU students and alumni can schedule appointments with Pre-Health Advisors by contacting 305-348-0515. All other applicants can schedule an appointment with the Admissions Coordinator by contacting 305-348-6567.

  • What can I expect in terms of clinical rotations?

    Clinical rotations include seven core rotations of 4-5 weeks duration in the following areas: family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, women's health, surgery and emergency medicine. In addition, there are two four-week electives in which students may choose to gain additional experience in one of the above areas or other sub-specialty areas of interest.

    The clinical rotations are done within an extensive network of locations which include hospitals, medical centers, and inpatient and outpatient clinics around South Florida.

  • If I am accepted at FIU, can I select any of my own rotations during the clinical year?

    The program determines the clinical placements for the seven core rotations. Students have the opportunity to submit a "wish list" for the 2 four-week elective rotations. This may include further experience in a core rotation area, a sub-specialty of interest, and/or placement in a desired geographic area. The program does it's best to match the student with the site providing an optimal clinical education experience.

  • Where will the clinical rotations take place?

    The clinical educational experiences are done predominantly in South Florida. Placement is determined by PA program faculty that customizes rotations to best complement a student's academic and clinical experiences, expertise and personality. Each student will do rotations in health care institutions of various sizes, populations, settings and resources to ensure positive and diverse clinical experiences.

  • What degree do students earn?

    Graduates earn a Master in Physician Assistant Studies. They are eligible to take the National Certifying Examination for Physician Assistants, and apply for Licensure with the Florida State Medical Board as Physician Assistants.

    For further Information, contact:

    Florida Department of Health
    Council of Physician Assistant
    P.O. Box 6330
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-3255
    850-245-4131
    http://www.floridahealth.gov/