- Is the Master in Physician Assistant Studies program accredited?
At its 2021 March meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) placed the Florida International University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Florida International University on Accreditation-Probation status until its next review in 2023 March.
Probation accreditation is a temporary accreditation status initially of not less than two years. However, that period may be extended by the ARC-PA for up to an additional two years if the ARC-PA finds that the program is making substantial progress toward meeting all applicable standards but requires additional time to come into full compliance. Probation accreditation status is granted, at the sole discretion of the ARC-PA, when a program holding an accreditation status of Accreditation-Provisional or Accreditation - Continued does not, in the judgment of the ARC-PA, meet the Standards or when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.
Once placed on probation, a program that fails to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and is subject to having its accreditation withdrawn.
Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s).
The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website.
- How can I apply for the Master in Physician Assistant Studies program?
All applicants must apply through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applicants should visit CASPA Application for more information.
Upon completion of CASPA application applicants must also apply to FIU Graduate School Supplemental Application by visiting FIU Graduate School Supplemental Application . Both applications to CASPA and FIU Graduate School must be completed prior to January 15 to be considered for fall enrollment.
- What are the requirements for admissions to the Master in Physician Assistant Studies program?
For admissions and prerequisite requirements visit FIU Master in Physician Studies 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. Upon completion of the course the applicant must send the official transcript and self-report the grade in CASPA and submit unofficial transcripts to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 and shadow a Physician Assistant, applicants with over 1000 shadowing hours will receive additional points, applicants are also recommended to shadow a Physician Assistant. 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 (DPCE) or “hands-on” patient contact is recommended to enhance your application. MPAS recommends a combination of at least 1,000 hours of DPCE and 500 shadowing hours.
Examples of significant DPCE: Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, Respiratory Therapist, Paramedic, Emergency Medical Technician, Chiropractor, Physical Therapist, Surgical Technician, Pharmacist, Radiological Technician, Ultrasound Technician. Examples of acceptable DPCE: Patient Care Technician, Certified Athletic Trainer, Certified Nursing Assistant, Medical Assistant, Scribe. E
Examples of fair DPCE: Research Assistant, Medical Technologist, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomist, medical mission trips.)
- 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 2000 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 $750 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 applicants can schedule an appointment with the Assistant Director of Admissions by emailing email@example.com.
- What can I expect in terms of clinical rotations?
Clinical rotations include seven core rotations of 4 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.
Clinical rotations are done within an extensive network of locations which include hospitals, medical centers, and inpatient and outpatient clinics.
- 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
- Florida Department of Health