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Prospective Students

The Drury University Physician Assistant Program’s inaugural class will start in August 2023. 

Prospective students must apply through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) starting October 1. DUPAP uses rolling admissions and will begin interviews in January. Early application is encouraged.

All application materials including official GRE/PA-CAT scores, 3 recommendations, and college transcripts must be received by CASPA by our March 1 deadline. 

Admission Requirements Summary

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university in the US
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Recommended 3.0 in all prerequisite coursework. completed within the last 10 years
  • 1,000 hours of health care work experience
  • Shadow a minimum of two physician assistants
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE or PA-CAT taken within five years

Application Process Summary

  1. All applications to the Drury University PA Program must be submitted through the Centralized Application Services for Physician Assistants (CASPA).
  2. Our portal is open and closes on March 1st, 2024. Please note, it can take up to 30 days for CASPA to verify all application materials.
  3. Interview invitations will be sent in December and continue through March 1st, 2023.
  4. Participation is required for admission.
  5. Admission is done on a rolling basis, so apply early.
  6. Once accepted, the admission deposit of $1,000 is due two weeks after notification.
  7. Transcripts for prerequisites and degrees completed AFTER application submission must be uploaded to CASPA and emailed to lhelgaas@drury.edu by July 1st, 2023.

CASPA does not participate in any way with the selection of students for the Drury University PA Program.

Prerequisites

Prerequisite Coursework:  All prerequisite coursework must be completed by the end of the spring semester, and transcripts submitted to the program no later than July 1st prior to matriculation in August.

  • General Chemistry I and II with labs – 2 semesters or 8 quarter hours
  • Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry with lab – 1 semester or 4 quarter hours
  • General Biology I and II with labs – 2 semesters or 8 quarter hours
  • Microbiology with laboratory – 1 semester or 4 quarter hours
  • Human Anatomy with laboratory – 1 semester or 4 quarter hours
  • Human Physiology – 1 semester or 4 quarter hours
  • Introductory Psychology – 1 semester or 4 quarter hours
  • Genetics – 1 semester or 4 quarter hours
  • Statistics – 1 semester or 4 quarter hours
  • Medical Terminology – 1 semester or 4 quarter hours

*CLEP (College Level Examination Program), AP (Advanced Placement), IB (International Baccalaureate), ACE Credit (American Council on Education), and AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education) course credit may not be used or substituted to meet prerequisite requirements.

1. All prerequisite coursework must be completed with a grade of 2.0 (C) or higher. To be a competitive applicant, it is recommended to have a 3.0 or above

2. Prerequisite coursework may be repeated one time to be considered as part of the application.

3. Prerequisite science courses are to be completed within ten years prior to the date of application.

4. DUPAP may request applicants to provide transcripts at any time during their enrollment in the program.

Full Admission Requirements

Bachelor’s Degree

  • A bachelor’s degree is required from a US regionally accredited college or university for admission into the program and must be completed by June 1st in the year of matriculation. 

Healthcare Experience

  • A minimum of 1,000 hours of healthcare experience is required.
  • Healthcare experience must include a minimum of 750 hours of direct patient care and may include 250 hours of indirect patient care.
  • Examples of direct and indirect patient care:
    • Direct Patient Care
      • CNA, Medical assistant, LPN, RN, PT, PTA, OT, OTA, Military Corpsman, Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, Respiratory Therapist, Speech Therapist, Surgical Technician, Phlebotomist, Radiology Technician, Athletic Trainer, Medical Scribe
    • Indirect Patient Care (maximum 250 hours)
      • Perfusionist, Laboratory Technician, Orderly/Transporter, Pharmacy Technician

The experience can be traditional paid employment, volunteer, or research experience. Hours obtained as a student (for credit or for certification) cannot be counted toward the 1,000-hour minimum.

Shadowing

  • A minimum of 16 hours shadowing two physician assistants.
  • Please download and complete the Physician Assistant Verification Form for each physician assistant shadowed. This form will be due at the time of your interview.

Letters of Recommendation

  • Three letters of recommendation must be submitted to CASPA.
  • References should highlight qualities you have that will make you an excellent physician assistant and enable you to handle the rigors of physician assistant school.
  • At least one letter must be from an individual who supervised you in a clinical setting. Please note health care providers that have supervised you during a shadowing experience does not meet this requirement
  • We recommend that you have at least one letter from a physician assistant, physician, or nurse practitioner who can highlight the qualities that will make you an excellent physician assistant.
  • We recommend one letter be from a professor, academic advisor, or research mentor who can attest to your academic potential.
  • No letters from immediate family members or friends will be accepted.

Residency Status 

All applicants must be citizens or residents of the US.

GRE or PA-CAT

The GRE or the PA-CAT exam is required.

Official scores are required and must have been taken within the last five years. 

GRE scores must be sent directly to CASPA using the code 3989

Applicants will not be considered complete and ready for review until the GRE or PA-CAT scores are received.

Information about the Physician Assistant College Admission Test (PA-CAT)

The PA-CAT is a specialized test designed to measure applicant knowledge in key prerequisite science subjects typically required for PA school. For information about the PA-CAT and to schedule your exam go to www.PA-CAT.com to register.

  • To send scores to our program select Drury University PA Program as the institution to receive your score report in your PA-CAT Score Portal.
  • It is recommended that you take the PA-CAT exam early in the application cycle for early admission consideration, but no later than February 20th, 2023.
  • The PA-CAT score deadline is March 1st, 2023.
  • Scores may take up to two or three weeks to be reported.

Casper

The program recommends that all applicants take the Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (Casper). Casper is an online, open-response situational judgment test that assesses non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics.

Applicants should go to “TakeAltus.com” to create an account. Applicants must sign up for the American Professional Health Sciences test (CSP10101) and select Drury University in order for us to receive your results.

Please be sure to register for Casper at least three days before your preferred test date and time. Casper dates are limited and last-minute bookings are not recommended and not guaranteed.

Casper test results are only valid for one (1) admission cycle.

Admissions and Enrollment Practices Favoring Specified Individuals or Groups

We seek to recruit and retain students with diverse backgrounds whose qualifications align with the program’s mission and goals. The following candidates received favored status with our program:

  • Veterans and active military
  • First-generation college students from southwestern Missouri.
    • Additional points are awarded to applicants who qualify as educationally and/or economically disadvantaged
  • Drury University students who are completing a degree and graduates. Current students must graduate in the spring prior to matriculation into the program.

To be selected for an interview, all applicants, whether in a favored category or not, must meet all admission requirements. Qualified Drury students and graduates will automatically receive an invitation for an interview for up to two admissions cycles. An invitation to interview does not guarantee admittance into the program.

Practices for Awarding or Granting Advanced Placement

No advanced placement credit will be awarded to applicants. The program does not accept transfer students or provide credit for experiential learning. All students matriculating into the Drury University Physician Assistant Program must take all curricular components of the PA curriculum in order to graduate and be awarded a degree from Drury University.

Admission Process and Timeline

Drury University Physician Assistant Program will conduct interviews January through March. Applicants will receive an email inviting them for an interview anytime after December 1st. To be invited for an interview, your CASPA application must be complete. Acceptance will be offered on a rolling admission basis, so early application is strongly encouraged.

Admission Process

  • Only completed applications submitted through CASPA will be reviewed. 
  • Admission decisions are based on the applicant’s academic record, personal statement, previous healthcare/hands-on patient care experience, GRE or PA-CAT scores, Casper results, and formal interview.  
  • Favored status will be given to those who are first generation college students and/or economically and/or educationally disadvantaged from the southwest Missouri region, veterans or active military, and Drury University students and alumni.

After candidate interviews, faculty will determine whether a candidate will be admitted, placed on the waiting list, or denied admission.  Admitted candidates will be notified by phone.  Wait-listed candidates will be notified by email and letter.  Denied candidates will be notified by letter.

Conditional Acceptance

Acceptance is conditional upon the following:

  1. Completion of an outstanding Bachelor’s degree by June 1 of the year of matriculation. All remaining coursework must be completed with GPA of 3.0 or above.
  2. Passage of the criminal background check.
  3. Passage of the urine drug screen.
  4. Completion of all required immunizations and a negative TB test.
  5. Completion of AHA BLS certification prior to matriculation.
  6. Completion of a physical examination that includes verification that the candidate meets the Technical Standards for admission.
  7. Completion of any outstanding paperwork/transcripts required by the Drury University Office of Graduate Studies.

Technical Standards

The Drury University Physician Assistant Program is a rigorous and intense program that places specific requirements and demands on all students enrolled in the program. The minimum technical standards establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to this program to achieve the knowledge, skills, and competencies of an entry-level physician assistant. In the event an applicant is unable to fulfill these technical standards prior to or any time after admission, with or without reasonable accommodation, the student will not be allowed to enter or progress within the program. Candidates for admission and students within the physician assistant program must possess the aptitude, ability, and skills as follows:

1. Observation

  • Able to observe materials presented in the learning environment at a distance and close-up. These materials include audiovisual presentations in lectures, laboratories, and gross organs and tissues in normal and pathologic states which requires the use of functional vision with the ability to identify individual colors, hearing, and somatic sensation.
  • Able to observe patients at a distance and close-up requiring functional vision, hearing, and somatic sensation.

2. Communication

  • Able to sensitively exchange information at a lay-person’s level through both speaking and hearing patients and family members.
  • Communicate professionally and competently in oral and written forms with all members of the healthcare team.
  • Possess appropriate reading and writing skills to successfully complete graduate level work, and to comprehend and communicate patient encounters in the medical record.

3. Motor skills

  • Possess motor skills required to perform physical examinations such as palpitation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers and procedures requiring the use of a stethoscope, ophthalmoscope/otoscope, tongue blade, intravenous equipment, gynecologic speculum, and scalpel.
  • Possess gross and fine muscular movement, equilibrium, and functional use of the sense of touch and vision to provide care in the general and emergency care setting.
    • Examples of emergency treatment required of a physician assistant are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, administration of intravenous medication, suturing of wounds, obstetrical maneuvers, and incision and drainage of abscesses.

4. Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities

  • Able to learn large amounts of complex, technical, and detailed information for independent problem solving and decision making.
  • Able to learn through multiple modalities which includes, but is not limited to, classroom instruction, small group, team, and collaborative activities, clinical settings, and simulated environments.
  • Capable of memorizing, measuring, calculating, reasoning, analyzing, synthesizing, and reporting clinical data.
  • Comprehend three-dimensional relationships and the spatial relationship of structures.
  • Able to read, understand, and critically evaluate medical literature.

5. Behavioral and Social Attributes

  • Possess emotional maturity and the ability to tolerate and maintain composure when experiencing physical, mental, and emotional stress related to PA training and the profession.
  • Exercise good judgment in all academic and patient care settings.
  • Capable of responsive, empathetic listening, compassion for others, integrity, and respectful relationships with peers, patients, patient families, and all members of the academic and healthcare communities.
  • Ability to take personal responsibility for their own learning, and recognizing their limitations in knowledge, skills and abilities, and seeking appropriate assistance when limitations in learning are identified.

Clinical Placements

The Drury University Physician Assistant Program assumes responsibility for the recruitment of clinical sites and preceptors in sufficient numbers for the program-mandated supervised clinical practice experience (SCPE). Students are not required to provide or solicit preceptors or clinical sites for the program-mandated clinical experiential learning component of the program.

Students may voluntarily submit the name(s) of potential preceptors and/or clinical sites not already affiliated with the PA program; however, the potential preceptors and/or clinical sites must agree to host future students from the Drury University PA Program. There is no direct or implied guarantee on the part of the program that the student will be assigned a rotation with any requested preceptor or clinical site, including those already affiliated with the program. It is ultimately the responsibility of the director of clinical education and the program director to judge whether the preceptor and clinical site are deemed appropriate for use in Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences.