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Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions • Prerequisites • Patient Care Experience • Letter of Recommendation • Program Information

Admissions

(Please note that this information below may change.)

When is the application deadline?

Applications for the 2017-18 admission cycle will be available through CASPA beginning the end of April, 2017.   To be considered for OCU admission during the 2017-18 cycle, an applicant must submit their application on or before the August 1, 2017 deadline and all supporting materials including transcripts, letter of recommendation, and resume, must be received at CASPA on or before 08/01/17. There are no exceptions to the posted deadline.

Also, the deadline to provide the OCU Supplemental Application to the OCU Office of Graduate Admissions is August 1, 2017.

If I am accepted into the PA program, may I defer my acceptance to the following year? No, the cycle of admission runs annually. Anyone wishing to defer acceptance will have to reapply to the program.

When and how will I be notified of the status of my application? The admissions process is complex and there is no single answer that applies to all applicants. Faculty members review all applications and recommend which applicants should be invited for an interview. During the time application materials are being received, no status updates are provided. Applicants who are not considered for interviews will receive notification to this effect at some point during the application period, after their application is reviewed by faculty. 

Does the OCU PA program have admission and enrollment practices that favor specified individuals or groups? No.

How many classes does the program accept each year? How many students? The program accepts one class of 36 students each year.  The academic year begins in January.

Do you require a criminal background check? In response to requirements in the professional practice environment stating that facilities providing care to patients must minimize the risk to patients that may be presented by persons with prior criminal activity, a criminal background check will be completed on all students prior to clinical rotations.

**An aberrant result on a background check may result in the inability to complete the program requirements as well as your inability to obtain medical licensure.  

Do you require drug screening? Clinical education sites may set their own standards in regard to who they will admit based on the results of a substance abuse screening. Students who are not willing to submit to a substance abuse screening or cannot pass a substance abuse screening may not be able to be placed at an affiliated clinical education site, and thus cannot meet the requirements for graduation.

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Prerequisites

(There are no exceptions to these policies).

If I have outstanding prerequisites, when do they need to be completed?

ALL PREREQUISITES must be completed by August 15th, 2017.  If you receive an interview, verification of completion of the prerequisites must be shown at the time of the interview in the form of an official transcript containing the course work.  

If I am currently in the process of completing my prerequisites, may I still apply? You may start your application in the Spring, while taking your prerequisites.  However, all prerequisite coursework must be completed by August 15, 2017.

Is there a time limit on prerequisite course work? No, there is no limit on the amount of time that has passed since you completed your prerequisites. However, we strongly recommend that you have completed the courses within the 7 years prior to matriculation.

Can substitutions be made for required prerequisites? No, we do not accept substitutions for our required prerequisites, no matter your work experience or education level. We do not waive them for students who are already working in health care or who have already completed graduate education.

Again, there are no substitutions or waivers of these requirements.

Will you count a prerequisite if I made a “D” in the course? No, you must obtain a “C” or better in all of the required prerequisite courses.

What if I took the required prerequisite course, but did not complete the corresponding lab? Will I still need to complete the lab? Science courses with a lab are preferred.  However, taking the lab component is not an absolute requirement.

Can I complete the prerequisites while I am in the program? No, all prerequisites must be completed no later than August 15th of the year prior to matriculation.

I am a journalism major. Do I need to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the health sciences to apply? No; a degree in any field is acceptable as long as the prerequisite courses have been fulfilled.

I completed my baccalaureate degree in a foreign institution. Will you evaluate my application? Yes.  All prerequisite courses must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university in the United States. For candidates holding foreign degrees, a total of 60 semester credits (approximately two years) at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university must be completed as well, prerequisite credit included. No exceptions.  

I completed my undergraduate degree abroad, and subsequently earned a master's at an accredited U.S. institution. Can I still apply? Yes, as long as all your prerequisites were completed at a regionally accredited U.S. institution.

Does the OCU PA Program offer advanced standing credit/placement? The Program does not accept advanced standing/placement.  Students enrolled in the Program will be required to complete all courses.

Do you require the GRE? No.

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Patient Care Experience

Do you require clinical experience? No.  However, your life experiences will be broadened through contact with patients in any setting, i.e., hospital, outpatient clinic, or nursing home.  Although not a requirement, we do value candidates with life experiences.  Other forms of experiences might include working with habitat for humanities, red cross, or other charitable organizations.

Does shadowing improve my application? Yes.  Shadowing PAs and other health professionals will improve your understanding of the PA profession and how PAs interact with the healthcare team.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation from any person who can provide an objective evaluation of your work ethic, character, empathy, and academic performance. 

Program Information

How long is the PA Program? Our program is 28 months length, beginning with 12 months of didactic education and followed by 16 months of clinical rotations.

What is the tuition of the program? The estimated student tuition rates can be found at Cost & Aid.

Are students allowed to work while in the PA Program? Due to the challenges of the curriculum, students enrolled in the Program are strongly discouraged from attempting to maintain outside employment.

How have your students performed on the PANCE? Programs are required by their accrediting body to post the pass rate on the PANCE of their previous five classes.  If Oklahoma City University is successful in the accreditation process and admits its inaugural class in January, 2016, the first PANCE scores to report will appear during the summer of 2018.

Do I get to choose where I complete my clinical site rotations? We have arranged numerous clinical rotation sites for students to complete their supervised clinical training. Sites will be assigned by the clinical coordinator.

What credentials will I have upon graduation from your program? Where can I practice? Upon graduation, students will have earned a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree. Graduating from the PA Program does not satisfy certification or licensing rights. After graduation, students will have received adequate preparation to take the PANCE. A passing score on the PANCE gives a PA program graduate certification as a physician assistant (PA-C). Licensing requirements vary state to state.

*All information listed on this page is subject to change as the program goes through its approval and accreditation.*

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