The NGU PA Medicine program’s application cycle will open at the end of April 2020, and run through August 1st, 2020, via the Central Application Service for PA (CASPA). Our next cohort will begin in January 2021. CASPA is an online application clearing house located at https://portal.caspaonline.org/. As of January 2020, the cost for a CASPA application was $179 for the first program you apply to and $55 for each additional program.
Please refer to article 3.6 in the PA Admissions Handbook for further detail. The program recognizes that the COVID-19 crisis has impacted many applicants and has resulted in unexpected changes. Due to COVID-19, many institutions of higher education transitioned to online instruction and have given students the option of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory(S/U) or Pass/Fail (P/F) grading for Spring and Summer 2020 courses. Courses taken during the Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 semesters that have a S or P grade instead of a letter grade will be accepted for prerequisite requirements, if this was an institutional change secondary to the COVID-19 crisis.
As a general rule, the NGU PA program recommends students elect letter grades for all Spring and Summer 2020 courses when the decision is theirs to make. However, if this is not possible, the courses will be accepted and allowed to meet the prerequisite requirements. However, no GPA quality points will be awarded when calculating the cumulative prerequisite, or last 60 hour review GPAs for courses with a pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading system. Therefore, pass or satisfactory grades will neither hurt nor help your pre-interview score.
As a reminder, the program does
not require a minimum number of paid healthcare experience or shadowing
hours. Therefore, there are no additional requirements that need special
consideration due to the COVID-19 crisis. This policy will apply to the
2020-2021 CASPA application cycle and beyond when Spring and Summer
2020 courses apply to our required prerequisite courses or last - 60 hour
review GPA calculations. We will continue ongoing evaluation of this
policy and make additional changes as necessary in response to COVID-19.
The GRE is required for admission and the scores must have been taken and recorded within the last five years (at the time of application). This GRE requirement, however, is optional for applicants with a Master’s Degree or higher from a U.S. regionally accredited institution.
Please refer to article 3.2 in the PA Admissions Handbook for further detail.
Letters of Recommendations
Three letters of recommendation (each from a ‘professional’ source; should not be from a relation or close family friend).
Paid Healthcare Experience
A minimum number of patient care hours are not required for admittance into the program. However, a point value for paid health care experience is added to the applicants overall score. To receive points for paid health care experience it must be from a paid position(s) and not volunteer work.
Please refer to article 3.4 in the PA Admissions Handbook for further detail.
Shadowing & Volunteerism
A minimum number of PA Shadowing or Volunteer hours are not required for admittance into the program. However, a point value for provider (PA/MD/DO) shadowing and volunteerism (mission work, soup kitchen, big brothers/sisters, etc.), is added to the applicants overall score. Military veterans (with a DD214 showing honorable discharge) will receive the maximum point value for shadowing and volunteerism. Please refer to article 3.5 in the PA Admissions Handbook for further detail.
An applicant whose native language is not English and who does not have a full year (two semesters) of composition or its equivalent in English studies must demonstrate skills in English understanding and use. Recent scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) normally suffice. TOEFL scores should be submitted with the CASPA application or directly to NGU Graduate Admissions when CASPA is not used. Satisfactory scores are based on the testing format and include:
- Internet-based TOEFL: Score of 100 with a minimum score of 20 on each section.
- A total score of 600 on the paper TOEFL, with a score of 55 on the Listening Comprehension.
- A total score of 250 on the computer-based TOEFL.
- A level 112 from the ELS Language Centers or other recognized evidence may be considered satisfactory, pending the Admissions Committee approval.
All Transcripts must be submitted and support completion of a bachelor’s degree and required science prerequisites.
A bachelor’s degree, from a U.S. regionally accredited institution, with a 3.0 cumulative GPA minimum (or B; B- is not acceptable) is required to matriculate. A candidate may apply prior to meeting this requirement provided they can complete it by October 1 preceding matriculation. To do this, official transcripts [sealed] from the college or university (confirming the degree and cumulative 3.0 GPA) must be received by NGU’s PA Medicine program by October 31. If a selected candidate does not meet these deadline, he or she will relinquish their seat. Upon written request, NGU will consider an applicant whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 provided their last 60 SH of academic work produced a 3.3 or higher GPA. Pre-requisites (see below) must still meet the 3.0 per course requirement. Note: The average cumulative GPA for all programs in the U.S. is 3.49.
Please refer to article 3.1.1 in the PA Admissions Handbook for further detail.
All prerequisite courses must be taken at a U.S. regionally accredited institution and EACH course must meet a minimum 3.0 GPA (or B; B- is not acceptable). Prerequisite course completion is recommended within last 5 to 7 years. Applicants with up to two remaining prerequisites may apply provided they complete the course with a 3.0 or higher GPA – before the first day of October preceding matriculation (if selected, official transcripts [sealed] from the college or university must be received by NGU’s PA Medicine program by October 31 or a selected candidate will relinquish his/her seat).
Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II - Lecture and Lab (8 SH)
Human Anatomy with Lab (4 SH) and Human Physiology (3 SH)
*Successful completion of the Special Operations Combat Medic Course suffices the Anatomy and Physiology requirement.
General Biology with Lab (4 SH) *Course designed for Biology Majors
Other Biology (3 SH) *Course designed for Biology Majors
Microbiology (3 SH)
General Chemistry with Lab (4 SH) *Course designed for Chemistry Majors
Other Chemistry (3 SH) *Course designed for Chemistry Majors
Introductory to Psychology or higher (3 SH)
Statistics (3 SH) *Business Statistics is NOT accepted
NOTE: No online lab courses are accepted except if taken within the parameters of the Special Consideration due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Please refer to article 4.1 in the PA Admissions Handbook for further detail.
Each of the preceding items will be given a weighted point value (based on preset objective criteria) and the combined score will be used to rank candidates for interview (pre-screen matrix). The higher your score, the better your odds of being interviewed.
Pre-screen Scoring Matrix
The NGU Physician Assistant Degree Admissions Committee will review all applicants meeting minimum requirements and either (1) invited to interview, (2) put on hold, or (3) deny an interview. Applicant scoring is based on the following:
Interviews will begin in June and continue until the class is full or October 31, whichever comes first. By using this approach it is possible to fill all available seats prior to the October 31 date. Therefore, it is to your advantage to submit a completed application as early in the process as possible! The longer you wait to submit an application (even though prior to the deadline), the greater your risk that no class seats will be available, or that only a few will remain. Once the class is full, remaining applications will be evaluated for an alternates list.
An invitation to interview does not guarantee acceptance into the program. The NGU PA Program uses a rolling admissions process. Therefore, applicants who qualify for an interview may be invited to the next available scheduled interview date. Program faculty (program director, medical director and principal faculty), adjunct faculty, and local physicians, PAs, and health care workers will make up the interview team. Each will be trained on the interview process before the interview date and briefed on the scoring criteria before each interview session begins.
The interview day will begin with introductions and expectations for the day. Next, applicants will be evaluated via a series of short, carefully timed interview stations and one essay station. Each of these encounters will assess the candidate’s non-cognitive attributes. These characteristics include accountability, altruism, appearance, boundary recognition, compassion, flexibility, honesty, humility, problem-solving ability, reliability, respectfulness, responsibility, self-awareness, sensitivity, tactfulness, teamwork, tolerance, and work ethic.
Candidate scores from the interview process will be totaled and posted on a ‘Post Interview Matrix’ and applicants ranked in order of score. Next, the pre-screen matrix and post screen matrix will be provided to the NGU PA selection committee for discussion. The committee may select up to 50% of the program’s open seats on the day of the interview (up to 100% once only six seats remain). The remaining will be set aside and reviewed again during each subsequent interview session. During each applicant review process (to include the initial review) applicants will be placed in one of three categories:
Admit now. These candidates will receive a formal offer for a seat in the NGU Physician Assistant Program within four weeks of completing the interview.
Alternate list (wait list). These candidates will be formally notified – by email – within four weeks of completing the interview. Each wait-listed candidate will be reviewed during each subsequent interview session. At that time, their status will be updated to (1) admit now, (2) continue wait list, or (3) declined.
Declined. These individuals will be notified within four weeks of the interview process.
Letters of acceptance may have conditions to matriculate. In this situation, the offer and conditions of acceptance will be detailed in the letter. An example would be acceptance of a student who must complete the required prerequisite course/s by October 1 (verified by November 1) prior to matriculating into the program. In this case, their acceptance would be pending successful completion of the prerequisite course. For details on what is required, see ‘post acceptance requirements’ below.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Faculty members must use their professional integrity and excuse themselves from interviewing, ranking, or selecting candidates with whom they have a significant relationship. This may include but is not limited to: family members, friends, family friends, acquaintances of individuals they know well, and those whom they have established professional relationships with in other settings.
Candidates who accept a seat must pay a $1500 non-refundable deposit within two weeks of notification of acceptance in order to hold their place in the cohort. This deposit will be applied toward first semester tuition costs. Accepted candidates who do not pay the $1500 deposit within the required time frame (two weeks) forfeit their seat.
Once accepted into the NGU PA Medicine Program, the following conditions must be completed by – or verified by – https://www.castlebranch.com (they will forward to NGU) in order to matriculate into the program.
- Background Search:
- Criminal Activity
- Sex Offender Registry
- National Healthcare Fraud and Abuse
- Residence History
- Social Security Alerts
- Twelve (12) Panel Urine Drug Screen
- Compliance Verification
- Signed Technical Standards Form
- Immunization Status Verification
- Tuberculosis Screening Results
- CPR Certification
- Health Insurance Policy (showing current status)
- Signed Release Form allowing NGU to Provide Preceptors with Status or Results of Immunizations, TB Screening, Drug Screening, and Background Check
- Mandatory HIPPA and OSHA Certification
- Compliance with all other conditions of acceptance (done via NGU Admissions)
If official transcripts (sealed) are required – to verify outstanding degree or prerequisites – they must be received by NGU’s PA Medicine program by October 31 or the selected candidate will relinquish his/her seat). All other ‘post acceptance requirements’ must be met by November 1 prior to matriculation. Failure to meet these deadlines will result in a forfeiture of seat and the candidate will not be allowed to matriculate into the program.
Please refer to article 7.0 in the PA Admissions Handbook for further detail.
Signed Technical Standards Testament and Academic Expectations
North Greenville University student candidates must possess the capacity to complete the entire curriculum to achieve the Master of Medical Science degree. The curriculum requires demonstrated skills in (1) observation, (2) communication, (3) motor, (4) intellect, and (5) behavioral and social. Candidates offered a seat in the program are required to sign this testament, verifying understanding and that they meet these Standards. 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. [Admissions Handbook Article 7.4.5; Student Policy Handbook, Article 5.4.5]
The candidate must be able to:
- Observe demonstrations, visual presentations in lectures and laboratories, laboratory evidence and microbiologic cultures, microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states
- Observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand
- Use the sense of vision, somatic sensation, and smell as part of the observation process.
A candidate should be able to:
- Communicate professionally, effectively, and sensitively with patients and families
- Communicate professionally, effectively, and efficiently in oral and written forms with all members of the healthcare team
- Be able to speak, hear, and observe patients in order to elicit information, perceive nonverbal communications, and describe changes in mood, activity, and posture
- Utilize speech, reading, writing, and computers as part of the communication process. In addition, candidates must possess the skills necessary to communicate effectively in small and large group discussions.
Candidates must have sufficient motor skills and coordination to:
- Execute the movement required to provide patient care such as palpitation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers
- Execute movements required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. These skills require coordination of gross and fine muscular movement, equilibrium, and sensation.
- Manipulate equipment and instruments necessary to perform basic laboratory tests and procedures required to attain curricular goals (e.g. needles, stethoscope, ophthalmoscope, tongue blades, intravenous equipment, gynecologic speculum, and scalpel)
- Transport themselves from one location to another in a timely fashion in order to facilitate patient care responsibilities and receive educational training.
Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities
Candidates must be able to:
- Comprehend three-dimensional relationships and the spatial relationship of structures
- Collect, organize, prioritize, analyze, and assimilate large amounts of technically detailed and complex information within a limited time frame. This information will be presented in a variety of educational settings, including lectures, small group discussions, and individual clinical settings.
- Analyze, integrate, and apply information appropriately for problem solving and decision-making.
Behavioral and Social Attributes
Candidates must have:
- Emotional health, maturity, sensitivity, intellectual ability, and good judgment needed to complete all responsibilities associated with the diagnosis and care of patients
- The ability to tolerate physical, mental, and emotional stress associated with training and the profession
- Qualities of adaptability, flexibility and be able to function in the face of uncertainty
- A high level of compassion for others, motivation to serve, integrity, and a consciousness of social values
- Sufficient interpersonal skills to interact positively with people from all levels of society, all ethnic backgrounds, and all belief systems
- The ability to accept criticism and respond by appropriate modification of behavior.
North Greenville University PA Medicine Policy on Academic Learning Disabilities
Provided the preceding ‘technical Standards’ are met, a student can claim disability through the NGU Learning Disabilities Office.
Criteria for establishing a PA Medicine candidate’s disability is taken from the (1) National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) criteria and (2) peer reviewed literature published in the Journal of Physician Assistant Education. To establish a disability the PA Medicine candidate requesting special accommodations must provide appropriate documentation of the disability or qualifying medical condition. The documentation must specify the extent to which classroom or testing procedures are to be modified. The accommodation requested or recommended by the PA candidate should not be based on preferences but on disability-driven reasons, nor should it over-accommodate the PA candidate. Reports from the qualified licensed professional should be on letterhead, typed in English, dated, signed, and legible. Prior to considering any request for special accommodations, NGU must receive the following documentation:
- A complete description of disability or medical condition and impact on the PA candidates daily life and day-to-day functioning – limitations to major life activity
- Signed, typed and dated current documentation of the disability by a qualified professional. The documentation must be based on professional testing, which was performed by a qualified professional. Diagnostic methods used should be appropriate to the disability and in alignment with current professional protocol. Documentation must include all the following:
- The name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification (e.g., licensed psychologist) as well as the area of specialization, employment, and state in which the individual practices must be clearly stated in the documentation.
- Contact information including address, telephone number, and/or e-mail address of each professional providing documentation.
- The date and location of the assessment upon which each professional's report is based.
- A detailed description of the psychological, educational, and/or cognitive functioning tests that were conducted.
- The results of those tests and a comprehensive interpretation of the results.
- The name of the specific disability diagnosed and a description of the specific impact on daily life activities and day-to-day functional limitations to major life activities including a history of the impact of the disability on academic functioning if the disability is due to a learning disability or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD or ADHD).
- The specific examination accommodations that are requested to compensate for those limitations and how they will reduce the impact of identified limitations.
- Description of treatment and rehabilitation. Describe all treatment and efforts at remediation that the candidate has undergone and the results of the treatment. Also, describe how the disability is accommodated in daily life.
- Note 1: A qualified professional is someone with the credentials, training, and expertise to diagnose the disability the individual is claiming. The primary relationship of the attesting professional to the individual must be that of a treating medical professional to a patient; there must be no familial, intimate, supervisory or other close relationship between the qualified professional and the individual requesting accommodations.
- Note 2: NGU reserves the right to request further verification, if necessary, of the evaluating professional’s credentials and expertise relevant to the diagnosis.
Once the preceding assessment is provided, it will be evaluated by the Dean for the Graduate School of Health Science and, if deemed necessary, a consultant and either accepted, denied, or modifications suggested.
As part of the preceding steps, an interactive dialog about what is reasonable will take place (student candidate suggestions does not mean they can be met).
An accommodation is considered unreasonable when it causes “undue hardship” (a complex determination that can take into account how much the cost would be or how onerous to the school), alters the fundamental nature of the program, disrupts the cycle of education, or is related to dependent skill testing such as problem focused objective structured clinical examination or skills testing.
In general, comfort aids will not require pre-approval but must be inspected prior to each use.
These items include:
|Medicine & Medical Devices|
Auto-injectors; such as EpiPen|
Braces - Neck, Back, Wrist, Leg or Ankle Braces|
|Casts - including slings for broken/sprained arms and other injury-related items that cannot be removed.|
|Cough Drops - must be unwrapped and not in a bottle/container|
| Eyeglasses (without the case), including tinted lenses, must be removed for visual inspection|
|Glucose Tablets (does not include hard candy) - must be removed for visual inspection|
| Handheld (non-electronic) magnifying glass (without the case)|
|Hearing aids / Cochlear implant|
|Medical Alert Bracelet|
Medical device: Must be attached to a person's body, must be inaudible, and must not include a remote-control device. Examples include but are not limited to:
|Medical/Surgical face mask|
|Pills - i.e. Tylenol or aspirin must be unwrapped and not in a bottle/container. Candidates may bring pills that are still in the packaging if the packaging states they MUST remain in the packaging, such as nitro glycerin pills that cannot be exposed to air. Packaging must be properly inspected.|
|Other approved items (must be provided by Testing Center):|
|Earplugs and Noise Cancelling Headphones|
1. How competitive is your program? How many applications do you receive each year?
Approximately 700 applications were submitted via CASPA for the Class of 2021. Approximately 120 applicants were invited for interview, and of that group, 30 were selected for the class.
2. How many students do you accept for each cohort?
We accept 30 students annually.
3. Do you offer transcript review?
Due to our large applicant pool, we are unable to offer transcript review. However, if you have a course or courses you want to verify would meet the prerequisite requirements please email email@example.com. Your email should include: course name and number (with prefix), semester hours, institution it was taken at, course description, and whether it was online or in person.
4. Are my scores competitive?
For the Class of 2021:
- Undergraduate GPA: 3.61
- Prerequisite GPA: 3.74
- GRE Score
- Verbal: 152
- Quantitative: 151
- Analytical: 3.95
- Paid Healthcare Hours: 4,266
- Shadowing/Volunteer Hours: 1,081
5. How long is the PA program?
The NGU PA Program is 24 consecutive months.
6. Do you have a supplemental application?
No, we do not have a supplemental application.
7. Do you require a bachelor’s degree?
Yes. The NGU PA Program requires completed a bachelor’s degree from a U.S regionally accredited institution. Degrees in progress are considered as long as the completion date is October 1st preceding matriculation.
8. Does my Bachelor’s degree have to be completed before applying via CASPA?
No. However, this must be completed by October 1st preceding matriculation. Official transcripts with degree verification must be received by NGU’s PA Medicine program by October 31.
9. Do I need to have a biology degree or other science degree?
No, we do not require a specific degree.
10. Do you accept online courses or courses from community colleges?
Yes, provided they are from a U.S regionally accredited institution. No lab requirements can be taken online, except for those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Please see Special Considerations for more information on exception due to the COVID-19 crisis or question 26 for more details.
11. What prerequisite courses are required?
Please see our Admissions page under “Prerequisites.”
12. What grade do I need to receive in a course in order for it to count as a prerequisite?
All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of B (3.0) or higher. B- or lower is not accepted.
13. Do all courses need to have been completed within a certain time frame?
We recommend that all prerequisites are taken within the past 5-7 years, however, this is not a requirement. We expect the applicant to have that requisite knowledge upon matriculation.
14. If I took a biochemistry course, would that count as biology or chemistry?
Biochemistry can count as either a biology or chemistry, but cannot count for both.
15. Do prerequisite courses need to be completed before the application is submitted?
You may submit an application with no more than TWO courses in progress. However, all courses must be completed with a satisfactory grade (B or higher, B- is not accepted) by October 1st preceding matriculation. (confirming course completion and course grade of at least 3.0) must be received by NGU’s PA Medicine program by October 31.
16. I am missing one of your requirements and it will not be completed by the deadline. Do you make exceptions and should I still apply?
NGU PA Medicine program practices fair admissions processes. You should wait for a future admissions cycle as we are unable to make individual exceptions to our requirements.
17. Do you require shadowing of a PA?
Shadowing a PA is not required but highly recommended and is a valuable experience. We also encourage shadowing of other healthcare providers.
18. In what time frame must the GRE be completed?
The GRE must have been taken and recorded within the last five years (at the time of application). The GRE requirement, however, is optional for applicants with a Master’s Degree or higher from a U.S. regionally accredited institution. Applicants with a Master’s Degree (or higher), who opt out, will receive full points in pre-interview scoring for each component.
19. I graduated from a foreign institution, am I eligible to apply?
No, you must complete a Bachelor’s degree from a US regionally accredited institution in order to be eligible to apply to our program. We do not accept WES.
20. Do you have a rolling admissions process?
21. Do you give preference to in-state applicants?
22. Do you offer tours of the program?
Yes. We have 4 Information Sessions each spring that allows prospective applicants to learn about our program, interact with faculty and staff, and provides a tour of program facilities. Currently, we are unable to offer private tours.
23. Is your program offered online?
24. What type of patient care counts towards paid health care experience and what does not?
Per our Admissions Handbook:
3.4.1 Common, Competitive, Direct Patient Care Experience Examples
- Military (medic, corpsman, pararescueman, SERE specialist, etc.)
- Emergency medicine (EMT, paramedic, ER technician, etc.
- Nursing (registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, certified nursing asst, etc.)
- Respiratory therapist
- Medical assistant, Community health aid/practitioner, etc.
3.4.2 Other Acceptable Allied Health Experience Examples
- Mental health practitioner
- Laboratory (phlebotomy)/medical technician
- Radiology technician
- Clinical research
- Emergency room or clinical/medical scribe
- Pharmacy technician
3.4.3 Positions NOT Meeting Direct Patient Care Prerequisite
- Medical billing
- Medical records
- Medical interpretation
- Medical transcriptionist
- Patient scheduler
- Anything considered administrative in nature
*If your health care area is not listed here, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for verification.
25. I submitted my CASPA application by the deadline, but my application was not reviewed, why?
Our deadline is August 1 annually. Once you submit via CASPA, they must review what you have submitted and verify your transcripts. This can take up to 2 weeks. You must have a “verified” status from CASPA by August 1st to have your application reviewed.
26. Is the program providing any special considerations to applicants effected by the COVID-19 crisis?
Yes. The program recognizes that the COVID-19 crisis has impacted many applicants and has resulted in unexpected changes. Due to COVID-19, many institutions of higher education transitioned to online instruction and have given students the option of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory(S/U) or Pass/Fail (P/F) grading for Spring and Summer 2020 courses. Courses taken during the Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 semesters that have a S or P grade instead of a letter grade will be accepted for prerequisite requirements, if this was an institutional change secondary to the COVID-19 crisis. As a general rule, the NGU PA program recommends students elect letter grades for all Spring and Summer 2020 courses when the decision is theirs to make. However, if this is not possible, the courses will be accepted and allowed to meet the prerequisite requirements. However, no GPA quality points will be awarded when calculating the cumulative prerequisite, or last 60 hour review GPAs for courses with a pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading system. Therefore, pass or satisfactory grades will neither hurt nor help your pre-interview score. Traditionally, the NGU PA Program does not accept online prerequisite labs, however, due to the institutional changes related to COVID-19, the NGU PA Program will accept online prerequisite courses and their associated labs from the Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters of 2020 only. This will be re-evaluated for Spring of 2021. Acceptance of a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory(S/U) or Pass/Fail (P/F) grading will be evaluated on a case by case basis for Fall 2020.
As a reminder, the program does not require a minimum number of paid healthcare experience or shadowing hours. Therefore, there are no additional requirements that need special consideration due to the COVID-19 crisis. This policy will apply to the 2020-2021 CASPA application cycle and beyond when Spring, Summer, and Fall 2020 courses apply to our required prerequisite courses or last-60 hour review GPA calculations. We will continue ongoing evaluation of this policy and make additional changes as necessary in response to COVID-19.