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Physician Assistant Program FAQs

What kind of degree is granted with the completion of your program?
Keiser University will grant a Master of Science in Physician Assistant degree upon successful completion of our program.

When does your program begin?
Our program begins annually and matriculates in early January.

When does your program’s admission cycle begin and what is the deadline?
Please refer to the CASPA website or our welcome page for our program’s opening date. The deadline for receipt of all admission documents is November 1st at 11:59pm EST of every year. Exceptions will only be made regarding an applicant’s official transcripts from a bachelor’s degree conferred in December of the application year and/or pending prerequisite coursework from the fall semester of the application year.

Does your program utilize a rolling or non-rolling admission process?
We utilize a rolling admission process which means that completed files are reviewed, interviews are scheduled, and applicants are accepted on a continuous basis. A completed file includes all admission document requirements. It is an applicant’s responsibility to ensure that this process is complete. An applicant’s completed file will receive only one full review. It is very likely that all available seats may be filled prior to our program deadline. Therefore, it is always best to apply as early as possible. Program interviews are by invitation only and applicants should keep in mind that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee an interview.

Where is your campus located?
Although Keiser University has several campuses throughout the state of Florida and abroad, our Physician Assistant program is located at our main campus only. The address is 1500 NW 49th St, Ft Lauderdale, FL 33309. However, the PA department is physically located at 1900 West Commercial Blvd.

How many applicants does your program accept each year?
Our program accepts 40 students per admission cycle.

How long is your program?
Our program is 24 months in length. The first 12 months will consist of didactic courses and the last 12 months will be clinical instruction and rotations.

Are your didactic courses offered in an online or on ground setting?
Our program is 100% on ground only. No online option is available.

What is the class schedule for the didactic year?
Our program is full-time and class hours are typically 8am-5pm Monday-Friday. However, due to the intensity of our program, the number of courses required and the length of the program, there will be occasions when the published semester schedule will change. While every effort is made to maintain the typical timeframe, there will be times when students are required to attend sessions in the evenings and/or on Saturdays. These changes will occasionally be made with only one to two day’s notice. Because of student commitment to this program, this may require students to change their personal schedules to accommodate any such changes in the class schedule. Students must be available to attend all sessions.

What is the work schedule for the clinical year?
Student work schedules are left up to the discretion of the preceptor. There may be times when students are required to work evenings, weekends and/or extended hours based upon clinical site needs.

What clinical rotations are required?
Required clinical rotations are: Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Women’s Health, Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics and Psychiatry. Additionally, there are two electives.

Where do students complete their clinical rotations?
Students will be assigned to various clinical sites based on availability throughout the continental United States. While every attempt will be made to accommodate students who prefer to stay in the tri-county area of South Florida, we cannot guarantee it. Clinical sites include inpatient, outpatient, long term care and office settings. Students are not required to provide and must not solicit their own clinical sites. International assignments are not available.

What is the required GPA?
Applicants must meet all three GPA categories below to be considered:

  • Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA – 2.75 on a 4.0 scale
  • Minimum natural science prerequisite GPA – 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Minimum general education prerequisite GPA – 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

Do applicants need a baccalaureate degree to qualify and if so, what type of baccalaureate degree is required or preferred?
Yes. A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university or a foreign equivalent evaluated by a NACES recognized agency will be required. Admission is based on undergraduate coursework only. While it may be best that an applicant’s degree be health or science specific, a degree in any discipline is acceptable. Previous applicants have completed degrees in the areas of Biology, Exercise Science, Chemistry, Health Services Administration, Health Sciences, Kinesiology, and various areas of Liberal Arts just to name a few.

Does an applicant need a conferred baccalaureate degree prior to applying for your program?
No. However, all applicants must have a conferred degree prior to matriculation in January.

Do applicants need prerequisite courses to qualify?
Yes. We require 53 semester credit hours of prerequisite courses: College Math or higher (3 semester credit hours); English Composition (3 semester credit hours); Additional English or Literature (3 semester credit hours); Humanities (3 semester credit hours); Behavioral Sciences (6 semester credit hours); Social Science (3 semester credit hours); Medical Terminology (2 semester credit hours); General Biology with lab (4 semester credit hours); General (Inorganic) Chemistry I with lab (4 semester credit hours); General (Inorganic) Chemistry II with lab (4 semester credit hours); Microbiology with lab (4 semester credit hours); Biochemistry or Organic Chemistry (3 semester credit hours); Anatomy with lab (4 semester credit hours); Physiology with lab (4 semester credit hours); Genetics (3 semester credit hours).

All coursework must be completed at a regionally accredited college/university. Foreign coursework must be evaluated by a NACES recognized agency. All coursework must be assigned a letter grade of C (2.0) or better. Coursework from another PA program, any graduate level coursework, Pass/Satisfactory grades, certificates of completion and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits will not be accepted. We will accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) coursework. However, high school transcripts must be submitted as a part of the applicant’s CASPA application for grade verification. Course acceptance is not based on test scores. Applicants with quarter units should pay special attention to our credit requirements. Credit conversions MUST meet our requirements. Natural science labs must be completed on ground only. All natural science coursework must be must be human-based only. Mammalian, Animal or “Comparative” coursework will not be accepted. A complete sequence of A and P I with lab and A and P II with lab will be accepted to meet Anatomy and Physiology (with labs) requirements. General (Inorganic) Chemistry (with labs) must be a complete sequence as well. Behavioral science must be Psychology based. Sociology and Anthropology may not substitute as behavioral science and will only be accepted as social science.

Does your program have an expiration date on any of the prerequisites required?
Yes. All natural science prerequisite coursework must have been completed within 10 years of the application year.

If an applicant has a post baccalaureate degree, must all the prerequisites be completed?
Yes. All admission requirements are the same for all applicants regardless of previous education and training. Foreign medically trained MDs must complete the entire 24 months of the program regardless of their prior experience and degree status. Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by a NACES recognized agency, Two frequently used agencies are listed below.

Josef Silny & Associates, Inc. International Education Consultants
7101 S.W. 102 Avenue
Miami, FL 33173
Phone: (305) 273-1616
Fax: (305) 273-1338
email: [email protected]

World Education Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 5087
Bowling Green Station
New York, NY 10274-5087
Phone: (212) 966-6311
Fax: (212) 739-6100
email: [email protected]

If an applicant is a foreign medically trained MD and has taken the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), are the scores an acceptable substitution for any of the required prerequisites?
No. All admission requirements are the same for all applicants regardless of previous education and training.

Does your program accept Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credit for prerequisites?
Our program will accept credit for AP or IB course(s). However, high school transcripts must be submitted as a part of the applicant’s CASPA application (see Program Materials section) for grade verification. Course acceptance is not based on test scores. CLEP credits will not be accepted.

Does your program accept quarter units instead of semester hours to meet the prerequisite credit requirements?
Yes. However, quarter unit conversions must meet our semester hour requirements.

Does your program substitute prerequisites?
No. Prerequisites cannot be substituted.

Can an applicant apply if they have pending or in-progress prerequisites?
Yes. However, applicants may not have more than two pending or in progress prerequisites at the time of application submission. Natural science lectures that are separate from labs will be counted separately (example: MCB2000C (one course – combined lecture and lab; hence the “C”) vs MCB3020 and MCB3020L (two courses – separate lecture and lab). All other required prerequisite coursework MUST be completed with reported grade(s) prior to application submission. Applicants submitting a CASPA application with greater than two pending or in progress prerequisites overall will not be considered.

What if an applicant has not completed all the required prerequisites at the time of application submission?
All prerequisites must be completed prior to matriculation. Official transcripts reflecting completion of all required prerequisites must be submitted to CASPA. If applicable, official transcripts for pending or in-process prerequisites must be submitted to CASPA and/or the PA admission personnel prior to matriculation or by a designated deadline set forth by the PA admission personnel. Applicants should keep in mind that our program has a rolling admission.

Does your program require health care experience (HCE)?
Yes. Applicants must come from healthcare backgrounds and will be required to demonstrate evidence of HCE with a minimum of 100 hours. HCE can include direct patient care experience and in-direct health related experience although direct patient care experience is preferred.

Some examples of direct patient care experience include: Emergency Medical Technicians, Dental Hygienists or Assistants, Surgical Technicians, Radiological Technicians, Phlebotomists, Athletic Trainers, Nurses, Certified Nurse Assistants, Medical Assistants, Certified Physical Therapists or Assistants and Certified Occupational Therapists or Assistants.

Some examples of in-direct health related experience include: Scribe, Pharmaceutical Representative, Research Technician, Volunteer, Missionary.

What if an applicant has not met the minimum required hours of experience at the time of application submission?
All applicants must report a required minimum of 100 hours of HCE at the time of application submission. Applicants should keep in mind that our program has a rolling admission.

Does your program require shadowing experience?
Yes. Physician Assistant (PA) shadowing is required with a minimum of 20 hours. Shadowing hours with a practicing PA must have been completed within two years of the application year.

Can an applicant shadow another healthcare provider in lieu of a Physician Assistant?
No. However, additional shadowing with other healthcare providers (MD, OD, NP, etc.) may enhance an applicant’s competitiveness.

What if an applicant has not met the minimum required hours of PA shadowing at the time of application submission?
All applicants must report a required minimum of 20 hours of PA shadowing at the time of application submission. Applicants should keep in mind that our program has a rolling admission.

Does your program require any standardized test(s) for admission?
Yes. All applicants must report GRE scores of 294 or higher. Our GRE score requirement includes an applicant’s combined verbal and quantitative sections. The analytical section is highly recommended, but is not a part of our GRE score requirement. Applicants can self-report unofficial scores on their CASPA application, but official scores must be received by CASPA by the program’s deadline to be considered. The GRE must have been taken within five years of the application year. We will only consider scores from one attempt and we do not combine scoring sections from different attempts. Our CASPA GRE Code is 0284.

If an applicant is not fluent in English, the applicant must present a TOEFL® score of 500 or higher on a paper-based examination, a score of 173 on a computer-based examination, an internet-based score (iBT) of 61 or an IELTS™ score of 6.0 or higher. Applicants who are exempt from submitting a test of English proficiency are those from Canada (excluding Quebec), Bermuda, the Bahamas, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Applicants who have previously attended a high school, college or university in the United States for more than two years and have earned a grade of C or better in English courses may be exempt from an English proficiency exam. All applicants must be able to read, write and speak English fluently.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE®),

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL®),

International English Language Testing System (IELTS™),

Can an applicant report the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT®) in lieu of the GRE?
No. Only the standardized tests mentioned above are required and acceptable. Also, please be advised that although the Physician Assistant College Admission Test (PA-CAT) is highly recommended, this test is not a substitution for our program’s required standardized tests.

What if an applicant has not scheduled or taken the required standardized test(s) at the time of application submission?
Applicants must report required minimum scores or report planned test date(s) at the time of application submission. If reporting planned test date(s), the applicant’s file will be placed on hold until scores are available. Applicants can self-report unofficial scores on their CASPA application, but official scores must be received by CASPA by the program’s deadline to be considered. Applicants should keep in mind that our program has a rolling admission.

Does your program require Letters of Recommendation (LOR) and if so, what type of LOR does your program require?
We require three LOR:

  • One MUST be from a practicing PA (preferably the PA the applicant has shadowed)
  • One MUST be from another practicing healthcare provider (i.e. PA, MD, OD, NP, etc.)
  • One personnel/professional recommendation (i.e. a professor, supervisor, co-worker, etc.)

It is in an applicant’s best interest to seek recommendations from individuals who are well acquainted with them academically, professionally and/or personally. LOR from a relative is only acceptable if the person is a practicing healthcare provider.

What if an applicant is missing one or more of the three required LOR at the time of application submission?
Applicants must report all three program required LOR at the time of application submission. The applicant’s file will be placed on hold until all three required LOR are received. All LOR must be received by CASPA by the program’s deadline to be considered. Applicants should keep in mind that our program has a rolling admission.

Does your program require a criminal background check?
Yes. Criminal background checks will be conducted before, during and after matriculation. The university reserves the right to deny an application. Additionally, should the student become involved in criminal activity after program acceptance, in which the initial criminal background clearance status becomes compromised, the student will be withdrawn from the program. The program and the university will not modify the curriculum for students who have an unsatisfactory criminal background status.

Does your program require immunizations, drug screenings and physicals?
Yes. Proof of immunity for all immunization must be submitted to Sentry MD prior to matriculation. Drug screening and physicals must remain active throughout the program. The number of drug screens and physicals will vary per student.

Does your program require health insurance?
Yes. All students must carry active personal health insurance coverage for the entirety of the program. Compliance is monitored through Sentry MD.

Does Keiser University provide student health insurance?
No. To research insurance options independently, please click

What is CASPA?
The Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) is a service of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), the only organization representing PA educational programs nationwide, and has been offered to applicants since 2001. The online application is designed to simplify the PA school application process by allowing students to apply to several programs with only one application; website: (617) 612-2080, email [email protected].

When does your program begin interviews?
Typically, interviews begin in the summer and/or fall and continue until all 40 seats have been filled. Program interviews are by invitation only and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee an interview. Applicants who are granted an invitation to interview will be notified via phone and/or email by PA admission personnel.

Can an applicant transfer into your program or transfer credits to reduce the number of courses needed to complete your program?
Due to variations in PA program curriculum throughout the country, students from other PA programs will not be accepted for transfer. In addition, transfer of credits from other PA programs will not be granted.

Does your program offer advanced placement?
No. Each class will be an integral part of the academic experience and is necessary for success in this program. All students must successfully complete all courses required in our program.

Can an applicant defer acceptance into your program for a future class?
No. Offers of acceptance are valid for one admission cycle only.

Does your program have a waitlist?
Yes. Our program has a waitlist during each admission cycle. However, the waitlist does not carry over to the next admission cycle. Applicants on the waitlist who are not offered acceptance for the current admission cycle must reapply through CASPA and Keiser University the following year. Since the applicant pool changes year to year, all applicants will be given equal consideration each admission cycle regardless of whether the applicant is applying for the first time or reapplying.

Can a student work while attending your program?
Due to the intensity and time demands associated with the program, students are strongly discouraged from working while in the program. The intensity of study required for successful completion of the program makes working a significant distraction.

Does your program give preference to Florida state residents or Keiser University graduates?
While we have a high regard for our state residents and Keiser graduates, all applicants will be given equal consideration.

Does your program accept applicants from the military?
Keiser University is a military-friendly institution. All admission requirements are the same for all applicants regardless of previous education and training. We offer the Yellow Ribbon Program as well as an active duty/veteran scholarship program.

Does your program require a laptop computer?
Yes. Laptop computers are required. The university library has computers available for student use as well.

Is Financial Aid available?
Yes. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. Many of our students may use some form of financial assistance from public and/or private sources. Part of planning for entry should include planning for the financial obligations faced by students. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be found at Keiser University’s federal school code is 015159.

Does Keiser University provide housing for students?
No. Campus housing is not provided. However, our program provides information regarding local apartments and rental opportunities for students interested in living near campus. Our campus is located along major traffic arteries to allow easy commuting for students. Additionally, we do not provide housing during clinical rotations.

Does Keiser University provide job placement services?
Yes. Job placement services are available through our student services department. Additionally, networking during a student’s clinical year is also beneficial.

What is PANCE? 
The PANCE exam is a computer-based, multiple-choice test comprising of questions that assess basic medical and surgical knowledge,

What is required to become certified as a PA after graduation?
To become a certified PA, a graduate must pass the PANCE. Once the graduate passes, they are certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). The certification gives the graduate the credential of PA-C (Physician Assistant-Certified). As a PA-C, the graduate is eligible to apply to their state of choice for a license to practice medicine with a physician. Certification is required for licensure in all states.

What is required of a PA-C to maintain certification?
A PA-C must complete a minimum of 100 hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) every two years which must be documented by the NCCPA. New categories have been added called self-assessment and performance improvement CME (PI-CME). Additionally, the PA-C must successfully complete the Physician Assistant National Recertifying Exam (PANRE) recertification exam every 10 years,

What is your program’s first time PANCE rates for the five most recent classes?
View rates here.

Where can an applicant find Keiser University’s policies and procedures for refunds of tuition and fees?
The policies and procedures for refunds of tuition and fees are found on page 81 in the Tuition, Fees and Other Costs section of our university catalog. Click Graduate Catalog.

Are open house events provided for your program? Yes. We provide four open house events each year. Further information can be found on our university website. Click Keiser Open House.

My instructors believed in me. They were more than instructors, they tried to get to know you as a person and tried to understand your goals so they could push you towards them. Student services helped me find a job before I even graduated. Everyone was dedicated to my overall success.

Jessica Kircher

Going to Keiser University was one of the greatest experiences in my life. All of my deans, professors, and staff made me feel that I was a part of something very special, and I am. I would recommend for anyone to get their education at Keiser University.

Belinda Haney

The instructors at Keiser University impacted my life. They believed in my ability to become a great graphic designer, regardless of how I felt about my skills. KU helped to prepare me for the real world and got me to where I am today.

Justin Pugh

If not for my education at Keiser I probably would not be where I am today, in both life and career. It is because of going to Keiser and the instructors I had that I joined a club started by Mr. Williams, The Lakeland Shooters Photography Group, which allowed me to venture into an amazing and very creative field that I use to enhance all aspects of my life.

Anthony Sassano

The Design program at Keiser University was filled with real world learning and hands on instruction… Based on the portfolio I created while a student at Keiser University, I landed a job in Graphic Design for a major online retailer immediately after graduation.

Ty Fitzgerald

The year and a half I spent in the program better prepared me for attaining a job in the field…As a hands-on learner, the project-centered teaching was perfect for me.

Jackson Tejada

Keiser University has given me the opportunity to embrace a career change… It has opened the door for a timely graduation and quick return to the work force…

Dale Caverly

Without the education I received at Keiser University, I would not be where I am today!

Meisha Ebanks, R.N.

I not only received an excellent education but also encouragement and training that built my self-confidence every day.

Nidia Barrios

I realize the amount of knowledge I gained and feel that the educational experiences have developed me in to a person who can move higher up the career ladder.

Carlos Ramirez Flores

Keiser University’s MBA program has renewed my mind, changed the way I think, and given me a new sense of purpose.  The professors transformed my attitude and behavior, gave me the self-confidence I was lacking, and restored my energy.

Connie Sue Centrella

It has been great attending and graduating from Keiser University.  Because of the small class sizes, I was able to build good relationships with classmates and professors.  The PA professors care very much about the progress and success of the students and have been great advisors every step of the way through the program.

Annelise Merriner, PA-C

Attending Keiser University and getting my degree was the best decision I have ever made.  The small class sizes and personalized attention helped me get my degree quickly.  The hands-on experience and the education landed me a job at a neighboring law firm.

Dedrick Saxon

I chose Keiser because it had everything—small classes, caring professors, hands-on learning, and counselors that are really there for you.  I feel like I’m part of a family here, not just a number.

Natalie Dou

After being denied for several promotions at my current employer, I decided that I needed to further my education.  Since graduating from Keiser with my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, I have been promoted and I am able to obtain positions that weren’t available to me before.

Laurie Williams

Beyond the curriculum of the courses, the lessons the instructors have taught me have paid dividends in my real work experiences. How to respond to criticisms, project and time management, interview skills, the list goes on and on. At the end of the day, they not only showed me how to design, but they taught me how to be a professional.

Ryan Bushey

Keiser helped change my life by getting my education at the right school! I had been going to another school before, I dropped out because I felt that I was not getting enough information. When I found out about Keiser, I was pleased because the instructors were great.

Nadege Dor

My decision to attend Keiser University has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. I chose to enroll in the Information Technology program… The one-class-a-month pace helped incredibly with my self-discipline.

Marla Hadley

The BA for Business Administration at Keiser has to be one of the best in the nation. Keiser takes the basics that are taught at the Associates level and uses them to strengthen your skills and knowledge.

Vivian R. Howard, BA in Business Administration Graduate

I found that Keiser University’s Nuclear Medicine program of advanced studies and small class size was a perfect fit. I never came across a faculty member who wasn’t truly interested.

Gustavo Gonzalez, Nuclear Medicine Technology Graduate