Frequently Asked Questions: Physician Assistant Program

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Frequently Asked Questions (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 the program.

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

When does your program’s admissions cycle begin and what is the deadline?
All applicants may begin their CASPA in April of every year. Check the CASPA website for the opening day. Applicants may also begin their Keiser University Broadleaf Online Student Account and customized enrollment process during this time. The deadline for receipt of all documents is November 1st at 11:59pm EST of every year.

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 1900 West Commercial Blvd, Ft Lauderdale, FL 33309.

How many applicants does your program accept each year?
Our program accepts 40 students per admissions 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 courses?
Our program is full-time and class hours are typically 8am-5pm; Monday-Friday, but there is some variation. There may be classes that meet during the evening hours or weekends as the schedule permits. Students must be available to attend these sessions.

What clinical rotations are required?
Required clinical rotations are: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, Psychiatry, Prenatal/GYN, and two electives.

Where do students complete their clinical rotations?
Students will be assigned to various clinical sites to meet the nine required clinical rotations. Students will not be required to supply their own clinical sites. Clinical sites include inpatient, outpatient, long term care and office settings within the tri-county areas of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade.

What is the required GPA?
Applicants must meet all (3) GPA categories below to be considered:

Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA                                          2.75 on a 4.0 scale

Minimum cumulative “natural” science GPA                                       3.0 on a 4.0 scale

Minimum cumulative prerequisite (i.e. general education) 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 institution or a foreign degree equivalent evaluated by a NACES recognized agency will be required to attend the Physician Assistant program. Admission is based on undergraduate coursework. While it may be best that an applicant’s degree be health or science specified, 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, Psychology and 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 51 semester credit hours of prerequisite courses. There are 15 courses (7 general education; 8 natural sciences). All coursework must be completed at a regionally accredited institution. Foreign coursework must be evaluated by a NACES recognized agency.

Does your program have an expiration date on any of the prerequisites required?
Yes. All natural science prerequisite courses must have been completed within ten years of the application year. All applicants must have earned a grade of C (2.0) or better in each course. Pass/Fail will not be accepted.

If an applicant has a post baccalaureate degree must all the prerequisites be completed?
Yes. All applicants will be required to complete all prerequisites for admission to the program. 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, There are no institutional policies or practices that favor specific groups of applicants. 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
Fax: (305) 273-1984 (Translations)

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

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 applicants will be required to complete all prerequisites for admission to the program 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). High school transcripts must be submitted as a part of the applicant’s verified CASPA application for grade verification. CLEP credit will not be accepted.

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

Does your program substitute prerequisites?
Prerequisites cannot be substituted. However, exceptions to the prerequisite requirements can be considered only in very rare instances and must be approved by the program director.

Can an applicant apply if they have outstanding prerequisites?
Yes. However, applicants submitting an application with greater than two outstanding prerequisites in the semester prior to the program’s start will not be considered for admission.

What if an applicant has not completed all the prerequisites at the time of application?
All prerequisites must be completed prior to matriculation. Official transcripts reflecting completion of all required coursework should be sent directly to Keiser University.

Does your program require health care experience (HCE)?
Yes. Applicants will be required to demonstrate evidence of HCE with a minimum of 100 hours. Physician assistant (PA) shadowing is also required with a minimum of 20 hours. Additional volunteer experience may enhance an applicant’s competitiveness and is highly recommended. Previous applicants have completed HCE as Emergency Medical Technicians, Dental Hygienists or Assistants, Surgical Technicians, Radiological Technicians, Phlebotomists, Athletic Trainers, Scribes, Nurses, Certified Nurse Assistants, Certified Medical Assistants, Certified Physical Therapists or Assistants and Certified Occupational Therapists or Assistants.

What if an applicant has not met the minimum required hours of experience at the time of application?
The applicant’s file will be placed on hold until written confirmation is provided. Applicants must report all form(s) of experience on their CASPA application by the deadline to be considered.

Can an applicant shadow other medical professionals in lieu of a PA?
No. However, additional shadowing with other medical professionals (MD, OD, NP for example) may enhance an applicant’s competitiveness.

Does your program require any standardized tests for admission?
Yes. All applicants are required to take the GRE which must have been completed within five years of the application year. Applicants can self-report on CASPA, but official scores must be submitted to CASPA by the deadline to be considered. If an applicant’s primary language is not English, the applicant must present English proficiency test scores from TOEFL or IELTS. Completion of an English as a Second Language (ESL) program may be acceptable if certification can be verified. All applicants must be able to read, write and speak English fluently.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE®),
A minimum combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 294. We do not combine scoring sections from different attempts. Our CASPA GRE code is 0284.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL®),
Paper-based (PBT) score 500 / Computer-based score 173 / Internet-based (iBT) score 61

International English Language Testing System (IELTS™),
score 6.0

Can an applicant substitute the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT®) for the GRE?
No. Only the standardized tests mentioned above are required and acceptable.

What if an applicant has not scheduled the required standardized test(s) at the time of application?
The applicant’s file will be placed on hold until all applicable test scores are provided. Applicants can self-report unofficial scores on their CASPA application, but official scores must be received by the deadline to be considered.

Does your program require Letters of Recommendation (LOR) and if so, what types of LOR does your program require?
Yes. Applicants are required to have three LOR: one from a PA (preferably a PA the applicant has shadowed), one from a practicing healthcare provider of any field (PA, MD, OD, NP, etc) and one personal recommendation (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.

What if an applicant is missing one or more of the required (3) types of LOR at the time of application?
The applicant’s file will be placed on hold until all LOR are provided. All LOR should be submitted to CASPA and must be received by the deadline to be considered.

Does your program require a criminal background check?
Yes. Criminal background checks will be obtained by the program for all accepted applicants. If the background check reports any criminal information, the offer of acceptance may be rescinded.

Does your program require immunizations, drug screenings, and physicals?
Yes. Proof of immunity for all immunization must be submitted to SentryMD prior to matriculation. Drug screens and physicals must be completed twice: once before the didactic year and once before the clinical year.

What is CASPA?
The Central Application Service for Physician Assistants also known as, CASPA, offers applicants a convenient, state-of the-art, web-based application service that will allow you to apply to any number of participating PA educational programs by completing a single application. The on-line application was specifically designed for your ease and convenience, with far less paperwork, streamlined processing, and ongoing communication with applicants. CASPA offers the ability to apply to multiple programs across the country. CASPA is a service of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA). PAEA‘s mission is to pursue excellence, foster faculty development, advance the body of knowledge that defines quality education and patient-centered care, and promote diversity in all aspects of physician assistant education,, (617) 612-2080, email

Does your program utilize a rolling or non-rolling admissions process?
We utilize a rolling admissions process. This means that applications are reviewed, interviews are scheduled and applicants are accepted on a continuous basis. It is very likely that all available seats may be filled prior to the deadline. It is always in an applicant’s best interest to apply early.

When does your program begin interviews?
Typically, interviews begin in July and continue until approximately November every cycle or until all 40 seats have been filled. Interviews are by invitation only and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee an interview. Applicants selected for an interview will be notified via phone and/or email by a member of the PA Program Admissions Committee. Please note that interviews are conducted in person only.

Can an applicant transfer into your program or transfer credits to reduce the number of courses taken to complete the program?
No. Every applicant must meet all requirements, apply for admission and be accepted by the PA Program Admissions Committee to enter our program. Because of the nature of the program, no advance standing or transfer of credits will be granted. Each class will be an integral part of the academic experience and is necessary for success in this program.

Does your program offer advanced placement?
No. All students must successfully complete all courses required in the program.

Can an applicant defer acceptance into the program for a future class?
No. Offers of acceptance will be valid for one admissions cycle only.

Does your program have a wait list?
Yes. Our program has a waitlist during each admissions cycle. However, the waitlist does not carry over to the next admissions cycle. Applicants on the waitlist who are not offered a seat for the current admissions cycle must re-apply through CASPA and Keiser University the following year. Since the applicant pool changes year to year, all applicants will be considered equally each cycle regardless of whether an applicant is a new applicant or a re-applicant.

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 are given the same opportunity.

Does your program accept applicants from the military?
Keiser University is a military-friendly institution. All admissions requirements are the same for all interested applicants to our program. We offer the Yellow Ribbon Program as well as an active duty/veteran scholarship program.

Does your program require a laptop computer?
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?
On campus housing is not provided. However, the university provides information about local apartments and rental opportunities for students interested in living near campus. Students should first contact their campus Admissions Department. All University campuses are located along major traffic arteries to allow easy commuting for students. Additionally, we do not provide housing during clinical rotations.

Does Keiser University provide student health insurance? Student health insurance is available through independent providers. Students in allied health fields who are required to complete clinical rotations for academic coursework need health insurance coverage prior to participating in this part of the curriculum. To research insurance options independently, students may use this link, Scroll down to Keiser University and choose the desired coverage link for more information.

Does Keiser University provide job placement services?
Yes. Job placement services are available through the 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 practice 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?

Where can an applicant find Keiser University’s policies and procedures for refunds and withdrawal?
The policies and procedures for refunds of tuition and fees as well as student withdrawal are found in the Tuition, Fees and Other Costs section of the university catalog.

Where can an applicant find the program’s policy and procedure for processing student grievances?
The policy for processing student grievances is found in the program’s Student Handbook located on the website.

Are open house events provided for the Master of Science in Physician Assistant program?Yes. We provide four open house events each year. Further information can be found at

Mrs. Percy and Mr. Williams 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. And Mrs. Crawford from student services helped me find a job before I even graduated. She 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 two instructors that have impacted my life are Mr. Williams and Mrs. Percy. Both of them believed in my ability to become a great graphic designer, regardless of how I felt about my skills. I appreciate their motivation to get me to where I am today.

Justin Pugh

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

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

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