Qualified students who have entered the bachelor of science in biology program at Viterbo University and are applying to one of three programs in the School of Health Professions at Concordia University: the Occupational Therapy Program (MOT, OTDe); the Physical Therapy Program (DPT); or the Physician Assistant Program (PA) can earn priority admission status as part of a Priority Admission Pathway.
Master of Science in Physician Assistant Priority Admission Pathway
Viterbo University is proud to partner with Concordia University, Wisconsin to offer a priority admission into the Master of Science in Physician Assistant (PA) program at Concordia, giving Viterbo students a clear pathway through the PA application and admission process and early, priority consideration in the interview process.
Physician Assistant Priority Admission Pathway Requirements
Viterbo students who are on the Priority Admission Pathway must meet the following requirements:
- Minimum of both a 3.4 cumulative GPA and a 3.4 GPA in the science prerequisite courses
- Documentation of 500 hours of hands-on patient care experience (ER tech, EMT/paramedic, nursing, phlebotomy, CNA, etc.)
- 24 hours of minimum experience in shadowing a physician assistant in clinical practice
- Submission of applications through CASPA, and applications must be verified prior to the deadline of Sept. 1
- Satisfy all remaining requirements outlined by the Viterbo pre-health committee and Concordia University admissions
About Physician Assistant
Physician assistants (PAs) are part of the health care team that provides basic medical care under the supervision of a physician. They take medical histories, perform examinations, treat patients, see to minor injuries, prescribe medication, order lab work and interpret results. Physician assistants provide diagnostic, therapeutic and preventative health services. At a practice level, PAs are very similar to nurse practitioners (NP). However, PAs are educated in general medicine, which offers a comprehensive view of all aspects of medicine. On the other hand, NPs must choose a “population focus,” e.g., pediatric nurse practitioner or women’s health nurse practitioner. Also, PAs are trained to practice medicine using a curriculum modeled on medical school education. Whereas, NPs are trained in the advanced practice of nursing and requires a time of working as a general practice registered nurse prior to becoming an NP. A PA usually completes a 2-3 year program, which may begin immediately after earning an undergraduate degree. Graduates earn master's degrees in either Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS), Health Science (MHS), or Medical Science (MMSc). Some physician assistants work in hospitals or a group practice with physicians. In many rural or medically underserved areas, physician assistants may serve as the primary healthcare provider in the community. UW–La Crosse has a PA program affiliated with Mayo Clinic. Typical admissions averages for PA schools: mean overall GPA: ~3.5; mean science GPA: ~3.4; mean nonscience GPA ~3.6. Most physician assistant schools require the GRE, with percentile scores greater than 55% being typical of accepted students. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the profession will grow by 37% from 2016–2026. Updated job outlook data can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) and American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) provide information on applicaiton requirements, descriptions of careers, and programs in the U.S.