Frequently Asked Questions
- Describe the composition of your class.
- Can I take some of the prerequisites at MUSC?
- How many courses of anatomy and physiology must I take before entering the program?
- How do I prepare for the personal interviews?
- What can I do to improve my chances of getting into the MUSC PA Program?
- Are there any courses that will make my application more competitive?
- I've never had human anatomy or physiology, but many of my courses covered this material. Can I get a waiver for the anatomy/physiology prerequisites?
- When should I take the GRE?
- I know my grades aren't the best, but I have a lot of clinical experience. Doesn't that count for something?
- What can I do to improve my application for next year since I didn't get in?
- What are the statistics for your students' performance on the national board exam?
- How successful are MUSC PA graduates at gaining certification from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistant (NCCPA)?
- Download the 2011 handbook
- Download the 2012 handbook
Describe the composition of your class.
While class makeup varies each year, the female to male ratio is usually 85% to 15%, respectively, and the average student age is 24. We enroll a mixture of in-state and out-of-state students and strive to admit students with diverse backgrounds and unique life experiences.
Can I take some of the prerequisites at MUSC?
No. All prerequisite course work must be completed before matriculating into the program. Some applicants may be given provisional acceptance with the proviso that the applicant satisfactorily complete missing prerequisites before matriculation.
How many courses of anatomy and physiology must I take before entering the program?
We require four semester hours of anatomy and four semester hours of physiology, or eight semester hours of combined anatomy/physiology.
- Have a strong understanding of the PA profession. Think of the types of questions we might ask, and then prepare your answers. Practice with mock interviews. Previously accepted students offer these tips:
- Be yourself.
- Dress professionally, but allow it to reflect who you are. Black and navy blue are not the only colors in the interview rainbow.
- Participate in a PA Program or College of Health Professions Information Session by calling (843) 792-3326 or registering here. These sessions are open to all prospective applicants and provide a forum for questions.
- Be prepared. Do your homework regarding the profession and MUSC.
What can I do to improve my chances of getting into the MUSC PA Program?
There are two major hurdles for acceptance into the Medical University of South Carolina Physician Assistant Program (PA). First, the faculty will review your academic performance and standardized test scores. We believe these predict success during the didactic phase. Second, you must demonstrate strong interpersonal skills. If selected for an interview, expect to participate in two to three 20-minute interviews.
Are there any courses that will make my application more competitive?
First, nothing can replace good grades in the prerequisite courses. For prospective applicants who have strong academic credentials, we suggest electives in the following areas: computer skills, immunology, communication skills, advanced foreign languages, public health, or genetics.
I've never had human anatomy or physiology, but many of my courses covered this material. Can I get a waiver for the anatomy/physiology prerequisites?
We want to be sure that each prospective student has the educational foundation that will provide the basis for his/her success in graduate level anatomy and physiology. Therefore, we require a formal request for waiver. This would include a letter to the admission's coordinator, a course description for each class involved, a copy of your final grades and a syllabus for each. Once this material has been received, the admission's coordinator and the program director will determine whether or not a waiver will be granted.
When should I take the GRE?
Early Decision cycle candidates should take the GRE before August of the year in which they are applying. For additional information regarding the GRE, please visit the ETS-GRE website. Click here for link.
I know my grades aren't the best, but I have a lot of clinical experience. Doesn't that count for something?
Yes, it does. We find that our students with patient care experience understand the language of medicine and have a greater understanding of the patient/provider relationship. However, studies have shown that a history of scholastic weakness can never be overcome by experience alone. Hence, we consider experience AFTER assuring ourselves that one has superior academic credentials.
What can I do to improve my application for next year since I didn't get in?
If you have a grade of "C" or less in any prerequisite, repeat the course. Most of the applicants we accept have grades of "B" or above. Applicants accepted with a grade of "C" usually have only one, and their "A's" with a few "B's" counter this. One's competitiveness academically and interpersonally is the key to successfully navigating the admissions process.
|Class of||Group||No. of Students||MUSC Pass Rate||National Average Pass Rate|
|2011||First-Time Test Takers||67||91%||91%|
|2010||First-Time Test Takers||59||97%||94%|
|2009||First-Time Test Takers||59||97%||92%|
|2008||First-Time Test Takers||59||97%||94%|
|2007||First-Time Test Takers||55||96%||93%|
|Class of||No. of Students||MUSC NCCPA Certification Rate|
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