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School of Health Professions

Admission Requirements

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Prerequisite Courses

Course Credit Hours Lab? Notes
Human Anatomy 4 Yes Human, comparative, or mammalian with lab may satisfy this requirement. Syllabus may be requested. 
Human Physiology 4 Yes Human, comparative, or mammalian with lab may satisfy this requirement. Syllabus may be requested. 
Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II (8 semester hours) satisfies both  8 Yes Human, comparative, or mammalian with lab may satisfy this requirement. Syllabus may be requested. 
Chemistry (General) 4 Yes  
Biochemistry or Organic Chemistry 3-4 Yes (if offered) Preference given for applicants completing both classes (8 semester hours) 
General Biology 4 Yes Cell or Molecular biology may be considered. Syllabus may be requested 
Microbiology 4   Microbiology classes focused on Infectious Disease or other Medical Microbiology will be considered 
Genetics 3   Human genetics preferred 
Statistics 3    
Medical Terminology 0-4   Certificate or college credit 


Science courses: The courses taken should be for science majors, pre-med, or other pre-health professions majors.

Required prerequisite courses: Must be passed with a B- or better grade.

Recommended (not required) courses: Having completed any of these additional courses will enhance your application and help prepare you for the demands of the Physician Assistant Studies Program curriculum.

Immunology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, college algebra, behavioral sciences

Admission Policies

  • Applicants must have taken anatomy, physiology, and microbiology pre-requisites within 5 years of their projected enrollment date. Applicants who took these courses outside of the 5-year limit must request a waiver demonstrating how they are currently applying the knowledge attained from these courses either in their work or in their studies. Waivers are reviewed by the Physician Assistant Program Admissions Committee. The committee will consider waivers from applicants for courses that are up to 10 years old. The Committee may request an official copy of the course syllabus, and the waiver request may be denied if it cannot be provided. 
  • Bachelor’s Degree required: Yes – Graduate of a US-accredited college or university completed by the date of matriculation. The degree does not need to be completed at the time of application but must be completed before matriculation.
  • Minimum Undergrad Overall GPA: Minimum 3.0 Cumulative or last 60 hours GPA on a 4.0 scale as determined by CASPA
  • Minimum Undergrad Science GPA: Minimum 3.0 Cumulative Science GPA on a 4.0 scale as determined by CASPA
  • Standardized testing
    • No standardized testing is required. PA-CAT, MCAT and GRE scores will all be considered in the application. However, PA-CAT is recommended and preferred, followed by MCAT and GRE.
    • MCAT must have been taken within 3 years of application. 
  • International Students
    • International applicants with a degree earned outside the U.S. must meet the following criteria:
    • All required prerequisite courses must have been taken at a regionally accredited U.S. higher education institution.
  • If English is not applicant’s native language (waived if applicant completed all years of high school and undergrad college in the US)
    • Standardized tests are required for most applicants to any academic program at the graduate and undergraduate level. All applicants who are from countries other than the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, and certain Caribbean Islands, must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), The International English Language Testing System (Academic) (IELTS), Cambridge English, Pearson Test of English (PTE), or International Test of English Proficiency Exam (Academic) (iTEP).
    • Minimum score requirements:
      • TOEFL score of 71 (IBT)
      • IELTS (Academic) Overall 6.0
      • Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency
      • PTE (Academic) Overall 54
      • iTEP (Academic) Overall 4.0
    • Official scores are accepted directly from the testing agency. TOEFL ETS code: 1479, IELTS scores should be sent to the address below, iTEP will be sent directly to us upon request.
  • Transfer students
    • No. The USM Physician Assistant Studies Program will not accept applicants that have attended medical school or another PA program.
  • Advanced placement
    • No.  Advanced placement will not be considered.
  • Veteran’s Pathways:
    • All active duty or veteran service members who meet all USMs application basic requirements will be granted an interview.
  • Mississippi students, graduates, and graduates of other Mississippi institutions of higher education:
    • All students who are University of Southern Mississippi students, graduates, or graduates of other Mississippi institutions of higher education, who meet all USMs application basic requirements, will be granted an interview.
    • Students from Mississippi families, even though they may have graduated from out of state institutions, will also be granted an interview if they meet all USM’s application basic requirements.
  • CASPA: Yes – All prospective students must apply through the CASPA application portal
  • Professional references:
    • 2 (one should be from a PA)
  • Narrative or personal statement:
    • Yes
  • Shadowing experience
    • Minimum of 16 hours of shadowing with a PA , MD, or DO 
    • 8 of the 16 hours must be completed by the time of application. All hours must be completed before beginning the Physician Assistant Studies program.
  • Direct healthcare experience: Yes
    • Minimum Hours: 500 hours of patient care experience
      • 100 of the 500 hours must be completed by the time of application. All hours must be completed before beginning the Physician Assistant Studies program. 
      • Experiences in which you are directly responsible for a patient’s care. Can be paid or unpaid.
      • For example: Prescribing medication, performing procedures, directing a course of treatment, designing a treatment regimen, administering food or medication, taking vitals or other record-keeping information, or actively working on patients as a nurse, paramedic, EMT, CNA, medical assistant, phlebotomist, physical therapist, scribe, dental hygienist, etc.
  • Supplemental Application:
    • Yes. There will be additional USM specific questions as part of the CASPA application.
  • Fee (school application fee in addition the CASPA application fee): 
    • Yes – Can be waived if the applicant has received a waiver of the CASPA fee.  A fee wavier must be requested from the USM Physician Assistant Studies Program.
  • Deposit to hold seat
    • Yes ($500) – non-refundable. Applied to tuition for students who matriculate.

The information presented here is planned for the USM Physician Assistant Studies Program providing accreditation is received from the regional accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the PA Program accreditor, ARC-PA.

Coming soon - USM PA Program

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School of Health Professions

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Hattiesburg, MS 39406

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