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School of Health Professions

Application Process & How To Apply

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Application Process

  • All candidates must submit their application through the Physician Assistant Centralized Application Service (CASPA).
  • Applications of the student must achieve VERIFIED status in CASPA before they will be considered for admission.
    • (Questions completing the CASPA application should be directed to CASPA.)
  • The CASPA application includes the following components:
    • Official transcripts from all post-high school course work.
    • Two letters of reference.
      • At least one must be from a PA.
      • The other should come from an individual who can attest to your integrity, work ethic and compassion for others such professors or employers.
      • References from family members or friends are not accepted.
    • Record of direct patient care experience.
  • Important Dates
    • Each cohort begins in October.
    • CASPA application cycles open each April.
    • Please note: To be considered for the cohort beginning in October 2025, applications may be entered into CASPA during the application cycle beginning in April of 2024.
    • The USM Physician Assistant Studies Program will admit students on a rolling basis. However, please note that there is a priority deadline (see below).
    • Interviews will be conducted as suitable applicants are identified, but may be grouped on specific dates for efficiency and convenience of both the applicants and the program.
    • A waiting list will be established, and individuals may receive offer letters until a firm class roster has been determined. This process can take an extended period as candidates make their final decisions.

How To Apply

  • Applicants must complete all the application requirements including prerequisite courses to be eligible for acceptance into the Physician Assistant Studies program.
  • Complete the online CASPA application for the University of Southern Mississippi
    • Applications open for the 2025 cohort: April, 2024
    • Priority deadline: November 1st, 2024
  • All qualified applicants will be notified of their status and scheduled for an interview as appropriate. Applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the cohort is complete. Additional qualified applicants will be placed on a waiting list.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete application materials early. Applications will not be reviewed until all requirements are submitted. All applications must be verified by CASPA. 
  • Submit USMs non-refundable application fee.
    • Applications will not be reviewed until USM's application fee is received.
    • Fee waiver requests from applicants with approved CASPA fee waivers are considered.
  • The program invites the most competitive applicants to interview.
  • All Military and Mississippi applicants who meet all minimum admission requirements will be invited to interview. 
    • A detailed schedule of interview day activities is included in the invitation.
  • During individual and group interviews, applicants will be assessed on the following: 
    • Understanding of the PA profession
    • Understanding of the USM PA Program
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Commitment to learning
    • Self-Awareness
    • Critical thinking and problem solving
    • Cultural competency

Accepted Applicants Requirements

  • Interviewees will be notified of admission decision within six weeks of the interview day.
  • Accepted students are required to reserve their seat within seven days of this communication with a $500 non-refundable tuition deposit.
  • Initial acceptance to the program is conditional on successful completion of the following post-acceptance requirements, which must be completed by October 1st of enrollment year.
  • Technical Standard Attestation Form
  • Medical Clearance & Immunizations
    • Accepted applicants must:
      • Have a physical examination and complete a confidential medical history
      • Be up to date on all CDC recommended immunizations for healthcare workers
  • Immunization and Health Information documentation
    • Accepted applicants must pass background and health-related screenings:
      • TB testing
      • Background Check
      • Drug screening
      • HIPPA and OSHA Training
      • Health insurance documentation
    • Applicants must provide proof of personal health insurance and maintain the insurance throughout the entire program.
  • Official transcripts submitted to USM for all undergraduate coursework
  • Documentation of completion of all prerequisite requirements
  • Failure to comply prior to the start of the program can result in seat forfeiture. 
  • Students will not be permitted to participate in clinical experiences without medical clearance.
    • Acceptance agreement form
  • Students must attend orientation the week before classes begin.

Note: Transportation and Housing

  • Students are responsible for their housing during the entire program including during clinical rotations that may occur outside the state or region.
  • Students are responsible for their own transportation to attend all classes, activities and clinical rotations.


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

Contact Us

School of Health Professions

Elizabeth Harkins Hall

118 College Dr. #5122
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Hattiesburg Campus 

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