Admission Criteria and Requirements
Admission Process Overview
The College of Mount Saint Vincent recruits students domestically and internationally. Applications are reviewed by the College’s Master of Science Physician Assistant Program Admission Committee. To ensure that we are fulfilling the mission of the program, this process includes the careful examination of academic credentials, a curriculum vitae/resume describing professional experience and service, a personal statement that discusses goals and aspirations as well as letters of reference.
All applicants to the program will be required to apply through CASPA (Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants). Information provided will include cumulative undergraduate GPA, evidence of direct patient care hours, and letters of recommendation. The committee will carefully select and invite the most highly-qualified applicants for an on-campus interview. This interview will be comprised of individual interviews along with the completion of an essay. The essay will be scored using the Candidate Essay Scoring Rubric. Cumulative scores will be generated using metric data such as GPA, interview rating scores, number of hours shadowing the physician assistant, direct patient care experience, and service experiences. After each interview day, a list of highly-qualified candidates will be selected and offered a seat in the program utilizing a rolling admission process.
Applications are accepted only through CASPA, which will collect and summarize all of the applicant’s data (application form, transcripts, recommendation letters), which will be forwarded to the College of Mount Saint Vincent. There is no supplemental application.
Please note that CASPA does not verify foreign language/international transcripts. These credentials should be evaluated and translated by a NACES accredited organization. One official copy of the evaluation, in an envelope sealed by the evaluation organization, should be sent directly to CASPA and a second copy of the evaluation, also in an envelope sealed by the evaluation organization, should be sent to the College of Mount Saint Vincent, Physician Assistant Program, at 6301 Riverdale Avenue, Riverdale N.Y. 10471 by the CASPA outlined deadline.
The College of Mount Saint Vincent Master of Science Physician Assistant Program is highly competitive and demanding in academic design. The initial admission process includes an overall academic evolution of a student’s undergraduate or graduate school, if applicable, performance. The applicant must supply all supporting documentation and, if requested, appear for an in-person formal interview.
- Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale.
- Minimum cumulative science GPA of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale.
- Minimum of 200 hours of patient care experience.
- One-page personal statement describing why you wish to become a physician assistant (CASPA narrative).
- Three references from professionals (one of which must be from a healthcare professional).
- Completion of all prerequisite courses at the time of CASPA e-submission.
- Only one grade of C is permitted for a prerequisite course. All other prerequisite grades must be B- or greater.
- All undergraduate/graduate coursework must have been completed within 10 years from the start date of the class.
All prerequisite coursework must have been completed 10-years prior to start date of program. The prerequisite course list for admission into the Master of Science Physician Assistant Program is listed below:
- Mathematics (Pre-calculus or Statistics) (3 credits)
- General Biology + Laboratory (8 credits)
- General Chemistry + Laboratory (8 credits)
- Microbiology (3 credits)
- Organic Chemistry + Laboratory or Biochemistry + Laboratory (4 credits)
- Biochemistry (4 credits) (strongly recommended)
- Human Anatomy + Laboratory (4 credits)
- Human Physiology (3 credits)
- Or Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II + Laboratory (7 credit minimum)
Courses in Progress or Planned
All required prerequisites courses must be completed at the time of application submission to CASPA. Patient care experience completion and documentation of a minimum of 200-hours is required at application submission.
Shadowing hour requirements will be temporarily suspended for the current admission cycle (2022 and 2023) due to the difficulties associated with securing shadowing opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The shadowing hours requirement will be addressed beginning with the CASPA 2024 admission cycle, scheduled to begin on April 29, 2023. All updates will be posted on the College of Mount Saint Vincent’s Master of Science Physician Assistant Program webpages.
A personal interview may be granted if the above criteria are met. During the interview, applicants will be evaluated on cognitive capability, commitment to the profession, leadership qualities, service to the community, and communication skills, including verbal ability. Meeting the minimum academic requirements does not guarantee an interview.
If you earned a bachelor’s degree in a country where English is not the official language and English is not your first language, you must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) that are no more than two years old.
In general, an online TOEFL score of 100 (paper-based version or an IELTS score of 8.0) is sufficient to demonstrate the requisite proficiency in English for admission into the College of Mount Saint Vincent Master of Science Physician Assistant Program.
In keeping with College’s mission to impart to its students an academically excellent, authentically inclusive environment committed to the Vincentian/Setonian tradition, we encourage individuals from all backgrounds to apply. Applications will be reviewed and students will be selected on a rolling admission basis until the full class is seated.
All successful applicants are conditionally accepted into the program pending:
- Verification that all admission requirements have been satisfied
- Meets all technical standards
- Successfully passes the required routine drug test
- Successfully passes a criminal background check