Eastern Michigan University

Admissions Process

The admissions process for the EMU PA Program is highly competitive. Over 750 applications were received for 30 seats for the class beginning May 2016.


Required Applications

The Eastern Michigan University PA Program requires a completed Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) Application and an EMU PA Program Supplemental Application (online EMU Graduate Application). The EMU PA Program will not accept applications through any other means.

For those wishing to apply to begin the PA Program in May 2017, both a completed CASPA application and EMU PA Program Supplemental Application must be submitted between April 27, 2016 and September 1, 2016. Applications submitted outside of this time frame will not be considered.

CASPA - By September 1, all of the following must be received by CASPA: complete and properly submitted application, appropriate application fee paid to CASPA, two letters of recommendation and official transcripts for all colleges/universities attended. Personal statements are no longer required. For further information about a "complete" CASPA application, visit CASPA. CASPA applications that are not complete (CASPA notation of "complete") by September 1 will not be considered.

EMU PA Program Supplemental Application - The EMU PA Program Supplemental Application (online EMU Graduate Application) must be completed and submitted by September 1. Official transcripts for all colleges/universities must be sent to EMU only in the event that an interview invitation is extended to an applicant. Letters of recommendation are only required to be sent to CASPA. An application not submitted by September 1 will not be considered. Please note that the Eastern Michigan University Supplemental Application (online EMU Graduate Application) includes a fee of $45, payable by credit card. The EMU PA Program Supplemental Application may be accessed here.

International and foreign degree applicants must have all necessary documents and evaluations completed and received by September 1.

Application Review & Timeline

During the summer and early fall, the EMU PA Program Admission Committee reviews applications and selects the most qualified candidates for on-campus interviews based on a program-specific evaluation rubric. Any applicant who does not clearly demonstrate attainment (or appropriate plan for attainment) of all EMU PA Program Pre-Admission Requirements via the CASPA and EMU PA Program Supplemental Application is not considered for admission.

Interviews for Top Applicants

The highest rated/most qualified applicants are granted an on-campus interview with the EMU PA Program Admission Committee. For the class that began in May 2015, interviews were conducted in October and November and more than 2 candidates for each seat in the entering class were interviewed (82 interviews for a class of 30). For the class the began in May 2016, 70 candidates were interviewed in January for a class of 30. Successful completion of an on-campus interview is a requirement for admission. The interview is approximately one half-day in length and consists of individual interviews. In addition to the interviews, candidates will be provided with more information about the EMU PA Program, meet current PA students, and tour the PA Program facilities and other key locations on the EMU campus.

Admission Decisions

Following the completion of all admissions interviews, the EMU PA Program Admission Committee meets to choose the top candidates. The EMU PA Program admitted 20 candidates to the EMU PA Program in May 2014 (Class of 2016), 30 who began the program in May 2015 (Class of 2017), and 30 who began the program in May 2016 (Class of 2018). The program anticipates admitting up to 30 candidates annually. Students are only allowed to start the EMU PA Program once annually in early May. Applicants who are not accepted into the EMU PA Program must repeat the entire admissions process if they wish to re-apply.

Evaluation Criteria

Once a candidate's application has been screened and is found to have met (or has an appropriate plan to meet) all of the minimum admission requirements, the application is fully reviewed and evaluated by the EMU PA Program. Candidates applying for admission into the EMU PA Program are evaluated on a number of cognitive and non-cognitive measures, seeking to assemble a class of students who are highly intelligent, well-rounded, work well with others and bring a wealth of varied life experiences. Due to the highly selective admissions process, not all applicants will be granted an interview. There is no advanced placement or advanced standing for anyone chosen to join the EMU PA Program. The specific applicant areas assessed include:

Academic Background

    • Highest/Best GPA: The EMU PA Program evaluates the highest/best of the following CASPA GPAs: overall, completed graduate or last 60 semester credit hours. The Highest/Best GPA has a large impact on candidate evaluation.
    • Science GPA: The EMU PA Program evaluates a CASPA generated GPA that includes all science courses ever taken at the college/university level. The CASPA Science GPA includes: Biology/Zoology, Inorganic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Other Science and Physics. The Science GPA has a large impact on candidate evaluation.
    • Additional Health Care and Science-related Courses: The EMU PA Program determines the number of health care and science-related courses completed beyond the pre-admission requirements with a grade of "B-" or better. This has a small impact on candidate evaluation.

Clinical Experience / Health Care Hours

    • Experience: The type(s) and amount of Clinical Experience / Health Care Hours are evaluated.¬†Preference in the application evaluation process is given to candidates with direct patient care experiences, particularly those that require specific training, high level of medical decision-making and/or registration/licensure. The highest category, Professional Provider, includes occupations such as: registered nurse, paramedic, medical corpsman (armed forces), physical therapist, athletic trainer and others. The next category, Technician, includes occupations such as: radiology technician, patient care technician, physical therapy assistant, dental assistant, CNA and others. Lower level experiences include: PA/physician shadowing, student internship/rotation experiences, medical scribe and others. Preference will also be given to candidates who have completed greater numbers of hours of clinical experience. The Clinical Experience / Health Care Hours has a large impact on candidate evaluation.

Life Experiences

    • Overcoming challenges: Economically and/or educationally/environmentally disadvantaged as noted by the indicators on the CASPA application. This has a small-moderate impact on candidate evaluation.
    • Community service / Involvement: Determination of the number and extent of community service and involvement in extra-curricular activities as noted on CASPA application. This has a small-moderate impact on candidate evaluation.
    • Leadership & awards: Determination of the number and type of demonstrated leadership, honors and awards as noted on CASPA application. This has a small-moderate impact on candidate evaluation.
    • Research experience: Involvement in research. High-level involvement in research directly related to humans is favored. Research experience has a small impact on candidate evaluation.
    • Degree received from EMU: EMU Degree has only a minimal impact on candidate evaluation.

Reference Letters

    • Reference letters: At least two reference letters are required. All reference letters submitted to CASPA may be evaluated (more letters are not necessarily better). The quantitative and qualitative information regarding the Reference Letters are evaluated. This has a small-moderate impact on candidate evaluation.

On-campus Interview

    • Only select applicants are invited for an on-campus interview.
    • Individual interviews: Candidates undergo four individual interviews with members of our admissions committee (PA faculty and staff, other EMU faculty and staff, community PAs and physicians, and members of the EMU PA Program Advisory Board). The interviews include prepared questions and specific evaluation rubrics. The interview day also includes a presentation about our program, tour of the PA facilities, and an opportunity to speak with current PA students. The individual interviews have a large impact on candidate evaluation.

Other

    • Exceptionalities: Possible candidate qualities or accomplishments that are not addressed elsewhere and found to be exceptional and warrant additional evaluation. There were no exceptionalities for the the classes entering in May 2015 (Class of 2017) or May 2016 (Class of 2018). Exceptionalities are rare and can have a small to moderate impact on candidate evaluation.

Improving Future Applications

From February through April of each year, applicants who were not chosen for admission into the EMU PA Program are welcome to contact us to determine ways to improve their application for the future. Between February 1 and April 15th, please send an email inquiry to us (chhs_paprogram@emich.edu) that includes your name, phone number and the best days and times of the week (Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m.5 p.m.) to reach you (ex. Please call me back to let me know how to improve my application. Sally Applicant, 555-555-5555; Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.). A member of the PA program faculty or staff will review the applicant's information, note applicant strengths and communicate the area(s) that are in the greatest need for improvement, along with providing direction as to how to improve.

We understand the admissions process is highly competitive and know there are a number of very good applicants who are not accepted into the EMU PA Program each year. After an applicant is denied admission, we seek to provide guidance and information to assist them for the future, but cannot guarantee subsequent acceptance.

 

The Physician Assistant Program is part of the School of Health Promotion & Human Performance, 318 Porter Building, 734.487.0090