Eastern Michigan University

Admissions Process

Please understand that the admissions process for the EMU PA Program is highly competitive. For the class beginning in May 2014, there were well over 500 applicants for 20 seats.


Applications Required

The Eastern Michigan University PA Program requires a completed Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) Application and an EMU PA Program Supplemental Application. The EMU PA Program will not accept applications through any other means and does not accept the standard EMU Graduate School Application. For those wishing to apply to begin the PA Program in May 2015, both a completed CASPA application and EMU PA Program Supplemental Application must be submitted between April 2014 and September 1, 2014. Applications submitted outside of this time frame will not be considered.

CASPA - By September 1, all of the following must be received by CASPA: application must be completed and submitted, appropriate application fee paid to CASPA, two letters of recommendation, official transcripts for all colleges/universities attended and official GRE score report (see the GRE section on the Admission Requirements webpage for details). For further information about a "complete" CASPA application, visit the following CASPA webpage. CASPA applications that are not completed by September 1 will not be considered.

EMU PA Program Supplemental Application - This takes the place of the standard EMU Graduate School Application and is designed to provide a shorter and more straightforward process for the applicant. Standard EMU Graduate School applications are not accepted. The EMU PA Program Supplemental Application must include all required information along with necessary details for all pre-admission courses (including those in process or planned). An application with incomplete information or not completed and submitted by September 1 will not be considered. Please note that the Eastern Michigan University Supplemental Application includes a fee of $35.00 payable by credit card. The EMU PA Program Supplemental Application may be accessed here. The EMU PA Program Supplemental Application and fee must be completed and submitted by September 1. Each candidate should only submit the EMU PA Program Supplemental Application one time, including all relevant information demonstrating completion or appropriate plan to complete all pre-admission course requirements. Applications with incomplete information may be removed from consideration for admission. Common examples of incomplete information include: pre-admission course grade below requirement, pre-admission course requirement missing, unacceptable pre-admission course. Only courses listed on the EMU PA Program Supplemental Application will be evaluated for the pre-admission course requirement.

During the summer, 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 will not be considered for admission.

Upon notification from the EMU PA Program, applicants must provide official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended to EMU. Candidates will be contacted with specific directions on how and when to submit official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended to Eastern Michigan University. International and foreign degree applicants must have all necessary documents and evaluations completed and received by September 1.

Interviews for Top Applicants

The highest rated/most qualified applicants are granted an on-campus interview with the EMU PA Program Admission Committee during the fall semester. For the class beginning in May 2014, interviews were conducted in October and November and about 3 candidates for each seat in the entering class were interviewed (63 interviews for a class of 20). For the class beginning in May 2015, we anticipate interviewing about 90 candidates. 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 and group interviews. In addition to the interviews, candidates will be provided with more information about the EMU PA Program, meet students and faculty and tour the PA Program facilities and 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). For the Class of 2017 (entering in May 2015), up to 30 candidates will be admitted and for the Class of 2018 (entering in May 2016), up to 40 candidates will be admitted. Students are only allowed to start the EMU PA Program once annually in May. Applicants who are not accepted into the EMU PA Program must repeat the entire admissions process if they wish to re-apply. The application and review process will repeat at roughly the same dates on an annual basis.

Evaluation Criteria

Once a candidate's application has been screened and found to meet (or an appropriate plan to meet) all of the minimum admission requirements, the application is fully 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 well-rounded, work well with others and bring a wealth of varied life experiences. The specific areas assessed include:

Academic Background

    • GPA: The EMU PA Program evaluates the highest of the following CASPA GPAs: overall, completed graduate or last 60 semester credit hours. The GPA has a large impact on candidate evaluation.
    • Science GPA: The EMU PA Program evaluates all science courses taken. 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.
    • GRE score: There is no minimum score required. Scoring higher than the 50th and 75th percentile are favorable. The GRE score has a small impact on candidate evaluation.

Clinical Experience / Health Care Hours

    • Experience: The type(s) and amount of Clinical Experience / Health Care Hours. Preference in the application evaluation process is given to candidates with direct patient care experiences, particularly those that require specific training, high level 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.

Personal Statement

    • The personal statement on the CASPA application is reviewed for: grammar, spelling/punctuation, writing style/maturity and content related to the prompt. The personal statement has a moderate-large impact on candidate evaluation.

Life Experiences

    • Overcoming challenges: Economically and/or educationally/environmentally disadvantaged as noted on CASPA application.
    • Community service / Involvement: Determination of the number and extent of community service and involvement in extra-curricular activities as noted on CASPA application.
    • Leadership & awards: Determination of the number and type of demonstrated leadership, honors and awards as noted on CASPA application.
    • 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 (new in 2014).
    • Degree received from EMU: EMU Degree has only a minimal impact on candidate evaluation.

Reference Letters

    • Two reference letters: The quantitative and qualitative information regarding the Reference Letters.

On-campus Interview

    • Individual interviews: Two individual interviews with specific questions asked and evaluation rubrics. The individual interviews have a large impact on candidate evaluation.
    • Group interview: Ability to work cohesively as a member of a team.

Other

    • Exceptionalities: Possible candidate qualities or accomplishments that are not addressed elsewhere and found to be exceptional and warrant additional evaluation. Exceptionalities have only a minimal impact on candidate evaluation.

Note: 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.

Improving Application for the Future

From January 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 January and April 15th, please send an email inquiry to us (chhs_paprogram@emich.edu) that includes a phone number and best days/times to reach you (ex. 555-555-5555; Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays between 3pm and 5pm). A member of the PA program faculty or staff will review the applicant's information and communicate the area or areas that are in the greatest need for improvement, along with providing direction as to how to improve. We understand that the admissions process is highly competitive and know that there are a number of very good applicants who are not accepted into the EMU PA Program. After an applicant is denied admission, we seek to provide guidance and information to assist them, 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