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Physician Assistant Program - Jacksonville

Frequently Asked Questions

Graduates of the NSU PA Program Jacksonville will receive the degree, Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant. All students must enroll in all courses, regardless of previous work or education history.

Yes, a baccalaureate degree must have been received prior to matriculation into the physician assistant program. See Requirements for Admission for more information.

No, the program will assign you to clinical sites and preceptors from its inventory of clinical resources.

No. All entry-level classes for the program are taught in Jacksonville, Florida . At this time there is no distance learning or part-time format for our program. You will live and work in Northeast Florida for the duration of the program. We do, however, have a distance learning option for a masters degree, but only for individuals that have graduated from an accredited PA program and want to pursue a masters degree (Note: not all accredited programs offer a masters degree).

The Successful Applicant to the NSU PA Program Jacksonville will have combination of life, educational and work experience that shows a commitment to patient care, an understanding of the PA profession and the ability to perform in a demanding academic and professional setting. Competition for entrance into PA programs is strong.

Although not required, health care experience is highly recommended. This experience can be either paid or volunteer and should include exposure to mid level practitioners. Additionally applicants may gain valuable information from the material available as Associate Members of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

Past educational performance, while not indicative of current abilities, can predict performance in the program. Every attempt should be made to enhance overall and science course GPA prior to application. The first year is extremely demanding and the applicant will benefit by taking courses that simulate this type of education.

At its September 2022 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) extended Accreditation-Probation status for the Nova Southeastern University-Jacksonville Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Nova Southeastern University until its next review in June 2024.

Probation accreditation is a temporary accreditation status initially of not less than two years. However, that period may be extended by the ARC-PA for up to an additional two years if the ARC-PA finds that the program is making substantial progress toward meeting all applicable standards but requires additional time to come into full compliance. Probation accreditation status is granted, at the sole discretion of the ARC-PA, when a program holding an accreditation status of Accreditation - Provisional or Accreditation - Continued does not, in the judgment of the ARC-PA, meet the Standards or when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.

Once placed on probation, a program that fails to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and is subject to having its accreditation withdrawn.

Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s).

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at

Each year the program receives over 1,000 applications. Competition is strong and you’re encouraged to apply as early as possible through CASPA.

We anticipate 60 positions (the maximum class size) will be available for the class matriculating in 2015.

No, but all science prerequisite courses must be completed by the end of the Fall semester prior to matriculation.

Clinical experience is NOT required for admission, but will enhance your application substantially when compared to others that apply to the program. It is important that one is very familiar with the career s/he is planning to make a commitment to. We value the type of experience more than total number of hours.

Yes. Many of the NSU students have some form and combination of financial aid from public and private sources. Part of planning for entry should include planning for the financial situation faced by our students. We recommend that our student not work during the program. Much of that information can be obtained from the NSU Financial Aid Office.

No . Students accepted into the program can find housing in some of the neighboring communities. More housing information can be obtained from the office of the NSU PA Program at Jacksonville by calling (904)-245-8990.

Prior to matriculation, applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with a minimum cumulative and science GPA of 3.0 on a four point grading scale. All science prerequisites must be completed by the end of the Fall semester prior to matriculation.

Required Courses: The college requires applicants to earn a grade of "C" or better in each of the following required subjects:

  • College Math - 3 semester hours (sh.)
  • English - 6 sh..
  • Humanities/Arts - 3 sh.
  • Social Sciences - 9 sh.
  • General Chemistry (I & II) including labs - 8 sh.
  • Microbiology including laboratory - 4 sh.
  • General Biology OR Zoology including laboratory - 4 sh.
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology - 6 sh.
  • Biochemistry - 3 sh.
  • Genetics - 3 sh.
  • Medical Terminology - 1 sh.

Yes. The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is REQUIRED for admissions at this time

Keep in mind that your goal is to become a physician assistant; therefore, your volunteer experience should provide you with as much exposure/experience as possible to the roles and responsibilities of physicians, PA's and or other medical professional, whose primary responsibility is patient care. Familiarity with the "tools of the trade," hospital, and various medical procedures is valuable.

No. See the list of prerequisites on the web site.

Yes. Each applicant is viewed equally; therefore, each must complete all prerequisite course work outlined in the flyer. No exceptions or substitutions. Course credit is not given for previous work of life experience.

The program does not offer only a certificate. You must complete the entire 27-month program as outlined for the MMS degree requirements regardless of previously completed course work or degrees.

All prerequisite courses must be completed at the college level, and transcripts from foreign countries must be translated to show college courses, grades, and semester units equivalent to the U.S. educational system. "But this doesn't seem fair." There are only a few schools in Florida offering P.A. programs and probably hundreds of applicants in the same situation. Our program has admitted undergraduates pursuing their first degree, post baccalaureate students, graduates students, displaced workers pursuing a second career, and a variety of medical professionals.


No. Read the PA program's brochure, catalog and online material very carefully. Everything you need to know is explained in these documents.

Maybe. Individual advisement appointments (in person or by phone) by Admissions are very limited, due to the increasingly large number of applicants seeking personal advisement. If this is your situation, plan to meet with an advisor as early as possible. Applicants who wait until the last few months, prior to the application deadline, are usually unable to see an advisor.

No. Do not expect to be seen by an advisor on a walk-in basis. You must make an appointment. Unfortunately, there are no full-time advisors for the PA program to conduct walk-in or telephone advisement. All of the information you need to succeed in this process is on our web site.

Yes. You can make an appointment to meet with a counselor at the college you are attending. College advisors are usually very familiar with general education programs and can advise you of the courses you should take to fulfill the course prerequisites. If they have any question, they are welcome to call the program or admissions office.

Committee members change from year to year and consist primarily members of the PA Program, faculty, and may be augmented by local, practicing Physician Assistants, other practitioners, and other members of the community.

A single applicant interviews with a team of 2-4 interviewers. This format is flexible and individual interviewers may be used in some cases. Please be flexible when coming to campus for interviews.

Yes. All of the requirements must be met by everyone, including International Medical Graduates (IMG's). All transcripts from other countries must be evaluated by an evaluation service within the United States. (Please see Evaluation Services for a listing of suggested services used by our applicants who are graduates of medical schools from other countries.) International transcripts that are submitted without official evaluation will not be considered.

Also, please note that there is no test which IMG's can take to challenge the NSU PA program at Jacksonville, obtain a PA license or become nationally certified as a PA. All IMG's accepted into the program must complete the entire program. Courses previously taken in medical school can not be substituted for courses to be taken in the NSU PA program.

No. While you may note that there are some IMG/FMG's in Florida , practicing as PA's that never attended PA school, this opportunity was discontinued several years ago. No longer may an IMG/FMG become a PA in Florida without attending an accredited PA program and passing the national NCCPA/PANCE boards for PA's.

This question is difficult, if not impossible, to answer. There is no way to determine what the applicant pool will look like each year. A variety of people with various backgrounds apply to the program each year, and a variety of applicants are accepted. There is no way to say who will or will not be admitted, nor guarantee anyone's admittance. Do your best to present yourself well on paper.

While we expect a minimum of 1,000 applications to be submitted each year, only approximately 60 will be admitted. Unfortunately, we cannot admit all who apply to NSU's PA program at Jacksonville; therefore, it is always a good idea to apply to other schools as well. Many applications are not considered due to incomplete applications.

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