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Physician Assistant Program - Orlando

Admissions Requirements

Prospective students are selected by the Committee on Admissions (COA), which considers the overall qualities of the applicant. Areas of consideration include:

  • personal motivation
  • interpersonal skills
  • knowledge of the PA profession
  • quality and length of prior health care experience
  • academic performance and level of achievement
  • recommendations/evaluations
  • life experiences

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a minimum science GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale at the time of application in order for your application to be considered. Successful applicants in the past have typically had both cumulative and science GPAs of 3.4 or higher, GRE score (verbal, quantitative, and analytical) in the 40th percentile or higher in each of the three categories, and letters of recommendation from individuals with which the applicant has had a professional working relationship in a healthcare field.

Personal interviews are offered to the most qualified applicants to assess interpersonal and communication skills, maturity, altruistic attitude, and commitment to a PA career. Due to the popularity of the PA profession, there has been a tremendous increase in applicants, which makes this a very competitive process. The NSU PA Program in Orlando utilizes a rolling admissions process. Applications are received through CASPA, as they are completed, until the deadline date, December 1. Interviews are conducted from September and are continued until all seats are filled. Completing all the minimum requirements does not guarantee the applicant an interview.

Application Procedure

The Physician Assistant Program participates in the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) for the receipt and processing of all applications. CASPA takes no part in the selection of students. CASPA applications are completed online at CASPA.

Questions regarding completion of the online application may be directed to CASPA's email address or by telephone at (617) 612-2080.

The CASPA application may be submitted as early as April 27, the year prior to the admission cycle. The CASPA application deadline is December 1 to be considered for admission the following May.


1. Prior to matriculation, applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale and a minimum science GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale as calculated by CASPA at the time of application.

2. Required Courses: The College requires applicants to earn a grade of “C” (2.0) or better in each of the following required courses listed below. Science prerequisites must be completed by the end of the fall semester prior to matriculation. There is no expiration date for prerequisite courses. However, applicants are still responsible for retaining the knowledge gained from prerequisite coursework. Therefore, applicants with science prerequisites over 10 years may be considered less competitive.
  • College Math – 3 semester hours (Statistics does not satisfy this requirement)
  • English (including 3 semester hours of English Composition) – 6 semester hours
  • Humanities/Arts - 3 semester hours (examples include philosophy, religion, foreign language, law, ethics, literature, performing/visual arts, e.g., music, dance, film, theater, band, opera, painting, drawing.)
  • Social Sciences - 9 semester hours (examples include anthropology, psychology, sociology, political science, economics, history, geography, criminology, archeology, communication, cultural studies, law, ethics)
  • General Inorganic Chemistry (I & II) including lab - 8 semester hours
  • Microbiology including lab - 4 semester hours
  • General Biology (or Zoology) including lab - 4 semester hours
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology - 6 semester hours*
  • Biochemistry - 3 semester hours
  • Human Genetics – 3 semester hours
  • Medical Terminology - 1 semester hour

*If you take the combination class of Human Anatomy & Physiology I (A&P I), then must complete the sequence by taking Human Anatomy & Physiology II (A&P II).

Note: Graduates of foreign institutions where English is not the primary language of instruction must present transcripts showing at least 18 semester hours of study from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States. Of these 18 semester hours: three must be in English Composition, English Literature, and Public Speaking (courses do not include ESOL). The remaining nine semester hours can be any course of the applicant's choosing (excluding physical education).

Recommended Courses:

  • Biochemistry lab - 1 semester hour
  • Anatomy lab - 1 semester hour.
  • Physiology lab - 1 semester hour
  • Introduction to Statistics – 3 semester hours

3. GRE Standardized Test:

All applicants are required to submit official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test through the CASPA admissions portal. The CASPA GRE code for the Orlando program is 0964. The GRE must have been taken within the past 5 years and must be taken early enough for official scores to be received in the admissions office by the supplemental application due date of January 15th. Applications will not be considered complete without GRE scores.

For further information, contact:
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)


4. Basic Cardiac Life Support:
We no longer require proof of current certification in Basic Cardiac Life Support. All students are required to take BLS/BCLS, ACLS and PALS (pediatrics) during the program regardless of previous certification status or training.

5. Computer Requirements:

  • All students are required to have a laptop computer and printer. The computer must have the following minimum specifications:
    • Combo DVD and RW drive
    • Sound capability and speakers
    • Internet connection with private Internet service provider (ISP) for universal access to the Internet
    • Wireless capability
    • Printer
    • Webcam (internal or attached)
  • The following are recommended features:
    • Intel Core i5 or i7 processor
    • Windows 7 or higher or Mac OS X 10.7
    • Microsoft Office 2007 with PowerPoint, Word, and Excel minimum
    • Surge suppressor electrical outlet
    • Flash drive
    • Note: Mac computers may have difficulties integrating with the required PDA software.


6. Computer Skills:

  • All applicants must show evidence of computer skills through course work or self study prior to the end of the first term. Students may obtain instruction through the NSU Microcomputer Laboratory or other training facilities.

7. Foreign Transcripts:

Applicants who have attended foreign universities or colleges are required to have their academic credentials evaluated for U.S. institution equivalence by an approved National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) organization, such as one of the services listed below.

Contact Information
World Education Services
P.O. Box 01-5060
Miami FL 33101
212-966-6311 (N.Y. Office)
Josef Silny & Associates
International Education Consultants
7101 SW 102 Avenue
Miami, FL  33173
305-273-1338 (fax)
Educational Credential Evaluators
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470

An official course-by-course evaluation with a cumulative grade point average must be sent directly from the evaluation service to CASPA.


8. Healthcare Experience:

While there is no minimum requirement, prior healthcare experience is highly recommended. Higher consideration may be given to applicants with prior direct patient contact.


9. Transcripts:

Official transcripts from all institutions where course work was completed or attempted must be sent directly to CASPA by the institutions. Once accepted, if the applicant did not submit final official transcripts with degree conferral to CASPA prior to acceptance, the applicant must submit all updated transcripts to NSU prior to matriculation. The updated official transcripts are to be sent directly from the institution to:

Enrollment Processing Services
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue, P.O. Box 299000
Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33314-9905


10. Letters of Recommendation:

Two letters of recommendation are required:

  • One letter from a physician assistant
  • One letter from a healthcare professional (e.g., physician assistant, physician, dentist, pharmacist, registered nurse, nurse practitioner, physical or occupational therapist)

Letters of recommendation are to be completed in the evaluations section of the CASPA application. Recommendations submitted by relatives, friends, personal healthcare providers, or personal friends of the family are not acceptable.

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