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Nova Southeastern University Palm Beach Campus, Florida

About the Program

The post baccalaureate certificate is uniquely designed for the prospective NSU Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) student to strengthen their application and science background. This two-semester certificate program is designed to offer these students the opportunity to demonstrate the academic qualities and gain skills necessary to be admitted to the Anesthesiologist Assistant program. 

The CPAAS (Certificate in Pre-Anesthesiologist Assistant) considers the overall quality of its applicants, looking at academic achievement, personal motivation, life experiences and recommendations. The applicant must also meet all admissions criteria for the AA program.

Specific criteria for admission are as follows:

  1. NSU postbaccalaureate certificate in Pre AA studies application. Must have previously applied to the prior CASAA application cycle of the AA program. Must have a verified CASAA application on file from the prior CASAA cycle received by the prior year application deadline.
  3. Application fee - $50 (required) non-refundable 

    • Applicant must have previous met all CASAA application requirements listed below:

      • Baccalaureate degree from a nationally recognized and regionally accredited college or university, including above average performance in courses required in a premed curriculum. (Refer to required courses below.)


      Note: a "C" or better is required in all prerequisite classes. In order to meet pre-requisite requirements, math and science courses must include sufficient rigor and detail in the discipline (Introductory, survey, or business courses will not satisfy the requirements).

      • Required and cannot be survey courses
      • English - 3 semester hours
      • General Biology I and II with Labs or Anatomy and Physiology with Labs - 8 semester hours
      • General Chemistry I and II with Labs - 8 semester hours
      • Organic Chemistry I with Lab - 4 semester hours
      • Biochemistry - 3 semester hours
      • General Physics with Lab - 8 semester hours (Trigonometry or Calculus based)
      • Calculus - 3 semester hours
      • Effective January 2024, all incoming students for winter 2025 and summer 2025, must take a general Anatomy and Physiology I and II course with labs.  The 8 semester hours of Biology I and II with lab nor an advanced course in Microbiology or Cellular and Molecular biology will no longer meet the General Biology requirement. 



      • Preferred but not required
        • Cell & Molecular Biology - 3 semester hours
        • Organic Chemistry II with lab - 4 semester hours
        • Microbiology and lab - 4 semester hours
        • Physiology - 3 semester hours
        • Anatomy with lab - 4 semester hours
      • Official transcripts of all undergraduate, graduate, and professional course work including foreign evaluations submitted to CASAA.
      • The applicant who has graduated from a college or university of a country which English is not the primary language, regardless of United States’ residency status, must take the computerized Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL-cBT). An official set of scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey, to CASAA or NSU Enrollment Processing Services
      • Applicants must have a minimum verified cumulative GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 grading scale. A minimum GPA of 3.2 is preferred.
      • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) scores must have been taken within the past five years and must be taken early enough for official scores to be received by admissions office from the prior CASAA application deadline of February 15. Competitive scores for both the GRE and MCAT must be in the 50th percentile or higher.
      • Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant's prior academic performance, potential, character, work habits, and suitability for graduate study leading into a career in clinical practice.
      • At least eight hours of documented anesthesia exposure by observation in the operating room.
      • Summary of an article (delete hyperlink, just keep verbiage) published in a current anesthesia journal.
      • Resume and/or copy of national or professional certificate or license if applicable.
      • All applicants must show evidence of computer skills through coursework or self-study prior to the end of the first semester. Students may obtain instruction through the NSU Student Microcomputer Laboratory or other training facilities.
      • Personal Interview

The following application process is required by all applicants:

  1. Complete an online NSU application and pay a $50 non-refundable application fee. Verified CASAA from prior application cycle with all required documentation (official test scores, official transcripts, resume, three letters of recommendation, 8 hours of documented shadowing, literature summary and (TOEFL cBT) if applicable must be on file.

    • Application details:

      • Degree level: Certificate

      • Academic Program: Pre-Anesthesiology Assistant Studies

      • Location: Palm Beach, FL

      • Entry Term: Fall 2024

  2. Applications are being accepted from May 15-July 1, 2024 for the fall 2024 semester.

  3. Personal interviews are by invitation only and an integral part of the admission process. Not all applicants will be granted an interview by the program and an interview is not a guarantee of admission.                     

  4. For any applicant that has coursework taken at a foreign institution must be evaluated for U.S. institutional equivalence. A course by course with GPA calculation official transcript evaluation is required. Foreign coursework must be evaluated by one of the following services:

Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
International Education Consultants
7101 SW 102nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33173
Phone: (305) 273-1616
Fax: (305) 273-1338

Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
P.O. Box 415070
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 289-3400

World Education Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 745
Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10113-0745
(212) 966-6311


Delivery of the Coursework:

The coursework will be delivered in a hybrid format. Courses that include labs will be held at the Palm Beach campus, one weekend during the Winter semester. The rest of the coursework will be delivered via distance learning technologies.

The following courses will be required for completion.


Course Number Course Title Credits
RCP 5081 Introduction to Anesthesiologist Assistant Profession 2
RCP 4011 Introduction to Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology 3
RCP 5462 Introduction to Pharmacology 3



Course Number Course Title Credits
RCP 5012 Basics of Medical Equipment with lab 3
RCP 5013 Basics of Ventilation with lab                                           3
RCP 5014 Patient Monitoring & Assessment with lab 4


Total Required Credits for certificate completion: 18

Course descriptions can be found in NSU's Undergraduate Student Catalog. 

Visit the Tuition and Fees page for more information.

Financial Aid

For information on financial assistance, contact:

Docia Metts
Financial Aid Counselor I
Office of Student Financial Assistance
Financial Aid and Academic Records (FAAR)
Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (EMSA)
(561) 805-2117 (Direct Phone)

Kandee Griffith
Senior Associate Director of
Graduate and Professional Admissions
(904) 245-8913

Lisa Farach, DHSc, MS, RRT, RN
Chair, Department Cardiopulmonary Sciences

Jennifer Bencsik, MA, RRT
Director of Clinical Education
First Professional BSRT Program

Randy De Kler, MS, RRT
Faculty, Department of Cardiopulmonary Sciences

Samuel T Stewart, M.M.Sc, PAC, CAA

Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesia

Nathan Weirich, M.H.Sc., CAA

Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesia

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