Jul 12, 2024  
Catalog/Bulletin 2013-2014 
Catalog/Bulletin 2013-2014 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physician Assistant Studies, MPAS


Applicant Advising

The Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program conducts Information Sessions two to three times a year for individuals who are interested in attending the program. Persons interested in attending this event are asked to rsvp via the Physician Assistant website: http://alliedhealth.lsuhsc.edu/pa/infosessions.aspx. Attendance at these sessions is not required for admission.


Admission to the Master of Physician Assistant Program is on a competitive basis. Requirements for admission are listed below. Meeting the requirements does not guarantee admission into the program. In addition to successfully completing the prerequisite course work, the applicant must also

  1. Have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale AND an overall science GPA of 3.0 at the time of application.
  2. Prior to matriculation, the applicant must have earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited United States college or university.
  3. Have successfully completed the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Exam results must not be older than 5 years. All applicants seeking admission to the LSUHSC-NO PA Program must register for and take the Graduate Record Examination General Test. The institutional code for LSUHSC-NO CASPA is 0202. The official GRE scores must be sent directly to CASPA. Minimum GRE scores: Applicants must have a minimum score of 153 (old score 500) on the verbal and 144 (old score 500) on the quantitative, and 3.5 on the analytical writing components of the GRE General Test to be competitive with others in the overall applicants pool.
  4. Have a minimum of eighty (80) hours of documented healthcare experience.
  5. Have completed all science prerequisites within ten years.
  6. Have three letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation must be sent through the CASPA portal only and must not be from family members. Letters of recommendation should come from current and/or former professors and one must be from a PA.
  7. Be able to master the Technical Standards prior to and throughout the entire program. The Technical Standards are located in the LSUSHC general catalog.
  8. Have current CPR Certification. This certification must be maintained throughout matriculation if accepted.
  9. All students required to demonstrate proficiency of English when applying to LSUHSC-NO. (See LSUHSC-NO General Catalog) http://www.lsuhsc.edu/catalog/
  10. Accepted applicants will be required to pass a criminal history background check and a drug screening prior to enrolling in the program.

Prerequisite Courses

Applicants must have completed the following required courses and have earned a grade of “C” or better in the following required subjects and have completed the required courses within the past ten years. ALL courses must be for science majors.

Biological Sciences for Science Majors (with labs) [8 credits]

Microbiology or Bacteriology (with lab) [4 credits]

Chemistry (with lab) [8 credits]

Anatomy (human or comparative with lab) [4 credits]

Physiology (human or comparative with lab) [3 or 4 credits]

Statistics (with analysis of variance and/or multiple regression) [3 credits]

College algebra or higher [3 credits]

Genetics [3 credits]

Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry [3 or 4 credits]

Behavioral Sciences [6 credits]


  • Courses must be for science majors and must have a science prefix
  • Admission requirements may change from year to year. Applicants are strongly urged to check the website for any changes to the admissions requirements.
  • Online courses are NOT accepted for science prerequisites.


Scholastic Requirements and Statement of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Refer to general section for the School of Allied Health Professions under Graduate Professional Scholastic Requirements and Provisions for Academic Progression.

Method of Application

The Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program participates in the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). All application materials must be sent directly to CASPA. Students interested in applying to the program must apply online using the CASPA application. Deadline for applications is August 1st unless that date falls on a weekend. The deadline will then be the Monday immediately following August 1st. Please visit the CASPA website at www.caspaonline.org.  A new in-coming class is enrolled each January.

All applications must be processed through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). GRE Scores must be sent directly to the CASPA website. Unsolicited information or letters of recommendation will not be added to any application. All application materials will be gathered by CASPA and mailed to the program after completion and all information is verified. The LSUHSC-NO Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program will then review applications for accuracy and compliance with published prerequisites. Those applications not meeting minimum criteria will not be considered for an interview. PA Program faculty will screen and rank all eligible candidates against pre-determined criteria. The final stage of the process involves face-to-face interviews with PA Program faculty.

Technical Standards & Essential Functions for Physician Assistant Students

The LSU School of Allied Health Professions in New Orleans is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and has determined that certain technical standards must be met by prospective candidates and students. A candidate for the MPAS degree must possess aptitude, abilities, and skills in the five areas discussed below. Reasonable accommodation will be made for otherwise qualified persons with disabilities. All individuals must be able to perform these functions independently; therefore, third parties cannot be used to assist students in accomplishing curricular requirements in the five skill areas specified below.

The physician assistant master of health science degree (MPAS) signifies that the holder is prepared for entry into the practice of medicine. It follows that the graduate must have the knowledge, skills and abilities to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. It is essential for good patient care to require minimum standards for the education of the physician assistant.

In the education of physician assistant students, the University must judge not only the scholastic accomplishments but also consider the student’s current physical and emotional status, cumulative and progressive disability and drug-induced impairments that may pose obstacles to the safe application of the student’s knowledge and skills or prevent effective interaction with patients.

Physician assistant students are reviewed individually and on a case-by-case basis using the factors listed below. In accordance with University policy and as delineated by federal and Louisiana law, the University does not discriminate in admissions, educational programs or employment against any individual on the basis of that individual’s disability and will make good faith efforts at providing reasonable accommodation as required.

LSUHSC-NO physician assistant students must possess the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize data. They must have functional use of the senses of vision, hearing, equilibrium and taste. Their exteroceptor (touch, pain and temperature) and proprioceptor (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis, and vibratory) senses must be sufficiently intact to enable them to carry out all the activities required to complete the activities described below. PA students must have sufficient motor function capabilities to meet the demands of the PA program and the demands of the total patient care.

Students in the LSUHSC-NO Physician Assistant Program must possess ability, aptitude and skills in these areas: observation, communication, motor, intellectual, behavioral/social and physical demands.


This description defines the capabilities that are necessary for an individual to successfully complete the LSUHSC-NO physician assistant curricula.

Observation and Sensation

The PA student must possess sufficient visual, auditory, and tactile sensation to receive appropriate information in the classroom, laboratory, and other educational and clinical settings. Sensation must be satisfactory to receive verbal and nonverbal communications from patients and others, and to perform inspection, auscultation and palpation techniques during the physical examination.


The PA student must be able to speak, hear, and observe patients, family members, and other clinicians. This includes expressive and receptive modes of verbal, nonverbal, and written communication. The student must have the ability to accurately assess receptive communication in order to make appropriate and timely responses. The student must be able to communicate attentively, effectively, and sensitively to others.

Motor Functions

Students must have sufficient strength and coordination to perform the activities required of a physician assistant. These include but are not limited to performing a physical examination utilizing diagnostic instruments and techniques in palpation and percussion. Students must have sufficient stamina to sit, stand, and move within classroom, laboratory, examination rooms, treatment rooms, and operating rooms for long periods of time. The student must have sufficient coordination to move about patient care environments, and sufficient dexterity to use common medical instruments. Students must be able to arrange for transportation between educational and clinical settings.

Intellectual Capability

Clinical problem solving and reasoning requires these intellectual abilities and encompass those to accurately measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, learn, and retain information and make decisions in a timely manner. Students must be able to comprehend two and three-dimensional structures, and must be able to understand diagnostic testing and treatment regimens.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

Individuals must possess the emotional health required for the appropriate use of their intellectual and mental abilities, including logical thinking, good judgment, impulse control, empathy, interest and motivation. These abilities should be sufficient to assure the development and maintenance of therapeutic relationships with patients and those who care for them. Individuals must be able to maintain emotional health despite stress, uncertainty, and physically taxing workloads and to adapt to changing situations while handling the responsibilities associated with medical education and patient care.

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Allied Health Professions at New Orleans will consider for admission, progression, and graduation individuals who demonstrate the knowledge and the ability to perform or learn to perform the skills described in this document. Individuals will be assessed not only on their scholastic accomplishments, but also on their physical and emotional capacities to meet the requirements of the school’s curriculum and to graduate as skilled and effective practitioners of medicine. Therefore, the following technical requirements apply.

1. The ability to observe and participate in experiments in the basic sciences

2. The ability to analyze, synthesize, extrapolate, solve problems, and reach diagnostic and therapeutic judgments in a timely manner

3. The sufficient use of the senses of vision, hearing and the somatic sensation necessary to perform a physical examination

4. The ability to establish and maintain professional relationships with patients, faculty, and peers

5. The ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with patients, and colleagues

6. The ability to perform routine laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures

7. The ability to perform appropriately in emergency situations

8. The ability to display good judgment in the assessment and treatment of patients

These technical standards are identical to the technical standards required of students matriculating in the LSUHSC-NO School of Medicine, and conform to the LCME accreditation standards.

Academic Standards

Scholastic Requirements and Statements of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Refer to general section for the School of Allied Health Professions under Graduate Professional Scholastic Requirements and Provisions for Academic Progression.


In addition to costs for fees and required items listed in the sections of Health Science Center Fees and Tuition additional expenses may be incurred by students while enrolled in the program. Please refer to our website http://alliedhealth.lsuhsc.edu/pa/additionalexpenses.aspx for information on additional expenses associated with the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program.

Students are required to show proof of and maintain health insurance coverage for the entire length of the program.