Why UM-Flint

The University of Michigan-Flint Master of Science, Physician Assistant (PA) Program has applied for Accreditation - Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). UM-Flint anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2021, pending achieving Accreditation - Provisional status at the June 2020 ARC-PA meeting. Details at the bottom of this page.

What Sets UM-Flint's Physician Assistant Program Apart?

The Master of Science, Physician Assistant (PA) Program at the University of Michigan-Flint will provide exceptional classroom, laboratory, and clinical training so that graduates of the program will be highly prepared to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) and apply for licensure in any of the 50 states, District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. Our first cohort class of 40-50 students will be admitted for a January 2021 start-date. Please fill out an inquiry form to stay updated. 

The U-M PA Program

The University of Michigan has a storied history of outstanding health care degrees. From Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor to the Doctor of Physical Therapy in Flint, our programs are among the nation’s best in preparing successful physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and other medical leaders. The PA program on the Flint campus looks to continue that reputation by employing leading faculty, utilizing state-of-the-art laboratory space, and offering high-quality clinical experiences. 

TOP clinical Rotations

Students in this program will look forward to delving into many different types of clinical opportunities. Rotations will take place throughout Michigan Medicine, UM health affiliates, Genesee County hospital systems, and Hamilton Community Health Center among others with options for specialty clinical rotations. Our curriculum is strengthened by collaborations within and across UM partnerships such as the School of Dentistry and PTHeart, our pro-bono health education and physical therapy clinic.

COMFORTABLE COHORT STRUCTURE
UM-Flint’s first cohort of 40-50 students will be admitted for a January 2021 start-date. Over a 28-month period, students will attend on-campus and online courses and experience a variety of clinical rotations. The first 16 months are comprised of didactic instruction-lecture and laboratory format with clinical immersions. The final 12 months are primarily clinical with some online and on-campus requirements. 
Workforce needs
The workplace demand for physician assistants is well-documented. Given our aging population and the projected retirements of our health care workforce, the number of currently uninsured and underinsured individuals, and the projected retirements of our health care workforce, major shortages are projected for the U.S. health care job market in the coming decades. This is especially true for practicing physicians, who are complemented heavily by PAs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of PAs will increase 37 percent from 2016 to 2026. UM-Flint will help satisfy the demand with an annual admission class of 40-50 students per year.
A Top Career

In addition to the job growth taking place, the physician assistant profession is currently ranked second in Best Health Jobs by U.S. News & World Report and a Top 10 Best Master's Degree by Forbes

Statement from ARC-PA

Statement from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)

The University of Michigan-Flint (UM-Flint) Master of Science, Physician Assistant (PA) Program has applied for Accreditation - Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). UM-Flint anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2021, pending achieving Accreditation - Provisional status at the June 2020 ARC-PA meeting. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appears to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

In the event accreditation is not granted, program admissions will be delayed until accreditation is received.  Program applicants will be notified as soon as we are informed of accreditation process results.  Should the program not receive accreditation, all deposits will be returned to candidates.  Information on accreditation is available at http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation/.  The proposed Physician Assistant program would grant the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPA) degree. 

Information on accreditation is available at www.arc-pa.org or at: Accreditation review commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc., 12000 Findley Road, Suite 150, Johns Creek, GA 30097, (770) 476-1224.

Courses

Requirements

The MSPA program requires successful completion of a fifteen month didactic phase followed by twelve months of supervised clinical practice rotations. Students must achieve an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher each semester prior to entering the clinical phase and upon completion of the program. Additionally, each course must be completed with a 3.0 or higher.  The academic calendar includes fourteen-week fall and winter semesters, and thirteen week spring semesters. The didactic phase courses must be taken in the pre-determined published sequence. The clinical phase 9-course rotation sequence will vary.

Didactic phase

Semester 1 Winter 2021 (19 credits)

BIO 510 - Human Anatomy for PAs (4)
PPA 511 - Fundamentals of Disease Process for PAs (2)
PPA 521 - Medical Foundations of PA Practice I (6)
PPA 531 - Patient Evaulation for PA Practice I (6)
PPA 541 - PA Professional Issues I (1)

Semester 2 Spring/Summer 2021 (18 credits)

PPA 522 - Medical Foundations of PA Practice II (10)
PPA 532 - Patient Evaluation for PA Practice II (6)
PPA 542 - PA Professional Issues II (2)

Semester 3 Fall 2021 (18 credits)

PPA 523 - Medical Foundations of PA Practice III (10)
PPA 533 - Patient Evaluation for PA Practice III (6)
PPA 543 - PA Professional Issues III (2)

Semester 4 Winter 2022 (18 credits)

PPA 524 - Medical Foundations of PA Practice IV (8)
PPA 534 - Patient Evaluation for PA Practice IV (8)
PHS 552 - Epidemiology and Public Health for Practitioners (2)

Clinical Phase

The three-semester supervised clinical practice rotation sequence mary vary; this is a sample.

Semester 1 Spring/Summer 2022 (11 credits)

PPA 620 - Internal Medicine (4)
PPA 621 - Surgery (2)
PPA 622 - Geriatrics (2)
PPA 630 - PA Professional Development Seminar (3)

Semester 2 Fall 2022 (10 credits)

PPA 623 - Emergency Medicine (2)
PPA 624 - Women's Health (2)
PPA 625 - Family Medicine (4)
PPA 631 - Interprofessional Teamwork (2)

Semester 3 Winter 2023 (9 credits)

PPA 626 - Pediatrics (2)
PPA 627 - Behavioral Medicine (2)
PPA 628 - PA Clinical Rotation Elective (2)
PPA 632 - PA Seminar and Evaluation (3)

Additional information on the Physician Assistant (MS) including course descriptions can be found in the catalog.

Admission

Admission Cycle: October 1, 2019 - February 1, 2020. UM-Flint PA Program students begin in the winter semester, January 2021. Applicants must have a complete date on or before the deadline date of February 1. A complete date is given when an application is e-submitted, at least two letters of reference are completed, and all transcripts and payments have been received by CASPA and attached to the application. Documents should be sent several weeks prior to this date to ensure items arrive on time. 

Successful Physician Assistant (PA) Candidate Attributes

The University of Michigan-Flint PA Program holistically evaluates candidates for admission across a range of attributes necessary for successful development into skilled, compassionate PAs who are aligned with the mission of the PA Program. The Program aims to matriculate students who possess the core values of excellence, diversity, integrity, collaboration and community engagement, professionalism, desire to learn, reliability and dependability. The following attributes will be evaluated during the admission process:

  • Academic Excellence: (Intelligent/Knowledgeable/Creative) The UM-Flint PA Program curriculum is academically rigorous and requires that the candidate demonstrate prior ability to perform well in an academic setting. Candidates should be able to apply creative/critical thinking to problem solve and develop solutions. Grade point average is considered, both cumulative and prerequisite coursework, as is rigor of the course load, grade trajectory, the results of the Graduate Record Examination, and evaluation of activities that can contribute to critical thinking and decision making.
  • Altruism and Advocacy:  The devotion to the needs of others can be assessed through review of the applicant’s activities such as participation in community service or volunteer activities, as well as responses to interview questions about the applicant’s goals and desires for a life of providing patient care and support for those in their care.
  • Written and Verbal Communication:  Potential PAs should demonstrate to the Admissions Committee an ability to communicate effectively. The personal statement, letters of recommendation and the interviews provide opportunities to assess effective communication skills.
  • Integrity and Ethics:  Honesty, integrity and ethics are essential in both the medical education process and eventual practice of medicine as a PA. Applicants should be able to articulate an understanding of the importance of ethical behavior, honesty and professionalism in health care practice. Dishonesty on the application form or in the interview as well as information provided in the letters of evaluation will be considered in assessing integrity.
  • Leadership:  Applicants will be assessed on their ability to question and challenge the status quo, communicate positive qualities of an effective leader, exhibit these qualities in action and effectively exert appropriate influence over others.
  • Resilience and Adaptability:  Applicants will be assessed for their demonstration of tolerance for stressful or changing situations, whether they adapt effectively, remain persistent—even under difficult situations and recover from setbacks.
  • Social/Interpersonal Skills and Teamwork:  We strive to find future PAs with the ability to work collaboratively, set a positive tone, are neither passive nor dominate the situation, resolve and diffuse conflict, listen to and incorporates others’ perspectives, accept shared responsibility—especially when the outcome is not ideal, and make decisions that reflect the best interest of all involved.
  • Competency:  We strive to enroll students capable of accumulating the scientific knowledge, the diagnostic acumen, the technical skills and the interpersonal skills required for the competent care of patients. Assessment of competency will include physical, behavioral, and cognitive skills essential to the practice of medicine as a PA.. All those admitted to the UM-Flint MSPA Program must attest to possessing these qualities and sign the UM-Flint MSPA Program Technical Standards form.

The above attributes will be used to evaluate our students not only at the time of application but throughout their time in the PA Program.

Eligibility

Prerequisite Courses

  • A minimum prerequisite GPA average of 3.0 is required.
  • All prerequisite coursework must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning BEFORE submitting to CASPA.  
  • Graduate level courses will not be considered as fulfilling prerequisite courses.
  • Pass/Fail Courses will not be accepted toward prerequisite requirement.
  • Courses for which credit was awarded by examination and/or advanced placement credit are not applied toward any of the prerequisite course requirements.
  • Science prerequisite courses (human anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and microbiology) must be taken within seven years from the date of the application submission. (If any science courses were completed greater than seven years prior to the time of application submission, a seven year Prerequisite Science Course Waiver Request must be obtained prior to December 1. Waiver requests should be emailed to umf.mspa@umflint.edu and contain the following information:
    • The name, course number, institution, and name of the course to be waived.
    • Detailed explanation of why your continuous employment experience demonstrated mastery of the prerequisite course content.

Please use the UM-Flint course prerequisites for equivalency comparison to ensure courses will satisfy requirements. Specifically approved UM-Flint PA prerequisite approvals can be found here

  • Human Anatomy: one course
  • Human Physiology: two courses, at least one course must be 300 level or higher
  • Chemistry: two courses, one course must be either an organic or biochemistry course
  • Microbiology: one course, must include lab
  • Developmental Psychology: one course
  • Statistics: one course
  • Medical Terminology: one course

Health Care Experience

  • 500 hours hands-on direct patient care experience.
  • Accepted examples of experience can be found here.

Graduate Record Exam

GRE scores to be submitted as part of the CASPA application:

  • Minimum acceptable GRE scores:

    • 285 combined verbal and quantitative, 3.5 writing score
  • GRE scores are valid five years at the time of application submission.
  • Scores submitted after February 1 will not be accepted.
  • Scores considered must be from the same date of exam.
  • UM-Flint CASPA GRE Designated Institution code: 4374

CASPer Test

  • Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics.
  • Visit www.takeCASPer.com, complete the American Professional Health Sciences (CSP10101)
  • Test is only valid for one admission cycle
  • Please direct any inquiries on the test to support@takecasper.com
  • Scores are sent directly to the Office of Graduate Programs: graduate@umflint.edu, not to CASPA. 

TOEFL

If English is not your native language: Applicants can meet English proficiency either by taking the TOEFL or earning a baccalaureate degree from the United States, Canada, or Great Britain. Details below:  

    • Official and valid Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores are required of all applicants whose first language is not English and/or do not have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited United States institution, or a baccalaureate degree from Canada or Great Britain. This is required regardless of the official language of the country of origin or the predominant language of attended educational institutions. 
    • Minimum total TOEFL internet based testing score of 94, with a speaking score of 26 is required. TOEFL scores are only valid for two years from the test date. Scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to the University of Michigan-Flint. Official TOEFL score reports must be submitted and received by the MSPA application deadline of February 1. You should allow at least four weeks for scores to be received from the date of the test. Any scores received after February 1 will not be validated for the current admission cycle. 
  • Additional documentation if you are an international student seeking a student visa. Visit the International Students page for details.

Physician Assistant Technical Standards

All applicants must meet the Physician Assistant Technical Standards in order to be admitted to and retained in the UM-Flint PA Program. The Technical Standards are required for admission and must be maintained throughout student progression through the PA Program. The Technical Standards are essential and necessary to practice and function as a PA and go beyond academic requirements for admission. These include physical, behavioral and cognitive abilities needed to complete the PA education curriculum and competently perform as a PA upon graduation.

The Technical Standards for the UM-Flint PA Program ensure that enrolled students have the ability to demonstrate academic mastery, competency when performing clinical skills, and ability to communicate clinical information with sound physical and mental capacities. All students must be able to independently meet the following technical standards found here.

Applying

For the January 2021 admission period, the University of Michigan-Flint will use the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). To be considered for admission a completed CASPA and UM-Flint graduate application must be submitted by February 1, 2020 (and CASPA “verified” by March 1, 2020). Both the CASPA and UM-Flint graduate applications will be available beginning October 1, 2019. It is suggested that applications be completed (e-submitted, payment received, transcripts received, and three letters received) at least six weeks in advance of the PA Program February 1, 2020 submission deadline to ensure the application is verified on time.*

Submit the following to CASPA by February 1, 2020

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended in the United States

    • All prerequisite coursework must be completed before a student’s submits the CASPA application. 
    • Bachelor degree from a regionally accredited college or university completed prior to the January start date with a minimum CASPA-calculated overall cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0. The undergraduate degree may be in any field of study.
    • If coursework was completed at a non-US institution, students must obtain a course-by-course evaluation of their transcripts by World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).
    • Applicants may request that their last 60 undergraduate credit hours be used to calculate the cumulative GPA. This request should be sent to umf.mspa@umflint.edu by December 1 and include rationale for the request. Only undergraduate coursework will be used in the calculation. No graduate coursework will be used to calculate the cumulative GPA. If undergraduate courses were taken after graduation, these courses may be included in the last 60 credit total. If a last 60 credit hour waiver is granted, it is applicable to one application cycle only, as waivers do not roll over from one cycle to another. 
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
    • Minimum acceptable GRE scores are:

      • 285 combined verbal and quantitative, 3.5 writing score
    • GRE scores are valid five years at the time of application submission.
    • Scores submitted after February 1 will not be accepted.
    • Scores considered must be from the same date of exam.
    • UM-Flint CASPA GRE Designated Institution code: 4374
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • Letters of recommendation should be from persons who can attest to your potential as a PA, preferably from health professionals and/or college professors.
    • Recommendation letters from family members or friends will not be accepted.
    • One letter of recommendation should be from a supervisor who confirms the health care experience hours submitted.
  • Personal statement
  • Health Care Experience: 500 hours hands-on direct patient care.
    • Examples here of accepted experience.
    • Paid health care experience is preferred due to the level of responsibility and duties afforded in these positions. Volunteer health care experience may be considered, but paid, supervised health care experience is strongly encouraged.
    • One letter of recommendation from a health care experience supervisor to confirm hours submitted.
    • Hours must be completed before submission to CASPA and should occur within two years prior to application submission.
    • Due to the competitive nature of PA admissions, earning additional health-related hours is advised. When evaluating hands-on health care hours, we consider the use of medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiologic concepts in the work experience.
    • Health clinician shadowing and hours gained through student clinical experiences are not accepted toward the Health Care Experience hour requirement.

    Submit the following directly to UM-Flint by February 1, 2020

    • $55 UM-Flint Supplemental Application Fee (paid online).
    • CASPer Test
      • Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics.
      • Visit www.takeCASPer.com, complete the American Professional Health Sciences (CSP10101)
      • Test is only valid for one admission cycle
      • Please direct any inquiries on the test to support@takecasper.com. More info on the CASPer Test can be found here.
    • Official transcripts and diplomas or certificates of graduation from any colleges and universities you have attended from outside the United States (do not send to CASPA).
    • Students with coursework completed outside of the United States must have their international transcripts evaluated by WES or ECE. The completed course-by-course transcript evaluation from WES or ECE must be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Programs.
    • If English is not your native language: Applicants can meet English proficiency either by taking the TOEFL or earning a baccalaureate degree from the United States, Canada, or Great Britain. Details below:  
      • Official and valid Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores are required of all applicants whose first language is not English and/or do not have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited United States institution, or a baccalaureate degree from Canada or Great Britain. This is required regardless of the official language of the country of origin or the predominant language of attended educational institutions. 
      • Minimum total TOEFL internet based testing score of 94, with a speaking score of 26 is required. TOEFL scores are only valid for two years from the test date. Scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to the University of Michigan-Flint. Official TOEFL score reports must be submitted and received by the MSPA application deadline of February 1. You should allow at least four weeks for scores to be received from the date of the test. Any scores received after February 1 will not be validated for the current admission cycle. 
    • Additional documentation if you are an international student seeking a student visa. Visit the International Students page for details.

    The application process includes an on-campus personal interview; qualifying applicants will receive an invitation to interview.

    *Applicants must have a complete date on or before the deadline date of February 1. A complete date is given when an application is e-submitted, at least two letters of reference are completed, and all transcripts and payments have been received by CASPA and attached to the application. Documents should be sent several weeks prior to this date to ensure items arrive on time.