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 ARC-PA approval. 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 students will be admitted for a January 2021 start-date, pending ARC-PA approval. 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 students will be admitted for a January 2021 start-date pending ARC-PA approval. 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 students per year.
A Top Career

In addition to the job growth taking place, the physician assistant profession is currently ranked #2 in Best Health Care 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 is a developing PA Program. We will begin our first class in January, 2021. Please note the following 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 September 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.

Admission decisions will not be made until successful provisional accreditation is granted.  Program applicants will be notified as soon as the Program is informed of accreditation process results.  In the event that the program does not achieve provisional accreditation, UM-Flint Graduate Application fees will not be refunded.

More information on accreditation is available at http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation/, 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 sixteen month didactic phase followed by twelve months of supervised clinical practice rotations. Students must achieve documented standards as outlined in PA program policies in order to progress from one semester to the next, and the didactic phase to the clinical phase. This includes maintaining an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher and successful completion of all coursework. The didactic phase courses must be taken in the pre-determined published sequence. The clinical phase 11-course rotation sequence will vary.

Didactic phase

Semester 1 Winter (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 (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 (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 (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 (11 credits)

PPA 610 - Internal Medicine I (2)
PPA 620 - Internal Medicine II (2)
PPA 621 - Surgery (2)
PPA 622 - Geriatrics (2)
PPA 630 - PA Professional Development Seminar (3)

Semester 2 Fall (10 credits)

PPA 623 - Emergency Medicine (2)
PPA 624 - Women's Health (2)
PPA 625 - Family Medicine I (2)
PPA 631 - Interprofessional Teamwork (2)
PPA 635 - Family Medicine II (2)

Semester 3 Winter (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)

Transfer of Credit
 

University of Michigan-Flint MSPA program courses build upon knowledge, skills and perspectives gained from prior semesters. It is essential that all students in the University of Michigan-Flint MSPA program complete all required coursework and do so in the published sequence. No transfer of credit from other programs or institutions will be allowed to fulfill any requirement of the program. Likewise, no advanced standing will be afforded to any individual, as all course credits must be completed in order. This policy also applies to students requesting transfer from other PA educational programs:  no credit will be accepted in lieu of required coursework.

PA education programs curriculum vary, including in depth of instruction. Due to these variations, the University of Michigan-Flint does not accept transfer students during any phase of the program.

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

Admission

Winter 2021 Admission Cycle Timeline

Winter 2022 Admission Cycle: July 1, 2020 - February 1, 2021. UM-Flint PA Program students begin in the winter semester, January 2022. Applicants must have a completed CASPA 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. 

Winter 2022 PA Deadline Dates
  CASPA Application Due/UM-Flint Supplemental Fee Due CASPA Verified Date GRE Taken by CASPER taken by Waivers Requested by
Early Decision September 15, 2020 October 1, 2020 September 1, 2020 September 9, 2020 August 15, 2020
Regular Decision February 1, 2021 February 15, 2021 January 15, 2021 January 12, 2021 December 15, 2020

Successful Physician Assistant (PA) Candidate Attributes

The University of Michigan-Flint PA 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. These attributes will be used to evaluate our students not only at the time of application but throughout their time in the PA Program.

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.

Each applicant will be individually assessed for their potential as a PA. Information used to assess individual potential will include:

  • Academic record
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (CASPer) Test
  • Hands-on Health Care Experience, paid experience preferred
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Community service, volunteer experience, and non-health care related employment
  • Supplemental essays and information (i.e., CASPA application prompts, writing sample taken on the interview day, etc.)
  • Interviews with UM-Flint PA Admissions Committee (by invitation only)
  • Each applicant will be individually assessed on essential attributes such as:
    • academic excellence
    • altruism and advocacy
    • written and verbal communication skills 
    • creation and discovery/critical thinking 
    • desire to learn and dedication to practice as a PA, integrity, honesty, and ethics 
    • leadership potential, resilience and adaptability social/interpersonal skills and teamwork, 
    • technical standards adherence and on their unique potential to contribute to the educational experience 
    • future potential to serve under-served population of patients, 
    • future potential to serve under-served medical specialties, 
    • leadership experience, life experiences, clinical experience,
    • educational background, and socioeconomic status at the PA Program and the PA profession 

Attributes are considered essential to the practice of medicine as a PA and therefore are required of all students admitted to the UM-Flint PA Program. Unique potential relates to the unique and valued, but not required, characteristics that an applicant may possess, which would enhance their potential to contribute to the educational experience and diversity, broadly defined, of the PA Program and to the PA profession.

Eligibility

  • Completed a bachelor degree, in any field of study, prior to the PA program January start date. 
  • Bachelor's degree completed in the U.S. must be from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • If the bachelor's degree was completed at at non-US institution, applicants must obtain a course-by-course evaluation of their transcripts by World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). The evaluation must be completed and uploaded to the CASPA application by the CASPA submission deadline date, and must include at least cumulative grade point average and degree earned.
  • Minimum 3.0 CASPA-calculated overall cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 

Prerequisite Courses

  • All prerequisite coursework must be undergraduate courses and grades must be a "C" (2.0) or higher. Due to the unique situation created by COVID-19, many institutions are allowing students to choose a Pass/No Pass option in lieu of a letter grade in the Winter 2020 semester. The University of Michigan-Flint Physician Assistant program requires all applicants to receive letter grades in all of their prerequisites courses. The Pass/No Pass option will not be accepted.  
  • Minimum combined prerequisite course GPA of 3.0 or higher is required.
  • All coursework fulfilling prerequisite requirements must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher to be considered for admission to the program.
  • All prerequisite coursework must be completed at a U.S. regionally accredited university or college, with courses completed, grades earned, and documentation uploaded to the CASPA application by the CASPA application submission deadline date.
  • Graduate-level courses will not be considered as fulfilling prerequisite courses.
  • In-person and online coursework is acceptable.
  • Courses for which credit was awarded by examination and/or advanced placement credit are not applied toward any of the prerequisite course requirements.
  • Prerequisites courses will not substitute for more advanced applied content within the professional component of the program. 
  • 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 the application submission:
    • A seven year Prerequisite Science Course Waiver Request must be obtained prior to the following deadline dates: 

      • Early Decision - August 5
      • Regular Decision - December 15
    • Waiver requests should be emailed to Flint.PADept@umich.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 lecture course
  • Human Physiology: two lecture courses, at least one course must be 300/3000 level or higher
  • Chemistry: two lecture courses, one course must be either an organic or biochemistry course
  • Microbiology: one lecture/lab course, must include lab (lecture and lab may be combined or separate)
  • Developmental Psychology: one lecture course
  • Statistics: one lecture course
  • Medical Terminology: one lecture 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 considered must be from the same date of exam.
  • UM-Flint CASPA GRE Designated Institution code: 4374
  • The deadline to submit scores to the Office of Graduate Programs by the following dates:  
    • Early Decision – August 5
    • Regular Decision – December 15 

CASPer Test

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. You should allow at least four weeks for scores to be received from the date of the test. Any scores received after the application deadline 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

The University of Michigan-Flint uses the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). To be considered for admission, a completed CASPA and UM-Flint graduate application fee must be submitted by February 1, 2021 (and CASPA “verified” by February 15, 2021). Both the CASPA and UM-Flint graduate application fee will be available beginning July 1, 2020. 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, 2021 submission deadline to ensure the application is verified on time.*

Submit the following to CASPA

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended in the United States
  • Signed UM-Flint Technical Standards Attestation Form
  • 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.
  • All prerequisite coursework must be completed before a student submits the CASPA application. 
  • If the bachelor's degree was completed at a non-US institution, applicants must obtain a course-by-course evaluation of their transcripts by World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). The evaluation must be completed and uploaded to the CASPA application by the CASPA submission deadline date, and must include at least cumulative grade point average and degree earned.
  • Applicants may request that their last 60 undergraduate credit hours be used to calculate the cumulative GPA. This request should be sent to Flint.PADept@umich.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) (submitted to CASPA and UM-Flint by using the code below)
    • 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 must be submitted by September 1, for early decision, and January 15 for regular decision.
    • 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: 

  • $55 UM-Flint Supplemental Application Fee (paid online).

    • This is submitted after you have a CASPA id number. 
  • 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.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) (submitted to CASPA and UM-Flint by using the code below)
    • 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 must be submitted by September 1, for early decision, and January 15 for regular decision.
    • Scores considered must be from the same date of exam.
    • UM-Flint CASPA GRE Designated Institution code: 4374
  • 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. You should allow at least four weeks for scores to be received from the date of the test. Any scores received after the application deadline 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 application deadline. A complete date is given when an application is e-submitted, three 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.