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Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for consideration for admission, applicants must fulfill the requirements listed below. Application and admission into the PA Program is very competitive: meeting the minimum requirements does NOT assure an interview for admission to the Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant (MMS-PA) program.

  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university at least by August 31st of the year prior to matriculation
  • Minimum overall and science CASPA GPA 3.0
  • Completion of all pre-requisites prior to application
  • GRE less than 5 years old; combined score of 300 is considered competitive
  • Minimum of 500 direct patient contact hours
  • All applicants must have graduated by August 31 of the year prior to the program’s matriculation
  • All clinical/shadow hours (500 minimum) must be completed prior to application submission
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Information and Deadlines

  • The MMS-PA Program utilizes the Centralized Admissions for Physician Assistants (CASPA) service
  • The MMS-PA Program participates in a holistic admissions process and accepts one cohort per year.
  • The application window, per CASPA, opens on April 26, 2018 and will close on August 1, 2018.
  • A telephone or personal interview is granted to an applicant by invitation only.
  • Interview days will be held on September 5, 6, 7, 10, and 11. Applicants only need to attend one interview day.
  • Admission decision letters will be sent out on September 14.

Admissions Policy

UTHSC's Physician Assistant Program evaluates applications using a holistic process. Strong applications show evidence of academic potential, knowledge of the health care system, motivation, personal maturity, self-assurance, and good interpersonal skills. Other factors used may include Tennessee residency, UT alumni, military experience, under-represented minority status and a willingness to provide care to the underserved. The committee may give consideration when granting an interview to an applicant with a strong history of co-curricular activities, health care experience, military experience, applicants from groups currently underrepresented in the PA profession, non-traditional students, and those who represent the first in their family to pursue higher education.

Deferment Policy

If you are accepted for admission, you may be able to defer program enrollment for one (1) year, with a guaranteed position in the program for the next academic year. You must provide an acceptable reason to the Program such as: inability to pay, medical concerns, military obligation, personal and/or family obligations. To be considered for a deferment you must submit, in writing, a formal request to the Department Chair on of before October 15 of the application year.

Deferment decisions will be made on a case by case basis and the applicant will be notified within one week of request.

If the deferment is granted, then a seat will be held in the next cohort. The tuition deposit will not be refunded. All requirements for admission into the next cohort must be met (tuition deposit, current background check, current immunizations, etc.)

Accreditation Status

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Physician Assistant Studies Program received Accreditation-Provisional status from ARC-PA in September 2013, admitted the first class in January 2014 and graduated its first cohort in December 2015. In July 2016, the program was relocated to the College of Medicine to better align institutional resources with the program’s mission and goals. To build a strong foundation in leadership, Stephanie Storgion, MD was appointed the new chair of the PA program in June 2016, and Kristopher Maday, MS, PA-C became the new program director in January 2017. We now have stable leadership and a stable core of faculty for the program.  Our second cohort of students achieved a 100% first-time pass rate on the PANCE and we are confident that this is a predictor of future success for our students. These changes should move the program in a strong positive direction to be the leader in PA education in the state of Tennessee.

In October 2016, the program had a full accreditation site visit.  During the preparation for this visit, only one cohort had graduated and the second cohort was in the middle of the clinical year.  As a result of this site visit, ARC-PA placed the program on Accreditation-Probation status. As a condition of probation status, the university is required to provide the following statement:

At its January 2017 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) placed The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Physician Assistant program sponsored by The University of Tennessee Health Science Center on Accreditation-Probation status until its next review in March 2019

Probation is a temporary status of accreditation conferred when a program does not meet the Standards and when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened. 

Once placed on probation, programs that still fail to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk having their accreditation withdrawn. 

Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s). 

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Physician Assistant Studies program is committed to achieving full accreditation status in March of 2019 and has already begun preparing for this review.  This current accreditation status has no negative impact on the ability for the program to accept students or for the current students to be eligible to sit for the PANCE, or limit in any way graduates’ ability to practice in the future.

NCCPA PANCE outcomes for graduated students can be found here.

Last Published: Sep 4, 2018