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Physician Assistant Studies

Physician Assistant Studies

Admissions Information


FGCU CASPA applications are now closed for the August 2018 class start date.

Physician Assistant Studies Program 2018-2019 Application Cycle

  • September 1, 2018CASPA application portal opens for applicants for 2018-2019 cycle.
  • November 2018 - January 2019Admissions Committee reviews applications.
  • December 2018 - March 2019 - Applicant Interviews are conducted.
  • January 15, 2019FGCU program deadline for the receipt of VERIFIED CASPA application.
  • March 2019Offers of Admission are made.
  • April 2019 - August 2019 - Offers of Admission are made from the waitlist.

Admission Policies

Admission to the MPAS program is highly competitive. All applicants must complete the FGCU PA program application through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).

Applicants to the MPAS Program will also be required to complete the FGCU Graduate School application, which can be found at

PANCE Pass Rates

The Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) is a computer-based, multiple-choice test comprised of questions that assess general medical and surgical knowledge. Graduates must successfully pass this examination in order to become eligible for licensure.

The FGCU Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program is a developing program, therefore data regarding our pass rates will be available and published here after graduation of its first cohort. The program will publish PANCE rates for the five most recent graduating classes.

Program Admission Requirements

1.  Completed Application and Fee through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).

2.  Completed FGCU Graduate School application under the Graduate Students tab.

3.  Earned Baccalaureate Degree from a US regionally accredited college or university or foreign equivalent. (Baccalaureate degrees must be completed by the end of the fall semester prior to matriculation in the following fall semester).

4.  In addition to baccalaureate degree, applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria:

Minimum Upper Division Grade Point Average (UG60) of at least 3.0 for the last 60 credits earned from baccalaureate degree.
Earned graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution or equivalent foreign institution with a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

5.  Minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 is required for all biology, chemistry, and physics (BCP) courses completed. CASPA calculates BCP GPA based on these Course Subject categories: Biology/Zoology, Inorganic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physics. 

6.  Complete the following prerequisite courses with a grade of C (2.0) or better by the end of the fall semester prior to matriculation.  (“C-“grades are not acceptable). Courses must be intended for science majors or health professions preparation. Survey courses are not acceptable. All prerequisites must be completed by the end of the fall semester prior to matriculation.

    • Biology, including lab: 4 semester hours
    • General Chemistry I & II, including labs: 8 semester hours
    • Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry: 3 semester hours
    • Medical Terminology: 3 semester hours

Including the following prerequisite courses that must be complete within 7 years prior to matriculation:

    • Human Anatomy & Physiology I & II, including labs: 8 semester hours
    • Microbiology including lab: 4-5 semester hours
    • Genetics: 3 semester hours

7.  Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Standardized Test – official scores are required and must be valid within the past five years.

    GRE code for FGCU PA Studies CASPA program through ETS is 2066.

8.  A minimum of 250 hours of direct patient care is required. This experience can vary and can be acquired on a full-or part time basis. Direct patient care experience requiring certification and providing monetary compensation is most competitive. The program strongly encourages applicants to obtain 20 hours shadowing a physician assistant.

9.  Three professional letters of recommendation

  • One letter shall be from a Physician Assistant (PA)
  • One letter shall be from a non-PA clinician (MD, DO, or NP)
  • One letter from a Professor or any individual who has worked with the applicant in a professional or educational environment. Reference should have worked with the applicant for a minimum of six months.

    The Program does not accept references written by relatives, personal friends, or friends of the applicant’s family. “Character references” (from pastors, teachers, counselors, family doctors, etc.) are also not acceptable.

10.  International applicants are required to submit official English proficiency test scores: TOEFL exam (minimum score of 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet- based) or IELTS exam (minimum score of 6.5).

11. Official translations are required for all documents issued in a language other than English.

12. Acceptance into and successful completion of the FGCU MPAS Program does not imply or guarantee that the student will be able to obtain state licensure or third-party certification upon graduation. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to FGCU.

13. Admissions decisions are competitive. Meeting admission standards does not guarantee acceptance.

14. Selected applicants will be invited for an on-campus interview.

15. Students receive higher points in the application process for the following: Higher science GPA, greater experience with direct patient care, community service involvement, leadership responsibilities, and understanding the role of a PA.


Preferential Placement

The MPAS program does not offer preferential consideration to any applicant for program interview or admission.

Advanced Placement

The MPAS program does not offer advance placement for students with prior graduate or doctoral level work. All incoming students will take all of the courses outlined in the program curriculum.

Experiential Learning

The MPAS program does not give credit for prior student experience working in the field.

Transfer Credit

The MPAS program does not accept transfer credit from other institutions.


Post Acceptance

Student Immunizations

As a matter of personal safety, all admitted students must initiate or demonstrate completion of the following immunizations and provide documentation prior to enrollment in the program:

  • Up-to-date State University System immunization requirements
  • All students are required to have personal health insurance at the time of matriculation and maintain their health insurance throughout their training.

For immunizations, the Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program adheres to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Recommended Vaccines for Healthcare Workers.  All students must provide documentation that the following immunizations and Tb testing has been completed prior to matriculation and maintain immunizations and complete annual Tb testing throughout their training.

  • Hepatitis B
  • Flu (Influenza)
  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, & Rubella)
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)
  • Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis)
  • Tuberculosis Testing
  • Meningococcal (Meningitis)

Most immunizations are available at cost from the Florida Gulf Coast University Student Health Services. For further information, view the Student Health Services immunization page:


Health Insurance

Students enrolled in MPAS Program are required to have continuous Health Insurance coverage while enrolled in the MPAS Program. Proof of health insurance coverage must be submitted to the Program. Many of our clinical sites require that students carry their own health insurance and our contract with many clinical sites notes that students placed in that facility must have Health Insurance Coverage.
The cost of emergency and medical care or health insurance is always the responsibility of the student (or the student’s insurance provider). Failure to provide proof of health insurance coverage will result in students not being allowed to begin their clinical internships. Information regarding the FGCU Student Health Insurance is available at