College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Physician Assistant Program

Admission Processes

Last Updated: 3-24-2014

Pathway 1: Automatic Advancement Process

The Automatic Advancement Process is only available to students entering Butler University as freshmen, pre-health science majors.

Admission into Pre-Health Science/Pre-PA program

To be admitted to the auto-advance, pre-health science (i.e., pre-PA) program as freshmen at Butler University, students will be required to meet the auto-advancement entrance criteria of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS) with regard to GPA and standardized test scores. The number of students admitted as auto-advance, pre-PA students will be limited to approximately 30 per year and offers of admission will be made on a competitive basis. It is recommended that applications be submitted as early as possible in the admission cycle. Questions about admission to the Pre-Health Science program should be directed to Aimée Rust-Scheuermann (arust@butler.edu) in the Office of Admissions.

Admission into PA Program

Auto-advance, pre-PA students will be automatically advanced (offered admission) into the PA1 year of the PA Program upon completion of their second, fall semester of Butler enrollment* if the requirements for automatic advancement are met:

1.Cumulative GPA at Butler University of at least 3.0.

2.No grade less than C in any course used to satisfy the requirements of the pre-physician assistant curriculum.

3.No withdrawal from or repeat of any course used to satisfy the requirements of the pre-physician assistant curriculum.

4.Cumulative GPA (i.e. science GPA) equal to or greater than 3.0 in the following courses: CH 105, CH 106, BI 105, CH 351, PH 107, PX 311.

5.No conduct code violations.

No healthcare experience is required, but it may be useful to the student to help them discern their interest in and aptitude for this career.

An offer of professional phase admission, if initially earned, is contingent upon continued adherence to the requirements noted above and will be withdrawn if the requirements are not met.

Students are required to be enrolled full-time during the regular (i.e. fall and spring) semesters and must complete all prerequisite courses by the conclusion of the second spring semester of enrollment while maintaining compliance with the above requirements.

The credit from no more than two transfer or AP courses may be substituted for any of the courses listed in the pre-physician assistant (pre-PA) curriculum. The official Butler GPA is not affected by the grades earned from transfer courses or associated with AP credit. However, transfer courses and/or AP credit will affect the cumulative Butler GPA and science GPAs upon which eligibility determinations for auto-advancement will be based according to the following guidelines: grades from accepted transfer courses will be included in GPA calculations according to the scale indicated in the Butler University Student Handbook and an "A" (4.0 score) will be awarded for each course from which AP credit was earned and accepted.

Any student that fails to meet any of the above criteria will be dismissed from the automatic advancement process, but may be eligible to apply for admission through either of the other two pathways described below.

Eligibility for automatic advancement into the PA1 year of the PA program ceases after the student's initial review for professional phase admission at the end of their second fall semester at Butler University.

General Information Regarding Early and Standard Admission Pathways

Early and Standard Admission Pathways are for those students interested in applying to the PA program who did not originally enroll at Butler as freshmen and into the Auto-Advance Pathway. Non-auto-advance applicants will be classified as belonging to one of two categories: Butler and Non-Butler. Butler applicants are those who have been or are currently enrolled at Butler University AND have completed less than 12 hours of credit (excluding AP or IB credits) at institutions of higher learning other than Butler University. Non-Butler applicants are those who have earned 12 or more hours of credit (excluding AP or IB credits) at institutions of higher learning other than Butler University.

Applications for the PA Program must be submitted through an electronic application processing service (CASPA). CASPA is a service of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) and offers applicants a convenient, Web-based application service that will allow you to apply to participating PA educational programs by completing a single application. The online application was specifically designed for your ease and convenience. With far less paperwork, streamlined processing, and ongoing communication with applicants, CASPA offers you the ability to apply to multiple programs across the country.

These pathways are competitive. Thus, it is important that applications be submitted as soon as possible once the application cycle opens. It is also important that applicants clearly indicate on the CASPA application the classes completed, those currently being completed and those expected to be completed by May 31 of the year in which the applicant wishes to matriculate into the PA Program.

Non-Butler applicants who have completed 12 hours or greater of credit (excluding AP or IB credits) outside of Butler University by the time of the submission of their completed application to CASPA are required to include GRE scores (School Code: 0477) at the time of application. These same applicants are required to earn a BS/BA degree or higher by May 31 of the year of intended matriculation into the PA program. Butler applicants will not be required to possess a BS/BA degree by May 31 and will not be required to include GRE scores providing they identify themselves as a "Non-Auto-Advance, Butler Applicant" in an e-mail to Dr. John Lucich at jlucich@butler.edu by October 1 (for Early Admission Pathway applicants) or by November 15 for Standard Admission Pathway applicants.

The majority of communication regarding invitations to interview, offers of admission, etc. will be conducted by e-mail so it is very important that the PA Program (via CASPA) has an accurate e-mail address for all applicants and that applicants check their e-mail accounts on a daily basis. Generally, responses to program requests must be accomplished within 3 days or less. Failure to promptly respond to requests may result in loss of eligibility for admission.

One seat in the PA program will be designated for a military member who otherwise meets all eligibility criteria. Military candidates (i.e. those who indicate "Currently Serving" or "Yes" to the Military Status section on the CASPA application and who wish to be considered for the designated seat when contacted by PA Program personnel) will initially be considered for NAE invitation only from amongst a cohort of other military candidates.

The criteria for admissions and the policies that guide the admission process have been carefully developed and empirically derived. As such, few if any requests for exemptions from the criteria /policies are granted. However, should an applicant feel that their circumstances warrant special consideration, they may forward an appeal in writing (via e-mail) to the chair of the admissions committee, Dr. John Lucich at jlucich@butler.edu. To be considered, the appeal e-mail must include "Appeal Request" in the subject line, state the policy/criteria for which an exemption is being requested and provide a detailed rationale for the request.

General questions regarding the admissions process should be directed to Mary Kay Liverett at 317-940-6529 or mliveret@butler.edu.

Early Admission Pathway

The minimum eligibility requirements for admission via the Early Admission Pathway are:

1. A cumulative GPA from all institutions of higher learning of at least a 3.5 as calculated per CASPA protocol.

2. The submission of a completed application to CASPA by September 1 and verification of that application by CASPA by October 15 of the year prior to the year of desired enrollment into the PA Program.* It is the applicant's responsibility to monitor and ensure adherence to these deadlines. The applicant's will be assessed according to the information in the application at the time it was verified by CASPA. As such updates to GPAs, GRE scores etc. will not be considered within an application cycle.

3. The ability to provide evidence of successful completion of the math/science prerequisites (listed below) or their transfer equivalents with a grade of C- or better by May 31 prior to matriculation into the PA Program. See Curriculum for details. Non-auto-advance Butler applicants without a BS/BA degree must also earn C- or better in ALL other courses used to satisfy the requirements of the pre-physician assistant curriculum prior to matriculation into the PA program.

4. Receipt by Butler University of a deposit by February 1 (if offered admission).

No healthcare experience is required, but it may be useful to the student to help them discern their interest in and aptitude for this career.

* Be advised that for an application to be deemed "completed" it must be accompanied by college transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE scores and any other documents required for processing by CASPA.

Required Math/Science Prerequisite Courses* for Early Admission Pathway Applicants

General Biology [cell] (BI 105)

General Chemistry with lab (CH 105)

General Chemistry II with lab (CH 106)

Organic Chemistry with lab (CH 351)

Organic Chemistry II with lab (CH 352)

Microbiology (BI 325)

General math course (above algebra)

Physics (PH 107)

Human Anatomy (PX 311)

Human Physiology (PX 315)

*Equivalent transfer courses are also acceptable.

Applicants satisfying the above criteria are eligible to be ranked and considered for invitation to a "non-academic evaluation" (NAE). The composition of an NAE will typically include one or more interviews, an opportunity to meet current students, various information sessions and any other activities deemed desirable by the PA Admissions Committee. Invitations for the NAE will generally be issued to the most highly ranked Early Admission Pathway candidates near the first of November and the NAE will generally be conducted on or about the second Saturday of November. The NAE scores and other behavioral assessments of applicants will be used by the PA Admissions Committee to adjust the pre-NAE rankings of candidates and will inform decisions regarding which applicants will receive offers of admission and which will be waitlisted. These decisions will generally be communicated via e-mail to applicants within 10-15 days of the NAE.

Standard Admission Pathway

The minimum eligibility requirements for admission via the Standard Admission Pathway are:

1.A cumulative GPA from all institutions of higher learning of at least a 3.2 as calculated per CASPA protocol.

2. The submission of a completed application to CASPA by December 1 of the year prior to the year of desired enrollment into the PA Program and verification of that application by CASPA by January 15 of the year of desired enrollment into the PA Program.* It is the applicant's responsibility to monitor and ensure adherence to these deadlines. The applicant's will be assessed according to the information in the application at the time it was verified by CASPA. As such updates to GPAs, GRE scores etc. will not be considered within an application cycle.

3. The ability to provide evidence of successful completion of the math/science prerequisites (listed below) or their transfer equivalents with a grade of C- or better by May 31 prior to matriculation into the PA Program. See Curriculum for details. Non-auto-advance Butler applicants without a BS/BA degree must also earn C- or better in ALL other courses used to satisfy the requirements of the pre-physician assistant curriculum prior to matriculation into the PA program.

4. Receipt by Butler University of a deposit by May 1 (if offered admission).

No healthcare experience is required, but it may be useful to the student to help them discern their interest in and aptitude for this career.

* Be advised that for an application to be deemed "completed" it must be accompanied by college transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE scores and any other documents required for processing by CASPA.

Required Math/Science Prerequisite Courses* for Standard Admission Pathway Applicants

General Biology [cell] (BI 105)

General Chemistry with lab (CH 105)

General Chemistry II with lab (CH 106)

Organic Chemistry with lab (CH 351)

Organic Chemistry II with lab (CH 352)

Microbiology (BI 325)

General math course (above algebra)

Physics (PH 107)

Human Anatomy (PX 311)

Human Physiology (PX 315)

*Equivalent transfer courses are also acceptable.

Applicants satisfying the above criteria are eligible to be ranked and considered for invitation to a "non-academic evaluation" (NAE). The composition of an NAE will typically include one or more interviews, an opportunity to meet current students, various information sessions and any other activities deemed desirable by the PA Admissions Committee. Invitations for the NAE will generally be issued to the most highly ranked Standard Admission Pathway candidates near the first of February and the NAE will generally be conducted on or about the second Saturday of February. The NAE scores and other behavioral assessments of applicants will be used by the PA Admissions Committee to adjust the pre-NAE rankings of candidates and will inform decisions regarding which applicants will receive offers of admission and which will be waitlisted. These decisions will generally be communicated via e-mail to applicants within 10-15 days of the NAE.

Requirements and deadlines are subject to change. Should a change occur, it will be posted on this website and the PA program will make every effort to communicate the change as soon as possible to all those in the application pipeline for whom e-mail addresses are available.

Technical Standards

Technical Standards for Admission and Retention in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences faculty has specified the following non-academic criteria ("technical standards") that all candidates/students are expected to meet, with or without reasonable accommodation, to participate in the educational programs of the College.

1. OBSERVATION: The candidate/student must be able to participate actively in all demonstrations and laboratory exercises in the basic sciences, and to assess and comprehend the condition of all patients assigned to him or her for examination, diagnosis, and treatment. Such observations and information acquisition usually requires the functional use of visual, auditory, and somatic sensation.

2. COMMUNICATION: The candidate/student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, assess non-verbal communications, and be able to effectively and efficiently transmit information to patients, fellow students, faculty, staff, and all members of the health care team. Communication skills include speaking, reading, and writing, as well as the observation skills described above.

3. MOTOR: The candidate/student must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers, be able to perform basic laboratory tests, possess all skills necessary to carry out diagnostic procedures and be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. The candidate/student must possess the fine motor skills to perform the requirements of the profession.

4. INTELLECTUAL: The candidate/student must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize. Problem solving the critical skills demanded of health care providers, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the candidate/student must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. The candidate/student must have the capacity to perform these problem-solving skills in a timely fashion.

5. BEHAVIORAL and SOCIAL ATTRIBUTES: The candidate/student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients and others. Candidates/ students must also be able to tolerate taxing workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to changing environment, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, commitment, and motivation are personal qualities which each candidate/student should possess.

Butler University DOES NOT base admission decisions on the presence or absence of a disability or upon the need for accommodations to meet the technical standards above. If an applicant has concerns about their ability to meet the technical standards and accepts an offer of admission, we recommend arranging a meeting with our Student Disabilities Services (SDS) office prior to enrollment. This office will evaluate the applicant and determine what reasonable accommodations will be required to enable the applicant to meet the technical standards.