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Butler University Bulletin

PA Program Eligibility and Admission

The pathways to gain entry to the PA program are the selective internal admission pathway (current Butler University students and/or alumni) and the standard admission pathway. (Accreditation Standards A3.15, A3.16)

Special Considerations

The following admission and enrollment practices are followed. (Accreditation Standard A3.15a)

  • The Butler University physician assistant program is committed to accepting a diverse group of qualified individuals from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. The program selects students who reflect varied social, economic, ethnic, educational, and healthcare experience backgrounds. The program seeks students who excel in leadership, service, scholarship, communication, intellectual capacity, and interpersonal skills.
  • Butler University and its graduates are at an advantage in the admission process through the selective internal admission pathway. Up to 60 percent of each class (45 of 75 students) will be made up of students who have previously earned Butler degrees at the time they begin the PA program.
  • The Butler University PA program recognizes the special heritage to our profession provided by the United States Armed Services. One seat in the program will be reserved for either a veteran or an active military member (active duty, reserve, and National Guard). The military candidate must meet all minimum academic evaluation criteria and complete the nonacademic evaluation. Students should identify themselves as being interested in this seat at the time of Central Application Service for Physician Assistants submission. This is a competitive process.
  • The Butler University PA program does not require healthcare experience for consideration of admission. However, it is recommended to help with the discernment process. No credit will be awarded to students for work experience performed prior to the start of the PA program. (Accreditation Standard A3.15b)
  • International students are important to the fabric of the Butler student community; however, no special consideration is granted for an international student. If a student is looking to study in the United States under an F-1 or J-1 visa, we hope they will consider Butler University. International students must have a TOEFL score and evaluation of any international transcripts. Please note that this takes additional time. Deadlines will not be extended for these purposes. A TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based test) or 79 (internet-based test) meets Butler University’s English language proficiency requirements. Butler’s TOEFL school code is 1073. World Education Services or Educational Credential Evaluators must evaluate all international transcripts. Please contact PAadmission@butler.edu for guidance and/or questions regarding TOEFL or credential and/or transcript evaluation.

Contact PAadmission@butler.edu for any additional questions. Variances may be approved at the discretion of the PA Program Admission Committee. 

Selective Internal Admission Pathway

The Selective Internal Admission Pathway is designed for Butler University alumni and current students of any major who would like to pursue a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree. Application for this pathway will begin in April 2018 for matriculation into the program in May 2019.

This is a competitive process, as the program generally targets up to 60% of each class (45 of 75 students) to be admitted through this pathway. Admission to the PA program through this pathway requires application through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). The centralized application service website can be found at https://caspa.liaisoncas.com.

Application Requirements

To be eligible to apply through the Selective Internal Admission pathway, candidates must:

  • Complete the CASPA application and submit the application fee. All applications must be marked as complete in CASPA by August 1 to be reviewed.
  • Submit transcripts from all colleges/universities (including Butler University) and other postsecondary institutions attended.
  • Have no more than three outstanding prerequisite courses remaining at the time of application. Only one chemistry- or biology-related prerequisite may be outstanding at the time of application. See Course Prerequisite List.
  • Earn a bachelor’s degree from Butler University before the start of the PA program. College seniors are encouraged to apply, provided they will receive a baccalaureate degree prior to the May start date of the PA program.
  • Earn a 3.2 or higher GPA at the time of application and matriculation into the program on all undergraduate course work (including course work completed at any regionally accredited institutions).
  • Earn no grade of C- or less on first attempt of all courses. All attempts of repeated course work will be included in the GPA calculation. If a C- or less is earned in a repeated course, an applicant is no longer eligible for this application pathway.
  • Take all courses for a letter grade. A grade of “pass” or “complete” is acceptable for non-prerequisite courses if letter grades are not offered for the course.
  • Not withdraw from a course.
  • Not audit a prerequisite course prior to taking the course for a grade.
  • Take and submit Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. General Test scores must be submitted no later than August 1 (Butler University’s GRE Code: 0477) the year prior to matriculation. No other test scores are accepted in lieu of the GRE. The scores must be sent directly from Educational Testing Services to CASPA.
  • Submit three evaluations (letters of recommendation) to CASPA.
  • Remain free of conduct code violations (per COPHS and Butler University policies).

Students not eligible to apply via the Selective Internal Admission Pathway may apply to the program via the Standard Admission Pathway.

Standard Admission Pathway

This is a competitive process, as the program generally accepts 40% of each class (30 of 75 students) to be admitted through this pathway. Admission to the Butler University PA program through the Standard Admission Pathway requires application through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). This centralized application service website can be found at https://caspa.liaisoncas.com.

  • Application Requirements
  • Complete CASPA application and submit application fee. All applications must be marked as complete in CASPA by August 1 to be reviewed.
  • Submit transcripts from all colleges/universities (including Butler University) and other postsecondary institutions attended.
  • Have no more than three outstanding prerequisite courses remaining at the time of application. Only one chemistry- or biology-related prerequisite may be outstanding at the time of application. See Course Prerequisite List.
  • Earn a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution before the start of the PA program. College seniors are encouraged to apply, provided they will receive a baccalaureate degree prior to the May start date of the PA program.
  • Earn a 3.2 or higher GPA at the time of application and matriculation into the program on all undergraduate course work (including course work completed at any regionally accredited institutions).
  • Earn no grade of C- or less on prerequisite courses. All attempts of repeated course work will be included in the GPA calculation.
  • Take and submit Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. General Test scores must be submitted no later than August 1 (Butler University’s GRE Code: 0477) the year prior to matriculation. No other test scores are accepted in lieu of the GRE. The scores must be sent directly from Educational Testing Services to CASPA.
  • Submit three evaluations (letters of recommendation) to CASPA.

Admission Process

Both the Selective Internal and Standard Admission Pathways are divided into two parts: application review and on-campus interview. Both pathways are highly competitive. Note: The PA program has the right to change admission and interview processes as it deems appropriate.

Academic Evaluation

All applications for admission meeting prerequisites, application requirements, and the required undergraduate cumulative GPA minimum of 3.2 will be reviewed. All questions in the application must be answered fully. Further review of an application may include the Biology, Chemistry, and Physics GPA as calculated by CASPA. The PA Admission Committee will review the application to determine excellence in leadership, service, or scholarship (research and/or publications) and effective written communication skills. It is the program’s desire to establish a cohort of individuals with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible to avoid the crush of applications that occurs near the August 1 deadline. The GRE score must be provided to CASPA at the time of application. Candidates are welcome to take the GRE multiple times. If the GRE is taken on more than one occasion, the highest earned quantitative and verbal subscores will be used in the admission review process. A competitive average GPA and GRE for those students matriculating each year is dependent on the cohort. The five-year averages are GPA: 3.8, Composite GRE: 311, Quantitative GRE: 156, Verbal GRE: 155, Written GRE: 4.2. The following are the most recent averages by cohort:

Cohort Average GPA Average
Composite
GRE Score

Average
Quantitative
GRE Score

Average
Verbal
GRE Score

Average
Written
GRE Score

2017 3.7 314 157 156 4.2
2016 3.8 313 156 156 4.2
2015 3.8 308 154 154 4.2
2014 3.8 307 154 153 4.2
2013 3.9 315 158 157 4.2

 

On-Campus Interview

COPHS faculty, staff, alumni, active preceptors, and/or community-based PAs evaluate candidates during the on-campus interview. Candidates invited to interview on campus will have multiple interactions. Candidates will complete a series of stations that are generally task oriented or interview based. The stations are designed to assess candidates for characteristics necessary to be successful within this program and/or discernment to the PA profession. Candidates are ranked based on their cumulative scores from station evaluators.

Offers of Admission

The decision to admit students into the PA program will be made by the PA Program Admission Committee. (Accreditation Standard A2.05b) After the nonacademic evaluation process, selected candidates will be extended a conditional offer of admission into the Butler University PA program, generally via email. The candidate will have one week from the date of conditional offer of admission to accept and submit a nonrefundable $1,000 deposit to secure a seat within the program. Student Accounts will apply the deposit to the candidate’s tuition. The candidate must meet all University and PA program prerequisites and requirements to enter into the program.

Application Timeline

The following timeline should provide guidance to those interested in applying to the PA program. The program has the right to change timelines as it deems appropriate. Please contact PAadmission@butler.edu for additional admission questions.

Late April   CASPA application available
August 1 All materials must be received and marked complete by CASPA*
May–September Academic evaluation of candidates
October/November On-campus interview of selected candidates
November/December Conditional offers of admission to selected applicants

* The Butler University PA program encourages all applicants to complete the Transcript Entry portion of the CASPA application so as not to delay application completion processes.

Direct-Admit Pathway (Applications No Longer Accepted)

The direct-admit pathway will be upheld for students who entered Butler University as first-year students in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The pathway is not applicable to prospective students for fall 2017 and beyond.

The direct-admit pathway is designed for incoming University first-year students who wish to become a physician assistant. Students will complete a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Sciences (BSHS). Students selected in the direct-admit pathway who successfully complete all requirements will be offered advancement into the PA program. These students will not be required to submit the CASPA application or GRE scores, nor will they need to complete the standard admission process (academic evaluations or nonacademic evaluations).

Application Requirements

Students within the direct-admit pathway are required to fulfill all criteria listed below to maintain eligibility for direct admission into the PA program. (Accreditation Standard A3.15a) A student who fails to meet any of the following requirements will lose direct-admit status but will be able to apply to the PA program using either the selective internal (if applicable) or standard admission processes.

To be eligible to apply, candidates must:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.4 at Butler University by January 15 of year of matriculation and at the time of matriculation into the MPAS program.
  • Earn no grade of C- or lower on first attempt of all courses. All attempts of repeated course work will be included in the GPA calculation. If a C- or lower is earned in a repeated course, an applicant is no longer eligible for this application pathway. If a course is offered for a letter grade, it must be taken as such and a grade must be received. A grade of “pass” or “complete” is acceptable for non-prerequisite courses if letter grades are not offered for the course.
  • Not withdraw from a course.
  • Not audit a prerequisite course prior to taking the course for a grade.
  • Earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Sciences no later than the spring semester of the fifth academic year from matriculation into the BSHS program. Students will matriculate into the MPAS program in May at the beginning of the summer semester.
  • Maintain full-time enrollment during fall and spring semesters.
  • Remain free of conduct code violations (per COPHS and Butler University policies).
  • Submit Intent to Enroll Confirmation Form and $1,000 nonrefundable deposit by January 15 of the year of matriculation into the MPAS program.

Students accepted into the BSHS-PA direct-admit pathway are scheduled to matriculate into the Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program in May after four complete years of undergraduate study. A specific position is held for each of these students. Failure to submit the Intent to Enroll Confirmation Form and $1,000 deposit will be interpreted as withdrawal from the program.

Graduating with a BSHS Degree in Less than Four Years

If a student will receive the bachelor’s degree in less than four years, he/she can request permission from the PA Program Admission Committee to enter the MPAS program early. This request must be submitted to PAadmission@butler.edu by November 1 of the fall semester a year and a half prior to the desired matriculation date. The PA Program Admission Committee will review submissions, including the requestor’s academic standing, to determine if permission will be granted. This is a competitive process, as a limited number of positions may be available for this early admission. Students will be notified by January 15 of the year prior to the desired matriculation date if they have been granted permission to enter the MPAS program early.

Graduating with a BSHS Degree in More than Four years

Students who need additional time to complete the BSHS degree must notify the PA Program Admission Committee by November 1 of the fall term prior to their original matriculation date. A student must complete his/her degree by the end of the spring term of the fifth academic year and maintain full-time enrollment. When notifying the admission committee, the student must also submit a detailed schedule of planned courses for review. This notification must be submitted to PAadmission@butler.edu.

Withdrawing from the Direct-Admit Pathway

Some students may discern a different career than that of a PA or choose to attend a different program. Students who wish to remove themselves from the PA direct-admit pathway are asked to notify the program as soon as this decision is made. Notification should be sent to PAadmission@butler.edu.

Automatic Withdrawal from the Direct-Admit Pathway

Candidates not meeting direct-admit pathway requirements will be automatically removed.

Prerequisites

Students must complete the following course prerequisites with no grade of C- or lower to be considered for admission to the PA program. (Accreditation Standards A3.15b, d) Earned Advanced Placement exam scores of 4 or 5 or International Baccalaureate exam scores of 5 to 7 may substitute for prerequisite courses. Appropriately earned AP or IB scores may replace no more than two prerequisite courses. Applicants should submit copies of exam scores with applications to PAadmission@butler.edu.

  • Chemistry
    • Inorganic (general) with lab (two courses)
    • Organic with lab (one course)
    • Additional chemistry course at or above the 300 level (one course)
  • Biology
    • Any biology-related course at or above the 200 level (5 courses). Examples might include but are not limited to anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, genetics, microbiology, immunology, physics, bioengineering, biomedical science, exercise science, neuroscience, zoology, and nutrition.
  • Statistics/Biostatistics
    • Any course (one course)
  • Social Sciences
    • Any combination of psychology or sociology courses (two courses)

For information about prerequisite fulfillment, course equivalencies, and unofficial transcript reviews, send inquiries to PAadmission@butler.edu.