How to Apply to the Physician Assistant Program

We are excited you are interested in the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program at Colorado Mesa University. The requirements below are reflective of the 2019 application cycle for matriculation in January 2020. Please carefully review the admission requirements below:

You must meet the program's minimum requirements to be eligible for the program. All prerequisite course work must be earned from a regionally accredited U.S. Higher Education institution and be verifiable through official transcripts.

Bachelor's Degree or Higher

Bachelor degrees must be earned from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, or, be accepted by a U.S. equivalency reporting agency as an equivalent from a foreign institution. Transcripts demonstrating degree conferment must be received by CMU no later than October 1 of the year prior to matriculation. 


Minimum 3.0 GPA

  • Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (as calculated by CASPA)
  • Must have a minimum Science GPA of 3.0 (as calculated by CASPA)
  • Must have a minimum Prerequisite GPA of 3.0

Click here for more information about how CASPA calculates GPAs. 


Complete all program prerequisite requirements

 View Prerequisite Course Requirements Here


Health Care Experience 

A minimum of 500 hours of health care experience is required at the time of application. Applicants will have the opportunity to report relevant health care experience in the Supporting Information section of the CASPA application. Both paid and volunteer experiences are acceptable. The number of reported health care experience hours will be considered during the applicant screening process.  

Community Service

Community service engagement is highly recommended and the number of volunteer hours will be considered during the applicant screening process. Service activities that demonstrate a commitment to volunteer service in your community is desired. It is the responsibility of the applicant to explain the community service engagement during the application process.


CASPer Exam

CASPer is an online situational judgment test that is used to assess non-academic attributes that we believe are important for successful students and Physician Assistants. The CASPer exam score will be reviewed by the Selection Committee and considered in the final scoring of the application. Your application will not be reviewed until we receive the results of your CASPer Exam. More information about the CASPer Exam is available at: https://takecasper.com/about-casper


Maverick Questionnaire

The Maverick Questionnaire is located within the Program Materials section of the CASPA application. Applicants will have the opportunity to respond to a short questionnaire and report their connection to western Colorado. Preference in the application screening process will be given to candidates who have a connection to Western Colorado, documented as years of relevant experience in the Maverick Questionnaire. For additional information about what we consider a connection to Western Colorado, see our FAQ page here.


Maverick Essay

The Maverick Essay is located within the Program Materials section of the CASPA application. Applicants will be asked to articulate their understanding and commitment to the CMU MPAS Program mission and vision. The Maverick Essay will be reviewed by the Selection Committee and considered in the final scoring of the application. 


Personal Narrative Essay

Applicants will be asked to complete the CASPA Essay as part of the CASPA application. The personal narrative (CASPA Essay) will be scored by the Selection Committee based on the applicant's ability to articulate personal experiences and a desire to pursue the PA profession.


Professional Recommendations 

Three recommendations of advisors, employers, and medical references must be submitted as part of the CASPA application. The recommendations (CASPA Evaluation) will be reviewed by the Selection Committee and considered in the final scoring of the application. It is recommended that students request references from the following:

  • Professor: A person who can attest to the applicant's academic preparedness for the program based on direct experience in a teacher-student relationship.
  • Supervisor: A person who can attest to the applicant's interpersonal attributes and interpersonal communication abilities based on direct observation as supervisor of the applicant's volunteer or work experience.
  • Health care Professional (PA, NP, MD, DO): A medical provider who can speak to the applicant's skills and abilities related to patient care and working as a future medical professional.

CMU Graduate Admissions Fee

All applicants are required to pay the $50 CMU Graduate Admission Fee in addition to any CASPA related fees. This fee covers administrative costs related to the application review process. Applications will not be reviewed until all application requirements are met and the $50 CMU Graduate Admission fee is paid. 

  • CASPA Application

    The Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) is a web-based application system that allows students to apply to multiple participating PA programs with a single application, facilitating a streamlined admissions process for programs. The CASPA application includes:

    • Official College Transcripts
    • Personal Narrative (CASPA Essay) 
    • Professional Recommendations (CASPA Evaluations)
    • Maverick Questionnaire
    • Maverick Essay
    • Health Care Experience
    • Community Service Experience

      Get started on your CASPA application
  • CASPer Exam

    CASPer is an online situational judgment test that is used to assess non-academic attributes that we believe are important for successful students and Physician Assistants. The CASPer exam score is considered in the Selection Committee review of the application. Your application will not be reviewed until we receive the results of your CASPer Exam. More information about the CASPer Exam is available at: https://takecasper.com/about-casper

  • CMU Graduate Admission Fee

    The $50 CMU Graduate Admission Fee is an application requirement and is non-refundable. Applications will not be reviewed until your $50 CMU Graduate Admission Fee has been paid. All fees must be paid by the September 1 admission deadline.


Important Dates

  • April 2019: CASPA application for the 2019-2020 admission cycle opens
  • September 1, 2019: 2019-2020 admission cycle closes. Applications are reviewed by the program on a rolling basis. You are strongly advised to apply and complete all admission requirements early. See our FAQ page for more information about CASPA and how to complete all admission requirements.
  • October 1, 2019: All transcripts for outstanding prerequisites and bachelor's degree must be received by CMU. 

Committee Review

When members of the PA Selection Committee are evaluating applications for the Colorado Mesa University PA Program, they are assessing the following:

  • Academic Strength (Overall, Science, and Prerequisite GPAs) 
  • CASPer Exam Score
  • Community Engagement (number of volunteer hours)
  • Connection to the communities of Western Colorado (years of relevant experience documented in Maverick Questionnaire)
  • Health Care Experience (total number of direct patient care hours)
  • Maverick Essay
  • Personal Narrative (CASPA Essay)
  • Recommendations of advisors, employers, and medical references (CASPA Evaluations)

What We Value

We are interested in applicants that can articulate their passion for the Physician Assistant profession and a commitment to the CMU MPAS Program mission and vision. Preference in the applicant screening process will be given to those candidates with a connection to Western Colorado, documented as years of relevant experience in the Maverick Questionnaire. For additional information about what we consider a connection to Western Colorado, see our FAQ page here.

Invitation for Interview

Final application scores are determined based on Committee Review of the completed admission requirements. Applicants are invited for an on-campus interview based upon their standing in the overall scoring. Interviews will be held during the summer and fall of the year prior to matriculation, and exact dates will be communicated via email to candidates with an offer to interview.

 

Interviewees will be notified of the admissions decisions via email within a month of the interview.  Applicants that interview with the CMU MPAS Program will be placed in one of three categories: Accept, Waitlist, and No Accept.

A $500 non-refundable payment is required to reserve the seat in the program at the time the offer is accepted. Instructions for payment will be provided with the acceptance letter. 

The PA Program Selection Committee will notify all applicants of their final status.  If an applicant commits to another program, we request the professional courtesy of notifying the CMU PA Program. 

Candidates offered a position will be required to complete the following prior to enrollment:

  1. Health Information Release Form
  2. Health Insurance documentation
  3. Technical Standards Attestation Form
  4. Immunization and Health Information documentation
  5. Certified Background Check and Drug Screen
  6. Official Transcripts submitted to CMU for all coursework
  7. Health and Financial Responsibility Waiver
  8. Conditional Acceptance documentation

 

Read our Program Policies

Questions? Read our FAQ

Accreditation

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation - Provisional status to the Colorado Mesa University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Colorado Mesa University.

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 appear 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.

Accreditation - Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.