Gardner-Webb University will begin accepting applications for its January 2015 cohort on April 16, 2014. CASPA submitted applications will be evaluated in the following areas: Overall Academic Strength, Science Aptitude, Graduate Record Evaluation (GRE), Letters of Recommendation, Health Care Experience, Physician Assistant Shadowing, and Potential for Mission Match.
Evaluation of academic strength is largely based upon transcripts including course selection, semester load, and cumulative GPA. A Bachelor Degree from a US regionally accredited institution is required and the minimum acceptable overall GPA is 3.0.
Each applicant must have completed the following required courses in:
- Human anatomy and physiology with lab (two semesters or three quarters),
- General biology with lab (one semester or two quarters)
- Additional biology with lab (one semester or two quarters)
- Microbiology with lab (one semester or two quarters)
- General chemistry with lab (one semester or two quarters)
- Additional chemistry with lab (one semester or two quarters)
- Organic chemistry with lab (one semester or two quarters)
- Statistics (one course)
- Psychology (one course) and
- Medical terminology (in certain circumstances this will be waived).
The GPA for each of these required courses must be a 2.7 or higher (equal to a B- or higher).
- Bachelor degree must come from a US accredited institution with a 3.0 cumulative G.P.A. minimum
- Prerequisites must be taken at a US accredited institution and each course must meet a minimum 2.7 G.P.A. requirement.
- Applicants with up to two remaining prerequisites may apply provided they complete each - with a 2.7 or higher G.P.A. - before the first day of September (official transcripts must be received at Gardner-Webb University by October 1 or a selected candidate will relinquish their seat).
- Survey courses (usually 100 or 101) will not meet the prerequisite course requirements.
- Military applicants may have met prerequisite course requirements in their training. For example, USAF Pararescueman training includes 12 SH of Emergency Medicine, 4 SH of Anatomy and Physiology, and 3 SH of Psychology. The decision to accept or decline military training, as meeting a prerequisite, is at the discretion of the PAS program director. Since no letter grade is provided in these courses, they will be accepted when successful completion can be proven (DD214 verification).
- Prerequisites met via Advanced Placement credit (college equivalent courses taken in high school), where no letter grade is provided, will be accepted based on pass/fail criteria. Transcripts must show a pass grade was met.
Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
The GRE is required and must be taken within the last five years. Gardner-Webb University Physician Assistant Studies CASPA GRE code is 3648. The score will be weighted but no minimal score is being required.
Letters of Recommendation
Each applicant will be required to provide three professional or academic letters of recommendation. Preference is given to applicants who have at least one reference from a healthcare professional. The references provide an external perspective of an applicant’s ability to succeed.
Health Care Experience
Although no minimum hours are required, the program places importance on health care familiarity and evaluates the quality and quantity of an applicant’s experience with direct patient health care. Shadowing experience, although highly valued, does not count toward the total number of hours. Health care experience will be evaluated on the type of experience and the number of hours:
Health Care Experience – Rated by Type of Experience
Low - Volunteering at marathons, blood donor clinics, fundraising for medical causes, after-school programs, coaching, church reader, meals-on-wheels, research technician, lab-based researcher, unit secretary, ward clerk, medical scribe, peer educator, reader or other non-medical work in waiting room or other medical setting.
Medium - Medical lab technician, medical technologist, nurse’s aide, patient care assistant, phlebotomist, PT assistant, optometry technician, radiology technician, and registered dietician.
High - Medical assistant, PT, RT, OT, MSW, EMT, LPN, chiropractor, RN, CNA, medic or corpsman, paramedic, OD, athletic trainer, audiologist, exercise physiologist, and foreign medical graduate.
Physician Assistant Shadowing
The number of hours shadowing a Physician Assistant will be evaluated.
The GWU PA selection committee will evaluate all volunteerism (medical or humanitarian mission, volunteer work in community, etc.) and applies a preference multiplier to applicants with a long history of service.
Potential for Mission Match
- Fair - Limited volunteer work (under 100 hours) in areas like soup kitchens, big brother/big sister, Special Olympics, church events, etc.
- Good - Over 100 hours of volunteer work as above plus one mission to underserved site in the US or abroad.
- Excellent - Over 100 hours of volunteer work plus two or more missions to remote underserved sites in the US or abroad.
An applicant whose native language is not English and who does not have a full year (two semesters) of composition or its equivalent in English studies must demonstrate skills in English understanding and use. Recent scores on the Test of English and Foreign Language (TOEFL) normally suffice. TOEFL scores should be submitted with the CASPA application or directly to GWU Graduate Admissions when CASPA is not used. Satisfactory scores are based on the testing format and include:
- Internet-based TOEFL: Score of 100 with a minimum score of 20 on each section.
- A total score of 600 on the paper TOEFL, with a score of 55 on the Listening Comprehension.
- A total score of 250 on the computer-based TOEFL.
- A level 112 from the ELS Language Centers or other recognized evidence may be considered satisfactory, pending the Admissions Committee approval.
For selected candidates, interviews will begin in June and seats will be offered using a rolling admission process.