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Frequently Asked Questions

 

What does “Direct Patient Care Experience” mean?

We are looking for patient care experience that includes responsibilities such as taking patient vital signs, administering medication, attending to patient’s personal hygiene needs, drawing blood, dressing wounds, etc.  We value situations where you have been actively responsible for the care of an individual/patient. Examples of positions that may provide opportunities to gain this experience include medical assistant, certified nursing assistant, emergency room tech, scribe, phlebotomist, or paramedic.

What does “service to the underserved” mean?

In keeping with the Augsburg University’s mission to nurture future leaders in service to the world, the PA program favors applicants whose experience demonstrates a commitment to underserved communities; disadvantaged, minority, or under-represented populations.  Applicants should have a strong record of commitment to the community through work with homeless shelters, disabled individuals, inner city youth organizations, church or civic group missions, minority populations, rural medicine programs, and other organizations with similar goals.

Do you have a preference as to an applicant’s undergraduate degree major?

We do not have a preference for your undergraduate major.  In fact, we encourage all potential applicants to major in the area that interests them.  As one may expect, a high number of our applicants have science or health science related majors, but we have a good number of liberal arts majors as well.  Please review the required prerequisite courses to be eligible for this program.

Can I still apply if my cumulative or science GPA is not 3.0?

Your cumulative and science GPA must be 3.0 or higher in order to be eligible to apply to the Augsburg University PA Program. If your cumulative or science GPA is lower than 3.0, we suggest that you work with an academic counselor at your school to develop a course plan that will help you increase your GPA in a timeline that is acceptable to you.

Who should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?

The Augsburg PA Program requires three letters of recommendation submitted through the CASPA process.  We recommend that one letter  be from an employer/colleague (a professional reference), one letter from a professor or adviser (an academic reference), and one from a person of your choice (i.e. someone you’ve worked with on underserved projects, volunteer experiences or in a health care setting).  Be sure that your letter writers are able to tell the committee about you as well as his/her experiences with you and observations about you.  You should not have a family member write any of your letters of recommendation.  Note that we strongly recommend that your letters be submitted to CASPA as confidential.

Do students work while completing the PA Program?

Augsburg PA faculty discourage outside employment while enrolled in the program.  The program is full-time and most students struggle to find employment around the required hours of attendance.  The PA program requirements and schedule will not be altered due to a student’s work obligations.  Work obligations must not interfere with the PA students’ learning progress or responsibilities while in the program.  In addition, the program may not require any student to work for the program while enrolled in coursework.

How long after graduation does it take for a new PA to find employment?

On average, most PA students are employed 3-4 months post graduation. This accounts for graduates taking time off after graduation prior to securing jobs.  Many students gain valuable professional contacts during their clinical phase of the program that they later use in job seeking.  Most graduates have “offer” letters from employers by graduation day pending passing the national board exams.

Do most students complete the program?

The graduation rate of the past 5 graduating classes (2011-2014*) is 99%. The withdrawal rate is 2% over the past five graduating classes, and the deceleration rate is less than 1% over the same time period.

*There were two graduating classes in 2014 due to change in program length.