Question 1: Do I need to have a bachelor's degree to apply?
No, a bachelor's degree may be in progress at the time of application. HOWEVER, the degree must be earned by the end of the spring term or June 15th (whichever is later) of the planned year of matriculation. Visit the view requirements page for a complete list of requirements.
Question 2: Do you require a minimum GPA to apply?
Yes. You must achieve a minimum overall, prerequisite, and science GPA of 2.7 in order to apply. You must meet the minimum GPA requirement at the time of application and maintain through matriculation. Non-prerequisite courses in which Credit or Pass was earned will be calculated into your overall/cumulative GPA as a “C.” Visit the requirements page for a complete list of requirements.
Question 3: Do you require any standardized tests prior to application?
No. The MSPA program does not currently require any standardized testing prior to application.
Question 4: How many hours of work experience are required prior to application?
None! This is a good question to ask other schools, as some will require between 1000 and 5000 hours of experience prior to application. However, a history of ongoing community service/involvement is an essential consideration for admission to our Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program, and the more hours you have, the more competitive your application will be.
Question 5: Can I transfer into your physician assistant program from another physician assistant program?
We do not accept transfer students.
Question 6: Do you give preference to California residents?
No. Although a significant portion of our student body is from California, this is merely a reflection of our overall applicant pool.
Question 7: Can international students apply?
Yes, we consider international applicants for admission. International applicants follow the same application procedures as domestic applicants, but must also have their foreign transcripts evaluated by a pre-approved evaluation service.
Question 8: Is tuition the same for in-state and out-of-state residents?
Yes. We are a private institution so the tuition rate is the same for all students. Visit the financing my education for more information on tuition, scholarships, and loans.
Question 9: Does it matter that I'm older than your average applicant?
Definitely not. We find that students of all ages make unique contributions to the class. We encourage applications from qualified applicants regardless of age.
Question 10: Can I turn in more than the required number of recommendation letters?
Yes. However, it is advisable to limit the number to one-two extra since a total of three-four well-chosen recommendations will usually paint a clear picture of the candidate, and additional recommendations will only add to the committee members' reading time.
Question 11: Do you have an early decision process?
No. There is not an early decision process in place for the MSPA program.
Question 12: How and when will I know if I've been invited for an interview?
Interviews are held monthly September through February. If you are selected for an interview, you will be notified by email beginning August and through early February.
Question 13: How does the committee decide which applicants are offered seats?
The admissions committee works hard to select the best candidates for the program. To make this decision they consider a range of information including academic credentials, community service background, preparedness to complete the MSPA curriculum, and information gleaned from the personal interview. Visit the competitive candidate profile page for additional insights.
Question 14: When are acceptance letters and final notifications mailed?
Letters are typically mailed and emailed by the end of March of the planned year of matriculation.
Question 15: Will I be required to complete a background check?
Complete confidence in the honor and integrity of the health professions student and health care professional is essential, and students must exhibit honesty and integrity in all aspects of their life. Any prior criminal record of an applicant will be evaluated by the University as part of its determination that the applicant meets the Standards of Professional Conduct. In addition, a prior criminal record may negatively impact a student's ability to participate in the University's curriculum. To meet State regulations and hospital accreditation requirements, hospital facilities are requiring students to complete criminal background checks prior to beginning rotations/clinical experiences. Some rotations require a urine drug test as well. Certain convictions may prevent students from entering hospital facilities, which may hinder their ability to successfully complete the MSPA program. If a criminal conviction or other relevant sanction is shown on the background check, hospital facilities may choose not to allow a student to utilize their facilities. If applicable, we encourage you to check with the appropriate State licensing board(s) to determine whether your background may be a barrier to future licensing.
Question 16: Does the MSPA program require drug screening tests?
Urine drug screens may be required for clinical rotations or any sentinel acts. Procedures and costs for obtaining background investigations and urine drug screenings will be disseminated by the Physician Assistant Clinical Education Staff.
Question 17: Am I required to have certain immunizations or health screening procedures completed before matriculation?
As students will have some exposure to patients during the first year, no students will be allowed to matriculate until they have supplied proof that they are current on the following immunizations and health screenings consistent with current CDC recommendations:
- MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) (proof of immunization and/or serologic titers showing immunity)
- Tetanus/Diphtheria (within 10 years)
- Hepatitis B (proof of completion of 3 shot series and/or serologic titers showing immunity),
- Tuberculosis Clearance through one of two methods: P.P.D. (Purified Protein Derivative) skin test (within the last six months) or chest x-ray (within the last year)
- Varicella (chicken pox) proof of completion of the age appropriate imumunization series or positive serologic titers
A positive PPD or chest x-ray must be followed up with an appropriate health care provider. No student will be permitted to register or attend classes without having proof of completing required immunizations.
Question 18: How can I request a primary application packet?
Primary applications are available electronically from the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Primary applications must be completed and submitted electronically along with the Prerequisite worksheet to CASPA. Once everything is submitted and verified, CASPA will submit your information electronically to WesternU's admissions office. Upon receipt of your CASPA application in our office you will be notified via e-mail notifying you of our receipt of your primary application. Applicants are encouraged to complete and electronically submit the secondary/supplemental application and additional application materials as soon as possible and no later than November 1st. Please note: it typically takes the application service (CASPA) two months to process your primary application and send it to the admissions offices you indicate on your application, so submit your application early and check your status frequently! Visit the apply now page for details.
Question 19: How can I request a secondary application packet?
The secondary application will be available on the apply now page as soon as the CASPA application is available (typically late-April). The secondary application must be completed and submitted electronically along with the non-refundable $50.00 application fee payment. The application will remain available until the application deadline in November each year.
Question 20: I am a re-applicant. How can I improve my application or my chances to get in?
Take a critical review of the information that you submitted to the admissions office and see if there are any obvious voids. For example, maybe you had one or two low grades that lowered your overall and/or prerequisite GPA, or maybe you were not involved actively in community service, or merely forgot to include it on your application. You would be surprised at how much you can learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your application simply by looking at it from an admissions perspective.
If you had a low grade, especially in a science course, you should consider retaking that class, since we will recalculate your GPA with the new higher grade when we receive the new transcript. It is important to realize that sometimes it is not something obvious that you can change to be admitted. Every case is different and every year the competition is different. Above all else, it is important to realize that we receive applications from many highly qualified applicants each year and are only able to offer acceptances to 98. If this is the path you are committed to, then keep trying! Visit the competitive candidate profile page for additional insights.
Question 1: What are the prerequisite courses for the physician assistant program?
Visit the view requirements page for a complete list of requirements.
Question 2: Can I have prerequisite courses in progress at the time of application? How many?
You may have one science prerequisite (except anatomy and physiology) and one non-science prerequisite in progress after December 31 of the year prior to when you plan to matriculate. These courses must be completed by the end of the spring term or June 15th (whichever is later) of the year you plan to matriculate. Anatomy and Physiology must be completed by December 31 of the year prior to when you plan to matriculate. No exceptions will be made.
Question 3: Can I substitute any courses for your prerequisites?
No. The required classes are clearly outlined and you must complete all prerequisite courses.
Question 4: How are repeated courses calculated in the GPAs?
When calculating your GPAs the admissions staff will only use the course in which the better grade was received. Courses and the grades received will not be averaged or counted more than once. The GPAs reported on the CASPA application are re-calculated using the repeated course worksheet submitted by the applicant with their secondary/supplemental application. The staff will review the worksheet and will re-calculate the GPA making sure to remove the previously taken courses in which the lesser grade(s) was/were received.
Question 5: Do you accept Pass/No Pass or Credit/No Credit for any of the prerequisites?
No. We will only accept graded courses to satisfy prerequisites.
Question 6: Do you accept CLEP, A/P credit or can I test out of any prerequisites?
No. We do not accept CLEP, AP credit, nor can you test out of any prerequisites.
Question 7: May I use a single course to satisfy more than one prerequisite?
No, you may not use a single course to satisfy multiple prerequisites. Each prerequisite must be satisfied by a unique course.
Question 8: Can I talk to a counselor about my coursework?
If you’d like to find out whether the courses you’ve taken or plan to take will satisfy WesternU’s MSPA prerequisites you can:
- search the prerequisite database by institution.
- if your courses aren't listed in the database and you have numerous course questions, or simply wish to lay out your coursework you may instead print and submit an academic worksheet (available on the requirements page April-August).
By laying out your coursework in relation to our prerequisites, you will be able to determine the courses you may still need to complete. In addition, you will be able to assess your academic performance in the courses (prerequisites) our admissions committee believes are of greatest importance. If the course is not listed in the prerequisite database, you must submit a course syllabus, not a catalog description, for review.
Once you receive our assessment, feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.
Question 1: What if I cannot remember my Login ID or PIN?
Send an email to EDS@westernu.edu. Please include your legal name, program you applied for, mailing address, phone number and birth date.
Question 2: What if I am locked out of my account?
Send an email to EDS@westernu.edu. Please include your legal name, Login ID and program you applied for.
Question 3: What is the difference between "Applications in Progress" and "Processed Applications"?
The Application Menu can have up to three sections:
- Applications in Progress: If you wish to create a new application, click "NEW". If you started an application and didn't complete it, click on the appropriate term in this section.
- Submitted Applications: Applications listed here have not been entered by Enrollment Data Services (EDS). This could take 1-2 business days after you "Complete" your application. If your application has not moved to "Processed Applications" after 2 business days, please contact EDS at EDS@westernu.edu
- Processed Applications: Check your application status and view outstanding requirements, by clicking on the term in this section. Status updates can take 5-7 business days after receipt of application materials.
Question 4: How do I check my application status online?
Login to the "Admissions Application/View Application Checklist Login" web page using the Login ID and PIN you created with your application. Under "Processed Applications" click the Admission Term. Check Application Status; if "Incomplete", check for missing dates under Received column. Please keep in mind that it can take 5 to 7 business days, after receipt of your application materials, to post those items to your application. If your application materials are not posted to your account after the appropriate amount of time, please email EDS@westernu.edu for more information; include your legal name and any alternate name(s) that may appear on your documents.
Question 5: What if I want to change information on my application after I have completed it?
After your application is complete, changes cannot be made however, you can send us a word document, PDF or email which can be added to your application. Please send to EDS@westernu.edu. Please include your legal name, Login ID and program you applied for.
Question 6: How do I view the contents of my application after I have completed it?
Unfortunately, once your application is complete, you cannot view the contents. We suggest that you print each section prior to completing your application.
Question 7: When checking my application status, why do I see more than one term listed under "Processed Applications" when I've only submitted one online application?
If you applied to multiple programs/campuses via a Primary and/or Secondary Application, you will see all active applications listed here by the term. This doesn't necessarily mean we have received all required applications/materials. Please verify all requirements have been received. (See Question 4:"How do I check my application status online?" above.)
Question 8: What if I want to apply to more than one program? Do I need to create a new Login ID?
You can create multiple applications with one Login ID. Just select "New" under "Applications in Progress" to start a new application.
Question 9: Can I use my preferred name on my application?
Always use your "Legal" name on your applications (both Primary and Secondary). Nicknames/Preferred names must not be used. If the program you are applying to requires a Primary and Secondary application, your name must match exactly for both applications to be properly applied to your record. Please send an email to EDS@westernu.edu notifying us of errors as soon as possible. Please include your legal name, Login ID and program you applied to.
Question 10: What address should I use if I need to mail any additional application materials?
For official documents (transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.) please mail to:
Western University of Health Sciences
Attn: EDS/program you are applying for (DO, PHARMD, DPM, etc.)
309 E Second Street
Pomona, CA 91766
For non-official documents (prerequisite worksheets, repeated coursework, etc.) please email to EDS@westernu.edu. Please include your legal name, Login ID and program you applied for.
Question 11: How do I pay my application fee?
All application fees require payments made by credit card. Only cards with Visa and Master Card logos will be accepted.No checks, money orders, or cash will be accepted for payment of application fees.
Question 12: What if I don't have a Visa or Master Card?
Payment may be made with a Visa or Master Card prepaid gift card which can be purchased at many major chain stores or online. Please be aware that the gift card must contain a balance sufficient to cover the application fee in one full payment.
Question 13: Are fee waivers accepted?
Application fees must be paid by credit card to submit your online application. To qualify for an application refund due to a financial hardship, you must contact Admissions for instructions and approval. After approval, your credit card charge will be refunded (this could take up to 10-15 business days).
Question 14: What if I cannot find a College Code for a school I attended?
Please be sure to search for your school in the "Previous College(s) Attended" section of your application using City and State by selecting the "Lookup College Code" link. If your school is not listed, please send an email to EDS@westernu.edu. Please include your legal name, Login ID and program you applied for. The college codes in our system are WesternU specific and may be different from college codes provided by your institution.
Question 15: How do I find a College Code for schools outside of the United States?
Please do not list foreign schools in the "Previous College" section of your application. All foreign coursework must be evaluated (course-by-course) through an approved evaluation service (World Education Services or Josef Silny & Associates). Instead of listing the foreign schools you attended, please list the service used to evaluate your foreign coursework. You can find World Education Services and Josef Silny& Associates by selecting the Lookup College Code link and searching by Country and selecting 'Foreign Country' and City 'Foreign City'. If you need additional assistance, please email EDS@westernu.edu. Please include your legal name, Login ID and program you applied for.
Question 16: How do I view the colleges that I have already entered?
Select "Previous College(s) Attended" from the Application Checklist. If you previously entered and saved school information to your application, the first school's details will be displayed in the form. Click "Enter or View another College or Degree" to view any additional schools. When you come to a blank form, there are no additional saved schools available. When you are done viewing your schools, select "Return to Checklist without saving changes".
Question 17: How do I remove a college from my application?
If you have added an incorrect college or duplicate college in error, it cannot be removed until your application is submitted. Make a list of any colleges that must be removed, then continue with your application. Once you have submitted your application, email EDS@westernu.edu requesting to have those schools removed from your application and specify the reason for removing them from your record. Please include your legal name, Login ID, and program you applied for.
Question 18: I am a current employee of WesternU, are there any additional forms needed for HR purposes?
If you are a current employee of WesternU, you must complete an Employee Authorization Release Form. You can request this form by sending an email to EDS@westernu.edu. Please include your legal name, Login ID and program you applied for.
Question 19: Will I receive notification that my application was received?
Yes, once your application is processed we will send an email confirming it was received. Please be sure to check your "Junk Mail" folder for this email and allow emails from the domain 'westernu.edu' (WesternU Faculty, Staff, and Students) to avoid any delay of its delivery. For more information on adding WesternU to your email whitelist, please review these Email Whitelist Instructions. If you need additional assistance, please email EDS@westernu.edu. Please include your legal name, Login ID and program you applied for.
Question 1: What is the difference between a physician assistant and a family nurse practitioner?
This varies somewhat by state. Physician assistants (PA) and nurse practitioners (NP) share many of the duties. However, the primary difference is that a PA is a dependent practitioner that necessitates a relationship with a supervising physician.
Question 2: How many applications do you receive, interviews do you grant, and applicants do you accept in an average year?
For the 2016 entering class, we received over 1900 applications and interviewed 388 to seat a class of 98. Visit the competitive candidate profile page for additional information.
Question 3: What is the board passing rate for your physician assistant students?
Our graduates have consistently scored well on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) for those taking the test for the first time. Please take a moment to review recent WesternU PANCE scores.
Question 4: Is it advisable to work while I take classes?
No. Students are not allowed to work while attending the program.
Question 5: How can I learn more about your physician assistant program?
Join us for Preview Day, an information session, request an information packet be sent by mail, or contact us with your questions. You may also sit in on a class, please call 909-469-5378 to schedule a time.
Question 6: Do you have any information sessions/workshops on campus?
We host Preview Days and information sessions regularly on campus. We encourage you to view the schedule and RSVP for an upcoming session. These sessions provide an opportunity for you to meet faculty members, learn more about WesternU, the physician assistant profession, and the MSPA curriculum. You’ll have the opportunity to hear from students and faculty and tour the facilities.
Question 7: When are campus tours available?
We welcome you to meet our students and enjoy a student-led campus tour during one of our Preview Day events. We also offer some individual tours. Visit our Campus Tour Page for upcoming dates and to schedule a tour.
Question 8: How can I request an information packet?
Submit an electronic information request form and we'll be happy to mail you a brochure and keep you appraised of the latest developments. However, for the most up-to-date information we encourage you to visit our requirements page.
Question 9: How can I learn more about the financial aid available to me?
For more information regarding tuition, scholarships, and loans, please visit the financing my education page.