Medical Professionals

MSPAS: Frequently Asked Questions

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies FAQ


What is a developing program?

A developing program is one who has not yet received accreditation-provisional from the ARC-PA

When will you find out if accreditation-provisional is granted?

The ARC-PA site visit will occur in July, 2021 and the decision regarding accreditation will happen in September, 2021. We will notify all candidates immediately upon the decision, as well as update the decision on the program's website.

Can I sit for my PANCE if I go to an accreditation-provisional program?

Yes and you can receive licensure in all 50 states.

The GRE and PA-CAT is recommended. Can you explain what a "recommended" test, versus a required test means?

A recommended test is one where the results will not be used for admission criteria, rather programmatic self-study.

Why are you using the PA-CAT?

The PA-CAT is recommended but not required.  Student self-reflection and self-assessment is an important step in professional development. The PA-CAT assesses knowledge in anatomy and physiology, basic medical sciences and statistics. We are hopeful this will allow the student to determine what their weak areas may be prior to entrance to PA school and provide opportunity for self-study if need be.

What will you do with my PA-CAT scores?

The program will use all applicant PA-CAT scores for the next three years to determine if this text is something that we will recommend versus require in the future.

Since you have a preference in admissions for North Central students who meet criteria, will students from other programs get an interview?

 Absolutely! Preference for interview does not mean preference for admissions. Moreover, North Central College is prepared to provide up to 90 interview slots for students outside of the North Central pathway.

What is rolling admissions?

North Central College in-person campus interviews and admission decisions are being made while applications are still being accepted. Moreover, the holistic approach is specifically designed so that the class does not fill-up prior to the application deadline. We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible.

When will in-person/campus interviews begin?

We plan to begin our in-person/campus interviews in September 2020 and continue until April 2021.

How large is the cohort?

32 students

What is your faculty:student ratio?

For the 2021-2022 didactic year, the ration is planned to be 1:6

Will you accept online laboratories?


Will you accept Pass/Fail grades for prerequisites?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will accept Pass/Fail grades for Spring and Summer 2020 semesters

Will you accept bachelor degrees from international universities?

Unfortunately, during the 2020-2021 cycle we are only accepting bachelors degrees from regionally or United States' nationally accredited colleges or universities.

What exceptions have you made to PA shadowing hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

We have lowered our minimal shadowing to 15 hours AND will accept telemedicine shadowing hours.

Can I still apply if my prerequisite classes were taken greater than 5 years ago?

Yes. We will consider each candidate on a case-by-case basis. We will look at the last 60 hours of academic effort and strongly encourage students in this situation to submit PA-CAT scores.

Can I still apply if my cumulative GPA or science GPA is below 3.0?

Yes, We will consider each candidate on a case-by-case basis. We will look at the last 60 hours of academic effort and strongly encourage students in this situation to submit PA-CAT scores.

Can I use my own forms to document my Direct Patient Contact Hours or PA-C Observation Hours?

Unfortunately, no. The only forms that will be accepted to document your prior experiences are the North Central College Direct Patient Health Care Hours and PA-C Observation forms. Please complete these forms and upload them into your CASPA application.

What kinds of prior healthcare experiences can be used to fulfill the Direct Patient Health Care Hours requirement?

We accept direct patient health care hours in multiple settings, with the main requirement being the provision of services between a health care provider and a patient. Examples of jobs that are commonly considered direct patient health care experiences include EMT, paramedic, LPN, RN, health care technicians EKG, PCT, Pharmacy Tech, Echo Tech, ER Tech, Medical Assistant (MA), and healthcare Scribes (ER scribe, Ortho Scribe, etc.). Other jobs may also fulfill this requirement and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

North Central College's MSPAS program is in development, and has applied to the ARC-PA for Accreditation-Provisional. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of the 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. The NC MSPAS program will have its Accreditation-Provisional site visit on July 8-9th, 2021 and its status will be voted upon by the ARC-PA at the September, 2021 meeting. Since the accreditation decision is expected to occur within the 2021-2022 CASPA cycle, the program may participate as a developing program. All CASPA applicants to the North Central College's developing MSPAS program will be notified within 48 hours of the ARC-PA decision as to whether Accreditation-Provisional is granted.

MSPAS patch