Frequently Asked Questions

Disclaimer: The questions and answers provided on this page may be updated without notice. Continue to check this page frequently for additions, subtractions and changes. Last updated 04/07/20


General Questions

1. How can I schedule a meeting with a faculty advisor to discuss my application?

Due to increased demand and time constraints, faculty are not readily available for individual advising. Interested applicants should attend an Open House event, and/or the Graduate Fair to ask individual questions that are not answered on this webpage.

2.  How many applicants are accepted to the program? 

Answer:
Program has been approved to accept up to 100 students.

3.  How do I apply?
 
Answer:
Complete both the CASPA and the UTRGV Graduate College Application.

4.  What does it cost to apply?

Answer:
Cost of CASPA, UTRGV Graduate College Application, official transcript(s), and any travel/lodging for interviews.

5.  Can you help me with questions on the CASPA application?

Answer:
No, all CASPA questions are handled by CASPA customer service.

6.  Can you help me with questions on the UTRGV Graduate College Application?

Answer:
Questions, especially those regarding international status and application should be directed to the Graduate College.

7.  What are my chances of getting accepted?
 
Answer:
Applicants should review our Admissions Stats page to compare their own credentials to those of applicants accepted in previous cohorts.

8.  Does the program follow a rolling admissions process?

Answer:
Yes, our program does do rolling admissions; however, it only refers to each respective cycle. Your application does not carry over to the next cycle if you are not selected by our program, you will need to reapply.

9.   Does the program offer advanced placement for coursework taken at other PA programs?

Answer:
No, please see The Advanced Placement Policy


10.  Do I need a science degree to apply?


Answer:
No, the program accepts any Bachelor's degree, however, science degrees are recommended.  


Special Requirements

1.  Does the program require Spanish language fluency?

Answer:
No.

2.  Does the program require the GRE?

Answer:
Yes, use UTRGV GRE Code 6570 and there is no minimum score requirement.

3.  Does the program require any entrance examinations?

Answer:
No, not at this time.


Experience

1.  Does the program require direct patient care experience?

Answer:
Although there is no minimum required, the Admissions Committee highly recommends direct patient care experience.

2.  Does the program require shadowing?

Answer:
No, shadowing is no longer a requirement for application. However, it is still recommended.

3.  Does the program require community service and/or extracurricular activities?

Answer:
Although there is no minimum required, the Admissions Committee highly recommends community service and extracurricular activities.


Prerequisites

1.  Does the program accept Calculus for the Statistics prerequisite?

Answer:
No

2.  Does the program accept Sociology for the Psychology prerequisite?

Answer:
No.

3.  Does the program accept online courses?

Answer:
Yes, as long as they are from an accredited institution.

4.  Does the program accept online lab courses?

Answer:
Yes, as long as they are from an accredited institution.

5.  Do the prerequisites have to be completed within a certain time?

Answer:
All applicants must have taken AT LEAST 15 semester credit hours of any coursework in the United States within the last 10 years.

6.  Does the program accept community college coursework?

Answer:
Yes.

7.  Does the program accept science courses taken for non-science majors?

Answer:
No.

8.  Do all prerequisites need to be completed by the September 1 deadline?

Answer:
Yes. 

9.  Does the program "waive" any prerequisites?

Answer:
No.

10.  I attended medical school in the USA.  Will the program give me credit for those courses?

Answer:
No, see The Advanced Placement Policy


Transcripts

1.  Do I have to submit official transcripts?

Answer:
Yes, submit official transcripts to CASPA (upon application) and to UTRGV Graduate College (upon acceptance).

2.  Do I send transcripts to the PA program?

Answer:
No.

3.  Do I need to submit unofficial transcripts?

Answer:
No.

4.  Do I need to submit transcripts from every school I attended even though I transferred coursework?

Answer:
Yes. Transcripts from all schools attended are required regardless of transfer coursework.

5.  I have a degree from the USA and a degree from a foreign country. Do I need to submit my foreign transcripts?  

Answer:
Yes.  All transcripts from all schools attended are required.

6.  I attended another professional graduate school (medical school, dental school, etc.) but did not complete the degree.  My Bachelor's degree is complete.  Do I still have to submit the incomplete graduate school coursework transcript?

Answer:

Yes.  All transcripts from all schools attended are required.

7.  My transcript shows academic probation, academic dismissal and/or academic dishonesty.  Will I still be considered for admission? 

Answer:
Yes but be prepared to discuss incident on personal statement on CASPA and/or during interview process.

8. Can I send my transcripts to be evaluated by a faculty member?

Answer:

No. It is up to the applicant to make sure they have all the appropriate coursework completed prior to applying. Please see the link for equivalency of courses: Transfer Course Equivalency Guide


GPA & Coursework

1.  What is the minimum GPA needed to apply?

Answer:
The minimum overall GPA needed to apply is 3.0.  This GPA is calculated by the CASPA system. It includes ALL courses taken at ALL institutions.

2.  What GPA's does the program consider for application?

Answer:
The program considers the overall GPA, science GPA, and prerequisite GPA.

3.  How does the program calculate GPA's?

Answer:
GPA's are calculated by CASPA.

4.  Does the program use the "most recent" grade for a repeated course to "replace" older grades?

Answer:
The program follows CASPA policy. CASPA includes ALL grades for ALL courses taken regardless of repetition.

5.  What does the program look for on transcripts?

Answer:
Besides good grades, the program looks for trends in performance, drops, repeats and academic rigor just to name a few things.

6.  How many semester credit hours should I be taking per semester?

Answer:
The most competitive applicants take 15+ semester credit hours per semester.  The least competitive applicants take <12 semester credit hours per semester.

7.  I worked full-time while I was enrolled in courses therefore I couldn't take 15 hours every semester. Does the program take working into consideration?

Answer:
Yes.

8.  I attended a quarter/trimester school. How do I convert my courses to meet UTRGV's requirements?

Answer:
CASPA converts all coursework automatically. Please see the CASPA website for details.


Foreign Applicants

1. Does the program accept foreign medical graduates?

Answer:
Yes

2. Can foreign medical graduates get advanced placement for coursework?

Answer:
No, you complete the program for the same amout of time of two and half years. See The Advanced Placement Policy


Letters of Reference

1.  Are letters of reference required to apply?

Answer:
Yes. Three letters of reference are required to apply.

2.  How do I submit my letters of reference?

Answer:
Letters are accepted through the CASPA system only. Please follow CASPA instructions for submission.

3.  Who can write letters of reference for me?

Answer:
Anyone of your choosing, other than family members. The program prefers letters from professionals or academic sources. Letters from family members will not be accepted.

4.  What should the letters of reference contain?

Answer:
The letters of reference are standard format from CASPA. Please follow CASPA instructions for letters of reference.

5.  The CASPA system is asking me to "waive" my right to see the letters of reference. What should I answer?

Answer:
It's up to you, but the standard is to waive your right to see them. Many people will not write your letter without your waiver.

6.  I sent requests to all 3 of my reference, but only two returned the letters to CASPA.  The deadline has passed. What should I do?

Answer:
It's the applicant's responsibility to make sure the entire application/submission process is complete.  The program does not make exceptions for lack of responsibility on the part of the applicant.


Interviews

1.  How are applicants selected?

Answer:
Phase I: Review Application for completion
Phase II: Faculty review of application
Phase III: Interviews
Phase IV: Applicant Selection

2.  How many interview invitations are sent out?

Answer:
The number of invitations varies every year.

3.  How can I prepare for my interview?

Answer:
Search online for interview tips and techniques. Dress in business formal attire.


Incoming Students

1.  Can I work while I'm enrolled in the program?

Answer:
The program discourages students working while enrolled in the program.

2.  Does the program require a security deposit if I get accepted?

Answer:
Accepted applicants do not need a security deposit, instead they secure their seat in the program by enrolling in the Academy for Success.

3.  Can I enroll in the program part-time?

Answer:
No. The program is offered only on a full-time basis.

4.  Is a criminal background check required?

Answer:
Yes. A criminal background check is required of all accepted applicants BEFORE the first class day and updated annually.

5.  Will my criminal background affect my ability to gain admission into the program?

Answer:
Yes. A positive CBC will be handled on an individual basis.

6. Are drug screens required?

Answer:
Yes, and updated annually.

7.  Are there any special requirements once I am accepted?

Answer:
Yes. All accepted applicants must undergo a complete pre-participation medical examination to ensure he/she can meet the technical standards.

7.  Are any immunizations required by the program?

Answer:
Yes, please see List of Immunizations .

9.  If I am accepted and have an emergency, can I defer my decision?

Answer:
Yes. You may request to defer your admissions decision for one year under EXTENUATING circumstances. Deferrals must be approved by the Program Chair.