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Application Process

Mercyhurst University Physician Assistant Program participates in the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).  All applications to the Physician Assistant Program must be made through CASPA.  Carefully read the admissions requirements before starting the application process with CASPA to ensure you meet the program's admission requirements.

All applicants are encouraged to complete the CASPA application as early as possible for admissions. Applications will be accepted July 15th through December 1st of the calendar year.  All applications must be verified by that December 1.

To complete your application please visit the CASPA website at https://portal.caspaonline.org/.  Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) Designated Institution (DI) Code 1614 must be used when completing your application. This ensures the program will receive GRE score reports with the CASPA application.

For questions about completing the online CASPA application, please visit the CASPA website at https://portal.caspaonline.org/caspaHelpPages/contact-us/

Candidates will be chosen through the process of evaluation from interview, published prerequisites and space availability. Candidates will be notified in writing of acceptance and will be given two weeks to reply and pay a $600 nonrefundable deposit.

 


Annual Health Screening and Immunization

All students MUST provide proof of health insurance prior to matriculation. Each student’s personal health insurance policy must remain active throughout their participation in the program.

Students are financially responsible for the cost of all health care services they may require while enrolled in the program, including any health care services required as a result of their participation in scheduled program activities (e.g. TB testing, immunizations, treatment of injuries, pathogen exposure evaluation and treatment).

Students must have an annual health screening prior to matriculation into the didactic phase and clinical phase of the program.  This is to be completed as indicated on the DPAS Student Health Record and must include immunization verification, laboratory verification of serologic testing for immunity (antibody test results) and tuberculosis screening.

DPAS students are required to have current immunization status throughout enrollment in the program as recommended for healthcare personnel by the Centers for Disease Control.  Please refer to the following link for the most current CDC guidelines: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/hcw.html.

All students must have baseline tuberculosis screening in the form of a tuberculosis skin test (TST) or Quantiferon testing (if applicable) performed in accordance with CDC guidelines prior to matriculation and again before beginning the clinical phase. Additionally, certain clinical sites may have more stringent requirements. In the event TB testing is positive, evaluation and treatment, if indicated must be completed in accordance with current CDC guidelines. 

The Cohen Health Center staff will review the health record information to ensure that the student meets the defined requirements.  Students who are not in compliance with having a completed health record will not be allowed to participate in clinical experiences and may delay their education and progression in the program of study.

The student health record is a confidential document that is not accessible to the department program faculty, department chair/program director, medical director, or program staff.  Per accreditation standards, the only information that will be accessible in the department student file is the immunization record and tuberculosis screening results.  Students must give written permission for their immunization record and tuberculosis screening results to be shared with the program by signing the Authorization to Release Immunization Record and Tuberculosis Screening Results to the Program of Study form.  Students also must give written permission for their health information to be shared by the Cohen Health Center, with clinical sites, by signing the release in the DPAS Student Health Record.    

Students must be current with all required immunizations. Either record of immunization or serologic proof of immunity must be provided for all listed conditions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for health care personnel, to include but may not be limited to:

  1. Hepatitis B: Documentation of the three-dose immunization against Hepatitis B. This series must be started prior to matriculation. Following completion of the Hepatitis B series, a positive (immune) titer must be completed prior to patient contact. Non-converters may require additional immunizations per the CDC recommendations.
  2. Mumps: Records of titer validating current immunity and/or 2-dose vaccine series being administered on schedule.
  3. Rubeola (measles): Records of titer validating current immunity and/or 2-dose vaccine series being administered on schedule.
  4. Rubella: Records of titer validating current immunity and/or 1-dose MMR immunization.
  5. Varicella: Records of titer validating current immunity and/or 2-dose vaccine series being administered on schedule. Note: History of previous infection is not sufficient evidence of immunity.
  6. Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis: Documentation of a completed primary series with Tdap booster within the last ten years.
  7. Influenza: Documentation of influenza vaccination.  While enrolled in the program students will be required to obtain annual influenza vaccination.

Program faculty, department chair/program director, medical director, or program staff will not participate as health care providers for students enrolled in the program and will not have access to any student health information other than that defined in this policy.

The Cohen Health Center staff will review the health record information to ensure that the student meets the defined requirements.  Students who are not in compliance with having a completed health record will not be allowed to participate in clinical experiences and may delay their education and progression in the program of study.