LSUHSC-NO Physician Assistant Program

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions Prerequisites Application Admissions
Tuition, Financial Aid, and Housing


General Questions

What degree is awarded by the LSUHSC-NO MPAS Program?

  • The LSUHSC-NO MPAS Program will award the Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree.

How many students are accepted?

  • The ARC-PA allows the program to accept 35 students per year.

Do you have a distance learning option for the Program?

  • No. There is no distance learning option for the LSUHSC-NO MPAS Program.

May I enroll in the LSUHSC-NO MPAS Program on a part-time basis?

  • No. The rigorous and faced-paced nature of the LSUHSC-NO MPAS program curriculum does not allow time for the student to work during the program or take courses part-time.

If I am accepted into the program, when do classes begin?

  • Classes begin in the Spring of each year and graduation occurs in May.

Can I work while I am in the PA Program?

  • Working while enrolled in PA program courses (including the clinical portion) is not recommended or allowed due to the heavy schedule and workload. It is difficult to juggle class time, study time, and personal time. The student must stay focused to be successful.

Can I transfer into the program and/or transfer credits?

  • No. The program does not offer advanced standing or accept graduate transfer credits. All students must complete the entire series of academic courses and clinical rotations. Prerequisite courses such as microbiology, anatomy, chemistry, etc. are not actually transferred into the program, but rather necessary to be eligible for admission consideration.

If accepted in the LSUHSC-NO MPAS Program, can I select any of my own rotations during my clinical year?

  • No. The program's Clinical Coordinator schedules the core clinical curriculum. Students have three electives.

If I am accepted into the Physician Assistant Program, may I defer my acceptance to the following year?

  • No. The Physician Assistant Program is unable to defer admissions.



I already have a bachelor's or master’s degree. Do I still need to complete all the prerequisites?

  • Yes, all applicants regardless of degree or major must complete all prerequisites before entering the PA program. All science prerequisite courses must have been taken within the past ten years.

Do you accept transfer credits or advanced standing?

  • Regardless of previous education or work experience, all students are required to complete the entire physician assistant curriculum. No advanced placement, transfer credit, or credit for experiential learning will be granted.

What is considered direct patient care experience?

  • Patient care that is ‘hands-on’ in nature. Successful applicants have worked as one of the following: emergency medical technician, licensed vocational nurse, medical assistant (back office), medical scribe, medical technologist, military medical corpsman, nursing assistant, paramedic, psychiatric technician, radiologic technician, respiratory therapist, chiropractor, registered nurse, volunteer, etc.

How is the Cumulative Grade Point Average calculated? How is it calculated for repeated courses?

  • Please review the CASPA website for questions regarding GPA calculation. The LSUHSC-NO Master of Physician Assistant Program relies on the CASPA GPA calculations.

What does it mean, “Pre-requisite courses must be for science majors.”

  • Although you are not required to have a science major or degree, pre-requisite science courses must be from the science curriculum at your university or college. Be cautious about completing science courses unique to a particular subject/major as they will not be accepted.

Does the program give preference to any major?

  • No, the program does not give preference to any major. The most common majors are in the biological sciences.

Can I substitute other classes for the ones published as prerequisites (e.g. organic chemistry for general chemistry)?

  • No. Our pre-requisites are in place to ensure that students enter the program well prepared for the challenging curriculum that we provide; therefore, we do not accept any substitutions for our pre-requisite classes, nor do we waive any classes. 

Do I need to have completed all of the prerequisite courses before I apply?

  • No. All prerequisite courses MUST be completed prior to enrollment.

What upper level biology courses will meet the pre-requisite requirement?

  • The upper level biology courses must be a 3000 or 4000 level course that is related to the application and use in a medical curriculum.  Courses such as Ecology and Herpetology will not be accepted.

Do I need a lab with all the classes that have labs listed as a requirement?

  • Yes. The labs that are required are important hands on learning experiences in preparing you for professional training. Lab classes can often be taken alone if you have already had the associated course.

Do I have to take my prerequisite courses in the LSU System?

  • No. You may take the prerequisite courses at any regionally accredited college or university in the United States. Please contact us if you have taken coursework outside of the United States and wish it to apply towards the prerequisites.

Do you have counseling regarding pre-requisite courses?

  • No.  If you are unsure about prerequisite courses, review the list of prerequisites on this site. These are the official requirements and may differ from what your campus advisor tells you or what may be printed in your college's catalog. The Information Sessions provide answers to any questions potential applicants have regarding the program including prerequisite course questions. These sessions explain the application process. If you are unable to attend an Information Session and have questions regarding prerequisite courses that were not answered by reading the website, you may email the LSUHSC-NO Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program for further clarification. LSUHSC-NO does not have a graduate counselor to assist in these matters.


Application Questions

Must I apply through CASPA?

  • Applicants MUST submit all application materials through the centralized application service for Physician Assistant Programs (CASPA). The LSUHSC-NO MPAS Program will only accept applications submitted and verified by CASPA on or before application deadline.

Is a supplemental application required?

  • No supplemental application is required.

Will being an alternate one year mean I have an advantage in the application pool the following year?

  • No. Each year the applicants are evaluated against each other. Being an alternate in one year does not give applicants an advantage in subsequent years.


Tuition, Financial Aid and Housing

Is there on-campus housing?

Is there financial aid available?

How much does it cost to attend the LSUHSC-NO MPAS Program?

  • Please consult the most current LSUHSC-NO General Catalog for information regarding costs, and Additional Fees.