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FAQ - Physician Assistant

Frequently Asked Questions

Quick Links:  Admissions/CASPAPrerequisites/Requirements | About LLU PA Program | Accreditation Status ChangeMaps/DirectionsContact Us |

Admissions/CASPA

Do you accept any courses in lieu of the courses offered in your program?
No, every student who enters the program must complete all courses in the program in order to graduate from the program and be eligible for licensure as a Physician Assistant.

Do you offer advanced placement for experiential learning?
No, every student who enters the program must complete all components of the program.

Do I have to have a bachelor’s degree in order to apply?
You must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college by December 31 of your application year.

When does the program start?
A new class of students begins every September and goes through the program together full‐time.

My GPA is less than 3.0 (total or science). What can I do?
In order for your application to be accepted, you must meet our minimum requirements. To improve your GPA, you can retake classes for which you received a low grade. Note that CASPA will calculate your GPA based on the original grade and the new grade.

If my GPA from graduate‐level coursework is above a 3.0 but my undergraduate GPA is less than 3.0 (total or science), can you use my graduate GPA instead of my undergraduate GPA for admissions decisions?
An applicants’ cumulative college performance is considered in the GPA calculations by CASPA. The admissions committee factors both undergraduate and graduate level performance in its decisions.

My overall GPA is less than 3.0 but my GPA in your prerequisites is higher. Can I be considered for admission into the program?
As a matter of policy, we do not calculate prerequisite GPAs if the overall or science GPA does not meet the minimum.

I have completed post‐professional (doctoral) coursework. Are these courses included in my GPA?
Yes, CASPA calculates all coursework completed by an applicant for the overall GPA. This includes all undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral coursework that is given a letter grade. Please see CASPA's website for a more detailed explanation.

If I have met all requirements and prerequisites, am I guaranteed a seat in your program?
Not every applicant who meets the minimum requirements will be invited for an interview, and the interview is a required step in the admissions process.

If I have already completed medical school training here or in another country, do I have to go through your program in order to receive a Physician Assistant license?
Yes, every student who enters the program must complete all courses in the program in order to graduate from the program and be eligible for licensure as a Physician Assistant.

If I have already completed medical school training here or in another country, can I test out of any of your courses?
No, every student who enters the program must complete all courses in the program in order to graduate from the program and be eligible for licensure as a Physician Assistant.

If I graduated from LLU, can I skip any of the coursework?
LLU graduates will be evaluated on a case‐by‐case basis. However, the majority of LLU grads who enter the PA program are unable to skip any of the courses in the program.

I completed my application with CASPA. When can I expect to hear from the program regarding my status?
CASPA takes up to 4 weeks to process your application. Once the university receives your application from CASPA, you are provided a link to the supplemental application.  After your supplemental application is complete, your application will be reviewed by the admissions committee to determine whether or not to grant an interview.  Interviews are conducted in January and February, and we inform every applicant of his or her status by the end of March.

Is there a supplemental application?
Yes, all applicants will receive a link to a supplemental application which must be completed before your application can be evaluated by the program. Completion of a supplemental application does not guarantee an interview or acceptance into the program.

Where can I access your supplemental application?
The program's supplemental application is available only to those applicants whose CASPA applications have been received by the department.  It is not available on the LLU Admissions website.

I applied last year through CASPA and want to reapply for this year. Can I use the same application from last year?
No, each year you must complete a new CASPA application and complete all of the requirements, including submitting new letters of reference. Log on to the CASPA website using your PIN from last year to see what if any of your personal data or transcripts is eligible to be carried over.

Prerequisites/Requirements

Do I have to take the GRE?
We do not require GRE scores for admission.

Do you accept advanced placement (AP) credit for prerequisites?
AP credit is acceptable for the College Algebra and English requirements.

Is there a time limit on prerequisite courses?
It is strongly recommended that all prerequisite science courses have been taken within the last 10 years, especially for those applicants who have only been in clinical practice for a short time. For non‐science prerequisite courses, there is no time limit.

Do you accept community college courses for prerequisites?
Yes, if the college is regionally accredited.
Science prerequisites must be at the level of science majors and include a hands‐on laboratory.

See our prerequisites section under Admissions Requirements for details.

Do you accept online courses for prerequisites?
Yes, for non‐science courses if taken through a regionally accredited college or university.
Online science courses will be evaluated on a case‐by‐case basis but must have an on‐campus laboratory component to be considered.

Do you accept pass/fail credit for prerequisite coursework?
We do not accept pass/fail credit for any prerequisite science course when taken at an undergraduate level. Graduate level prerequisite science courses will be considered on a case‐by‐case basis.
Non‐science prerequisite courses will be evaluated on a case‐by‐case basis.

What if I have not completed all the required coursework when it comes time to apply?
You are still eligible to apply, as long as you only have 2 prerequisite courses outstanding and complete the remaining coursework by Spring Quarter of the year of matriculation.

Do I have to have completed 2,000 hours of patient care experience before I apply?
It is strongly recommended that the 2,000 hours are completed before you apply, however the hours must be completed upon matriculation into the program.

About LLU or the PA Program

Do I have to be a Seventh‐day Adventist to apply to your program?
No, students from all faiths and religions are accepted at Loma Linda University. We both respect and value diversity among our students. All students are expected to abide by the mission, values and behavioral standards of Loma Linda University while enrolled in our program.

May I schedule an appointment with a PA advisor or faculty member to discuss the program and/or my application?
At this time, faculty members are not available for appointments with individual potential or current applicants. We would invite you to attend an Information Session or school open house where you will be given an opportunity to learn about the program and ask questions.

Accreditation Status Change

Program Status Change Letter from the Program Director

What has happened?
ARC-PA has put the department on accreditation probation for two years.

What does this mean?
Probation, as explained on the ARC-PA’s website, is a temporary status of accreditation for programs that either fail to meet the board’s standards or in which “the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.”

Is a program that is on probation still considered to be accredited?
Yes, the program remains fully accredited during the period of probation

When is the earliest that the Program will be taken off of probation?
This is up to the ARC-PA. According to ARC-PA, “A focused probation site visit will need to occur in advance of the March 2019 commission meeting. This visit will evaluate the program and institutional progress in addressing specific Standards related to problem(s) identified during the course of the most recent commission review of the program.” However, once the commission has reviewed evidence of ongoing compliance with the standards by the program, the decision would be made to either return the Program to continuing accreditation status or to terminate its accreditation.

Why was the program placed on probation?
The reasons for the probation fall within four areas:  Administrative support and program director communication, development of measurable learning objectives in the courses taught in the first year; verification of clinical experience, establishment of levels of expectation, and assessment of skills for the clinical year; and a more robust self-assessment process for the program.

How will this affect students?
You can be assured that probation will not be a problem for students.  Their education will proceed as planned, and they will not notice any changes in the quality and rigor of our program

Will students still be able to finish the program?
Yes. The program is still fully accredited and probation will not affect their ability to begin or continue their studies and proceed through the program.

If students graduate from a program that is on probation, will they still be able to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) exam?
Yes. Students who graduate from an accredited program are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). Once a program is accredited, it remains accredited until the program formally terminates its accreditation status or the ARC-PA terminates the program’s accreditation through a formal action. The LLU Physician Assistant program is still accredited. If the program was accredited at the time of the student’s matriculation, the students are eligible to take the PANCE.

What will happen in the event that the Program should lose accreditation?
ARC-PA Curriculum Teach Out Policy 10.6 states “programs no longer accredited but which remain actively engaged in delivering the curriculum to currently matriculated students are expected to teach out the curriculum in accordance with the Standards or to assist students in transferring to another ARC-PA accredited program in which they can continue their education.”

If this were the case, Loma Linda University will “Teach Out” the curriculum and students will graduate from the LLU Physician Assistant Program.

In the event that the program loses accreditation, will the students in the program be able to finish the program, take the boards and/or become licensed?

The answer to all three parts of this question is yes. As part of the Teaching Out process, the school retains its accredited status until all matriculated students have had the opportunity to graduate or transfer to another program. The University will continue in the Teach-Out phase until all properly matriculated students have graduated. During this time however, the program cannot matriculate any additional students. Teaching Out allows students already in the program to complete their education or assists them in enrolling in an ARC-PA accredited program in which they can continue their education.

How will this affect the program?
The LLU PA program remains a fully accredited program that continues to produce excellent outcomes, as measured by pass rates on board exams, placement in careers, and feedback from graduates and preceptors.

The reasons students choose to come to the LLU PA program (including excellent board pass rate, low student attrition rate, small class size, world class teaching institution and clinical facilities, dedicated faculty and staff, and our dedication to service and our mission) are still intact and the program will continue to grow and develop during this period.

The two-year probation is a temporary standing within accreditation. The program’s director, faculty and staff, Dean, as well as the University’s administration are fully committed to the development and delivery of a thorough assessment program as a means to ensure the continued success of the PA program.

What are we doing to address this situation?
The department is already coordinating with the ARC-PA to rectify the situation.

The ARC-PA’s decision is of great concern. We are clearly disappointed in this change in our accreditation status as we were accredited for the past seventeen years; however, we will use this review as an opportunity to improve the program in order to best meet the needs of our students, our alumni and the medical community.

The University, under the leadership of Dr. Hart, and the School of Allied Health Professions, under the leadership of Dr. Jackson, are taking the Physician Assistant Accreditation-Probation status change very seriously and are working to ensure that all necessary and appropriate steps are taken to make corrective measures to meet or exceed the accreditation standards established by ARC-PA.  It is the University’s expectation that this temporary probationary status will be removed at our next ARC-PA review in March, 2019 with no adverse consequences to currently enrolled, admitted, or prospective students. This is among the University’s highest priorities.

We have immediately initiated an intensive and comprehensive plan of action to address the concerns cited in the ARC-PA report in an effort to be in full compliance with all standards prior to the next ARC-PA site visit. These plans include:

  • Hiring of an associate program director to provide administrative support for the program
  • Additional training will be provided to the program director to communicate clearly and effectively in all situations; bi-weekly program director meetings with the Dean to review progress in effective communication.
  • Allocating additional personnel to the PA program with expertise in academic outcomes and assessment
  • Hiring an expert consultant with experience in PA program assessment and curriculum review
  • Re-evaluating the overall program assessment strategy, including curriculum mapping and revision of assessment tool
  • Revision of program learning objectives

Who can I contact with questions regarding the program and its accreditation status?
Specific questions should be directed to the Program Director, Dr. Gerald Glavaz, at (909) 558-7288 or gglavaz@llu.edu.

LOMA LINDA UNIVERSITY | Department of Physician Assistant Sciences  School of Allied Health Professions, Evans Hall, Room 201 · Loma Linda, California 92350  (909) 558-7295 · fax (909) 558-0495 · e-mail: pa@llu.edu

 

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Campus map of Loma Linda University and directions to the campus.  The PA Department is located in Evans Hall.

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Contact Us

Our Address

Loma Linda University
School of Allied Health Professions
Physician Assistant Program
24785 Stewart Street
Evans Hall 201
Loma Linda, CA 92350

Our Phone
(909) 558‐7295
(Our published 800# is no longer in service)

Our Fax Number
(909) 558‐0495

Our Email
pa@llu.edu

Office Hours
Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Closed Saturday and Sunday