We’re glad that you’re considering MBKU’s School of PA Studies, the first accredited PA program in Orange County, California. Our reputation, curriculum and geographic location make admission here highly desirable and thus, very competitive. Because of this, please note that completion of admissions requirements and coursework prerequisites does not guarantee an interview or admission to the program.
Basic Prerequisites for PA Studies Application
To be considered for admission into MBKU’s School of PA Studies, you must hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university or an equivalent institution (as determined by our Admissions office)1. Please note that we do not require scores from the Graduate Records Examination. We recommend applicants possess a minimum of the following:
- Overall GPA of 3.0
- Science GPA of 3.0
- 2,000 hours of verifiable, direct, hands-on patient care experience required
- Three (3) letters of recommendation2 required
- Supplemental Application (available on CASPA)
- GRE not required
Hands-on, paid and non-paid patient care clinical experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Preferred clinical experiences include the following:
- Military medic or corpsman
- Back Office Medical Assistant (MA)
- Certified Nurses’ Aide (CNA)
- EMT, Paramedic
- Physical Therapy Aide
- Registered Nurse
- COPE Health Scholar
- Medical Scribe
AP (Advanced Placement) Credit: MBKU currently accepts credits for AP Psychology and AP Statistics.
Required Coursework: Applicants may submit their CASPA application with two prerequisites in-progress – however, all admissions requirements, degree and coursework prerequisites must be completed by the end of the fall semester of the year prior to matriculation.
A minimum of three semester or quarter credit units, with a letter grade or pass grade, must be completed in the following courses, at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university:
- Microbiology with lab
- Human Anatomy with lab (must be taken in the last seven years)
- Human Physiology with lab (must be taken in the last seven years)
- Other biological science
- Biochemistry or Organic Chemistry
- General Psychology
1 Verifying Accreditation: Ensuring the accreditation of a particular institution is your responsibility. Doing so before applying may save you time and effort during the application process. To verify whether a specific U.S. institution is regionally accredited, we strongly recommend that you check this list.
2 Required Letters of Recommendation (LORs): MBKU requires three LORs for admission. Letters must be submitted directly to CASPA on or before November 1. SPAS requires a minimum of three (3) letters of recommendation. Reference letters should not be from personal friends or family members. We strongly recommend letters from at least (1) clinician and someone you have known for 6 months. Be sure to review all information about requesting, formatting and submitting LORs on the CASPA website.
Additional Consideration for Previous Experience
We know that not all learning is academic and that personal and professional growth often take place outside a classroom. That’s why we give extra admissions consideration to the training and experience of certain applicant groups, including:
- Military Veterans: Thank you for your service to our country. To qualify for additional consideration, you will be asked to provide a certified copy of your DD-214: Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.
- Community Service Volunteers: Since ours is a service-focused program, we like to see applicants who are dedicated to their community. At MBKU, service that benefits underserved or disadvantaged groups is highly desirable. Examples include: Boys and Girls club, soup kitchens, homeless shelters. In fact, our mission includes graduating PAs to serve these specific groups.
- Linkage Program for qualified pre-health undergraduates: The Pre-Health Professions Linkage Program consists of formal agreements between MBKU’s School of Physician Assistant Studies and the Universities listed below. The agreement offers undergraduate students in the Pre-Health Professions Linkage Programs additional consideration for admission.
Please review the current linkages for specific information regarding eligibility and requirements. If you still have questions, please contact the Health Professions Advising Office at the affiliated University about the application process.
Online Course Policy
MBKU accepts prerequisite lecture courses completed online through regionally accredited colleges or universities. Please see Accrediting Institutions for a list of those associations. Virtual hands-on, take-home labs will be accepted. If you have any questions or would like to verify that a specific lab meets our requirements, please e-mail PAadmissions@ketchum.edu.
We do not accept international applicants at this time.
To be eligible to apply to MBKU, foreign/international coursework must meet the following requirements:
Foreign degree must be evaluated by one of the approved services (WES) and have the evaluation forwarded to CASPA.
Completion of all prerequisite courses in the U.S. (Please note: even though you have taken the prerequisite courses as part of your undergrad degree in a foreign university, you will need to repeat the prerequisite courses at a college or university in the U.S.)
Send all non-U.S./Canadian transcripts to CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants)
For degrees earned outside of the U.S., applicants must submit official scores from the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. This is required regardless of the official language of the country in which the education took place, or the predominant language of the degree-granting institution. Scores should be sent directly using Marshall B. Ketchum University Code 4893.
Minimum TOEFL scores include:
Only competitive applicants will be invited to MBKU for an on-campus interview. Interviews are typically conducted from October through December. Interview selectees will receive an email and handouts through the MBKU portal and get further details and instructions on the day of the interview. You may contact the Admissions Office at any time with questions.
Requirements for Accepted Students
If you are accepted into our program, congratulations! MBKU is the ideal place to begin your health care career. You will receive a letter from the Director of Didactic Education sometime in July with instructions on completing the following additional steps:
- Completion of PA course. Two weeks prior to orientation you will be given online access to complete an Intro to PA Profession course.
- Terminology Assessment. During the first week of orientation, you will be required to take a medical terminology assessment.
Master’s Capstone Project
During the Master’s Capstone Course, students are required to complete the Master’s Capstone Project under the guidance of a faculty advisor. In teams of 3-4, students will identify a population health-care need and develop and implement a solution to address that need. Teams will use evidence-based principles to research the issue, then prepare and present a professional poster on their findings prior to graduation.