Impact Image

Application and Admission

LMU-Knoxville PA Program

Welcome

The LMU-Knoxville PA Program seeks to recruit, matriculate, and graduate highly motivated applicants whose professional and personal goals are consistent with the mission of LMU and the vision, mission, and goals of the Program. Application and admissions criteria reflect the academic aptitude, personal attributes, and prior experiences in health care essential for success in the Program. 

Admission

The Program follows a rolling admissions cycle. The Admissions Committee reviews complete applications after they are received by the Program. Both the CASPA application and LMU-Knoxville PA Program supplemental application must be complete before applicants are considered for an interview. Applicants are selected for interviews that begin in November of each year and continue until the maximum class size of 80 (eighty) is reached. Applicants benefit from applying early

Following the interview, the Admissions Committee will review each applicant’s file and make one of three decisions:  (1) offer admission, (2) place on waitlist, or (3) decline offer of admission. Applicants will be notified of the Admissions Committee’s decision in writing as soon as possible following the interview. The Admissions Committee will offer admission to students who have demonstrated professional and personal goals consistent with the mission of LMU and the vision, mission, and goals of the Program, and the academic aptitude, personal attributes, and prior experiences in health care essential for success in the Program. The evaluation criteria include the following:

1. Academic performance health care experiences
2. Community service experiences
3. Personal statement submitted to CASPA
4. Evaluation letters submitted to CASPA
5. Written response on the application
6. Behaviors demonstrated throughout the application process and in all communications
7. Performance during the interview

Application Process 

Please note that submission of a complete application does not guarantee an invitation for an interview and completion of an interview does not guarantee an offer for admission.   

  •   IMPORTANT DATES

    April 29, 2021: CASPA cycle opens.
    November 2021: Interviews begin.
    January 15, 2022: Deadline for application to be completed and verified by CASPA.GRE scores (within 5 years) should be submitted at the time of application.
    January 15, 2022: Deadline for submission of the supplemental application.
    August 31, 2022: Deadline for submission of matriculation materials.
    October 1, 2022: Classes begin for the PA 2024 cohort.

  •   How to Apply

     Applications for admission are only accepted through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) https://caspa.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login. Only applications that are verified by CASPA are reviewed.  This means that a complete application was submitted (including submission of transcripts and three reference letters) and all grade point averages (GPAs) have been calculated by CASPA.  Request official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores to be submitted to CASPA from Education Testing Services (ETS) using our Designated Institution (DI) Code 4376. Please note that the LMU-Knoxville PA Program requires at least one evaluation to be completed by a PA, MD, DO, or NP.   Please review our admissions requirements prior to beginning your CASPA application. 
    Applicants are also required to submit the LMU-Knoxville PA Program supplemental application. This supplemental application allows applicants to provide further information regarding their health care experience.  


    A complete application includes a CASPA-verified application (including transcripts and GRE scores within 5 years) and a complete supplemental application. After reviewing complete applications, the Admissions Committee determines which applicants are selected for an interview with program faculty and health care professionals.  Those applicants are then contacted via telephone and/or email to schedule an interview. Applicants with stronger academic profiles and those who meet the Program’s preferences are more likely to be selected for an interview. During the interview, the applicant has an opportunity to discuss their academic aptitude and personal attributes that will help them be successful in the Program.  This is also an excellent opportunity for applicants to determine if their expectations for a PA training program align with the Program’s curriculum and culture. 

    •   Evaluation Letters (Professional Reference

      The Program requires 3 professional reference letters (submitted to CASPA) that address an applicant's academic readiness for the rigor of the Program curriculum and your professional conduct.  At least 1 letter must be from a PA, MD, DO, or NP.

    •   Admission Seat Deposit

      Students offered admission must submit a non-refundable seat deposit of $500.00. This fee is applied to the balance of the tuition and fees for the first semester. This fee will not be returned to students who do not matriculate into the Program.

    •   Deferral of Admission Offer

      Students may request to defer their offer of admission to the next cohort once. This request must be made in writing and submitted to the Program Director 90 days prior to matriculation. Any student who does not matriculate with the next cohort following a deferral of their offer of admission loses their offer of admission but is eligible to reapply to the Program. 

    •   Reapplying to the program

      Any applicant reapplying to the Program must follow the same application procedure and is evaluated with the same process as new applicants. The Program does not maintain application records for applicants who do not matriculate into the Program. 

  •   CASPA Code of Conduct

    Applicants will be held to CASPA’s Code of Cooperation and Conduct Policies. As such, applicants are expected and required to take full responsibility for their application throughout the admissions process and abide by CASPA’s Professional Code of Conduct. It is an expectation that all applicants will act with honesty and integrity, communicate in a professional manner, be responsible and accountable for their actions, and personally manage and respond to all matters related to their application throughout the application and admissions process and in all interactions. Code of conduct violations are reported to CASPA and noted in the applicant’s file. The Program partners with CASPA in maintaining an application and admissions process that is fair, inclusive, and equitable. 

  •   Preferences

    Consistent with the mission of LMU and the vision and mission of the LMU-Knoxville PA Program, preference is given to applicants with permanent residence in the Appalachian region of the following states: TN, KY, VA, NC, OH, WV, PA, AL, and GA. The preference is applied with a 3-tiered system. The greatest preference is given to applicants with permanent residence in the Appalachian region of Tennessee. Applicants with permanent residence in the Appalachian region of KY, VA, NC, and WV are given greater preference than applicants with permanent residence in the Appalachian region of OH, PA, AL, and GA.
     .

    Click HERE to see if your county is in the Appalachian region. 

    Student’s enrolled in LMU’s GPA program who apply to the Program through CASPA are guaranteed an interview if they meet the Program’s criteria for application and admission. Completion of an interview does not guarantee an offer for admission.

    PREFERENCE IS ALSO GIVEN FOR THE FOLLOWING:
    * Completion of science courses with a laboratory component outside required components.
    * Completion of one or more of the following courses:

    Human cadaver anatomy
    Additional courses in human physiology
    Embryology
    Pathophysiology
    Additional courses in biology, microbiology, and organic chemistry
    Physics
    Technical writing
    Interpersonal communication/public speaking


    * Military service of honorably discharged veterans, active duty, guard, and reserve members.
    * More than one type of patient care experience (each setting must have a minimum of 24 hours to qualify as a different type).
    * Community service experiences.

  •   International Applicants

    We are not accepting international applicants at this time. 

    Students who completed courses outside of the United States must submit a transcript evaluation from World Education Services (www.wes.org), Educational Credential Evaluators (www.ece.org/ECE), or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. (www.jsilny.com) to CASPA.

    Applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the combined Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Test of Spoken English (TSE) examination (https://www.ets.org/toefl) unless that applicant is a graduate of a regionally accredited college or university in the United States. The minimum score is 79 for Internet-Based Testing (iBT) and 26 for the speaking component. 

Admission and Enrollment Requirements

  •   Academic Standards for Enrollment

    Applicants with stronger academic profiles are more likely to be selected for an interview. According to a descriptive overview of 2015 and 2016 CASPA data (https://paeaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Applicant-and-Matriculant-Data-from-CASPA.pdf), the average GPAs and GRE scores for students who entered a PA program were as follows:

    GRE Score Percentile
    Verbal Reasoning 153.5 59.1
    Quantitative Reasoning 152.6 50.5
    Analytical Writing 4.0 58.1

     

    GPAs
    Undergraduate Cumulative 3.56
    Science 3.51
    Biology, Chemistry, Physics (BCP) 3.45

     

    Prior to matriculation, all applicants must earn a minimum of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

    Prior to matriculation, all prerequisite courses must be successfully completed from a regionally accredited college or university (Prerequisite course grades below “C” are not accepted).

  •   Prerequisite Course Requirement

    APPLICATION / ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS RELATED TO PRIOR EDUCATION EXPERIENCE 

    Prerequisite Course Requirements

    Course

    Minimum number of total credit hours

    Clarifications

    Biology I and II

    8

    Biology courses with a laboratory component are preferred.

    Microbiology

    4

    Microbiology with a laboratory component is preferred.

    Inorganic Chemistry I and II

    8

    Inorganic chemistry courses with a laboratory component are preferred.

    Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry

    4

    Organic chemistry or Biochemistry courses with a laboratory component are preferred.

    Human Anatomy

    4-8

    Human anatomy with a laboratory component is preferred. If a combined human anatomy and physiology course is completed, 8 credit hours is required.

    Human Physiology

    4-8

    This course should cover all organ systems. Human physiology with a laboratory component is preferred. If a combined human anatomy and physiology course is completed, 8 credit hours is required.

    Psychology

    6

    Two courses in psychology may be required to complete 6 credit hours. A psychology course covering the full spectrum of psychological development from childhood to advanced age and an abnormal psychology course will best prepare an applicant for success in the Program.

    Statistics

    3

    This course should cover descriptive and inferential statistics.

    English Composition

    3

    This course should be writing-intensive.

    Medical Terminology

    2

    This course should cover all organ systems.

    All prerequisite courses must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university. 

    Applicants who have completed prerequisite courses at different regionally accredited colleges or universities must have all official transcripts submitted directly from those colleges or universities to CASPA. 

    Human anatomy and physiology courses completed greater than 8 years prior to application are not considered. Before matriculation in the Program, applicants are advised to complete a thorough review of course material for any science course completed greater than 4 years prior to application. 

    Survey science courses are not considered.

    Prerequisite course grades below “C” are not considered. Prerequisite course grades of Pass (P), Satisfactory (S), or equivalent for prerequisite courses completed during the spring and summer 2020 semesters that were converted from a letter grade to Pass/Fail (or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) are acceptable.

    Credit is not offered for prior experiential learning.
    Advanced Placement (AP) courses are considered.
    Advanced standing is not offered.

    Applicants must self-report course information for prerequisite courses on their CASPA application prior to e-submission. CASPA provides a list of course subjects to assist with the completion of the Transcript Entry section of the CASPA application. CASPA Course Subject List

    All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to matriculation.

    Applicants with greater than 16 credit hours of prerequisite courses to complete prior to the in-person, on-campus interview are not considered for admission if accepted.

    Applicants who have completed one or more of the following recommended courses are given preference: 
    * Human cadaver anatomy
    * Additional courses in human physiology
    * Embryology
    * Pathophysiology
    * Additional courses in biology, microbiology, and organic chemistry
    * Physics
    * Technical writing
    * Interpersonal communication/public speaking

    *Science courses include the following:  Biology I and II, Microbiology, Inorganic Chemistry I and II, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Embryology, Pathophysiology, and Physics. 

  •   Degree Requirements

    Prior to matriculation, all applicants must earn a minimum of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. 

    Applicants must self-report degree information on their CASPA application prior to e-submission.

    Applicants must have all official transcripts confirming degree completion submitted directly from the college or university awarding the degree to CASPA.

  •   Health Care Experience Requirements & Community Service

    In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Program has decided to waive all health care experience requirements for the PA 2022 student cohort (expected to matriculate October 1, 2020) and the PA 2023 student cohort (CASPA cycle opens April 2020). 

    Health care experience is required. Health care experience includes patient care (direct and/or indirect) and shadowing. Any health care experience hours acquired greater than 4 years prior to application are not considered.

    Applicants must complete and provide verification of a minimum of 160 hours of patient care experience by March 31st of the year of matriculation. Patient care experience may be a volunteer or paid. Hours spent in direct and partial patient care are acceptable; however, only the actual hours providing patient care are considered. Patient care experience acquired in a training program is not considered. Applicants who provide evidence of more than one type of patient care experience are given preference (each setting must have a minimum of 24 hours to qualify as a different type).

    Direct patient care: Applicant provided hands-on patient care. This includes activities such as patient assessment, providing basic life support, assisting in surgery, and delivering prescribed therapies. This does not include activities such as patient or specimen transport, scribing for a provider, or clerical duties. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

    Military corpsman
    Surgical technologist
    Nurse (all levels)
    Athletic trainer
    Physical therapy assistant
    Occupational therapy assistant
    Respiratory therapist
    Paramedic, emergency medical technician
    Patient care assistant

    Partial patient care: Applicant provided ancillary support for direct patient care. This does not include activities such as preparation of the operating room, patient or specimen transport, or clerical duties. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

    Radiology, ultrasound technician
    ECG technician
    Phlebotomist
    Medical technologist
    Pharmacy technician
    Medical scribe (must be on-site directly assisting a health care provider)
    Hospice volunteer

    Applicants must complete and provide verification of a minimum of 24 hours shadowing a PA, MD or DO with the supplemental application.  *These hours must be completed by direct observation of a PA, MD, or DO.

    COMMUNITY SERVICE 
    Volunteer service to one’s community demonstrates an attitude of civic responsibility and ownership of community welfare. It also offers an opportunity to learn about and appreciate the personal and experiential similarities and differences within the community. Although not required for application or admission, applicants with evidence of prior community service will be given preference. 

  •   Immunization Requirements

    Immunizations, Tuberculosis Screening, and Urine Drug Screening Policy (A3.07)

    Prior to matriculation and prior to beginning SCPEs, students must have a licensed health care provider verify the student’s immunization, tuberculosis screening, and urine drug screening status relative to the requirements listed below. Matriculating students receive the forms for the health care provider to complete with the matriculation packet and enrolled students receive these forms prior to beginning SCPEs. Clinical Affiliates may have additional requirements. Students are responsible for all costs associated with obtaining the Program’s requirements and any additional requirements of Clinical Affiliates providing SCPEs for the student.

    Students must submit their immunization records, tuberculosis screening results, and urine drug screen results to the online central screening service by the Program’s submission due dates. Matriculating students are notified of submission due dates via email and the U.S. mailing address provided by the student. Enrolled students are notified via university-issued student email accounts of submission due dates for the Clinical Phase during the Summer 1 semester of the Didactic Phase. This provides students with sufficient time to complete all requirements. Failure to submit complete and signed documents by the Program’s due dates may result in a delay of matriculation and will result in a delay of the start of SCPEs. Program faculty and staff responsible for confirming proof of vaccination, immunity, and tuberculosis and urine drug screening results
    review these documents after obtaining written permission from the student (Student Handbook, Appendix E). (A3.21)

    Listed below are the Program’s immunization and tuberculosis and drug screening requirements.

    1. Proof of TdaP vaccination once as an adult. Tetanus (TdaP/Td) vaccination must be current through graduation.

    2. Proof of immunity against hepatitis B virus (Hep B Surface AB titer – qualitative or quantitative).

    3. Proof of immunity against measles (rubeola), mumps, and rubella (qualitative or quantitative antibody titers for MMR). If any of the three (3) components show insufficient immunity, the student must receive a booster vaccination and recheck the titer(s) six (6) weeks later.

    4. Proof of immunity against varicella (qualitative or quantitative antibody titer for Varicella; proof of two (2) doses of the varicella vaccine administered at least 28 days apart; or history of prior varicella or herpes zoster infection verified by a licensed health care provider). If the antibody titer is negative, the student must receive a booster vaccination and recheck the titer six (6) weeks later.

    5. Proof of annual negative purified protein derivative (PPD) screening for tuberculosis. If the student has a prior history of tuberculosis, BCG vaccination, or positive PPD, a negative chest radiograph within six (6) months of matriculation is required.

    6. Proof of annual influenza vaccination.

    7. Negative 10-panel urine drug screen (except for prescribed medications). A copy of the results with the list of substances tested is required. For positive substances, a copy of the related prescription is required.

    Students with a religious exemption or medical contraindication may seek exemption from the above requirements by contacting the Program Director. The Program’s Clinical Affiliates may not allow for exemptions to the above requirements and may have additional requirements.

    Arrest/Criminal Background Check Policy 

    To ensure the safety of students, faculty, colleagues, and most importantly, patients; the Physician Assistant profession requires that both students and licensed health care professionals be able to pass criminal background checks.

    Therefore:
    Prior to matriculation, accepted students must submit to a criminal background check.

    Prior to beginning supervised clinical practice experiences (SCPEs), students must submit to a repeat criminal background check.

    From time to time, students may be required to submit to additional criminal background checks, which may include fingerprinting, based on clinical affiliation agreements with the Program’s Clinical Affiliates (Clinical Sites) or at the Program Director’s discretion.

    Any student arrested or formally charged with a violation of the law (other than minor traffic violations) must report the arrest or formal charge to the Program Director within two (2) business days after the arrest/formal charge.

    Students are responsible for the costs of criminal background checks and fingerprinting.

    The Program Director reviews any positive findings on pre-matriculation criminal background checks to determine if matriculation is appropriate. Any positive finding(s) on post-matriculation criminal background checks are reviewed by the Program Director to determine if referral to the Student Progress Committee for recommendations on progression in the Program is appropriate. Any student with felony convictions, pending felony charges, misdemeanor convictions, and pending misdemeanor charges are evaluated and advised on a case-by-case basis. 

    The Program reserves the right to rescind an offer of admission and prohibit progression in the Program to any student at any time based on the results of a criminal background check(s) or student refusal to submit to a criminal background check(s).  Additionally, Clinical Affiliates reserve the right to refuse students or remove students from their Clinical Site(s) based on the results of a criminal background check(s) or student refusal to submit to a criminal background check(s)/fingerprinting.  Positive findings on a criminal background check or student refusal to submit to a criminal background check may prevent the student from completing one or more components required by the Program and thereby prevent graduation.  Additionally, positive findings on a criminal background check may prevent a graduate from obtaining state licensure and/or hospital/practice credentialing.

    Drug/Alcohol Screen, and Driving While Under the Influence (DUI) Policy 

    Safe and competent delivery of patient care requires all providers to be free of impairment from drugs and alcohol. Prior to matriculation and prior to beginning SCPEs, students must submit the results of a urine drug screen to the Program. At times students may also be required to submit to additional drug and/or alcohol screens. Students are responsible for the cost of drug and alcohol screens. The Program Director reviews any positive findings (s) on the pre-matriculation urine drug screen to determine if matriculation is appropriate. Any positive findings on post-matriculation drug and alcohol screens are reviewed by the Program Director to determine if referral to the Student Progress Committee for recommendations on progression in the Program is appropriate. Students with prior DUI conviction or pending DUI charges are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

    The Program reserves the right to rescind an offer of admission and prohibit progression in the Program to any student at any time based on the results of a drug and/or alcohol screen(s) or student refusal to submit to a drug and/or alcohol screen(s).  Additionally, Clinical Affiliates reserve the right to refuse students or remove students from their Clinical Site(s) where SCPEs occur based on the results of a drug and/or alcohol screen(s) or student refusal to submit to drug and/or alcohol screens.  Positive findings on a drug/alcohol screen(s) or DUI arrest may prevent the student from completing the SCPEs required for graduation and may prevent graduates from obtaining state licensure and/or hospital/practice credentialing.

    Students under the age of 21 years may not possess, consume, sell, distribute, or be in the presence of alcoholic beverages on LMU grounds, in LMU facilities, at LMU activities, and at Clinical Sites of the Program’s Clinical Affiliates. 

  •   Shadowing and Employment Policy

    SHADOWING HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS AND VOLUNTEERING POLICY

    Shadowing of any health care professional not arranged and/or authorized by the Program while enrolled in the Program is not permitted and is not covered under LMU’s malpractice coverage for PA Students. This policy is to prevent students from violating health care facility credentialing procedures (e.g. HIPAA, immunizations, etc.) and from providing patient care for which they do not have appropriate training. Students will be permitted to volunteer at free medical clinics and medical missions during semester breaks while enrolled in the Program provided they do not provide services as LMU-Knoxville PA Student. LMU’s malpractice coverage for PA Students will not cover any volunteer activities not arranged and/or authorized by the Program.

    EMPLOYMENT POLICY 

    Outside employment is strongly discouraged while enrolled in the Program as it may interfere with the academic and professional conduct requirements of the Program. Absences from any component of the Program curriculum (e.g. class, assessments, SCPEs, meetings) due to employment commitments are not allowed. Students are not required to work for the Program. Students will not substitute for or function as faculty, regardless of prior knowledge, experience, or skills.  Students will not substitute for clinical or administrative staff during SCPEs, regardless of prior knowledge, experience, or skills. The Director of Clinical Education advises Clinical Affiliates of this policy. 

     

  •   Technical Standards for Enrollment

    Minimum Technical Standards for Enrollment and Progression 

    The Program has identified minimum technical standards all applicants must meet to ensure successful completion of the Program and the delivery of competent, safe, and appropriate patient care during training and following graduation. All students in the Program must be able to demonstrate these health standards, cognitive and motor skills, and professional behaviors, including students with disabilities when reasonable accommodations are made by the Program, for Program matriculation, progression, and graduation.

    •   General Health

      Students must be able to participate in all educational activities (classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings). These educational activities may require more than 8 hours of active participation (sitting, standing, performing procedures, etc.) and exposure to various body fluids, communicable diseases, radiation, and toxic substances. Students must maintain a general state of physical and mental health necessary to operate under the typical demands and performance requirements of the Program and the PA profession. This includes standard preventive health measures such as annual immunizations. Students must be medically cleared (form provided in matriculation package) for enrollment if accepted to the Program. The Program requires all students enrolled in the Program to maintain health insurance coverage from matriculation through graduation.

    •   Motor and Fine Skills

      The provision of patient care often requires upright posture with sufficient total body strength, mobility, and cardiovascular endurance. Students must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and be able to sit, stand, and perform other activities for long periods of time. Students must be able to execute the physical movements required to maneuver in small places, calibrate and use equipment, position and move patients, and perform the technical procedures involved in the practice of medicine in surgery. 

    •   Critical Thinking and Cognitive Abilities

      Students must possess the intellectual capabilities required to complete the full curriculum and achieve the level of competence delineated by the Program and the PA profession. Critical thinking requires the intellectual ability to measure, calculate, synthesize and analyze a large and complex volume of medical and surgical information. The ability to comprehend three-dimensional and spatial relationships of structures is also required.  

    •   Computer Technology Skills

      Students must be able to utilize computerized information technology to access and manage online medical information, access learning management systems and participate in computerized testing as required by the Program, conduct research, prepare multimedia presentations, and participate in the management of computerized patient records and assessments.  

    •   Communication Skills

      Students must be able to speak, hear, and observe patients to gather pertinent data, describe their observations, and perceive nonverbal communications. Students must be able to effectively, efficiently, and with sensitivity, communicate with peers, faculty, staff, members of the health care team, patients, and families from different social and cultural backgrounds, orally and in writing, with clarity and accuracy. 

    •   Visual Ability

      Students must have the visual acuity needed to evaluate a patient during a physical examination, monitor patient stability, and perform a wide range of technical procedures involved in the practice of medicine and surgery. 

    •   Hearing and Tactile Ability

      Students must have the motor and sensory functions needed to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, and percussion, as well as perform a wide range of technical procedures involved in the practice of medicine and surgery. 

    •   Interpersonal Ability

      Students must possess a wide range of interpersonal skills, including (1) the emotional health required for management of high stress situations while maintaining full intellectual abilities; (2) the ability to exercise good judgment; (3) the ability to complete all assigned patient care responsibilities; (4) the ability to manage time (arrive on time, prioritize activities, complete tasks efficiently); (5) the ability to develop a mature, sensitive and effective relationship with peers, faculty, staff, all members of the health care team,  patients, and families; (6) the ability to identify, use, understand and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict; (7) the ability to recognize one’s own emotional state and the emotional states of others and engage with patients and families in a way that establishes confidence and trust; and (8) be able to accept constructive criticism and respond via appropriate behavior modification.

We look forward to working with you in this process. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions.
LMU-SMS Knoxville PA Admissions Office:
[email protected] 
865.338.5685