If you are ready to make a difference as a PA, St. Catherine University welcomes your application for admission into our Physician Assistant Studies program (MPAS). Apply via CASPA (details below) to start in Fall (September) semester.
If you have questions along the way, don’t hesitate to contact your admission counselor. They’re here to help!
St. Catherine University seeks PA students who:
- Have the will and the vision to make a difference in the world.
- Believe that healthcare is a combination of art, science, compassion and teamwork; it's more than just making the right diagnosis or prescribing the right medication.
- Have the intellectual capacity to master learning a highly challenging body of knowledge and skills and the drive and dedication to be a lifelong learner.
- Meet all technical standards for the program, with or without reasonable accommodation.
- Want to be part of a dynamic, professional healthcare team.
- Have the flexibility to learn and work in a wide range of environments addressing a variety of healthcare needs for people of diverse cultural, age and socioeconomic backgrounds.
MPAS Eligibility and Prerequisite Requirements
A completed bachelor's or graduate degree from an institution that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting organizations (e.g. Higher Learning Commission). Applicants who have a bachelor's degree from St. Catherine University and who meet the admission criteria are given priority in the selection process.
Applicants with a foreign medical degree should contact the MPAS admission counselor, Kristin Chalberg, at email@example.com prior to beginning the application process.
Grade Point Average
A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
A minimum of 1,000 hours of experience in a health, wellness or patient care setting prior to application.
Specific prerequisite courses are required for the MPAS program; review the next section for details.
The goal of the admission process is to compare all applicants on the same coursework, as much as possible. The Admission Committee requires basic-level courses in each prerequisite field, which all applicants are likely to have taken, and computes a cumulative prerequisite GPA. Not all courses taken in a prerequisite field are used to compute a prerequisite GPA. Only enough credits to satisfy the minimum requirement are counted in the prerequisite GPA. High-level electives may be used to meet credit requirements, but they are not necessarily used in the prerequisite GPA calculation, because the Admission Committee has no information about how other applicants would perform in those courses. If a prerequisite is retaken, only the grade received in the most recent course is calculated into the prerequisite GPA.
Prerequisite coursework must be completed with a grade of C or above (pass/fail or S/U grading is not acceptable), with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
At the time of application to the MPAS program, no more than three courses may be "in progress" or yet to be taken. During the summer prior to initial fall enrollment in the graduate program, applicants are allowed to complete no more than 4 semester/5 quarter credits of prerequisite coursework, plus a medical terminology course. All other prerequisite coursework must be completed by the end of the winter/spring term prior to fall enrollment in the graduate program.
If an applicant appears to be missing the required number of credits in several prerequisite areas, the Admission Committee may deem the applicant ineligible to continue in the review process.
Biochemistry and Microbiology must be completed within ten calendar years prior to the start of the graduate program. It is strongly recommended (but not required) that all other prerequisite courses be completed within the past ten years. Please note that prerequisite course content does not fulfill MPAS degree requirements.
We will consider courses completed in an online format from a regionally accredited institution. However, we encourage students to complete courses that include a lab component in a face-to-face format, if possible.
We will accept AP credits for the following prerequisites: Pre-Calculus, Statistics and General Psychology. To verify results, applicants must submit official CollegeBoard scores directly to St. Catherine University (not CASPA) using the code 6105.
- Human or Vertebrate Anatomy (4 semester credits)
Courses in order of preference are: human anatomy (often first half of combined anatomy and physiology sequence), mammalian/vertebrate anatomy, comparative anatomy. These credits must be from an anatomy, biology, zoology, physiology or kinesiology department.
St. Kate’s equivalent: BIOL 2400, BIOL 2510, BIOL 2610 or BIOL 3120
- Human or Vertebrate Physiology (4 semester credits)
Courses in order of preference are: human physiology (often second half of combined anatomy and physiology sequence), or mammalian physiology. These credits must be from a biology, zoology, or physiology department.
St. Kate’s equivalent: BIOL 2410, BIOL 2520, BIOL 2620 or BIOL 3140
- Organic Chemistry with lab (8 semester credits)
An organic chemistry sequence for science or health-science majors is preferred.
St. Kate’s equivalent: CHEM 2010 and CHEM 2020
- Biochemistry (3-4 semester credits)
Must be completed within ten calendar years prior to the term of intended enrollment.
St. Kate’s equivalent: CHEM 4400 (preferred) or CHEM 2400
- Microbiology (3-4 semester credits)
Must be completed within ten calendar years prior to the term of intended enrollment.
St. Kate’s equivalent: BIOL 3210 (preferred) or BIOL 2200
- Pre-Calculus (3-4 semester credits)
These credits must be at the level of pre-calculus or higher.
St. Kate's equivalent: MATH 1090 or MATH 1130
- Statistics (3-4 semester credits)
Course content should include: reliability, validity, experimental control and design, statistical inference and comparison of group means, correlation and regression. These credits must be from a math, psychology or statistics department.
St. Kate’s equivalent: ECON 1080, ECON 1090, HLTH 1090, PSYC 1090, STAT 1090
- General Psychology (3-4 semester credits)
St. Kate’s equivalent: PSYC 1000/1001
- Lifespan Developmental Psychology or Understanding Psychological Disorders (Abnormal Psychology) (3-4 semester credits)
If completing Lifespan Developmental Psychology, content must cover the entirety of the human lifespan from birth through late adulthood. Multiple courses can be completed to fulfill the requirement (i.e. Child Psychology, Adolescent Psychology, Adulthood and Aging); however, only one course is necessary if it covers all of the components.
St. Kate’s equivalent: PSYC 2025 or PSYC 3010
- Medical terminology (one course)
St. Kate’s equivalent: HIMP 1050 or INDI 2220
**COVID-19 Exception: We strongly recommend that prerequisite courses (including courses with a lab component) be completed for a letter grade. However, in light of many institutions mandating all Spring 2020 courses be Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (or Pass/Fail) or are allowing students the choice, we will accept a Satisfactory or Pass designation for any prerequisite course completed in the Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 terms only. PLEASE NOTE: no more than 1/3 of all prerequisite courses can be used with a S/U or P/F designation.**
Use the online Transfer Evaluation System (TES) resource to determine if a specific course you have taken
(or plan to take) will fulfill an MPAS prerequisite requirement. All St. Catherine course equivalencies listed in TES are fully verified by our Registrar's Office.
How to use TES
- Make note of the St. Catherine department abbreviation (BIOL, CHEM, MATH, etc.) and course numbers in the MPAS prerequisite list.
- Connect to TES
- Identify the institution from which you have completed courses (or plan to complete courses). You may search for institutions using the “Find Transfer College by Name” search box, or use the alphabetical index provided.
- Enter the course code for one of our MPAS prerequisites (e.g., MATH 1080). Select “Home Course” and click on Search. This will identify any courses from the institution that are equivalent to the St. Catherine prerequisite course. You could also enter the code for the other institution’s course, and select “Transfer Course” and Search. This will identify any St. Catherine courses that might be equivalent to the other institution’s course. Be sure to review any notes with additional information for a given course.
If you have searched via TES and can’t find a specific school or course listing, contact your admission counselor for assistance. Please include the institution, course name and number, and course description in your email.
Physician Assistants (PAs) must possess the knowledge and skills to provide care to patients in a wide variety of health care settings. They must be able to integrate information quickly, accurately and consistently and must possess the intellectual capacity to learn, analyze, synthesize, integrate and communicate data.
For this reason, the MPAS program outlines technical standards which identify the abilities students must possess to successfully complete coursework in preparation for medical practice.