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    Jun 10, 2023  
2011-2012 Georgia Health Sciences University Catalog 
2011-2012 Georgia Health Sciences University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Physician Assistant

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Professional Tasks and Working Environment

The physician assistant, working with physicians and other health professionals, performs many clinical functions that enable the physician to devote more time to duties requiring his/her particular knowledge and skill. The physician assistant performs duties based on guidelines established by the state granting licensure. In most settings the physician assistant obtains medical histories, performs physical examinations, orders and interprets laboratory results and other information and assesses and treats common illnesses, including writing prescriptions. Disease prevention and health promotion activities, counseling and patient education are other important services provided by the physician assistant. Successful completion of the National Certifying Examination is required to practice as a physician assistant in Georgia.

Skills and Interests Suited to a Career as a Physician Assistant

Physician assistants need the ability to relate to people, a capacity for calm and reasoned judgment in handling emergencies, an orientation toward service and intelligence. A solid background in math and science is helpful as well. Due to the fast pace of our program, previous medical experience is strongly encouraged.

Related career interests include medicine, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and any patient-contact field.

Employment and Career Opportunities

Employment opportunities are abundant depending on location. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, employment of physician assistants is expected to grow by 27 percent between 2006 and 2016. A certified physician assistant may work in hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices or educational facilities.

Advancement depends on the services the physician assistant provides, revenue generated and practice setting.

Salary Information

Salaries of professionals with experience averaged $87,500 in 2009. Some Physician Assistants earn more than $100,000 per year.

 About the Program

Established in 1972, the Georgia Health Sciences University Physician Assistant program offers a comprehensive education that allows graduates to become employed in many specialty areas. Our program emphasizes classroom and clinical practical experience, with heaviest emphasis on clinical work with patients. Upon completion of our program students earn a master’s degree in physician assistant.

General Admissions Criteria

 Application Fee:  Please check the Office of Admissions website:

A bachelor’s degree is not required to be accepted into the program. Students must complete a total of 90 semester hours of prerequisites. Official transcripts are required from all colleges ever attended. Transcripts should be mailed to GHSU’s OAA directly from the Registrar’s office of the institution. Applicants may also deliver or mail official transcripts to GHSU’s OAA if the transcript remains in the original, unopened, sealed and stamped/signed envelope from the Registrar’s office at the institution.

Transcript/credential evaluation of foreign transcripts: An official, professional coursebycourse evaluation is required for all foreign educational transcripts and documents from one of the following three credential evaluation services: Josef Silny & Associates, Inc., World Education Services (WES), Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE)            

Three Letters of recommendation with Graduate Reference Form: Recommendations (which include a reference form and letter of recommendation) from three individuals are required. Referees should be individuals (usually college professors) qualified to critically assess the applicant’s prior academic, employment, artistic, research and/or clinical experience and qualifications (as applicable) as well as the applicant’s potential as a graduate student in the field/program selected.

Graduate reference forms and letters of recommendation can be submitted online only. As part of the online application process, applicants provide the names and current email addresses for three individuals they have asked to serve as their referees. Once the online application is submitted, each referee will receive an email notification directing him/her to the online site where he/she can complete the reference form and submit his/her letter of recommendation. To change a referee after the application has been submitted, the applicant is instructed to log into his/her CollegeNet account and update the name and current email address for the referee. Status updates of your referees’ submissions will be provided to you directly from CollegeNet.

GRE requirement: Official GRE scores are required (only the General GRE test is required).* All official GRE scores must be submitted to GHSU’s OAA directly from the Education Testing Service (ETS) and must be less than five years old. The institution code for submission of GRE scores to GHSU is 5406. Please do not select a department code.

*The GRE revised General Test will feature a new scale for Verbal and Quantitative Reasing scores, therefore, current minimum required or recommended score information is valid only for the GRE General Test taken prior to August 1, 2011. Visit for additional and important information regarding the revised GRE test.

 Program Specific Requirements

Personal interview

Computer literacy

GPA: We require a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall and 2.8 in your math/science courses.

GRE: A minimum combined GRE score of 900 is needed for full admission. The results of all three components (Analytical Writing, Verbal, and Quantitative sections) of the general GRE exam must be provided*

Volunteer work experience: We prefer that applicants have direct patient contact in various patient care settings (e.g., rehabilitation, acute care, family medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics, etc.)

CPR: Certification in BCLS Healthcare Provider course (Course C) through the American Heart Association.

Program Supplemental Information

TOEFL exam scores: Applicants whose first language is not English must submit official TOEFL scores. Minimum scores of 600 on the TOEFL (paper) or 213 (computer-based) and 80 (internet-based) are required for admissions consideration. Applicants must take the TOEFL by October 15 to be considered for admission the following year.


Technical Standards

In addition to demonstrating personal characteristics appropriate for a health professions career, students must satisfy general and specific technical standards for this program. Please visit to review these requirements.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial aid and other assistance is available. GHSU participates in all federal student aid programs as well as state and private programs. GHSU helps students fund their education through grants, scholarships, loans, a service commitment program and/or employment.


The GHSU PA Program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Committee on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)

John E. McCarty, Executive Director
12000 Findley Road, Suite 240
Johns Creek, GA 30097

When to Apply

Our online application should be available in August of each year. The application deadline is October 15. Early application is encouraged. Preference is given to Georgia residents.

All application materials (e.g., three personal references, GRE scores, official school transcripts, etc.) must be received by October 15.

Applicants must attend another accredited college or university of their choice to complete the required prerequisites (see Courses to Take the First Three Years section).

Although the GPA of most applicants will likely be higher, to be eligible for consideration you must have at least a 3.0 GPA overall and a 2.8 math/science GPA. Admission is competitive, and space is limited.

How to Apply

Apply online at, or contact:

Office of Academic Admissions
170 Kelly Building–Administration
Georgia Health Sciences University
Augusta, Georgia 30912
Telephone: 706-721-2725


Masters of Physician Assistant Degree Prerequisites Requirements

The prerequisite courses are required to apply to GHSU’s Master of Physician Assistant Program comprise a core curriculum divided into seven categories. The courses acceptable to meet the requirements of each category are listed below.

A. Essential Skills
9 semester hours
  • English Composition I  (3 hours)
  • English Composition II-Literature based (3 hours)
  • College Algebra, Mathematical Modeling, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, or Calculus (3 hours)
B. Professional Skills 4-5 semester hours
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creative Writing
  • Ethics
  • Health and Wellness
  • Economics
  • Speech
  • Any approved guided elective from Area F
C. Humanities and Fine Arts 6 semester hours  
  • Ethics
  • Fine and Applied Arts
  • Foreign Language
  • Speech, Oral Communications
  • World Literature
  • Philosophy
  • Drama, Art, or Music Appreciation
  • Logic
  • Electives in Humanities and Fine Arts
D. Science, Mathematics, and Technology 10-11 semester hours  
  • Additional courses in science, mathematics, or technology to meet this requirement
E. Social Sciences 12 semester hours  
  • United States History
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Group Process
  • Social Problems
  • Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups
F. Courses Required for Major 34 semester hours  
  • Biology I and II - Labs required (8 hours)*
  • General Chemistry I and II - Labs required (8 hours)*
  • Organic Chemistry I - Lab required (4 hours)*
  • Microbiology - Lab required (4 hours)*
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology - Lab required) (4 hours)*
  • Statistics (3 hours)*
  • General Psychology (3 hours)*
G. Guided Electives for Major 15 semester hours  
  • Guided electives in any basic science which may include: Comparative Vertebrae Anatomy, Organic II, Histology, Biochemistry, Evolution, Human Growth and Development, Abnormal Psychology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Embryology, or Physics

* These courses are MANDATORY
** Students may take any other sciences course to satisfy the remaining hours in this section


Estimated Tuition and Fees

 For estimated tution and fees, please see the Tuition and Fees  section of this catalog.

Masters of Physician Assistant Program Curriculum

1st Year

2nd Year

3rd Year

Program Total: 122


* = These courses are clinical rotations. These rotations will occur throughout the final 3 semesters in no particular order for each student.

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