Feb 21, 2024  
Butler University Bulletin 2023-2024 
  
Butler University Bulletin 2023-2024

Physician Assistant, MPAS


www.butler.edu/pharmacy-health/physician-assistant/

The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences offers a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree for those completing the requirements of the physician assistant (PA) program. PAs are well-recognized and highly sought-after members of the healthcare team. Working interdependently with physicians, PAs practice medicine and value team-based care in virtually all medical specialties and settings. In all 50 states, PAs have the authority to prescribe medications.

PAs practice in all specialty fields. PAs provide primary care services, especially in family and general internal medicine. Their job descriptions are diverse, and they serve in both clinical and nonclinical roles. While these nonclinical positions do not involve patient care, they depend on a strong clinical knowledge base.

The MPAS curriculum is 24 consecutive months designed to provide an understanding of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes used as a physician assistant. The first 12 months of the MPAS program are devoted to didactic studies in the basic medical, clinical, and behavioral sciences, and the remaining 12 months are - focused on the clinical experiences in primary care, as well as medical and surgical specialties.

The didactic curriculum is integrated to introduce the student to medical sciences as they relate to specific organ systems and clinical problems. Learning strategies include the traditional lecture format and basic science laboratory, hybrid, small- group tutorials, and patient case discussions. Regular patient contact is an important part of the first-year curriculum.

Standardized patient evaluations, through simulation and standardized patients, are also a part of the didactic curriculum. As part of the clinical curriculum, students participate in rotations and didactic course work. Students are required to participate in core rotations in emergency medicine, family medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, mental health, pediatrics, and women’s health. Students also choose an elective rotation. In the clinical year, students also participate in Core Topics, Issues of Professional Practice, and the Summative Practicum to prepare them for transition into clinical practice.

Programmatic Goals

  • Select highly qualified applicants through the admission process who will successfully complete our PA Program
  • Provide a quality educational experience that provides students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes for entry-level practice as PAs
  • Provide an educational experience that prepares our graduates to provide primary care in a wide variety of clinical settings
  • Help our students develop a sensitivity that will allow them to effectively work with patients who are different than they
  • Maintain our status as the longest accredited PA Program in the state of Indiana
  • Promote professionalism, service, and leadership of students and faculty

Eligibility and Admission

The pathways to gain entry to the PA Program are the selective internal admission pathway (current Butler University students and/or alumni) and the standard admission pathway. (Accreditation Standards A3.13, A3.14)

Special Considerations

The following admission and enrollment practices are followed. (Accreditation Standard A3.13a)

  • The Butler University PA Program is committed to accepting a diverse group of qualified individuals from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. The program selects students who reflect varied social, economic, educational, and healthcare experience backgrounds. The Program seeks students who excel in leadership, service, scholarship, communication, intellectual capacity, and interpersonal skills.
  • Butler University and its graduates are at an advantage in the admission process through the Selective Internal Admission Pathway. For the CASPA Application Cycles of 2020-2021, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023 up to 60 percent of each class (45 of 75 students) will be students who have previously earned Butler degrees at the time they begin in the PA Program. For CASPA Application Cycles 2023-2024 and beyond 40 percent of each class will be reserved for students who have previously earned Butler degrees at the time they begin in the PA Program.
  • The Butler University PA Program recognizes the special heritage to our profession provided by the United States Armed Services. One seat in the program will be reserved for either a veteran or an active military member (active duty, reserve, and National Guard). The military candidate must meet all minimum academic evaluation criteria and complete the nonacademic evaluation. Students should identify themselves as being interested in this seat at the time of Central Application Service for Physician Assistants submission. This is a competitive process.
  • The Butler University PA Program does not require healthcare experience for consideration of admission. However, the Program looks to admit individuals with a wide range of backgrounds that may include healthcare experience. While previous healthcare experience or shadowing is not required, it may be useful to the student to help discern his or her interest in and aptitude for this career. (Accreditation Standard A3.15b)
  • International students are important to the fabric of the Butler student community; however, no special consideration is granted for an international student. If a student is looking to study in the United States under an F-1 or J-1 visa, we hope they will consider Butler University. International students must have a TOEFL score and evaluation of any international transcripts. Please note that this takes additional time. Deadlines will not be extended for these purposes. A TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based test) or 79 (internet-based test) meets Butler University’s English language proficiency requirements. Butler’s TOEFL school code is 1073. World Education Services or Educational Credential Evaluators must evaluate all international transcripts. Please contact PAadmission@butler.edu for guidance and/or questions regarding TOEFL or credential and/or transcript evaluation.

Contact PAadmission@butler.edu for any additional questions. Variances may be approved at the discretion of the PA Program Admission Committee.

Selective Internal Admission Pathway-CASPA

The Selective Internal Admission Pathway is designed for Butler University alumni and current students of any major who would like to pursue a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree.

This is a competitive process, as the Program will reserve 40 percent of each class to be admitted through this pathway. Admission to the PA Program through this pathway requires application through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). The centralized application service website can be found at caspa.liaisoncas.com.

Application Requirements

Candidates must maintain all application requirements of the Selective Internal Pathway through matriculation into the program.

To be eligible to apply through the Selective Internal Admission pathway, candidates must:

  • Complete CASPA application and submit application fee. All applications must be marked as complete in CASPA by the application deadline to be reviewed.
  • Submit transcripts from all colleges/universities (including Butler University) and other postsecondary institutions attended.
  • Have no more than three outstanding prerequisite courses remaining at the time of application. Only one chemistry- or biology-related prerequisite may be outstanding at the time of application. All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to matriculation into the program. See Course Prerequisite List.
  • Earn a bachelor’s degree from Butler University before the start of the PA Program. College seniors are encouraged to apply, provided they will receive a baccalaureate degree prior to the May start date of the PA Program.
  • Earn a 3.2 or higher GPA at the time of application and matriculation into the program on all postsecondary course work (including course work completed at any regionally accredited institutions).
  • Earn no grade of C- or less on prerequisite courses. A letter grade must be earned and listed on the official transcript for all prerequisite courses. All attempts of repeated course work will be included in the GPA calculation.
  • Take and submit Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. General Test scores must be submitted no later than the application deadline (Butler University’s GRE Code: 0477) the year prior to matriculation. No other test scores are accepted in lieu of the GRE. The scores must be sent directly from Educational Testing Services to CASPA.
  • Submit three evaluations (letters of recommendation) to CASPA.

Students not eligible to apply via the Selective Internal Admission Pathway may apply to the program via the Standard Admission Pathway.

Standard Admission Pathway

This is a competitive process, as the Program generally accepts 40 percent of each class to be admitted through this pathway. Admission to the Butler University PA Program through the Standard Admission Pathway requires application through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). This centralized application service website can be found at caspa.liaisoncas.com.

Application Requirements

Candidates must maintain all application requirements through matriculation into the program.

  • Complete CASPA application and submit application fee. All applications must be marked as complete in CASPA by the application deadline to be reviewed.
  • Submit transcripts from all colleges/universities (including Butler University) and other postsecondary institutions attended.
  • Have no more than three outstanding prerequisite courses remaining at the time of application. Only one chemistry- or biology-related prerequisite may be outstanding at the time of application. All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to matriculation into the program. See Course Prerequisite List.
  • Earn a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution before the start of the PA Program. College seniors are encouraged to apply, provided they will receive a baccalaureate degree prior to the May start date of the PA Program.
  • Earn a 3.2 or higher GPA at the time of application and matriculation into the program on all postsecondary course work (including course work completed at any regionally accredited institutions).
  • Earn no grade of C- or less on prerequisite courses. A letter grade must be earned and listed on the official transcript for all prerequisite courses. All attempts of repeated course work will be included in the GPA calculation.
  • Take and submit Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. General Test scores must be submitted no later than the application deadline (Butler University’s GRE Code: 0477) the year prior to matriculation. No other test scores are accepted in lieu of the GRE. The scores must be sent directly from Educational Testing Services to CASPA.
  • Submit three evaluations (letters of recommendation) to CASPA.

Admission Process

Both the Selective Internal and Standard Admission Pathways are divided into two parts: 1) application review and 2) on-campus interview. As mentioned above, both pathways are highly competitive. Note: The PA Program has the right to change admission and interview processes as it deems appropriate.

Academic Evaluation

All applications for admission meeting prerequisites, application requirements, and the required postsecondary cumulative GPA minimum of 3.2 will be reviewed. All questions in the application must be answered fully. Further review of an application may include the Biology, Chemistry, and Physics GPA as calculated by CASPA. The PA Admission Committee will review the application to determine excellence in leadership, service, or scholarship (research and/or publications) and effective written communication skills. It is the Program’s desire to establish a cohort of individuals with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. All applications must be marked as “complete” by the application deadline in order to be reviewed.

Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible. The GRE score must be provided to CASPA at the time of application. Candidates are welcome to take the GRE multiple times. If the GRE is taken on more than one occasion, the highest earned quantitative and verbal subscores will be used in the admission review process. A competitive average GPA and GRE for those students matriculating each year is dependent on the cohort.

On-Campus Interview

COPHS faculty, staff, alumni, active preceptors, and/or community-based PAs evaluate candidates during the on-campus interview. Candidates invited to interview on campus will have multiple interactions. Candidates will complete a series of stations that are generally task-oriented or interview-based. The stations are designed to assess candidates for characteristics necessary to be successful within this program and/or discernment to the PA profession. Candidates are ranked based on their cumulative scores from station evaluators.

Offers of Admission

The decision to admit students into the PA Program will be made by the PA Program Admission Committee. (Accreditation Standard A2.05b) After the on campus interview process, selected candidates will be extended a conditional offer of admission into the Butler University PA Program, generally via email. The candidate must accept the conditional offer of admission and submit a nonrefundable deposit to secure a seat within the Program. The Office of Student Accounts will apply the deposit to the candidate’s tuition. The candidate must meet all University and PA Program prerequisites and requirements at the time of matriculation to enter into the program.

Application Timeline

The following timeline should provide guidance to those interested in applying to the PA Program. The Program has the right to change timelines as it deems appropriate. Please contact PAadmission@butler.edu for additional admission questions. Applicants should note that verification of the CASPA application can take 3-4 weeks. We encourage applications to be submitted early in the admission cycle to avoid issues that cannot be resolved in a timely manner based on the CASPA verification process.

Late April CASPA application available
July/August All materials must be received and marked complete by CASPA*
May-September Application review of candidates
September/October On-campus interview of selected candidates
October/November Conditional offers of admission to selected applicants

* The Butler University PA Program encourages all applicants to complete the Transcript Entry portion of the CASPA application so as not to delay application completion processes.

Prerequisites

Students must complete the following course prerequisites with no grade of C- or lower to be considered for admission to the PA Program. (Accreditation Standards A3.13b, d) Earned Advanced Placement exam scores of 4 or 5 or International Baccalaureate exam scores of 5 to 7 may substitute for prerequisite courses. Appropriately earned AP or IB scores may replace no more than two prerequisite courses. Applicants should submit official copies of exam scores with applications to PAadmission@butler.edu.

  • Chemistry
    • General/Inorganic/Analytical with lab (2 courses)
    • Organic with lab (1 course)
    • Additional chemistry course at or above the 300 level (1 course)
  • Biology
    • Any biology-related course at or above the 200 level (5 courses). Examples might include but are not limited to anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, genetics, microbiology, immunology, physics, bioengineering, biomedical science, exercise science, neuroscience, zoology, and nutrition.
  • Statistics/Biostatistics
    • Any course (1 course)
  • Social Sciences
    • Any combination of psychology or sociology courses (2 courses)

For information about prerequisite fulfillment, course equivalencies, and unofficial transcript reviews, send inquiries to PAadmission@butler.edu.

Technical Standards

Technical standards are essential functions that students must demonstrate to fulfill the requirements of the PA Program and thus are prerequisites for entrance, continuation, and graduation from the Program. It is the responsibility of each applicant to affirm that they meet these technical standards upon entrance to the PA Program. The Technical Standards for admission and retention to the College are included in the College Student Handbook.

It is the policy of Butler University to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified students with a disability so they can meet these required technical standards. Whether or not the requested accommodation is reasonable will be determined on an individual basis. Determining what is a reasonable accommodation is an interactive process which the candidate should initiate with the PA Program Director in collaboration with Student Disability Services (SDS) and the Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Degree Requirements

Students are required to complete 108 semester hours to be awarded the MPAS degree. The proper sequence of courses must be maintained.

The student is responsible for making certain that he or she has completed all required courses in the curriculum. The curriculum is offered in two sections (didactic and clinical) that are individually indivisible and to be taken in an uninterrupted sequence over two years. Therefore, it is expected that students first matriculated into the MPAS didactic year will maintain simultaneous, full-time enrollment in all courses offered as a component of each year’s curriculum. Students may not progress to the course work in the next year of the program until they have successfully completed all courses within the current year. PA students must earn a passing grade in all courses. PA students will be dismissed from the College following failure of any two MPAS-designated courses, in addition to not adhering to the policies listed in the COPHS or PA Student Handbook.

A PA student, after presenting a written request to the Associate Dean of the College (with a copy to the PA Program director), may be granted an official leave of absence for personal, medical, or academic reasons for a period not to exceed one calendar year. If the leave of absence is approved, the dean provides written notification including applicable beginning and ending dates to the student, the University Registrar, and the Director of the Office of Financial Aid. The student must notify the program director in writing of his or her wish to return to the Program at least 60 calendar days prior to the start of the next appropriate reentry point. The student desiring an extension beyond one calendar year may be required to apply for readmission to the program. When a leave of absence is taken, the program director may require the student to repeat some or all of the courses completed prior to the leave of absence. In all leaves of absence, the student is required to complete the full curriculum to be eligible to earn MPAS degree.

Any student who is absent from clinical rotations for three months or more must perform and pass an observed history and physical examination (on a real or simulated patient) before being allowed to return to clinical rotations. The student will have two opportunities, evenly spaced over a two-month period of time, to pass this assessment. If unsuccessful, the student will be dismissed from the College.

For purposes of deferring repayment of student loans during a school-approved leave of absence, federal regulations limit the leave to six months. All questions regarding financial aid or student loans should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid.

Eligibility for Clinical Year

To qualify for clinical rotations, students must have successfully completed all didactic, prerequisite coursework and met and maintained professional standards and other requirements as established by the Program (e.g., physical examination, immunity status, BLS, ACLS) before beginning clinical rotations. 

Clinical Year

The clinical phase of the program is composed of four- week core rotations. Core rotations include behavioral medicine, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, and women’s health. At the conclusion of each core rotation, students will be required to take an examination (see “End-of-Rotation Examinations”). There is one four-week, limited-elective rotation. There is not an associated exam with the elective rotation. All questions regarding rotations for PA students should be directed to the Office of Experiential Education.

Advising and Registration

Students must participate in early advising for clinical rotations. Further, students must be officially registered for all clinical rotations/experiences for the professional liability insurance policy carried by the University to cover students in the clinical portion of the curriculum. Students participating on rotations/experiences without registering will be referred to the Academic and Professional Affairs Committee for appropriate action (e.g., warning, probation, suspension, dismissal).

End of Rotation Examinations

The Butler University PA Program faculty utilizes the Physician Assistant Education Association written End of Rotation (EOR) Examinations and endorses the objectives utilized to develop these exams as imperative to enter into practice as a PA Students will take an examination at the end of each supervised clinical practice experience.

To be permitted to sit for the required EOR exam, each student must:

  • successfully complete the required rotation as scheduled; and  
  • complete patient encounter logs using eValue by 12:00PM on the day preceding the EOR meeting; and  
  • complete the eValue student evaluation of the Preceptor by 12:00PM on the day preceding the EOR; and
  • sign off on preceptor evaluation of current clinical rotation, if completed; and 
  • meet the approval of the Director of Experiential Education and/or Program Director 

Failure to meet the above requirements may result in a report to the COPHS Student Professional Conduct Committee for appropriate action (e.g., warning, probation, suspension, dismissal).

Clinical Year Course Work

All rotations must be completed. Individual student rotation schedules will be determined by the director of experiential education and are subject to change at any time. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to these sites. Topic lists are provided to direct student learning and should be used in combination with the objectives of the end-of-rotation examinations.

Curriculum


The program reserves the right to change the curriculum at the discretion of the faculty. A student must successfully complete all courses in each didactic semester before being allowed to advance to the next semester. Only students admitted to and currently enrolled in the PA Program may register for courses offered as part of the curriculum numbered with MPAS designators. Such students also must maintain their eligibility to continue in the PA Program.

Didactic Course Work, First Year


Total Program Curriculum: 108 Credit Hours