PA Frequently Asked Questions

What is the deadline for applying? 

The CASPA application process for each of Trine PA’s admissions cycle opens in the latter part of April and closes March 1. One should apply early so all materials are entered and verified by CASPA by the closing date.

What is the deadline for registering?

Applicants invited to join the class will receive enrollment/registration information in the late spring/early summer to be ready to start the program in August. 

Does Trine University's PA Program require the GRE?

Yes. A combined score of 300 is considered competitive.

What is your CASPA GRE code?

The CASPA GRE Designated Institution Code for Trine University is 7343.

What are your competitive guidelines?

  • A combined verbal/quantitative score on the GRE General Test of 300 or above
    Quantitative GRE of 150 or above
  • Analytical Writing result of 3.5 or above on the GRE General Test
  • A prerequisite and cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • A Hard Sciences GPA calculated based on CASPA Course Subject GPA categories of 3.0 or above
  • A Behavioral Sciences GPA on CASPA Course Subject GPA categories of 3.0 or above

Can I apply if I have a course grade lower than a "C"?       

No, we will not accept your application for the 17-18 CASPA cycle. We encourage those with a course grade lower than a "C" to either retake the course, or take an equivalent subject course, at the same level and credit hours.

For the 18-19 cycle: No application can be accepted with a prerequisite course grade lower than a C. For those with a prerequisite course grade lower than a "C", you must either retake that course or take an equivalent subject course at the same or higher level and credit hours.

Verified CASPA applicants who otherwise met the application requirements might have other course grades lower than a C. For these courses, the Admissions Committee will determine relevance to PA professional education. If relevant, the applicant must demonstrate that the relevant course has been repeated with a grade of C or better or provide evidence of an equivalent course with a grade of C or better. Equivalent courses will need to be at the same level and in the same or similar discipline. Final determination of need for course repetition or equivalency will be by the Admissions Committee.

What should I do if my prerequisite courses/GPA is not meeting your admissions standard?

Consider retaking courses to improve your grades, and most importantly, your knowledge base. It is one thing to be accepted into PA school and another to be well prepared and set up for success. Take courses at accredited institutions. Look for courses that a typical pre-med student would take and avoid lower level and general survey courses. Show the admissions committee that you are capable of handling the rigorous nature of a PA program. Please also refer to the conditional acceptance admissions criteria.

Do I need to have completed all admission requirements prior to applying to your program? (e.g. prerequisites, GRE General Test, completion of Bachelor degree, etc.)

You may apply prior to completion of admission requirements. These should be immediately updated in CASPA as you fulfill them. All requirements must be successfully completed before matriculation into the program in August 2018. Any admissions interviews and acceptance offers are contingent upon this. At the time of application, an applicant should have a clear plan of how to complete the prerequisite coursework before matriculation into the program. 

Can I petition to waive prerequisite course work?

No.

What does “discernment process into the PA profession” mean?

Consider what led you to decide that the PA profession is right for you and conversely how you are a fit for the profession. Give specific examples such as health care experiences (personal or on the job), interactions with patients, job shadowing, etc.

Does Trine University's PA Program accept international students?

Trine University is applying for USCIS for the next admission cycle (2018-2019).  Currently, we are not accepting international students for the 2017-2018 cycle.  It is likely that anyone with non-resident status who has a valid student visa status will be able to apply for the next admissions cycle.  Please check the Trine PA FAQ page during the next admissions cycle for confirmation of USCIS status.

If I earned a Bachelor degree from a non-US institution, would I meet the requirement for “Completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to entry into the PA program”?

Yes, if you submit a WES (World Education Services) Foreign Evaluation authenticating your credentials as equivalent to those of a degree from a regionally accredited institution.

If I attended a non-English speaking institution, are there any additional requirements?

For those who have met requirements through WES equivalency from non-English speaking institutions, the IELTS (6.5) or TOEFL (79) minimum are required with minimum scores indicated in parentheses.

Can I visit your facilities?

We will have the opportunity to showcase our facility to CASPA applicants during admissions information sessions and admissions interviews. Those seeking admission into Trine’s undergraduate direct admission process should work through the undergraduate admissions office for all admissions related questions including visits to the facility.

Do you have admissions interviews?

For the 17-18 CASPA cycle, the PA program will be interviewing candidates from January until June and offering seats in the program on a rolling basis with each interview session until the class is filled. Once the class and wait list are filled, interviews may end for the admission cycle. Currently we anticipate the same plan for the 18-19 CASPA cycle.

Do you have a supplemental application? 

No.

Are there extra fees to apply to the PA program in addition to CASPA?

There are no additional application fees specific to the Trine University PA Program for the 17-18 CASPA cycle.

What do I do during admissions interviews?

Expect to spend about a half of a day with us. The content and style of the admissions interviews are considered proprietary information.

Do you have a tuition deposit?

Trine University PA Program requires confirmation of your seat in the class with a two-part non-refundable* tuition deposit of $500.00 each time. The first deposit will be required within three (3) weeks of your formal offer to hold your seat. The second deposit will be three (3) weeks after the first deposit to confirm your ongoing commitment to start the program. Should an applicant be offered a seat close to the program’s start date, the deposits will be due sooner.

*If Trine’s program is not approved by the ARC-PA to begin in August 2018, the tuition deposits will be refunded. 

For the 18-19 CASPA cycle, tuition deposits will be due at 2 weeks and 5 weeks from the official offer. Should an applicant be offered a seat close to the program’s start date, the deposits will be due sooner.

What can I do to improve my application to the Trine PA Program?

PA programs traditionally receive hundreds of applications to their programs each year. With such a high volume of applicants, it’s difficult to take the time to provide advice on an individual basis. The PA Program Admissions Committee recommends a personal reflection process to identify both areas of strength and areas of weakness while applying. An example could be retaking the GRE to obtain a score higher than the recommended 300 score, obtaining more healthcare experience/shadowing hours, and retaking courses to improve grades and GPAs.

How do I self-reflect to assess my application and candidacy strengths?

  • Do I meet all the requirements? (refer to admissions requirements)
  • Do I exceed where possible?
  • Do I have the plus of direct patient care experience?
  • Am I prepared with rigorous science courses over survey courses?
  • Do my references know me well enough and for a period of time that they can speak to my academic or professional performance?
  • Is my written communication top-notch?
  • Have I practiced general interview skills?

Some of my classes might be “old.” How old can classes be?

The Trine University PA program would like our applicants to have some flexibility in their application process. For example, if one is using their coursework in their day to day jobs, then the information is rather current as compared to when the course was taken. Good courses for updating if older than 7-10 years could include evolving medical sciences such as physiology, biochemistry, immunology or genetics as this foundation would help better prepare an applicant for success during the PA curriculum.

What does your academic schedule for the program look like?

The PA student start date matches the Trine University’s undergraduate Fall schedule. The 4 semester didactic phase will follow the undergraduate schedule per the registrar’s site. The program’s 3 semester clinical phase will be continuous weeks beginning in January until graduation in December. A didactic phase orientation will precede the start date.

What does your academic calendar look like for the PA students?

August 2018 is the start of the program for the first cohort, pending ARC-PA approval. The four didactic semesters match the general Trine University schedule. The clinical phase starts January 2020 and runs through until finals/graduation December 2020. The exact dates will be determined by the program and given in advance of the clinical year.

What is the cost of the program?

See PA Tuition and Fees.

What does it mean that Trine University is seeking accreditation? Can you explain the accreditation process?

Trine University has applied for Accreditation - Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). We anticipate matriculating our first class in August 2018, pending achieving Accreditation - Provisional status at the March 2018 ARC-PA meeting.

Accreditation - Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

In the event that provisional accreditation is not received, the graduate PA program will not commence in August 2018 and graduate PA tuition deposits will be refunded. This does not apply to Trine University’s undergraduate pre-PA curriculum which can provide a foundational education for PA programs, regardless of the Trine University graduate PA program status.

Summed up, if a program is provisionally accredited, it is an active accreditation status and students are graduating from an accredited program. We will announce the outcome of the March 2018 meeting on our website when the information is available.

Where are the PA Program classes going to be located?

The program will be located at 1819 Carew Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46805 between the campuses of Parkview Randallia hospital and the VA hospital. Some of the interprofessional education events will be hosted at partnering institutions in Fort Wayne. 

How do you make your admissions decisions?

Trine University follows a holistic admissions process. We evaluate all the data that a candidate submits as a whole. Specifics as to how we score and evaluate is considered proprietary.

Does your program conduct individual review of prospective applicant data?

The PA Program will conduct review of verified CASPA applicants’ data to provide a complete look at an applicant. We have provided ways for you to self-assess your information against our benchmarks prior to CASPA application and verification.

Do you require your science courses to be completed with a physical lab or can it be a virtual lab?

We recommend that all science courses with a lab be taken in a physical, in person environment, rather than a virtual lab although a virtual lab could meet our criteria.

Do I get to take classes with other health professions’ students?

Interprofessional Education (IPE) – The Trine University PA program participates in the Fort Wayne Area Interprofessional Education Consortium (FWAIPEC) for Graduate Health Care. The consortium is composed of graduate level medical education institutions and represents programs with family medicine residents, medical students, physician assistant students, graduate level nursing students (nurse practitioners and masters of science in nursing), physical therapy students, occupational therapy students and pharmacy students. The consortium gathers 3 times a year as a collaborative effort to introduce the students to the team concept of health care, strengthen patient outcomes and add value to the community. The consortium offers the opportunity for a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care and problem solving. It provides the students with the foundation to develop a healthy team approach to patient care. It also allows the faculty from different institutions the opportunity to collaborate. Collaborations beyond the basic FWAIPEC offerings round out IPE offerings. This curricular element is seen in the PA Program’s Clinical Application and Reflection Experience (CARE) course series.

Fort Wayne Area Interprofessional Education Consortium: Better Healthcare for our Community
Do you use cadavers to teach your anatomy?

The Trine PA Program values the cadaver experience as part of anatomy instruction. The PA students will use prosected cadavers.

Where will I do my clinical experiences?

The PA program has created local and distant partnerships for the clinical rotations and is expanding its clinical affiliates. While some of the supervised clinical experiences are local to Fort Wayne, the general rule is to expect to travel up to 45 minutes to an hour. Students will need reliable transportation for the duration of the program. Expect to travel. Plan for up to 1-2 distance rotations which will require student housing.

I see the program has affiliates for clinical rotation sites. Can students go elsewhere for clinical experiences?

The Program has a process for student initiated clinical experiences but students are not required to furnish their own clinical rotation sites. The program has to investigate the site to be sure it can meet our educational objectives and to secure the proper clinical affiliation agreement paperwork, etc. The Program cannot guarantee granting clinical wishes but feasibility will be explored with the student.

Can I work while I am in the PA Program?

Due to the time intensive nature of the program, employment is highly discouraged, except over the winter break.

Can I attend the PA Program part-time?

No. The PA program is a full-time program.

Does Trine provide housing for PA Program students?

Not at this time. Students will need to secure their housing from one of many options in the Fort Wayne area. During a clinical outside of the area, plan for housing cost.

Can I transfer from another PA Program?

No. Students coming from another PA program will be required to complete the full PA curriculum. 

How large do you anticipate your class will be?

The Trine plan is to matriculate 28 students in August 2018; 32 in August 2019; and 36 in August 2020. This plan is contingent upon ARC-PA approval of program and program’s class size.

How many seats are reserved for the undergraduate Direct Admissions Track? 

The program will reserve up to 10 seats for Trine students in direct entry programs. Any of these seats not filled by direct entry students will be available through the regular CASPA admission process. Based upon direct admissions track data from our Doctor of Physical Therapy program, we expect several direct seats to be available through the regular CASPA admissions process.

Does Trine award scholarships for students enrolled in the PA Program?

No. We do not currently offer PA scholarships.  

What are the requirements for financial aid at Trine?

Financial Aid questions should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid located at the main Trine campus in Angola, IN.

Contact information:
Call: 260-665-4158 or 800.347.4878
Fax: 260-665.4511
Email: finaid@trine.edu
Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am – 5 pm

Does my MPAS degree allow me to practice as a PA?

Your degree enables you to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE) to earn your certification. You also need to obtain your licensure. Completion of an accredited PA program does not automatically guarantee that the individual can practice as a physician assistant.

How does your program help prepare me for the NCCPA Board Exam?

The PA curriculum is your foundation for NCCPA Board Examination preparation. The program does administer mock boards twice during the curriculum so you can monitor your progress and identify areas of strengths and areas to improve. The mock boards are given near the end of the didactic and clinical phases.

Explain a bit about the Team Based Learning strategy you have in the “CARE” curriculum.

The Program has designed a team based learning (TBL) teaching strategy in the Clinical Application and Reflection Experience (CARE) courses in which small groups of students will work together on clinical cases to apply material learned in other areas of the curriculum. This strategy fosters critical clinical thinking skills.

I’ve been asked to email unofficial transcripts or other documents to the program to supplement my CASPA file. What tips do you have?

Please help us as we have many documents coming in to us. Label any file to include your last name, first name, and a hint to the content such as: Last First Collegename transcript update.

Example: Student Sally IvyLeague Transcript.pdf

If you are submitting other paperwork, be sure you not only name the file as above but also have your name, date, document title on the actual “paper.”

If you don’t properly label the file, we cannot connect it to your admissions file and the data will be lost.

My CASPA application is complete. When will I hear from Trine?

With rolling admissions, if your application is complete and competitive, we will look at it as long as we have seats remaining. Interviews for the August 2018 (class of 2020) PA program run from January 2018 to June 2018 so you could be contacted before any of these interview dates.