PA Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the deadline for applying?
The CASPA application process for each of Trine MPAS 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. Rolling Admissions means that competitive, completed and verified applications will be considered early.
2. Does Trine University’s MPAS Program require the GRE?
Yes, taken within the past 5 years. See competitive guidelines for target for the strongest applications.
3. What is your CASPA GRE code?
The CASPA GRE Designated Institution Code for Trine University is 7343.
4. What are your competitive guidelines?
Competitive applicants will usually apply with more than the minimum requirements
- A combined verbal / quantitative score on the GRE General Test of 310 or above
- Quantitative GRE over 153
- Analytical Writing GRE result of 4.0 or above
- A prerequisite GPA of 3.5 or above
- Cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above
- Preference for other relevant science coursework earning a C or better
- Highly recommend one course in genetics
5. How do you define “rigorous” coursework?
We define these as ones designed for science majors as opposed to lower level or survey courses. If you have completed a course designed for non-science majors or designated as 100 level or survey, we require you upload a copy of the syllabi to the Documents section of CASPA for Admissions Committee review. We will contact you with a determination and recommendation, if deemed non-rigorous, to take a different course that meets requirements.
6. In addition to prerequisite courses of a rigorous nature, what other courses do you suggest I take to be best prepared for PA school?
The Program suggests you take other science courses relevant to the study of medicine and healthcare.
7. Do you require completion of your science courses with a physical lab or would a virtual lab meet your requirements?
We recommend that you complete science course labs in a physical, in person environment rather than a virtual. The Admissions Committee would review whether a virtual lab meets our criteria.
8. Do you take Advanced Placement or Dual Credit courses?
We accept AP or dual credit courses toward the undergraduate degree and for statistics and psychology but not for the hard science prerequisites.
9. Can I apply if I have a course grade lower than a "C"?
You may apply but the Program will not accept prerequisite course grades lower than C. You must successfully repeat prerequisite courses at the same or higher level and credit hours.
For non-prerequisite courses, the Admissions Committee will determine relevance to PA professional education. If relevant, the applicant must earn a C or better by repeating the course or completing an equivalent course at the same level and in the same or similar discipline. The Admissions Committee will make the final determination for course repeats or equivalency.
10. Some institutions offer Anatomy and Physiology as integrated courses while others offer these separately. Is there a preference for either of these options?
Our Program has no preference. Both options would meet the requirement as long as you have met the number of credit hours (6 or equivalent quarter hours), GPA minimum (C or better) and rigor.
11. Some of my prerequisite course names may not look like what you want but cover the required material. For example, I took vertebrate anatomy, mammalian physiology and/or comparative anatomy and physiology. What do I do?
Upload the supporting syllabi into the CASPA portal in the Documents section for our Admissions Committee to make a determination of suitability to support your matching of these courses with our prerequisites.
12. 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. You must update outstanding requirements in CASPA as you fulfill them. The Committee will not consider an applicant for an interview until receiving your GRE General Test scores and fulfillment of 6 of 7 pre-requisite courses. You must successfully complete all requirements before matriculation into the program in August. Any acceptance offers are contingent upon this.
13. Can I substitute one pre-requisite or relevant course for another; for example Organic Chemistry II with lab for Biochemistry or Molecular Biology for Microbiology?
No, we do not allow substitutions for pre-requisites or relevant courses.
14. How do I list lab courses?
If your transcript lists labs separately, then list these separately on your application. Please record the lab as it appears on your transcript, with the title, prefix/number, amount of credits, and grade given. If your transcript combines lab/lecture courses into one class on a transcript, report these as one entry on your application noting in the course title this is combined lab and lecture course.
15. Can I petition to waive prerequisite course work?
16. Do you have a preference for in or out of state applicants?
Our Program has no preference.
17. What does “discernment process into the PA profession” mean?
Consider what makes you a fit for the PA profession and vice versa. Give specific examples such as health care experiences (personal or on the job), direct patient care, interactions with patients, job shadowing, etc.
18. Does experience in medical sales, scribing, or health care administration count towards your preference for direct patient care experience?
These positions have value for our required discernment into the PA profession, however we consider the related duties more as an observational experience. For any other experiences not listed above, think about your role with patient care. Do you interact with patients on a regular basis? What types of interactions occur (e.g. is it beyond observational)?
19. Does Trine University's MPAS Program support diversity?
Trine University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, veteran status or age in the administration of any of its education programs, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other school-administered programs or in employment.
20. Does Trine University's MPAS Program accept international students?
Currently we do not accept international students.
21. Do I need to submit transcripts if I attended a non-U.S. institution of higher learning?
Yes, you must submit complete official transcripts from all necessary schools to Trine University including foreign transcripts. These transcripts may require submission of reports from a foreign credential evaluation agency with the transcript/s.
22. 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”
The Admissions Committee will review Foreign Credential Evaluation Reports from WES (World Education Services) or ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators) to make a determination.
23. If I attended a non-English speaking institution, are there any additional requirements?
For those who have met other requirements, we require the IELTS (6.5) or TOEFL (79) with minimum scores indicated in parentheses. Trine’s TOEFL institution code is 1811.
24. Can I visit your facilities?
You will have the opportunity to visit our facilities during admissions information sessions. 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.
25. Do you have admissions interviews?
Yes. We have on site interviews. We offer seats in the program on a rolling basis with each interview session until the class is filled. Once we fill the class and wait list, interviews may end for the admission cycle.
26. What do I do during admissions interviews?
Expect to spend about a half of a day with us. You will receive an agenda on the day of the interview.
27. How do you handle re-applicants?
Reapplicants who did not interview will be treated as new applicants. Those who interviewed in the prior CASPA cycle and have completed files by August 31 of the next cycle, may receive an invitation to complete a re-interview.
28. Do you have any suggestions for re-applicants?
Strengthen your application, if you have areas for improvement, then reapply as early as feasible. For those who did not receive an interview offer due to submitting your application late in the rolling admissions process, please reapply early.
29. Do you have a supplemental application?
30. Are there extra fees to apply to the MPAS program in addition to CASPA?
There are no additional application fees specific to the Trine University MPAS Program.
31. Do you have a tuition deposit?
Trine University MPAS Program requires confirmation of your seat in the class with a two-part non-refundable tuition deposit of $1,000 with the first installment of $500 due at 2 weeks and the second installment of $500 due at 4 weeks from the official offer. The second deposit confirms 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.
32. Can you advise me on my chances of receiving an interview offer if I share my data prior to applying?
Given such a high volume of applicants each cycle, we do not evaluate data prior to submission of your CASPA application and its verification. We would instead direct you to FAQ on competitive guidelines (#4), improving your application (#33), and recommendations for self-reflection to determine the strength of your application (#34).
33. What can I do to improve my application to the Trine MPAS Program?
The MPAS Program Admissions Committee recommends a personal reflection process to identify areas of strength and areas of weakness while applying. An example could be retaking the GRE to obtain a more competitive score, obtaining more healthcare experience/shadowing hours, and retaking courses to improve grades and GPAs.
34. How do I self-reflect to assess my application and candidacy strengths?
Do I meet all the requirements? (refer to Admission 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?
35. Would you consider classes taken a number of years ago as “old” or “outdated” and requiring updating?
We recommend updating courses more than 7-10 years that include evolving medical sciences such as physiology, biochemistry, immunology or genetics as this foundation would better prepare you for success in the MPAS curriculum. Alternatively, if one applies these disciplines in their day to day jobs, work experience may suffice as a means of maintaining currency.
36. How do you make your admissions decisions?
Trine University follows a holistic admissions process, considering all components of the application and interview. Our Admissions Committee evaluates skills, experiences and attributes along with academic metrics.
37. How many seats are reserved for the undergraduate Direct Admissions Track?
The program will reserve up to 10 seats for students in the Trine University direct entry programs and up to 10 for those with articulation agreements with our institution. We will make seats not filled by direct entry students available through the regular CASPA admission process.
38. I’ve been asked to submit unofficial transcripts (e.g. grade reports) or other documents to the program to supplement my file, uploading these to the Documents section in CASPA. What tips do you have?
Label any file to include your last name, first name, and a description of the content such as: Student-Sally-IvyLeague-Transcript.pdf
39. My CASPA application is complete. When will I hear from Trine?
You will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your verified application within 5-7 days and a follow-up email to inform you of your review status approximately 4-6 weeks later. With rolling admissions, we will evaluate your application as long as we have seats and interview spots remaining. Please be aware that we cannot give updates on numbers of seats remaining at any time since the number changes constantly.
40. Can I transfer from another PA program?
No. We would consider you a new student required to complete the full PA curriculum of our Program.
41. How large do you anticipate your class will be?
We have 36 slots to fill.
42. What is the process for registering/enrolling?
Applicants invited to join the class will receive enrollment/registration information in late spring.
1. What does your academic schedule for the program look like?
The PA student start date matches the Trine University’s undergraduate fall schedule for the 4 semester didactic phase with the exception of fall break. 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.
2. Where will the PA Program classes be located?
Classes will take place at 1819 Carew Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46805 between the campuses of Parkview Randallia hospital and the VA hospital. Some of the inter-professional education events will be hosted at partnering institutions in Fort Wayne.
3. Do I get to take classes with other health professions’ students?
The Trine University MPAS Program participates in the Fort Wayne Area Inter-professional Education Consortium (FWAIPEC) for Graduate Health Care, a consortium of graduate level medical education institutions representing programs with family medicine residents, medical students, physician assistant students, graduate level nursing students (nurse practitioners and Master 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 opportunity for a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care and problem solving
- The foundation to develop a healthy team approach to patient care
- The opportunity for faculty from different institutions to collaborate
Collaborations beyond the basic FWAIPEC offerings round out IPE offerings. This curricular element occurs in the MPAS Program’s Clinical Application and Reflection Experience (CARE) course series.
4. Do you use cadavers to teach your anatomy?
The Trine MPAS Program values the cadaver experience as part of anatomy instruction. The students will primarily use prosected cadavers.
5. Explain a bit about the Team Based Learning strategy you have in the “CARE” curriculum.
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.
6. Where will I do my clinical experiences?
The MPAS Program has created local (Fort Wayne area) and distant partnerships for the clinical rotations and continues to expand its clinical affiliates.
7. Does your Program offer clinical rotations at international sites?
We do not offer international site clinical rotations at this time. We may consider offering these in the future and are also open to the concept of a mission trip.
8. 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 we do not require students to furnish their own clinical rotation sites. The Program must investigate the site to ensure it meets our educational objectives and to secure the proper clinical affiliation agreement paperwork, etc. The Program cannot guarantee granting clinical wishes but will explore feasibility with the student.
9. Can I work while I am in the PA program?
Due to the time intensive nature of the Program, we highly discourage employment.
10. Can I attend the PA program part-time?
No. The MPAS Program is a full-time program.
11. How does your program help prepare me for the NCCPA Board Exam?
The PA curriculum serves as your foundation for NCCPA Board Examination preparation. The Program administers mock boards twice during the curriculum, near the end of the didactic and clinical phases, so you can monitor your progress and identify areas of strengths and areas to improve.
12. 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 will 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.
Enrollment, Costs, and Logistics
1. What is the cost of the program?
2. Does Trine award scholarships for students enrolled in the PA program?
No. We do not currently offer PA scholarships.
3. Does Trine provide housing for MPAS Program students?
Not at this time. Students will need to secure their own housing from one of the many options in the Fort Wayne area. During a clinical rotation outside of the area, plan for housing cost.
4. What are the requirements for financial aid at Trine?
See Financial Aid section. Direct other Financial Aid questions 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
Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am – 5 pm
5. Can you provide more information on the application for financial aid?
One must complete the FAFSA to apply for federal aid
- We do not require students to have completed a FAFSA at the time admitted into any program
- You have a large window to apply for aid as the FAFSA application period runs from October 1 through June 30 each year
- You cannot use financial aid to pay seat deposits
- You may add schools to the FAFSA after submitting it
6. What options do I have as a graduate student for financial aid?
You can apply for direct and Grad PLUS loans. See the links for further information including the maximum amount you can borrow. Though Trine University does not currently offer scholarships, you can find plenty of scholarship opportunities online that can help you pay for PA school.
1. What does it mean that Trine University is provisionally accredited?
The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Trine University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Trine University. 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. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.