PA Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

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.

How do you handle re-applicants?

  • For those who already interviewed, we will have a streamlined interview process for those invited to re-interview. Be sure to address any areas for improvement, as applicable, and reapply early as part of rolling admissions.
  • If you did not meet/exceed the competitive guidelines, be sure to strengthen your application and 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.

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 300 or above
  • Quantitative GRE over 150
  • Analytical Writing GRE result of 3.5 or above
  • A prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Preference for other relevant science coursework earning a C or better
  • Highly recommend one course in genetics

Does Trine University’s PA Program require the GRE?

Yes, a combined verbal/quantitative score of 300 or greater is considered competitive with a quantitative score of 151 or above.

What is your CASPA GRE code?

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

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 a genetics course. There are many other science courses that can be useful as well.

Does your program require a lab with the biochemistry prerequisite?

Our program does not require a lab for biochemistry. It has been called to our attention that our CASPA site notes that biochemistry requires a lab. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Do you take Advanced Placement or Dual Credit courses?

AP or dual credit courses can be used toward the undergraduate degree and for statistics and psychology but not for the hard science prerequisites.

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. Prerequisite courses must be successfully repeated 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.

Some institutions offer Anatomy and Physiology as integrated courses while others offer these separately as Anatomy and Physiology. Is there a preference for either of these options?

There is no preference. Both options would meet the requirement as long as the number of credit hours (6 or equivalent quarter hours), GPA minimum (C or better) and rigor are met.

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 for our Admissions Committee to make a determination of suitability to support your matching of these courses with our prerequisites.

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

Consider retaking the courses to improve your grade, and most important, 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 the classes as accredited institutions. Look for the institutions and 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. You are welcome to apply; your application will be handled in accordance with our competitive guidelines.

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 although complete files give our admissions committee a better picture of you as a candidate. Outstanding requirements should be immediately updated in CASPA as you fulfill them. The committee will not consider an applicant for an interview until receiving the GRE General Test scores and may hold applications with pending pre-requisite coursework. All requirements must be successfully completed before matriculation into the program in August. Any 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.

Do you have a preference for in or out of state applicants?

There is no preference.

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), direct patient care, interactions with patients, job shadowing, etc.

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)?

Does Trine University's PA Program accept international students?

Currently, we are not accepting international students. Please check the Trine PA FAQ page during the next admissions cycle for confirmation of USCIS status.

Are you having a PA Conditional Acceptance program for the 18-19 CASPA cycle (PA cohort 2021)?

No, the program has eliminated this “PACA” option. Assess your qualifications against our competitive guidelines and work to improve your credentials.

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?

Yes. We anticipate on site interviews staring in January. We are 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.

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 18-19 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. For the 18-19 CASPA cycle, tuition deposits will be due at 2 weeks and 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.

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, 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.

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. Specific details regarding how we score and evaluate are 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 required lab be taken in a physical, in person environment, rather than a virtual lab although a virtual lab could meet our criteria.

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

The program will reserve up to 10 seats for 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 our program’s previous experience, we expect several direct seats to be available through the regular CASPA admissions process.

I’ve been asked to email unofficial transcripts (e.g. grade reports) 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 name, College, 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 and interview spots remaining. Interviews for the August 2019 (class of 2021) PA program run from January 2019 to May 2019 so you could be contacted before any of these interview dates. Please be aware that we cannot give updates on numbers of seats remaining at any time since it is a constantly changing number. Across the country prospective students put deposits down on seats from more than one program. Programs often go into their wait lists to fill the program’s seats.

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.

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?

Trine University plans to matriculate 28 students in August 2018; 32 in August 2019; and 36 in August 2020.

What is the process for registering/enrolling?

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


Academics/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 general undergraduate schedule per the registrar’s site with the exception of no mini 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.

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

Trine University’s fall semester starts in late August. The four didactic semesters match the general Trine University schedule. The clinical phase starts after completion of the didactic semesters in January and runs through until finals/graduation in December. The exact dates will be determined by the program and given in advance of the clinical year.

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 inter-professional education events will be hosted at partnering institutions in Fort Wayne.

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

Inter-professional Education (IPE) – The Trine University PA program participates in the Fort Wayne Area Inter-professional 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 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 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.

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 primarily use prosected cadavers.

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.

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 could be 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 and plan for up to 1-2 distant rotations which will require student housing. Examples of distant rotations include other areas in Indiana, adjoining states, or possibly more distant rotations such as Arizona, California, Nevada, or Texas.

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 must 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.

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.

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.


Enrollment, Costs, and Logistics

What is the cost of the program?

See PA Program Tuition and Fees.

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 Trine provide housing for PA program students?

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


Accreditation

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.