Admissions Requirements (Class of 2024, Entering Fall 2021)
All applicants, including graduates from foreign institutions, must hold either US Citizenship or Permanent Resident status at the time of application. DACA recipients or candidates with "pending" citizenship or permanent residency cannot be considered.
Letters of Recommendation
The TUC Joint MSPAS/MPH Program requires three letters of recommendation, which are generally submitted with the CASPA application. One letter must be from someone who is working clinically (e.g., PA, NP, Physician). The source of the remaining letters is up to the applicant. The Program does not accept reference letters from friends, family, the applicant’s personal healthcare provider, or patients/clients. If letters are not submitted with the CASPA application, they must be submitted using the ApplyYourself system.
Be sure to submit all application materials prior to their respective deadlines! Letters of recommendation are used for admissions purposes only and do not become part of the official academic record.
Minimum Academic Requirements
***COVID-19 Adjustment for Class of 2024*** The Touro University California Joint MSPAS/MPH Program pre-screens off of the primary (CASPA) application. At minimum, candidates must obtain Cumulative and Science GPA's of 2.90 or greater. The GRE is not required.
All candidates are required to have obtained a Baccalaureate degree from a regionally
accredited institution of higher education prior to submitting the CASPA application.
Minimum Course Requirements
All pre-requisite coursework must be completed prior to submission of the CASPA primary application.
Applicants from all academic disciplines are welcome to apply, provided they have completed a Baccalaureate degree and provided they meet the required minimum prerequisites as noted below. Prerequisite courses may be taken at any regionally accredited community college or 4-year college/university, either in person or online.
- 8 semester/12 quarter units (including labs) in each of the following categories:
- Biological Sciences (may be comprised of general biology, genetics, immunology, embryology, etc.)
- Chemistry (may be comprised of inorganic, organic, biochemistry)
- 4 semester/5 quarter units (including labs) of the following:
- Human Anatomy (must be completed within 5 years of expected year of matriculation)
- Human Physiology (must be completed within 5 years of expected year of matriculation)
- Microbiology (4 semester/5 quarter units, lab not required)
- Statistics (3 semester/5 quarter units)
***COVID-19 Adjustment for Class of 2024*** When possible, pre-requisite courses should be completed with a letter grade which must be a “C” or better (“C-“ will not be accepted). Non-letter grades (e.g., Pass or Credit) will also be accepted if such grades are issued as a result of COVID-19 adjustments.
Proof of successful completion, via official transcripts, will be required prior to matriculation.
Patient Care and Health Care Hours (Clinical Experience)
At the time of application, candidates must have obtained a minimum of 1,000 hours of Patient Care Experience and/or Health Care Experience, either as a volunteer or in a paid position. Patient Care Experience is defined as work in which you are directly responsible for a patient's care. Examples include prescribing medications, performing procedures, directing a course of treatment, working as an EMT, etc. Having this experience provides an applicant with the opportunity to observe and learn about the various roles of the health care team, ensures that an applicant has an understanding of, and commitment to working with patients, and provides a foundation of medical knowledge and experience to build upon.
It is the applicant's responsibility to sufficiently document job duties in the CASPA application. Applicants should consider the duties which they performed and use their best judgment to determine which category in the CASPA application it falls into. All health care related experiences should be documented either in the Patient Care Experience or Health Care Experience sections (not the Volunteer section). Health Care Experience includes jobs where you are not directly responsible for a patient's care, such as with medical clerical work or cleaning patient rooms. Applicants are expected to separate hours for positions that consist of both Patient Care Experience and Health Care Experience accordingly.
All reported Patient Care Experience will be evaluated based upon the following criteria:
- Specific duties performed
- Skill set needed
- Quality of patient interaction
- Total number of hours
- Patient population served
- Time frame of the experience
The table below provides a list of common types of Patient Care Experiences but is not all-inclusive.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)**
Paramedic/Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
Clinical Research Assistant
Physical Therapy Aide
Medical Assistant (MA)**
Techs: EKG, ER, Lab, Mental Health, Ophthalmology
Techs: Radiology, Surgery
**CASPA has mandated that you report CNA and MA hours under "Healthcare Experience". The TUC PA program, however, will count those hours where you are directly responsible for a patient's care towards our minimum required 1,000 "Patient Care" hours. For example, all MA experience would be listed under Healthcare Experience. However, when listing duties, this should be divided. The Program will consider back office MA duties under Patient Care but front office MA duties under Health Care Experience. The applicant needs to divide these hours or percentage of time up when describing duties.
Credit for Experiential Learning
No direct patent care credit will be granted for student related experiences (i.e., athletic training student, EMT student, etc.).
Physician Assistant Shadowing
Working with or shadowing a Physician Assistant provides an applicant with more in-depth knowledge of the profession, allowing an applicant to make an informed career decision to enter a PA program. Applicants who have worked with Physician Assistants are advised to describe all such interactions under the appropriate job descriptions. Preference will be given to candidates who have 20 or more hours of shadowing or working with a Physician Assistant in a variety of clinical settings.
Though not required, community service is highly desirable and is viewed favorably during the application review process.
Other Review Criteria
Throughout the application process, applicants are also evaluated based upon a variety of criteria. Preference is given to applicants who demonstrate a commitment to the mission of the program through background, community service, and/or clinical experience. This may be through a variety of ways:
- Match with the mission
- First generation in family to complete a four-year degree (only consider custodial parent[s])
- From an under-resourced community (environmentally or economically underserved background)
- Veteran/active military
- Member of a group that is underrepresented in the PA Profession
- Underrepresented minority
- Demonstration of commitment to the mission:
- Location/type of clinical experience
- Types of medical and nonmedical volunteer activities
- Ability to communicate in other languages
We also prioritize the following attributes:
- Ability to self reflect
- Ability to function as a member of a team
- Critical thinking skills
- Emotional maturity
- Commitment to a public health education
Additional Requirement for Graduate of Foreign Institutions
The Joint program considers applications from graduates of foreign institutions. The Program does not, however, evaluate foreign transcripts. Transcripts and coursework from foreign institutions must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES). Evaluations must be sent directly to CASPA and must indicate whether or not the degree(s) being evaluated should be considered equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited US institution.
Advanced Placement (AP) Credit
Touro University California accepts advanced placement credit as long as such credit appears on the undergraduate transcript and indicates either specific subject credit (e.g. General Chemistry - 4 units) or specific course credit (e.g. Chem 101 - 4 units). General advanced placement credit without such specifications is not accepted.
Transfer Students from other PA Programs
The Program does not accept transfer students.
Transfer of Credit
No prerequisite credit will be granted for work related experiences.
The Program does not allow part-time status for new students.
Applications from TU-CA MPH Students and/or Graduates of Other MPH Programs
The Joint Program does not award credit for coursework completed prior to enrollment. If accepted into the Joint program, Touro University California MPH students/graduates or students/graduates of other MPH programs will be required to complete 30 public health units in residence. In the event a required MPH course has already been completed, an alternative course of study will be offered to satisfy the 30 unit didactic requirement.
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