The following are responses to questions that are frequently asked by prospective students of the Xavier University Physician Assistant Program. Click on the topic headings below to maximize and minimize the list of related questions. If you have any questions after review of the FAQs, please contact the admissions office.

General Questions

Xavier University of Louisiana Physician Assistant Studies Program will award the Master of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MHS-PAS) degree.

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) allows the program to accept 40 students per year.

Xavier University of Louisiana Physician Assistant Program is a 28 month master’s degree program that has a 12- consecutive month didactic phase, and will include 16 months of clinical training within the Ochsner Health System.

No. There is no distance learning option for the XULA PA Program.

No. The rigorous and fast-paced nature of the program curriculum does not allow time for the student to work during the program or take courses part-time.

The PA Program admits one class per year, in January.

The XULA PA Program strongly discourages any type of outside employment during our consecutive course of studies. Employment during the program may result in academic difficulties and may prevent the student from acquiring the level of knowledge needed to perform adequately as a physician assistant student during the didactic and clinical phases of the program.

No transfer credit is accepted. No courses will be waived. The program does not offer advanced standing or accept graduate transfer credits. All students must complete the entire series of academic courses and clinical rotations. Prerequisite courses are not actually transferred into the program, but rather necessary to be eligible for admission consideration.

No. The XULA PA Program is unable to defer admissions.

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Xavier University of Louisiana Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Xavier University of Louisiana.

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.

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Applicants MUST submit all application materials through the centralized application service for Physician Assistant Programs (CASPA). The XULA PA Program will only accept applications submitted and verified by CASPA on or before application deadline.

The XULA PA Program portal of CASPA opens in April and closes August 1st annually. The XULA PA Program will only accept applications verified by CASPA on or before August 1st.

Interviews for admission to the XULA PA Program will begin late summer- early fall of each year.

Select applicants will be invited to interviews, which begin early fall of each year. Offers of admission will be made to selected applicants after their interview and sent by October 15. 

Upon receiving an offer of admission, applicants must submit a $1,000 non-refundable deposit to secure their seat. This deposit must be received within 10 calendar days from the date of the offer letter. Should any of the accepted candidates withdraw from the program prior to the start of classes, the position is offered to the highest- ranked candidate on the alternate list.

The Xavier University Physician Assistant Program GRE code is 4433.

No supplemental application is required.

Preference will be given to Xavier University of Louisiana alumni and Ochsner Health employees.

All admission requirements must be met by August 1st deadline.

Direct patient care experience is ‘hands-on’ in nature. Successful applicants have worked as one of the following: emergency medical technician, licensed vocational nurse, medical assistant (back office), medical scribe, medical technologist, military medical corpsman, nursing assistant, paramedic, psychiatric technician, radiologic technician, respiratory therapist, chiropractor, registered nurse, etc.

Please review the CASPA website for questions regarding GPA calculation. The Program relies on the CASPA GPA calculations. All courses, including those repeated, are included.


Applicants must possess an overall minimum grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) to be considered for admittance. Prerequisite courses must be completed with grades of C or above.

All required courses AND undergraduate degree must be completed and verified, by CASPA, by the application deadline of October 1st.

The Medical Terminology prerequisite is 1-3 semester hours. This is not satisfied by professional, educational, certifications, or life experiences. The credits must come a regionally accredited college or university, which can be taken online.

Yes, if they are from a regionally accredited university. However, online lab courses will not be accepted.

No, we do not accept any substitution for Human Anatomy/Physiology.

Yes, on a case by case basis with the approval of the PA programs review of the course syllabus.

The PA program strongly recommends courses in cell biology, molecular biology, embryology, histology, parasitology, virology, immunology and other similar courses (3-8 credits). While none of these are specifically required, they are strongly recommended and provide a good foundation for the study of medicine. Courses must have a BIO course name and number or clearly be biology related. Number must begin with a 3 or 4 (300/400 or 3000 /4000 level). Please refer to the XULA PA Program Course Equivalency Guide.

Candidates must have a combined verbal/quantitative GRE score of 290 and a minimum of 3 on the writing section of the GRE. However, to be competitive in the overall applicant pool it is recommended that a competitive applicant have GRE scores of verbal: 150 or higher, quantitative, 150 or higher, analytical writing, 3.5 or higher. 

If the GRE is taken multiple times the program considers the highest cumulative score for the test taken on a single day.

The General GRE is the test XULA PA Program requires to complete the admissions process.

As long as your credits come from a regionally accredited college or university they will suffice for admissions purposes.

There is no expiration period for prerequisites. However, applicants should be prepared to address how information has been kept easily recallable in an interview setting.

NO. Our prerequisites are in place to ensure that students enter the program well prepared for the challenging curriculum that we provide; therefore, we do not accept any substitutions for our pre-requisite classes and we do not waive any classes. However, any post-baccalaureate coursework will be factored into your cumulative GPA as calculated by CASPA.

Yes, the XULA PA Program does offer early admissions.

Although you are not required to have a science major or degree, prerequisite science courses must be from the science curriculum at your university or college. Be cautious about completing science courses unique to a particular subject or major, as they will not be accepted (i.e. nursing, radiology, veterinary, etc.) Please refer to the XULA PA Program Course Equivalency Guide.

Yes, all applicants regardless of undergraduate, graduate degree, or professional experience must complete all of the XULA PA Program admissions requirements.

Tuition, Financial Aid, and Housing

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