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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Questions pertaining to the COVID-19 Impact


    Are there changes to the application deadline?

    At this time, there are no changes to the application cycle opening date or application deadline.  Our application cycle opened on May 1, 2020 and will close on November 1, 2020. We are mindful that this is a fluid situation, and we may make adjustments as more information is received. Any changes will be posted to our website as soon as the decisions are made.

    My institution is only offering online coursework and/or Pass/No Pass grading. Will this be acceptable for the prerequisites?

    Courses taken as Pass/No Pass:  Although letter grades for coursework and labs are preferred, the program will accept Pass/No Pass grading (only passes are acceptable to meet prerequisites) for courses/labs taken during spring and summer 2020 terms.

    Acceptance of online and/or distance learning prerequisites:  The program will accept courses and labs taken during the spring and summer 2020 terms that are delivered via online or distance learning. Although we highly value the in-person A & P labs, we understand that online/distance learning includes A & P labs.

    Are you reducing the number of required Direct Patient Care hours or PA Shadowing hours?

    At this time, there are no changes to the required patient care or PA shadowing hours for admission to the Program. If you are unable to meet the minimum requirement due to the pandemic, you are still able to apply. We are looking into extending the timeframe allotted for obtaining patient care and shadowing hours. We would also suggest reaching out in your local community to healthcare providers for whom you may be able to provide assistance. Again, we are mindful that this is a fluid situation, and we may make adjustments as more information is received. Any changes will be posted to our website as soon as the decisions are made.

    Will there be any delays for interviews and matriculation?

    At this time, there are no changes or delays and we plan to interview in the fall/early winter to accept a class that will matriculate in August, 2021. Again, this is a fluid situation and any changes will be communicated as soon as possible.


    What does it mean to be a Provisionally Accredited program?

    The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has applied for Accreditation - Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The University of Maryland Eastern Shore anticipates matriculating its first class in August 2020, pending achieving Accreditation - Provisional status at the March 2020 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. The program will not commence in the event that provisional accreditation is not received.

    What will happen if the school does not receive accreditation?

    Students will only be allowed to begin matriculation into the Program after Accreditation – Provisional status has been awarded.

    What is the application cycle for the PA Program?

    The application cycle for 2020 – 2021 opens in April, 2020 and closes on November 1, 2020.

    What is the interview period for the PA Program and how many applicants will be chosen?

    Applicants will be chosen and invited to interview beginning in December through the first quarter of the next year. We do not have a specific number of applicants that we will interview, but we will be accepting a cohort of 25 students.

    Does the UMES PA Program have a supplemental application?

    Yes, prospective students will need to submit a supplemental application upon acceptance into the PA Program here.

    What are your policies regarding refund of tuition and fees?

    Students withdrawing from the University during a semester will be credited for all academic fees charged to them, in accordance with the following schedule.

    Period from First Day of Instruction Refundable Percentage:
    Two weeks or less 80% 
    Between two and three weeks  60% 
    Between three and four weeks 40% 
    After four weeks No refund  0


    Any student who desires or is compelled to withdraw from the University for any cause at any time during the academic year should secure an application for withdrawal from the Office of the Registrar, obtain the proper signatures and file it in the Office the Registrar. The effective date for withdrawals, with regard to refunds and grades, is the date the form is filed at the Office of the Registrar. No student may withdraw after the last scheduled day of classes in a given semester. Exceptions will be referred to the Academic Appeals Board. No part of the charges for room and board is refundable, except when the student officially withdraws from the University or is given permission by the appropriate officials of the University to move from the residence facility and/or to discontinue dining hall privileges. When permission is given to discontinue dining hall privileges, the meal card must be turned in to the Office of the Vice President for Administrative Affairs. In these cases, the room refund will be computed by deducting ten percent (10%) of the charge for the semester as a service charge and the remainder will be prorated on a weekly basis. Refunds to students for board (dining hall) charges will be calculated in the same manner. No room and/or board refunds will be made after the fourteenth week of the semester. Weekly basis shall be defined as a complete week or any fraction thereof.

    In the event that the program will not commence and provisional accreditation is not received, students will be refunded fees submitted to the university and the UMES PA Program approximately 60 days after the university is notified of its accreditation status by the ARC-PA. 

    What is the UMES PA Program policy on student employment?

    Employment is strongly discouraged. The Physician Assistant curriculum has been designed to be a full-time activity for students. It consists of a very demanding course load with a great deal of time spent in class and in clinical experiences. There are also many special seminars, films and guest lecturers that may be available to students on relatively short notice. We encourage you to seek outside sources of financial support (scholarships, loans, etc.) so that you may devote as much time as possible to your professional education. 

    Do you offer preference to any applicants?

    Yes, applicants from Health Personnel Shortage Areas (HPSA) https://bhw.hrsa.gov/shortage-designation/hpsas or Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUA/P) https://data.hrsa.gov/tools/shortage-area/mua-find and groups and/or racial/ ethnic populations underrepresented within the physician assistant profession are encouraged to apply and will receive preference. 

    What are the prerequisites needed to apply to the UMES PA Program?

    All applicants must successfully complete the following Medical Core prerequisite courses with a grade of “C” or higher (within the Bachelor’s degree or through coursework at a regionally accredited US institution of higher education).

    Coursework Semester credit hours
    Medical Terminology 1
    Biology with Lab 4
    Microbiology 3
    Organic Chemistry with Lab 4
    Inorganic Chemistry/Biochemistry with Lab 4
    Human Anatomy/Anatomy & Physiology I 3 - 4
    Human Physiology/Anatomy & Physiology II 3 - 4
    Psychology (Birth through Old Age/Across the Lifespan) 3

     

    Prerequisite science courses are to be completed within six years prior to the date of admission. All courses must be completed by the November 1st deadline.

    A waiver of the six-year requirement, or grade requirement, for a prerequisite course may be requested by the applicant if 1) there is a continuous employment history that would demonstrate knowledge of the course content, or 2) the applicant has a B grade or better, within the last six years, in a more advanced course in the same subject. Knowledge-based testing does not satisfy any of the prerequisites. Waivers will not be considered until the application has been verified via CASPA. The waiver should be submitted with your initial application to PADept@umes.edu upon verification by CASPA. All waivers must be approved by the Program Director.

    Do you accept Advanced Placement (AP) or transfer credits?

    At this time, the UMES PA Program does not award or grant advanced placement or transfer credits.

    Is there a timeframe for completing prerequisite courses?

    Prerequisite science courses are to be completed within six years prior to the date of admission. All courses must be completed by the November 1st deadline.

    Does the UMES PA Program have scholarships?


    At this time no scholarships are available for students or applicants of the UMES PA Program.

    What is the cost of the program?

    Current tuition and fees are available in the Tuition and Financial Aid section of our website https://www.umes.edu/PA/Content/Tuition-and-Financial-Aid/ or by contacting our department via telephone at (410) 651-8452 or via email to PADept@umes.edu

    Is there housing available on campus?


    There is housing available for students of the PA Program. Please contact Ms. Larita Hugee in the Office of Residence Life at (410) 651-7110 or via email to llhugee@umes.edu.

    Can someone look at my transcripts and tell me what I need?

    Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to review applicant’s transcripts prior to application. Once the application has been verified in CASPA, prospective students may request a review of their transcripts and notification of any outstanding items.

    Will I have to find my own clinical site for rotations?

    No, our Program schedules all required SCPE sites for rotations where we have affiliation agreements with the clinical preceptors.

    Does your Program have any information sessions?

    Yes, please check our link on our website here for the most up-to-date details on our information sessions.

    Are there health care and shadowing requirements for admission?

    When completing the CASPA application particular attention should be given to the following:

    a. The applicant’s personal statement detailing their desire to become a physical assistant.

    b. Three (3) letters of recommendation addressing the applicant’s potential as a physician assistant. 

    c. One of the letters of recommendation must be from a practicing physician assistant with whom the applicant has had a minimum of 40 hours of first-hand observation or “shadowing” experience. Please complete and upload form here.

    d. Documentation of a minimum of 500 hours of paid experience involving direct patient care hours are required. It is recommended that students obtain direct patient care hours in different medical settings, e.g., hospice, assisted living facility, hospital, underserved areas/countries, etc. To obtain strong direct patient care experience, students are encouraged to obtain certification credentials, e.g., paramedic, nurse's aide, phlebotomist, medical assistant, radiologic technologist, EKG tech, EMT (I or Basic), LPN, dental hygienist, or clinical laboratorians/scientists (the student MUST be performing phlebotomy, assisting with bone marrow aspirations/biopsy and must have direct patient interaction, not just with their specimens), and behavioral health technician. All required direct patient care hours must be completed by the application deadline. (Hours must be completed by the November 1st deadline). Please complete and upload form here.