APPLICATION

How do you calculate my GPA?

  • GPA is calculated by CASPA. The cumulative GPA includes all courses. The science GPA is calculated using only Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  If you repeated a course, the average will be taken, not the highest and not the most recent. For specifics on CASPA’s calculations, please contact their customer service.

Do you accept Pass/Fail courses?

  • We accept pass/fail coursework ONLY if it was mandated by your institution because of COVID-19 and for the 2020-2021 cycle only. Applicants must submit additional documentation from their institution on school letterhead or authorized registrar email.

Can I apply before I finish my bachelors degree?

  • Yes.  You may apply while completing your bachelor’s degree as long as all courses are finished and posted to transcript by the end of the summer semester prior to January matriculation.

Do I have to have a bachelor’s degree in a science field (biology, chemistry, etc?)

  • No.  Applicants may apply who have either a BS or BA. You do not have to have a specific major; however, all required prerequisites must be satisfied. Please review our required prerequisite courses prior to applying to the program.

Do you accept degrees from universities outside the United States and US Territories?

  • Yes. Graduates from foreign institutions must have their degree and courses verified by World Education Service (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). This can be ordered through your CASPA Application.

Can I submit my MCAT score with my application?

  • No.  MCAT scores are neither required nor accepted.

Do you require the GRE?

  • No.

Do you accept physicians trained outside the US who have not yet completed USMLE examinations?

  • Regardless of whether an applicant completed some or all of a medical degree, no preferential treatment or skipping courses is allowed. Students accepted to the PA Program must be part of the cohort, attending, completing, and passing all courses in their entirety.  They then take the national certifying exam (PANCE) to become a certified Physician Assistant. We do not accept Advanced Placement or transfer requests.

Once I graduate from the PA Program, can I practice in the continental US or just in Puerto Rico?

  • Upon successful completion of the PA Program students are eligible to take the national certifying exam (PANCE) and may then get a license to practice in any of the 50 US states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam. 

I already have a medical degree.  Can I just take the PANCE and become a Physician Assistant?

  • No.  Even if you have earned a medical degree, you must still graduate from an accredited PA program and pass the certifying exam (PANCE).

Can I apply before I finish a required prerequisite course?

  • Yes. You may apply while completing prerequisite coursework as long as all courses are finished and posted to transcript by the end of the summer semester prior to January matriculation.

Do you accept coursework older than 10 years?

  • Possibly.  If you are an exemplary applicant you may appeal to the SJB Admissions Committee along with your CASPA Application. Please see our appeal process on the admissions page.

Does SJB require a supplementary application?

  • No.

Is TOEFL required?

  • Yes.  Applicants whose native language is not English, or who did not attend college in the US or US Territories or English-speaking countries must demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination with a score of at least 560 (paper-based), 220 (computer-based) or 83 (Internet-based).

What counts as patient care hours?

  • SJB PA Program recognizes that students with direct patient care experience  We require a minimum of 200 hours experience in the medical field prior to submitting your application. Most applicants have been Medical Assistants, scribes, Scrub Techs, EMTs, CNAs, or phlebotomists.  Mission work, shadowing, and volunteer work are also considered.

How many letters of recommendation do I need?

  • The SJB PA Program accepts three letters of recommendation with at least one from a Medical Doctor or Physician Assistant. It is highly recommended one letter be from a supervisor (from either paid or volunteer work) or a college professor.

What is the deadline for the CASPA Application?

  • All applicants must submit their CASPA Application online by 11:59pm EST by October 1, 2020.

ADMISSIONS

Will I be subject to a background check?

  • Yes.  For additional information please see our Technical Standards.

When will I be notified if I am selected for an interview?

  • December 1st.

How many applicants are accepted each year?

  • A cohort has between 30-45 students.

Do I need to be in Puerto Rico to interview?

  • For the 2020-2021 interview cycle interviews will be virtual and you do not need to be physically present in Puerto Rico.

PROGRAM

When does the program begin?

  • A new cohort begins the PA Program each January.

What is the cost of the program?

  • Please see Tuition and Fees link.

Can I be in the program part-time?

  • No. PA school is rigorous and is a full-time commitment for 28 months.

Can I work during PA school?

  • We highly recommend the student not work while enrolled in the PA Program.

Do you offer any online course?

  • No.

Is housing available?

  • Housing is not provided by the university.

Do you offer any scholarships?

  • No. Financial aid is available by completing FAFSA.

Do you have a dress code?

  • Yes.

Is attendance required?

  • Yes.

Do you have a cadaver lab?

  • No.  Plastinated and virtual cadavers are used.

How many rotations can I do outside of Puerto Rico?

  • One off-island rotation is allowed and it is most commonly an elective.