Admission into the Baylor College of Medicine PA program relies on completing three application steps: completing the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) application, successful review by the admissions office, and attending interviews conducted by the college faculty of the Baylor College of Medicine School of Health Professions.
Here’s an overview of the program prerequisites, admissions process, and tips to improve your chances of admission.
Interested in learning about the PA Programs of other schools and colleges, finding useful admissions tips, etc? Check out our PA Programs articles here – we cover all major schools!
Requirements For Admission To The Baylor PA Program
Although the college does not require you to complete a degree course in the sciences, you do need to demonstrate your ability to grasp scientific concepts by completing the following Baylor College of Medicine PA program prerequisites:
It would help if you held at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college in the United States. If you are currently in your senior year of college, you may apply if you will have completed your degree by May of the enrollment year.
Grade Point Average
You must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.2 and a minimum of 3.2 in science, where an “A” is 4.0.
English Language Skills for International Applicants
If you are not a native English speaker, you must pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or English as a Foreign language (TOEFL) test. You require a total band score of 6.5 or higher on the IELTS for consideration. If you choose the TOEFL, you must either:
- score 80 overall, with a minimum of 20 for each of the sections of the internet-based test, or
- a total score of 213, scoring a minimum of 21 in Listening Comprehension
Prerequisite Science and Non-Science Courses
To apply for the program, you must complete the course prerequisites below before May of the enrollment year, attaining a minimum “C” grade:
- Microbiology with lab (4 semester / 5 quarter)
- Anatomy with lab (4 semester / 5 quarter)
- Genetics (3 semester / 4 quarter)
- Physiology with lab (4 semester / 5 quarter) OR Anatomy &Physiology I/II with labs (8 semester / 10 quarter)
- Organic Chemistry with lab (4 semester / 5 quarter)
- General Chemistry II with lab (4 semester / 5 quarter)
- General Chemistry I with lab (4 semester / 5 quarter)
- English Composition/Expository Writing(3 semester / 4 quarter)
- Statistics (including Analysis of Variance) (3 semester / 4 quarter)
- Psychology or Sociology (3 semester / 4 quarter)
The Baylor College Of Medicine PA Program Admissions Process
Once you fulfill the prerequisites to apply, there are four main stages involved in the admissions process to the Baylor College of Medicine’s Physician’s Assistant program:
1. Online CASPA Application
Admission to the Baylor College of Medicine Physician Assistant Program requires you to complete an online application on the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).
You may think of the CASPA system as a clearing house for applications to 145 of the 156 accredited Physician Assistant programs in the United States. CASPA is part of the US Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) and helps make the application procedure efficient and fair for all applicants and PA programs.
The deadline for submission of your application, official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation via CASPA is midnight of August 1 for each admission cycle. After verifying all submitted materials, CASPA forwards your completed application as an electronic data file to the Baylor College of Medicine PA program.
Failure to submit any required application materials by the deadline will disqualify your application.
2. Administrative Review and Candidate Screening
Next, the admissions office at Baylor College carries out an administrative review of all applications to ensure the submission of all the necessary documents by the deadline and that all applicants have the prerequisite GPAs. If your application passes the first review stage, it goes to a screening portal for further review by the college’s PA program admissions committee.
In this second stage of the review, the Baylor PA program faculty screens and ranks your application against all other eligible candidates using holistic criteria that the admissions committee reviews annually.
Among the screening criteria are:
- academic preparedness
- character development
- written communication
- commitment and other unique attributes.
If the admissions committee perceives you as a competitive candidate, it will invite you for an in-person interview.
3. Applicant Interviews
In October, the admissions office will communicate your invitation to the November interviews via email. The admissions committee and PA program representatives decide on the specific interview dates and expect you to acknowledge your acceptance of the interview offer within seven days. The college’s PA program committee interviews a maximum of 150 applicants.
The 2-day interview experience starts with an orientation session on day 1, followed by a student-directed tour, and ends with an evening social gathering. The orientation session presents you with:
- An overview of the interview process
- A discussion of how the college makes admission decisions
- Exposure to the differences between clinical and didactic experiences
- A perspective of the program from enrolled students
- The costs of the PA program
The evening social gathering involves core program faculty, didactic faculty, college staff, and enrolled students. The session allows for information sharing and will enable you to ask questions.
Day 2 involves one-on-one interviews with three faculty members of the college. The interviewers use various criteria to rate your candidature for the program, including:
- critical thinking and insight
- self-awareness and maturity
- compassion and empathy
- capacity to succeed
- oral communication skills
- role awareness
- unique attributes
Based on the criteria above, each interviewer will give you a score, with the combined scores resulting in your Interview Index.
Admission To The PA Program
In the week following the candidate interviews, all college admissions committee members review the scores and Interview Indices of all applicants to give a final score for each applicant: the Decision Index.
Using the Decision Index, the top 40 applicants receive phone calls within two weeks of the interviews, with offers of admission to the Baylor College of Medicine PA program.
CASPA Tips To Improve Your Chances Of Admission To The Baylor PA Program
The CASPA application is the most critical part of the application process. It is the only information that the Baylor College admissions team has when they decide to follow up your application with an interview offer.
Since no information is sent to the college until you submit your application, it helps if you sign up to CASPA to familiarize yourself with the information required. There are several advantages to perusing and filling out your details on CASPA before the application cycle:
- You will know what type of information the admissions team will have when making their decisions
- You start to think about any areas of weakness and have time to make improvements before the submission deadline
- Your application will be more organized because you’ve had the time to fine-tune it
- You have time to think about the best way to present your narrative (essay) and include any information you feel the admissions committee should know.
Reading the instructions for the following sections in your CASPA application can help your application:
- References: Give yourself time to collect your letters of reference and build the necessary relationships if you do not yet have any contacts.
- Coursework: To understand how to calculate your Grade Point Average
- Health-Related Training and Work and Volunteer Experience: Understand the subtle differences between these sections.
Preparing your application in advance ensures that you have a compelling argument for admission to the PA program when it is time to submit it.
Born and raised in the UK, Will went into medicine late (31) after a career in journalism. He’s into football (soccer), learned Spanish after 5 years in Spain, and has had his work published all over the web. Read more.