FAQs

Is the PA program accredited?

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be 2026 September. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy. 

Do you accept out of state residents?

Preference is given to Louisiana residents; however, we are authorized to accept up to 20% of our class as out of state residents.

How long is the PA program at LSU Health Shreveport?

Seven full time semesters (27 months). Classes begin in the beginning of the summer semester and graduation is held at the end of the summer semester two years later.

How do I determine if I'm considered a Louisiana resident?

The registrar can assist you in determining residency status. Please visit their website.

How much does the entire program cost?

Tuition is determined annually by the Louisiana State Legislature. Currently (2016-2017), the program cost is estimated at $39,000 for residents and $66,000 for non-residents, calculated by adding tuition and fees for 3 summer + 2 fall + 2 spring semesters. The current tuition and fee schedule is located on the registrar’s website.

Where are your clinical rotation sites?

Consistent with our program mission, at the current time ALL of our clinical rotation sites are in the state of Louisiana, with most them being in the northern part of the state.

Do I need to hold any certification or qualification in order to be accepted?

No, but healthcare experience is beneficial. If you desire to be an EMT, paramedic, LPN, RN, PTA, etc, then feel free to pursue those career paths. You must only satisfy our 80 hours of direct patient contact to apply. This is a competitive process, so anything you do above the minimum will improve your chance of selection.

If I already hold a health care provider certificate or license, can I be excused from certain classes or rotations?

No, but healthcare experience is beneficial.

I am a student at another PA program but I want to do my rotations in Shreveport. Can I transfer to your program for my clinical rotations?

No.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. You can get more information about financial aid on their website.

Do I need to take the GRE?

 Yes. Use GRE code 0423 to have your GRE score sent directly to us via CASPA.

Will letters of recommendation enhance my chance of admission?

Three letters of recommendation are accepted. Please limit these to people who know you very well. We would recommend having professors, advisors, employers, or clinicians write these. Letters will only be accepted when they are submitted to CASPA.

What type of setting is best to obtain direct patient contact hours?

We require the applicant to volunteer/observe/work in a human patient care environment with direct patient contact for at least 80 hours prior to turning in an application. Examples of experiences are: shadowing PAs or physicians, student worker positions directly dealing with patients, any credentialed positions (LPN, RN, EMT, etc.). It is strongly recommended that a substantial amount of time be spent observing and talking to practicing PAs.

Do you require/prefer that I shadow a PA?

The purpose of shadowing is two-fold:

  • Discover more about the medical field – this can be done by shadowing a variety of health care professionals
  • Learn more about the PA profession – this is best accomplished by observing PAs in a variety of clinical settings

I did not get in last year. How do I improve my application?

Review the admissions checklist and self-assessment document on the supplemental application. The self-assessment portion was designed to allow you to compare your application to the average numbers of the students accepted. If you scored below average in any category, this is where you should focus your efforts.

Can I send you my transcript to review?

Transcripts are reviewed via CASPA, once the application is verified and the supplemental application is received. We are not able to review transcripts prior to the official review in CASPA; however, we have developed an admissions checklist and self-assessment document on the supplemental application for you to review your application and determine where improvements are needed.

Can I schedule a meeting to discuss my application?

We are not able to meet with applicants; however, we have developed an admissions checklist and self-assessment document on the supplemental application for you to review your application and determine where improvements are needed.

Do you prefer face-to-face courses or online courses?

We give no preference to either type of course; however, our entire didactic year is face-to-face so you should have some experience with this type of course prior to starting the program.

Do I have to have all prerequisite coursework completed to apply?

No, but you should have completed most of your prerequisite coursework prior to submitting your application.

I obtained my degree/completed my prerequisite coursework several years ago. Is there a time limit on course completion?

Although we do not have a time limit on completing prerequisite coursework, the intention is for the coursework to be the foundation for PA school. If you do not recall the information learned in your courses, you may be doing yourself a disservice. If you have been out of school for more than a few years, it is critical that you demonstrate your ability to manage a full academic load. We recommend you take a full load of upper level coursework to best prepare you for the rigorous nature of the PA Program.

The university I attend does not offer one of your prerequisite courses. What should I do?

You have to have all prerequisite courses; if they are not offered at your university you will have to attend the courses at another school.

Genetics is offered at my university as a 200 level course. Will this still count as an upper level biology?

No, only 300/400 level courses count as upper level courses.

Can I attend the program on a part time basis?

No. The courses are sequenced around a two-year full time schedule. No mechanism exists for students to attend part time.

Will I be able to work while in school?

Due to the heavy class (approximately 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday) and study schedule, we do not recommend that you work while in the program. Students have a difficult time scheduling their lives around study, class, and family without having to include a work schedule. Some students have been able to work part time on weekends on an "as needed" basis; however, we do not recommend this.

Should I take more science courses than those required?

Additional science courses are beneficial. They increase your knowledge of science and prepare you for the rigorous course level of the curriculum. If you are not accepted on your first attempt, we recommend taking upper level science courses to increase your chances of acceptance the following year. Some suggestions for these courses would be: genetics, immunology, cellular biology, physiology, comparative anatomy, pharmacology, any other "ology" courses offered.

What type of degree do I need to apply?

A Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited United States college or university must be received by the day you begin PA school. Because of the required prerequisite courses, most applicants will have a science related degree but this is not required.

How many students are accepted?

The program is accredited to accept 40 students per year.

What is the alternate list?

When the class is selected, an alternate group of applicants is also selected. Applicants from this list may be called upon to fill a vacancy if a selected applicant decides not to accept a position in the class. Alternates may be selected up to the first day of class in May.

Will being an alternate one year mean I have an advantage the following year if I apply?

No. Each year the applicants are evaluated against each other. Being an alternate one year does not give applicants an advantage the following year.

I did poorly my first year in college. How will that affect my chances?

We do look for academic "trends" and would look more favorably on a student who has done well in recent, higher level courses. You still need to meet the minimum entry requirements.

How do you calculate the cumulative grade point average if I repeated a course?

We include all courses in calculation, even those courses repeated for a better grade when determining your final cumulative grade point average. For example, if you made a C in Biol 101, then re-took the course and made an A, your course GPA would be calculated as a B.

I have reviewed the website and this page but still have questions. Now what do I do?

If you can attend an information session, please do so. We have uploaded an informational video for those who are not able to visit Shreveport. If you have a specific question, complete the applicant checklist and email it with your question to tbigle@lsuhsc.edu. General questions, such as ‘What should my major be?’, ‘Do you prefer this experience over that experience?’, and ‘What do I need to do to get into the program?’ cannot be answered.