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How to Apply

Start with:

Questions about the Graduate application process?

Contact Graduate School Admissions at gradschool@sf.edu or 260-399-8000.

How To Apply: 5 Steps

  1. Determine if your program is online or on campus and then submit the appropriate application:

    Not Sure Which App to Use?

    See the Graduate Programs list to determine if your program is online or on campus.

    Note the Following Exceptions:

    • If you are applying to the Physician Assistant Studies program, submit the CASPA application.
    • If you are applying to any graduate nursing program (MSN or DNP), submit the NursingCAS application.
  2. Send official transcripts from postsecondary institutions you attended. Transcripts must come from the institution’s office of the registrar. Please use the official transcript request form.
  3. Be sure to include all program-specific admissions requirements.
  4. If you are a military veteran enrolling in one of USF’s on-campus programs (not online), please send your DD214 Form.
  5. Mail all documentation to:
    University of Saint Francis
    Graduate Admissions
    2701 Spring Street
    Fort Wayne, IN 46808

Admissions Requirements

Applicants to USF’s graduate programs must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States.

  • Students applying to the RN-MSN or RN-DNP programs must have an associate of science in nursing.
  • International students must have transcripts evaluated by World Education Services

Program-Specific Requirements

Each program requires specific qualifications and/or submission material.

Graduate Nursing Programs

For admission to the Graduate Nursing Program, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Meet general admission standards for graduate education at the University of Saint Francis.

  • Hold an associate, baccalaureate or master’s degree in nursing.
    • Associate degree graduates apply for the ASN-Graduate Nursing Program track.
    • Baccalaureate degree graduates apply to the Graduate Nursing program.
    • Master’s degree in nursing graduates apply for the Post-Graduate Nursing Program track.
  • Hold a current license as a Registered Nurse.
  • Have an undergraduate GPA of 3.20 on a four-point scale. (See admission criteria below about provisional admission if GPA is less than 3.20.)
  • Submit a resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Submit three (3) letters of reference from professional and/or academic contacts.
  • Complete and submit the USF Graduate Nursing Essay.
  • Complete admission interview (Personal Interview).

Prior to admission, it is highly recommended that candidates:

  • Have professional experience as a Registered Nurse.
  • Complete an undergraduate or graduate statistics course within the past 5 years.
  • For nurses applying for an advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) track, complete a minimum of a one-day shadow experience with an APRN working in their planned practice area.
  • For nurses applying to a DNP track, investigate topics suitable for a DNP Scholarly Project.

Physician Assistant Studies

Admissions Requirements and Process

Traditional CASPA Admissions Requirements

Admission to the PA Program is granted through a competitive selection process. Applicants file using the Centralized Application Service for the PA (CASPA) between the dates of June 1 and December 1 for the class beginning the following May. Though students may be accepted into the University of Saint Francis, they are not guaranteed admission into the PA Program.

Principal faculty score each application based on course prerequisites, health care experience, personal statement, letters of recommendation, knowledge of the PA profession, GRE scores, and cumulative and science GPA. The most qualified applicants are offered personal interviews by members of the PA Program Admissions Committee at the University of Saint Francis campus.

After the interview, the Admissions Committee collectively reviews all application data and materials including evaluations from the interview. Scoreable activities (e.g., CASPA materials, personal interviews) are entered in an Excel spreadsheet, along with comments regarding each candidate’s strengths and areas for improvement. Candidates may be accepted without reservation, accepted with reservations (if there are outstanding pre-requisites), waitlisted, or denied acceptance. Applicants accepted with reservations must complete all outstanding pre-requisites prior to matriculation in May or will forfeit their spot in the program.

At the end of each month, applicants are notified regarding the Admissions Committee’s decision via CASPA or phone. Accepted applicants are given two weeks to submit a non-refundable $1000.00 deposit to secure their seat in the program. Following matriculation, the deposit is applied to the student’s tuition. Applicants who choose not to pay the deposit within the three-week period and/or do not communicate with the PA Program during this time are considered to have declined the offer of acceptance. Waitlisted students are ranked based on their scoreable activities and are offered acceptance into the program based on availability. Students on the waitlist may be offered a seat in the program at any time. This process continues until all 25 seats in the cohort are filled.

Traditional Admissions Requirements

Each accepted applicant to the PA Program must have all entrance requirements fulfilled at the time of matriculation in May. Successful applicants to the PA Program must meet both general admission criteria for the University of Saint Francis and program-specific requirements (A3.13a-e). The PA program makes student admission decisions in accordance with clearly defined and published practices of the institution and program (A3.14). Minimum requirements for admission to the PA Program include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in the United States of America or equivalence verification of foreign credentials.
  • Satisfactory completion and submission of Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores with a minimum 4.0 on the analytical writing portion of the exam.
  • Completion of the College of Health Science Technical Standards.
  • A minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.
  • A minimum overall science GPA of 3.0.
  • Satisfactory completion of 12 semester credit hours in chemistry with a grade of “C” or better; to include courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry.
  • Satisfactory completion of 15 semester credit hours in biology with a grade of “C” or better; to include courses in human anatomy/physiology and microbiology.
  • Satisfactory completion of 6 semester credit hours in psychology with a grade of “C” or better.
  • Possession of direct patient care experience. The most direct and responsible forms of patient care experience in a compensated position are preferred.
    • Clinical components of the educational experience required for other healthcare professions are considered but will not totally fulfill this requirement.
    • Volunteer activity and/or appropriate life experience will be considered but will not totally fulfill this requirement.
  • To participate in clinical experiences, clinical requirements set by the Physician Assistant Studies Program and clinical agencies must be met, including, but not limited to, criminal background checks, drug testing, immunization and health screening.
  • No transfer credit, academic placement credit, or credit by portfolio will be accepted (A3.16a-c).

Dual Accept Admissions Track

The PA Program currently offers dual accept status (BS/MS) to highly qualified applicants. Applicants must be undergraduate students currently enrolled as biology majors at the University of Saint Francis. Only five seats per cohort are reserved for this track, and admission is based on a first-come, first-served basis. Students who are to begin their freshmen year of studies at the University of Saint Francis beginning in the Fall of 2021 are the last cohort that may apply for dual accept status. After this time, the dual accept pathway into the PA Program will be expired.

Physician Assistant Early Admittance Track (PA-Seat)

Beginning in the 2022-2023 academic year, the University of Saint Francis will offer an early acceptance track to the physician assistant program. Students accepted into this highly competitive track earn their bachelor’s degree in their program of study and are guaranteed admission to the PA program cohort for which they applied upon meeting undergraduate progression standards. Application to the PA-Seat is recommended during a student’s sophomore or junior year. Applications are accepted between January 1 and March 1 each year. All qualified applicants who meet admission requirements will receive an interview with the Department of Physician Assistant Studies. Interviews will be conducted between March 15 and May 15 each year and will include at least two faculty members and the program director. Applicants who attain committee approval will be granted a seat in the cohort to which they applied (no sooner than 4 years following admission to undergraduate studies) upon meeting the undergraduate progression standards. Accepted students are guaranteed admission into the PA Program without the need for a second interview prior to matriculation. Students accepted into the PA-Seat are required to meet all progression standards to maintain their early acceptance. Failure to meet the progression standards will result in immediate relinquishment of early acceptance status and dismissal from the PA-Seat without reimbursement. Any student dismissed from the early acceptance track may apply to the PA Program through a regular application cycle.

PA-Seat Admission Requirements

To be eligible to apply for the PA-Seat and receive an interview from the Department of Physician Assistant Studies, applicants must:

  • Possess a cumulative overall GPA of 3.50 or higher.
  • Possess a cumulative science GPA of 3.50 or higher.
  • Attain at least 30 documented hours of shadowing experience with the physician assistant role.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation:
    • One of which must come from a practicing physician assistant with whom the student has experience.
    • One of which must come from a professor employed at the University of Saint Francis.
    • One of which may come from an individual (e.g., professor, work supervisor, volunteer supervisor, practicing physician assistant) of choice.
  • Complete 400 hours of direct patient care experience before the interview.

To maintain early acceptance status, all accepted students must:

  • Earn a grade of “B-” or better in all programmatic prerequisites.
  • Earn a grade of “B-” or better in all non-programmatic prerequisite courses.
  • Maintain a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.50.
  • Maintain a cumulative science GPA of 3.50.
  • Complete a total of 50 documented hours of shadowing experience with the physician assistant role before beginning the PA Program.
  • Complete 1,200 total hours of direct patient care experience before beginning the PA Program.
  • Complete the bachelor’s degree before beginning the PA Program.
  • Have no disciplinary actions recorded by the Office of Student Affairs.
  • Submit a non-refundable $1,000 tuition deposit by March 1 of the matriculation year before enrolling in the PA Program.
  • Comply with all enrollment requirements of the PA Program.

Manchester University Articulation Agreement

The University of Saint Francis and Manchester University maintain an articulation agreement through the 2024-2025 academic year. Under the terms of the agreement, two students enrolled at Manchester University who are on target for graduation may be provisionally accepted to the Physician Assistant Studies Program at USF per cohort one year prior to their matriculation at USF provided they meet the following criteria:

  • The provisional acceptance at USF will be contingent upon the student’s completion of the required courses and completion of an undergraduate degree, which meet the admissions standards stipulated by the USF PA admission committee. All course grades must be C or above with a minimum accumulated GPA of 3.5 and science GPA of 3.0. include:
    • Biology 106, 106L, 108 and 108L
    • Introduction to Molecular Biology with Lab 229, 229L
    • Microbiology/Lab 313L
    • Fundamentals of Human Anatomy with Lab 202, 202L
    • Advanced Human Physiology with Lab 422, 422L
    • General Chemistry 111, 111L, 113, 113L
    • Organic Chemistry 311, 311L, 312, 312L
    • Analytical Chemistry with Lab 235, 235L
    • Biochemistry I with Lab 405, 405L or Biochemistry II 406
    • Psychology 110
    • Developmental Psychology 224 or Behavior Disorders 225

    Progression standards for the articulation agreement include that students must:

    • Have a written reference from the Academic Advisor for pre-PA students supporting that they are on track for agreement admissions criteria including that they are in good standing with Manchester with no academic or professional issues.
    • Accumulate at least 1000 hours of paid patient care work experience approved by the faculty advisor prior to graduation at Manchester.
    • Have experience with the PA role, such as interviewing, shadowing, or working with PAs.

    Other terms of the agreement include the following:

    • Students must formally apply to USF’s PA Program via the CASPA application process. The GRE requirement is waived for the Manchester students entering under this agreement.
    • Students may submit records to USF via the Manchester academic advisor and CASPA beginning June 1 for USF PA matriculation the following may.
    • Students must reserve their seat with the submission of a non-refundable deposit required of all incoming PA students by March 1 of the matriculation year. The deposit money will be credited toward the first semester’s tuition.
    • Students must complete all USF enrollment materials required of matriculating PA students prior to the beginning of classes in May.
    • The Graduate School at USF will make offers of provisional acceptance and its decision will be final. Matriculation is dependent upon completion of all admissions requirements including pre-requisite courses, maintenance of GPA of 3.5 or above, awarding of a baccalaureate degree or higher, and a reference from the Manchester faculty describing the student’s ability to be successful in a graduate-level program.
    • Students achieving early acceptance must complete their undergraduate program and receive a Bachelor’s degree or higher from Manchester.
    • Once accepted to the program, students are required to meet on an annual basis with a University of Saint Francis Physician Assistant faculty member.
    • For each admissions cycle, the window for early acceptance under this program begins on June 1 of the year prior to the PA program matriculation. Thereafter, additional qualified applicants from Manchester will be considered on a waitlist.
    • Because the Manchester Spring Semester ends after the start of the SUF PA first summer semester, students must complete any prerequisites prior to the beginning of the final spring semester. Students must be prepared to begin their coursework at SUF when the USF summer session begins, which may require completion of MU coursework and assignments.

    Non-Academic Exclusion

    Any individual may be denied admission to the PA Program and any student may be dismissed or excluded from the program if it is determined by the responsible administrator that the individual or student does not possess the likely capabilities required of a practicing health care professional or practitioner in the field of that student’s training. This may be based upon the individual’s knowledge, conduct, character, or mental or physical fitness.