Master of Physician Assistant Program Requirements
- Obtain background clearance.*
- Undergo one or more comprehensive drug screening tests.*
- Strict adherence to the Bloodborne Pathogens Policy and Exposure Control Plan.
- Submit documentation of immunizations, vaccinations, tuberculosis clearance.*
- Provide and maintain a current Basic Life Support (BLS) and ACLS certification.*
- Expect the hours and days to vary depending on the Trimester schedule.
- Expect the Trimester schedule to be final and non-negotiable. If a student refuses a clinical assignment, the student will be dismissed from the program.
*Information regarding these requirements is provided during the application process and at the program orientation.
Immunizations and Health Screening
The West Coast University Physician Assistant- California DE program policy on immunization and health screenings policy states students must have their immunization and health screening up to date with formal documentation from their healthcare provider. Our process is based on current CDC guidelines for healthcare professionals. Students must provide proof of screening, vaccination, and/or immunity for the following:
- Completed and signed health clearance form from the student's primary physician.
- Tuberculosis (TB)- TB screening procedures vary based on a student’s immunization/disease history.
- Students who do not have a history of TB infection/disease or have not had positive TB test results in the past (regardless of BCG vaccination status) are required to have an initial TB skin test (TST) or QuantiFERON TB Gold or TSpot blood test within three months of matriculation (completed by student). Students who have a skin test only will be required to complete a second skin test within the first month of the program (provided by the school). (The second TST must be placed at least seven days after the first.) Annual testing is required thereafter.
- Students who have a positive history of TB disease must provide documentation of positive TB skin test (TST) results and TB treatment and must complete the program TB symptoms form upon matriculation. Students must complete the symptoms form annually. Based on the results of the symptoms form additional action may be required.
- Students who have tested positive for TB infection must provide documentation of positive TB skin test (TST) results and TB treatment, a negative two-view chest x-ray, and must complete the program TB symptoms form upon matriculation. Students must complete the symptoms form annually. Based on the results of the symptoms form additional action may be required. An additional negative two-view chest x-ray may be required by some clinical affiliates and will be the financial responsibility of the student.
- Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap/Td)- Evidence of one dose of Tdap within 10 years of all program activities. If a student has received Td only, then a one-time dose of Tdap must be received, then boost with Td every 10 years.
- Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR)- Students born after 1957 must show immunity through documentation of a series of two doses of MMR vaccine (must be administered at least one month apart) OR laboratory evidence of immunity via positive antibody titer results. Students with negative or indeterminate antibody titer results will be required to complete the vaccination series.
- Varicella (chickenpox)- Evidence of immunity is documentation of two doses of the varicella vaccine (administered at least 28 days apart with the last dose completed at least two weeks prior to clinical start date) OR laboratory evidence of immunity via positive antibody titers. Students with negative or indeterminate antibody titer results will be required to complete the vaccination series.
- Hepatitis B- Evidence of immunity is documentation of three Hepatitis B vaccines (2nd injection administered at least 28 days after 1st injection, and the 3rd injection must be administered 6 months after the 1st injection or 5 months after the 2nd injection) OR laboratory evidence of immunity via positive antibody titer (titer must be obtained at least 30 days after the 3rd injection). Students with negative or indeterminate antibody titer results will be required to complete the vaccination series and an antibody titer 1-2 months after the third dose of the second series.
- Meningitis- Evidence of vaccination or signed waiver.
- Annual Influenza vaccination- While WCU does not require annual influenza vaccination, students are expected to fulfill the immunization requirements of clinical sites.
- COVID-19 vaccination- While WCU does not currently require COVID-19 vaccination, students are expected to fulfill the immunization requirements of specific clinical sites that require this vaccination.
References Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Adult Immunization Schedule: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/adult.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Updated April 20, 2017.) Recommended Vaccines for Healthcare Workers: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/hcw.html
Specified immunizations and health screenings are required for all students unless medically contraindicated (health care provider documentation must be provided and based on CDC contraindication guidelines). By submitting immunization records, the student authorizes WCU to release the information in the WCU records to affiliated hospitals or clinics where a student is engaged in the clinical learning experience
Additional immunization and/or health screening requirements beyond those mandated by the program may be required by a clinical affiliate. If so, students will be made aware of additional requirements and will need to ensure compliance at their own cost, as necessary. Immunization and health screening requirements will be reviewed annually by the program to ensure they minimally meet the most recent CDC recommendations, state-specific mandates, and affiliate policies. Students will be notified of changes to the immunization policy and given direction on how to complete any additional requirements, as necessary. Failure to comply with clinical site requirements for immunization and/or health screening resulting in incomplete supervised clinical practice experiences may enable students from completing the clinical year resulting in dismissal from the program.
Master of Physician Assistant- California Licensure Disclosure
To become a certified PA (PA-C), graduates must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE), In addition, graduates must obtain state medical/physician assistant board licensure/registration. Licensure requirements vary from state to state.
A PA may not begin working as a Physician Assistant in most states until successfully passing the PANCE and obtaining state licensure/registration. There may be exceptions for state licensures or federal employment, such as the military. Failure to complete all necessary steps may constitute practicing medicine without a medical license. Upon graduation, students are responsible for ensuring certification and licensure/registration in their state of residence. West Coast University is not responsible for registration or licensing; the student is solely responsible for all such requirements and verifying proper authorizations to practice medicine have been obtained.
Health Insurance Requirement
Students enrolled in the Master of Physician Assistant- California program will be required to provide evidence of health insurance and maintain their health insurance while enrolled in the program.
Admissions Alternate list
A ranked alternate list of interviewed candidates for a position in the class is generated and maintained. In the event that an accepted candidate chooses to withdraw from the program prior to the beginning of classes, a candidate from the highest-ranked alternate position is notified and offered a seat in the class. Applicants chosen for the Alternate list are notified and offered acceptance on the Alternate list, but not notified of their position on the Alternate list.
The Master of Physician Assistant-California program does not allow for transfer credit.
Candidate Seat Deposit
Applicants that are conditionally accepted to the Master of Physician Assistant- California program will be required to submit a $500.00 good faith payment for a Seat Deposit. The Seat Deposit will be credited to your program costs. The University will retain maximum of $175.00 of this deposit should you cancel your enrollment within seven calendar days (excluding holidays) of enrollment or by the seventh calendar day of the first term, whichever is later. Deposits may be paid by money order or cashier’s check made out to West Coast University.
Supervised Clinical Practicum Experience (SCPE) Location
The MPA CA Program Clinical Team will work diligently to secure SCPEs within each student’s home region based on the approved clinical sites in states that have been vetted by the University. WCU MPA-CA program may not be available to residents in certain states. Please contact your Admission Advisor for more information. In the event that all nine clinical rotations are not found in the student’s home region, the student will be required to come to California or another area with a established, clinical sites to complete one or more rotations. Travel to clinical rotations and the CGS campus are at the student’s expense.
Student Financial Responsibility for Clinical Site Travel
Students are required to travel to clinical sites that may be outside of their immediate area or state and are responsible for their own housing, transportation (reliable), food, and any related expenses.
Student Financial Requirement for Computer and Computer Specifications
Students are required to have a working laptop with the ability to function with Canvas LMS and the Examplify system/software at their own expense. Specifications for ExamSoft requirements are found here and University Computer requirements as detailed in the Information Technology Section of the WCU Student Handbook here.