What are the Non-CASPA participating PA schools, and why would you want to apply to them?

According to the PAEA, there are 25 ARC-PA accredited schools that do not participate in the the “typical” application system, the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants.

What is CASPA?

CASPA is a central clearing house for the majority of PA schools.  By using CASPA, students can apply to multiple physician assistant programs by completing one application that is then distributed electronically to all of the CASPA participating schools to which an applicant applies.  It’s convenient, but not all schools use CASPA.

How Are Non-CASPA PA Programs Different?

Non-CASPA schools don’t have much in common besides the fact that for one reason or another, they don’t use CASPA.  They may choose not to participate in CASPA to save money (CASPA schools do have to pay for participation in the service), or they may be too newly accredited to be on the CASPA system.  Either way, these schools have chosen to require applicants to complete their own application, which is only good at their school.

  • Because CASPA makes applying to schools so easy (just select each school you wish to apply to, pay $175 for the first school, and $45 for each additional school.  Done and done.  This means your application will cost from $175 for one PA program up to $7240 for all 158 CASPA schools.
  • Because it’s so easy to apply to so many schools, many people don’t bother applying to non-CASPA schools.  This is largely because for each non-CASPA school, there’s one more totally different application to complete, any many people are lazy.
  • Non-CASPA schools, while they generally receive fewer total applicants, are likely to receive a higher percentage of local applicants, since a prominent reason many people are willing to bother with a non-caspa application – a school is convenient and close enough to their location that it just makes sense to do the extra application.
  • Few if any non-CASPA schools require a secondary application.  This is because the reason that secondaries exist is to get application information that is specific to that particular school.  Since you’re submitting their application, the only reason to have you do a secondary would be to get more money from you (secondaries generally require an extra fee).

Are Non-CASPA Schools Easier to Get Into? 

If you are reasonably qualified for their program, you might face less competition due to fewer applications.  If you’re a weak candidate, however, you may find it no easier to get in.  So the answer is no – not generally.  It all just depends on the school.

What Are the ARC-PA Accredited Non-CASPA PA Programs?

To get information on one and/or visit its website, visit our Physician Assistant Programs Directory, and click on the appropriate state.

The non-CASPA programs are:

  1. CCNY Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education – New York, NY
  2. Christian Brothers University – Memphis, TN
  3. CUNY York College – Jamaica, NY
  4. D’Youville College – Buffalo, NY
  5. Duquesne University – Pittsburgh, PA
  6. Gannon University – Erie, PA
  7. Georgia Regents University – Augusta, GA
  8. Grand Valley State University – Allendale, MI
  9. Interservice PA Program – Fort Sam Houston, TX
  10. John H. Stroger Hospital Of Cook County/Malcolm X – Chicago, IL
  11. Medical University of South Carolina – Charleston, SC
  12. Miami Dade College – Miami, FL
  13. Mountain State University – Beckley, WV
  14. Our Lady of the Lake College – Baton Rouge, LA
  15. Pennsylvania College of Technology – Williamsport, PA
  16. Riverside Community College/Riverside County Regional Medical Center – Riverside, CA
  17. Rochester Institute of Technology – Rochester, NY
  18. San Joaquin Valley College – Visalia, CA
  19. Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
  20. Springfield College – Springfield, MA
  21. Stanford University School of Medicine – Palo Alto, CA
  22. SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
  23. University of Charleston – Charleston, WV
  24. University of Oklahoma – Oklahoma City, OK
  25. Wagner College – Staten Island, NY