Master’s Admissions Requirements for Health Sciences Programs
Holistic Application Review
Our mission is to identify individuals who are compassionate while also being dedicated to academic excellence. We consider the wholeness of each candidate rather than disproportionately focusing on any one factor. Therefore, we encourage you to tell us about yourself beyond your academic achievements.
What We Look For
Tell us about your unique attributes/characteristics. Tell us about your experiences, work or volunteer, even if not directly healthcare-related. These factors are part of our review and selection process, just like your GPA. We are looking to create a cohort of students who will make a difference in our program, our community, and as professionals.
Healthcare Administration (MHA, MHA/MBA)
- A minimum of 2.8 overall GPA is required for MHA admission, and a minimum of 3.0 is required for MHA/MBA admission.
- Official transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions.
- No GRE/GMAT entrance exam is required.
- Language proficiency: English proficiency is considered essential to providing quality patient care. Students for whom English is not their primary language, regardless of US citizenship, are required to submit their TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score with their application. The MBU school code is 5397. A minimum score is 570 (paper-based) or 88 (internet-based). A student may be exempted if they have graduated with a bachelor’s or graduate degree from a 4-year accredited US university.
- Pre-requisite courses:
- Statistics or Research Methods (3 credit hrs.)
- Statistics (3 credit hrs.)
- Research Methods (3 credit hrs.)
- Students without a background in business, accounting, or an approved business-related field will be required to take an exam to evaluate his or her level of business knowledge. Based on exam results, applicants may be required to take one or more pre-MBA module courses offered at MBU.
Physician Assistant (MSPA)
Your official transcripts from your degree-granting institution(s) must be sent to the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistant (CASPA). Transcripts available after CASPA applications are verified can be sent to us at: Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences/Mary Baldwin University, Office of Admissions, 100 Baldwin Blvd., Fishersville, VA 22939. Bachelor’s degree and all prerequisite coursework must be earned/completed by September 1.
Applications will be processed online through CASPA once the applications cycle opens. Applications must be CASPA-verified by October 1.
English proficiency is considered essential to providing quality patient care. Students for whom English is not their primary language, regardless of US citizenship, are required to submit their TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score with their application. The MBU school code is 5397. A minimum score is 570 (paper-based) or 88 (internet-based). A student may be exempted if they have graduated with a bachelor’s or graduate degree from a 4-year accredited US university.
The Master of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA) Program has a responsibility to the public to ensure its graduates are prepared to become fully competent and caring health professionals. In order to fulfill this obligation, students must safely and proficiently demonstrate appropriate technical standards, as well as those outlined within individual course syllabi.
A healthcare professional education includes contact with patients. This comes with the risk of catching or transmitting communicable diseases. Current MDCHS policy includes mandated compliance with required immunizations for adults and healthcare workers as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The purpose of this requirement is for the health and safety of patients. It is also for the safety of our coworkers, classmates, preceptors, faculty, and ourselves. While the university may honor accommodations to vaccine recommendations, clinical sites may have a higher or different standard. Clinical placement, progression in the program, and graduation may be affected by these standards.
- 3.0 overall GPA
- Three references (submitted via CASPA).
- Brief personal statement/essay.
- GRE: Must have been taken within 5 years of application to our program. The CASPA/Mary Baldwin University identification code is 3656. MDCHS utilizes a holistic approach to admissions; therefore, we do not publish a minimum GRE score.
- Casper Assessment: Casper is an online, open-response situational judgment test (SJT) that helps determine the behavioral tendencies of applicants pursuing people-centered professions. To complete Casper visit Acuity Insights to create an account and complete the following assessment (Test: US Professional Health Sciences, CSP-10101) for Mary Baldwin University. A Casper Assessment must be completed in order to be considered for an interview. Early submission is recommended. Duet is not required.
- Healthcare observation hours or actual healthcare experiences are recommended but not required.
- Prerequisite Courses
- Biology: 3-4 credit hrs; Any biology course in addition to Anatomy, Physiology, and Microbiology; must include lab
- Human or Vertebrate Anatomy†‡: 3-4 credit hrs; Must include lab
- Human or Vertebrate Physiology†‡: 3-4 credit hrs; Must include lab
- Microbiology: 3-4 credit hrs; Must include lab
- Chemistry: 3-4 credit hrs; Must include lab
- Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry: 3-4 credit hrs; Lab preferred
- Psychology: 6 credit hrs; 1 intro and 1 upper OR 2 upper-level psychology courses; abnormal and developmental psychology are preferred.
- Statistics: 3 credit hrs; Can be from biology, mathematics, psychology, or business. NOTE – if a psychology course is used to meet this requirement, it cannot also be used for the psychology requirement.
- Medical Terminology: 1-2 credit hrs; A medical terminology certificate could be used to fulfill the prerequisite requirement for this coursework.
- Interview: The Admissions Committee will send invitations to selected candidates to interview. Not all applicants will be invited to interview. An interview does not guarantee acceptance into the program. All travel expenses are the responsibility of the candidate.
**Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, and Medical Terminology prerequisites must be completed within 10 years of matriculation.
†Beginning with the 2025-2026 application cycle, Vertebrate Anatomy will no longer meet prerequisite requirements (only Human Anatomy and Physiology with labs will fulfill the requirement.)
‡Can be combined A/P for 8 credits, but must include labs
Please note: A required $45 supplementary application fee is submitted through CASPA. For accepted students, a nonrefundable $2,000 deposit is required and will be applied to tuition upon matriculation.
Articulation Agreements: Physician Assistant Program
Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences’ PA program has established articulation agreements with the below partner institutions. Guaranteed interviews and a waived MDCHS supplemental application fee are offered to applicants who meet all admission requirements:
- 3.4 or higher minimum cumulative GPA
- Grade of “C” or better for all prerequisite courses
- Observation hours, if necessary (details on program pages).
- GRE scores and all other application materials submitted via the CASPA application (details on program pages).
Please consult your faculty advisor for more information. Admission is not guaranteed. Rather, these agreements guarantee interviews to highly qualified candidates currently enrolled in partner schools to our competitive PA program. All students must apply through the CASPA.
PA Partner Schools (guaranteed interview)
- Bridgewater College
- Columbia College
- Eastern Mennonite University
- Ferrum College
- Hollins University
- Mary Baldwin University
- St. Michael’s College
- Virginia Military Institute
Accepting Transfer Credit
The Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences adheres to the following procedures for accepting transfer credits. These procedures allow us to both increase the flexibility of transfer credit in graduate programs and allows veterans to use VA benefits in our programs.
If you are a graduate student seeking to transfer credits, you must submit the request in writing to the program director of the program for which you’re seeking acceptance.* Acceptance of the transfer credit is at the discretion of the program director.
Graduate programs in health sciences may allow up to six (6) graduate-level transfer credits with prior program director approval. Prior courses may be used to meet prerequisite requirements. There is no waiver of coursework or advanced standing granted in any program.
In order for transfer credit to be awarded, the following conditions must be met:
- The credit was earned at a regionally accredited institution.
- The credit was not used for a previously earned degree.
- The student earned a minimum grade of a B or greater. (S/U grades are only accepted for a P/NC graded course at MDCHS.)
- The course is applicable to the anticipated program of study.
- A written request for a transcript evaluation is received prior to the prospective student being accepted into the graduate program.
- The request is approved by the program director for the graduate program in which the student is accepted.
- The approval is only valid for the program of enrollment, if the student transfers to a different program of study within MBU or the College of Health Sciences, the student will need to petition the new program director for approval.
*Physician Assistant Program Transfer Credits
The PA program will consider requests for up to 6 (or equivalent) semester hours of transfer credit into the curriculum. These courses must have been successfully completed within the past three years with a minimum grade of “B” or better in a graduate-level program at a regionally-accredited institution of higher learning. Courses must be directly applicable to the established PA program curriculum, as determined by the faculty after thorough review of all appropriate documents (application, transcripts, recommendations and personal request letter). Competency on the subject material will be assessed in accordance with the course requirements prior to acceptance of transfer credit. If the request for transfer of credits is from another PA educational program, it must be from another accredited program in which the student is in good standing, and with the specific recommendation of the program director, dean or other appropriate official. The faculty will determine satisfaction of program course prerequisites for transfer students from other PA programs on a case-by-case basis. Transfer candidates must fulfill the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences prerequisites prior to matriculation.