California State University Monterey Bay Pa Program Prerequisites

Last Updated on December 22, 2022 by

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree and Required Course Work
  • Applicants must have a U.S. Bachelor’s Degree (in any discipline), or its equivalent, from an accredited institution and completion of prerequisite coursework.Applicants are required to have a minimum cumulative grade point average and a minimum prerequisite science grade point average of 3.0 (on a scale in which A=4.0).All prerequisite coursework are expected to be completed within 7 years of the application deadline at a 2-year or 4-year regionally accredited institution in the U.S.The program does not award advanced placement for any MSPA program courses and will not accept outside courses to substitute for MSPA program curriculum courses.All prerequisite coursework must be complete at the time the application is submitted. Prerequisite coursework does not substitute for more advanced applied content within the professional component of the program.Sciences:One-year sequential coursework for science majors in:
    • General Biology with lab (8 semester units or 12 quarter units, may not be introductory)
    • General Chemistry with lab (8 semester units or 12 quarter units, may not be introductory)4 semester units or 5 quarter units for science majors in:
    • Microbiology with lab
    • Human Anatomy with lab*
    • Human Physiology with lab**Human Anatomy & Physiology may be completed by taking a 2-semester sequential course of Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II with labs, or a quarter system equivalent sequential course. A & P courses must be “Human.” Other A&P coursework will not meet the requirement.Non-Sciences:
    • Statistics for psychology, sociology or biology majors or Introduction to Statistics through a math department (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
    • English Composition (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
    • Spanish Language, one year of coursework or the equivalent. See options below:
      • A. One year of college level coursework (minimum 6 semester units or 9 quarter units);
      • B. Placement exam – AP credit (minimum of 6 semester units or 9 quarter units, indicated as Spanish credit on college transcript);
      • C. CLEP Spanish Level I & II Exam. Applicants must achieve a score of ≥ 63; or
      • D. CSUMB Online Spanish Placement Exam. Applicants must achieve a score of ≥ 356.
      • Rationale: One of the most common questions asked by potential applicants is why Spanish? The CSUMB program is a mission-based program, caring for the underserved in Central California. In order to care for this community, students must speak Spanish by the time they go into their clinical rotations. In fact, many of the clinical rotation sites will not accept students if they are unable to communicate in Spanish. In order to be prepared for medical conversational Spanish courses, students must have a basic foundation before entering the program.
  • Direct Patient Care Experience
  • Applicants are expected to complete a minimum of 1000 hours of direct patient care. A variety of healthcare experience is acceptable. PA applicants should be familiar with medical care environments, the role of a physician assistant in primary care, and have experience working with patients.“Direct-patient care experience” means that the applicant was an active participant in the care of a patient. This may include performing a service to the body (physical therapy assistant, paramedic, etc.), performing a service to the mind (counseling, health education, etc.), or personally interacting with patients (scribe, etc.) in the medical environment. Direct patient care does not include front office or administrative work. The medical environment refers to the place where medical services are rendered, or medical examinations occur.Students should list their experience, whether paid or volunteer, in the CASPA application with a full description of their direct-patient care activities. Applicants who demonstrate greater independence, ongoing advancement, and willingness to take on greater challenges in their direct patient care experience roles will be given stronger consideration.Acceptable forms of patient care may include, but are not limited to:
    • Emergency Medical Technician
    • Medical Scribe
    • Nursing (CNA, LPN, RN, MSN)
    • Medical Assistant (back office)
    • Military Medical Corpsman
    • Certified Nursing Assistant
    • Paramedic
    • Respiratory Therapist
    • Surgical Technician
    • International Medical Graduate (must have patient contact hours in the U.S.)
    • Physical Therapist
    • Occupational Therapist
    • PT/OT Assistant
    • Medical Interpreter
    • Dietician
    • Phlebotomist
    • Radiologic Technician
    • Chiropractor
    • Dental hygienist/assisting
    • AcupuncturistEducational hours earned during internship or training for other health professions (i.e., nursing, medical assistant, etc.) will not be accepted as direct patient care experience.
  • Community Service Activities
  • Applicants are expected to demonstrate a commitment to community service which benefits underserved or disadvantaged populations.Competitive applicants will have completed a minimum of 500 hours of community service that directly benefits those who are disadvantaged. This may include volunteering at homeless shelters or soup kitchens, tutoring, coaching, mentoring children, etc.
  • PA Shadowing Experience
  • The purpose of the PA shadowing experience is to gain a clear understanding of the role and scope of the PA through direct observation and interaction with a practicing PA.Applicants are required to have shadowed at least one PA for a minimum of 8 hours, preferably in an outpatient primary care setting such as family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, or women’s health.Competitive applicants will have shadowed a PA in primary care for more than 8 hours.If an applicant has worked with a PA in the course of their employment, that may count as shadowing experience, but details of the experience and what was observed and learned should be clearly described on the CASPA application.
  • Letters of Reference
  • Two letters of reference are required. One letter should be from a medical provider (PA, NP, MD, or DO) who has directly observed you in your patient care role.Competitive applicants will have at least one letter of reference from a PA.Letters from personal friends, family, or patients will not be accepted.Letters of reference MUST be submitted directly to CASPA by the application submission deadline.
  • Re-Applicants
  • Applicants who are re-applying to the program must submit updated application materials. Re-applicants are encouraged to explain, in the personal statement, what they have done to improve their qualifications since their previous submission.

csumb pa program tuition

The MSPA curriculum is comprised of 83 units of classes taken over a course of 7 consecutive semesters (28 months).

Upon acceptance, students are required to pay a non-refundable $500 tuition deposit.

In Fall 2020, the program had a modest increase in tuition from $1,075/unit to $1,107/unit.

Tuition will increase in Spring 2022 from $1,107/unit to $1,300/unit.

Students will maintain the same tuition rate according to their cohort entrance tuition rate throughout the program. Below is an estimated breakdown of the tuition and fees based on year of entrance into the program. Program fees are estimates and subject to change without notice.

Class of 2021, 2022, 2023
Total Tuition & Mandatory Fees: $92,264

Cost per unit: $1,107

Cost of Year 1 (42 units) Spring (14 units) Summer (14 units) Fall (14 units) Total
Tuition $15,498 $15,498 $15,498 $46,494
Campus Services Fee $39 $39 $39 $117
Books* $500 $500 $500 $1,500
Supplies/Equipment* $1,050 – – $1,050
Computer* $1,500 – – $1,500
Room & Board* $6,646 $6,646 $6,646 $19,938
Transportation* $754 $754 $754 $2,262
Misc* $725 $725 $725 $2,175
Total* $26,712 $24,162 $24,162 $75,036
*Estimated costs

Cost of Year 2 (30 units) Spring (9 units) Summer (9 units) Fall (12 units) Total
Tuition $9,963 $9,963 $13,284 $33,210
Campus Services Fee $39 $39 $39 $117
Books* $500 $500 $500 $1,500
Supplies/Equipment* $1,050 – – $1,050
Room & Board* $6,646 $6,646 $6,646 $19,938
Transportation* $754 $754 $754 $2,262
Misc* $725 $725 $725 $2,175
Total* $19,677 $18,627 $21,948 $60,252
*Estimated costs

Cost of Year 3 (11 units) Spring (11 units)
Tuition $12,177
Campus Services Fee $39
Books* $500
Room & Board* $6,646
Transportation* $754
Misc* $725
Total* $20,841
*Estimated costs

Class of 2024
Total Tuition & Mandatory Fees: $108,283

Cost per unit: $1,300

Cost of Year 1 (42 units) Spring (14 units) Summer (14 units) Fall (14 units) Total
Tuition $18,200 $18,200 $18,200 $54,600
Campus Services Fee $39 $39 $39 $117
Books* $500 $500 $500 $1,500
Supplies/Equipment* $1,050 – – $1,050
Computer* $1,500 – – $1,500
Room & Board* $6,646 $6,646 $6,646 $19,938
Transportation* $754 $754 $754 $2,262
Misc* $725 $725 $725 $2,175
Total* $29,414 $26,864 $26,864 $83,142
*Estimated costs

Cost of Year 2 (30 units) Spring (9 units) Summer (9 units) Fall (12 units) Total
Tuition $11,700 $11,700 $15,600 $39,000
Campus Services Fee $39 $39 $39 $117
Books* $500 $500 $500 $1,500
Supplies/Equipment* $1,050 – – $1,050
Room & Board* $6,646 $6,646 $6,646 $19,938
Transportation* $754 $754 $754 $2,262
Misc* $725 $725 $725 $2,175
Total* $21,414 $20,364 $24,264 $66,042
*Estimated costs

Cost of Year 3 (11 units) Spring (11 units)
Tuition $14,300
Campus Services Fee $39
Books* $500
Room & Board* $6,646
Transportation* $754
Misc* $725
Total* $22,964
*Estimated costs

Campus-Specific Fees
Fee Description Cost
Cal State Apply Application Fee $70 (one time)
Campus Services Fee $39/semester
Graduation Fee $40 (one time)
Health Fee (optional)** $57/semester
Mental Health Fee (optional)** $36/semester
Campus-specific fees are subject to change. Please visit the Catalog for the most current information.

**Student Health Services
All MSPA students are eligible to receive health services through CSUMB’s Health and Wellness Services, including programs that address physical and emotional well-being.

MSPA students who elect to purchase student health coverage have access to the Student Health Center. The Student Health Center is jointly operated by CSUMB and Doctors on Duty, a network of urgent-care health clinics throughout Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. The Student Health Center is a member of the American College Health Association and the Pacific Coast College Health Association.

The Health Center provides urgent primary and ancillary care, as well as referral services, with a primary focus on assisting students in achieving their academic goals by maintaining their health, providing health education and student advocacy, and promoting self-responsibility for wellness.

As students at CSUMB’s North Salinas campus, MSPA students who elect student health coverage may choose to receive care at any of the nine Doctors on Duty locations throughout Monterey County, as well as at the student health center on the main CSUMB campus.