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Admissions

Welcome to the only Joint MSPAS/MPH program in the United States.

In only 33 months, you can earn two degrees that will put you at the leading edge of health care and public health — able to view the wellness of people and communities through a public health lens that fosters social justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

How to Apply

Candidates must complete all aspects of prerequisites coursework (with final grades), degree requirements (degree conferral on transcript), and patient care hours at the time of submission. Incomplete applications will not be considered. CASPA will not begin the verification process until two of the three letters of recommendation have been received and all your US and English-speaking Canadian transcripts have been received by CASPA.

The admission committee will conduct its phase 1 review to ensure candidates' application is complete (i.e., all transcripts are verified, degree conferral, patient care hours are completed, and all letters of recommendation have been received). Submission of all materials does not guarantee an interview and an interview does not guarantee acceptance.

We highly recommend that you take the opportunity to complete the optional “Life Experiences” essay within the CASPA application. This will allow us to gain deeper insights into who you are as an applicant.

Application Deadline

The program starts every fall semester. Applications are due by November 1.

All required materials must be submitted by the deadline (including letters of recommendation).

Our program conducts rolling admissions, it is highly recommended that candidates apply as early as possible.

Minimum Academic and Course Requirements

Cumulative and Science GPAs, as computed by CASPA, must be 3.0 or better. The GRE is not required. All applicants must earn a Bachelor’s degree and complete all required coursework before submitting the CASPA application. Required degree and coursework must be completed at an institution of higher education accredited by a Touro California-approved accrediting body (See Institutional Accreditation Requirement below). The prerequisite courses listed below must be completed with a grade of C or better (C- grades will not satisfy the requirement). Prerequisites are:

  • 8 semester/12 quarter units (including labs) in each of the following categories:
    • Biological Sciences (may be comprised of general biology, genetics, immunology, embryology, etc.)
    • Chemistry (may be comprised of inorganic, organic, and biochemistry)
  • 4 semester/5 quarter units (including labs) of the following:
    • Human Anatomy (must be completed within 6 years of the expected year of matriculation)
    • Human Physiology (must be completed within 6 years of the expected year of matriculation)
  • Microbiology (3 semester/4 quarter units, lab not required)

Advanced Placement (AP) Credit

We accept advanced placement credit as long as such credit appears on the undergraduate transcript and indicates either specific subject credit (e.g. General Chemistry - 4 units) or specific course credit (e.g. Chem 101 - 4 units). General advanced placement credit without such specifications is not accepted.

Letters of Recommendation

The Touro California Joint MSPAS/MPH Program requires three letters of recommendation, which should be submitted within the CASPA application.

  • One letter must be from a licensed healthcare provider (i.e., PA, MD, DO, or NP)
  • One letter from a supervisor or manager.
  • The source of the remaining letter is up to you (e.g., professors, mentors, colleagues). We do not accept reference letters from friends, family, the applicant’s healthcare provider, or patients/clients.

If letters are not submitted with the CASPA application, they may be sent directly to the Office of Admissions (tuc.admit@touro.edu). Please note that submitting letters outside of the CASPA application may delay the review of your application.

Be sure to submit all application materials prior to their respective deadlines. Letters of recommendation are used for admissions purposes only and do not become part of your official academic record.

PCE and HCE Experience

It is your responsibility to sufficiently document patient care and health care duties in the CASPA application. You should consider the tasks that you perform and use your best judgment to determine which category in the CASPA application they fall into. You are expected to separate hours for positions that consist of both Patient Care Experience (PCE) and Health Care Experience (HCE) accordingly. Please also make sure to list the type of setting in which you completed the experience (i.e. family medicine, pediatrics, outpatient internal medicine, FQHC, community health center, etc.) as this is not always clear from the name of the clinic.

All healthcare-related experiences should be documented either in the Patient Care Experience or Health Care Experience sections, not the Volunteer section, even if you volunteered or were unpaid for the experience.

About Patient Care Experience (PCE)

  • Candidates must have completed a minimum of 1000 hours of patient care experience either as a volunteer or in a paid position at the time of application submission.
  • CASPA defines Patient Care Experience as follows: Experiences in which you are directly responsible for a patient’s care. For example, prescribing medication, performing procedures, directing a course of treatment, designing a treatment regimen, actively working on patients as a nurse, paramedic, EMT, CNA (depending on job description), phlebotomist, physical therapist, dental hygienist, etc.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Our program considers back office medical assistant (MA) responsibilities as patient care (even though CASPA lists it as an example of health care experience). If you have back office medical assistant (MA) experience logged under health care experience, we will count those hours as patient care experience when your application is reviewed. For clarity, back-office MA hours, where direct responsibility for a patient's care is involved, will be considered a Patient Care Experience by our program. Front office MA duties will be categorized as Health Care Experience. It is helpful to specify the breakdown of front-office versus back-office hours when listing MA duties in your application.
  • Applicants are responsible for thoroughly documenting their patient care and health care duties. Job titles may not always accurately reflect the level of involvement in patient care, so it's crucial to consider the tasks performed and use discretion when categorizing them in the CASPA application. Hours should be separated for positions involving both patient care and health care experience. Note that you cannot repeat hours between experience types. So, if position duties encompass more than one section, enter the position in both sections and divide the hours and duties accordingly.
  • All reported Patient Care Experience will be evaluated based on the following criteria: specific duties performed, skill set needed, quality of patient interaction, total number of hours, specialty, setting, patient population served, and time frame of experience. Preference will be given to candidates who serve under-resourced or underserved populations (e.g., rural, immigrant/refugee, unhoused, and other vulnerable and marginalized communities), those who work in settings such as FQHCs, Community Health Centers, Indian Health Service, correctional facilities and those working in primary care (family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology), urgent care and behavioral health.
  • All healthcare-related experiences (paid or unpaid) should be documented in either the Patient Care Experience or Health Care Experience sections. As outlined by CASPA, healthcare-related experiences do not belong in the Volunteer section.
  • Credit for Experiential Learning: no direct patient care credit will be granted for student-related experiences required for your degree or certificate program (i.e., athletic training student, EMT student, contact hours required for nursing school, etc.)
  • Common types of patient care experiences:
    • Athletic Trainer, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)*, Clinical Nutritionist, Clinical, Research Assistant, Dental Assistant, Dental Hygienist, Medic/Medical Corpsman, Medical Assistant (MA)**, Nurse (LPN/LVN/RN), Occupational Therapist, Paramedic/Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Phlebotomist, Physical Therapist, Physical Therapy Aide, Physician, Psychologist/LCSW, Registered Behavioral Technician, Respiratory Therapist, Techs (EKG, ER, Lab, Mental Health, Ophthalmology), Techs (Radiology, Surgery)

      *CNA hours are often a combination of Patient Care and Health Care. Monitoring vitals, wound care, and assisting with medical procedures are examples of patient care duties. On the other hand, helping patients with activities of daily living (ADLs) is considered health care by our program standards because it involves a lower level of responsibility.
      **CASPA suggests you report MA hours under "Health care Experience". The TUC PA program, however, will count back office MA hours, where you are directly responsible for a patient's care, towards our minimum required 1,000 "Patient Care'' hours. Therefore, when listing your MA duties it is helpful to define how many hours (or percent) were front office versus back office. The Program will consider back-office MA duties as Patient Care Experience and front-office MA duties as Health Care Experience.

About Health Care Experience (HCE)

  • There is no minimum requirement for health care experience. The program values candidates with these experiences and it weighs half the weight of Patient Care Experiences.
  • CASPA defines Health Care Experience as follows: Paid or unpaid work in a health or health-related field where you are not directly responsible for a patient’s care but may still have patient interaction. For example, filling prescriptions, performing clerical work, delivering patient food, cleaning patients and/or their rooms, administering food and medication, taking vitals or other record-keeping information, working as a scribe, home health aide, or CNA (depending on the job description).
  • Preference will be given to candidates who serve under-resourced or underserved populations (e.g., rural, immigrant/refugee, unhoused, and other vulnerable and marginalized communities), those who work in settings such as FQHCs, Community Health Centers, Indian Health Service, correctional facilities and those working in primary care (family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology), urgent care and behavioral health.

PA Shadowing & Community Service

Physician Assistant Shadowing (recommended)

  • There is no minimum requirement for shadowing hours.  However, candidates with 15 hours or more of PA shadowing or those who have experience working with a PA will be given preference.
  • Working with or shadowing a PA provides an applicant with more in-depth knowledge of the profession, allowing an applicant to make an informed career decision to enter a PA program. Applicants who have a detailed knowledge of the PA role tend to perform better during the interview.
  • Applicants who have worked with PAs are advised to describe all such interactions under the appropriate job descriptions or use the related program CASPA custom question to further elaborate on this experience.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who shadowed PAs who serve under-resourced or underserved populations (e.g., rural, immigrant/refugee, unhoused, and other vulnerable and marginalized communities), those who work in settings such as FQHCs, Community Health Centers, Indian Health Service, correctional facilities and those working in primary care (family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology), urgent care and behavioral health.
  • Virtual shadowing hours are not accepted as there are substantial limits to understanding the role of the PA in a virtual setting. We discourage applicants from paying for these types of virtual opportunities.

Community Service (recommended)

  • There is no minimum requirement for community service hours.  However, preference is given to candidates who have 200 or more hours of volunteer work with community-based organizations.
  • Though not required, community service volunteer work is highly desirable and is viewed favorably during the application review process.
  • We prefer to see experiences where candidates serve under-resourced or underserved populations (e.g., rural, immigrant/refugee, unhoused, and other vulnerable and marginalized communities), and those who work in settings such as FQHCs, Community Health Centers, Indian Health Service, and correctional facilities. 

Application Review and Interview

Touro California's joint MSPAS/MPH program conducts rolling admissions. Following the submission of all required application materials, our review process is conducted in two phases.

About Phase 1

  • Applications are reviewed to confirm that minimum requirements for GPA, degree earned, pre-requisite completion, and patient care hours have been satisfied. 
  • Applicants with significant hours in both patient care and health care are prioritized at this stage. Health care hours are weighted at half the value of patient care hours. Candidates are subsequently ranked into tiers according to the total hours accrued.
  • Candidates recommended to the program as part of Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) are also considered at this phase. Please see below for more details on MOUs. 

About Phase 2

  • A thorough review is conducted during this phase and candidates are evaluated on the following criteria:
    • The relative strength of the academic record
    • Strength of letters of recommendation
    • Preference will be given to candidates who serve under-resourced or underserved populations (e.g., rural, immigrant/refugee, unhoused, and other vulnerable and marginalized communities), those who work in settings such as FQHCs, Community Health Centers, Indian Health Service, correctional facilities and those working in primary care (family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology), urgent care and behavioral health. This may be demonstrated by their patient care hours, health care hours, PA shadowing, and community service/volunteer hours.
    • Demonstration of commitment to program mission
    • Demonstration of commitment to public health
  • Preference will be given to the following:
    • All experiences (patient care, health care, volunteer work, PA shadowing) will be evaluated to see how a candidate has demonstrated a commitment to our mission.
    • Community service/volunteer hours
    • PA shadowing/working with a PA
    • Fluency in a second language
    • First-generation college student
    • Socioeconomic indicators or HRSA indicators are listed on the CASPA application.
    • Veteran/active military

Qualified applicants (e.g., those who pass both review phases) are invited to interview as space is available in the interview schedule. The program operates on a rolling admission cycle and applying early is recommended for the best possible chances of acceptance. Interviews are typically scheduled between September and April. Not all applicants will be offered an interview and not all those who interview will be accepted into the cohort.

Interviews

Interviews are conducted in a mixed format and will include both one-on-one and group interactions. Interview dates are scheduled between September and April. All interviews are conducted virtually on Zoom to increase access to our interview process while minimizing cost to applicants. We are not able to interview applicants by phone.

Touro University California complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act by providing reasonable accommodations to candidates for admission with known disabilities. To ensure that candidates receive all reasonable accommodations necessary for them to participate in the admissions interview process, Touro University strongly encourages such candidates to contact the Office of Admissions (tuc.admit@touro.edu) at least three (3) days before their scheduled interview.

Memorandums of Understanding

Memorandums of Understanding (MOU's) exist with various institutions serving as pipelines for underrepresented and disadvantaged students to enter our joint MSPAS/MPH program with a goal of increasing diversity within the PA profession.

Currently, we have MOU's with the following partners:

San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University: guaranteed interview for up to 5 applicants meeting minimum standard requirements.

CA Army National Guard

CA Army National Guard: guaranteed interview for up to 5 applicants meeting minimum standard requirements.

TUC MSMHS Program

TUC MSMHS Program: guaranteed interview for up to 2 applicants if candidates meet MSMHS program cumulative and science GPA of 3.0 and additional patient care hour requirements.

EDGE-PA Advising Program

EDGE-PA Advising Program: guaranteed interview for 1 applicant meeting minimum standard requirements.

Vida Mobile Clinic

Vida Mobile Clinic: guaranteed interview for 5 applicants meeting minimum standard requirements.

Post-Interview & Acceptance

The Admissions Committee typically meets immediately following the interview day to discuss each candidate and make recommendations to the Program Director. Following the Program Director's review, decisions are emailed and mailed via U.S. Mail shortly thereafter. If you do not receive correspondence with your decision within 3 weeks from the date of your interview, please contact the Office of Admissions (tuc.admit@touro.edu) to follow up.

Accepted candidates are required to submit a non-refundable acceptance deposit, which is typically due within two weeks of the date of acceptance. A refundable tuition deposit is required later in the process. Upon matriculation, both deposits are credited toward tuition.

The Program does not allow part-time status for new students.

Citizenship Requirement

Individuals who have met all application requirements and permanently reside in the United States at the time of application, inclusive of DACA recipients, are permitted to apply and matriculate at Touro University California. Currently, TUC does not accept international students.

Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid is limited to US Citizens and US Permanent Residents. Candidates applying without US Citizenship or Permanent Residency are strongly encouraged to explore financing options before proceeding with the application process. Additional information may be viewed by visiting the Eligibility Requirements on the Financial Aid page.

Transfer Credit

Transfer Students from Other PA Programs

The Program does not accept transfer students.

Transfer of Credit

The program does not grant transfer credit. This includes prerequisite credit for work-related experiences and credit for completing a public health degree at a different institution. There is no acceleration or advanced standing in the program regardless of prior experience or degree.

Applications from TUC MPH Students and/or Graduates of Other MPH Programs

The Joint Program does not award credit for coursework completed prior to enrollment. Designed as a joint MSPAS/MPH curriculum, applicants who already hold an MPH degree are not eligible to apply to this program.

Institutional Accreditation Requirement

Touro University California will accept coursework and degrees from institutions accredited by one of the seven institutional accrediting agencies listed below:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (AACJC)

Applicants who have completed degrees and/or coursework outside of the United States must have their transcripts evaluated by a TUC approved agency to verify equivalency to those offered by institutions accredited by one of the accrediting agencies listed above. For a list of TUC approved evaluation agencies, please refer to the Graduates of Foreign Institutions section of this website.

Graduates of Foreign Institutions

Except in cases where the institution is accredited by one of the agencies approved by Touro University California, all coursework completed outside of the United States must be submitted for evaluation using one of the approved evaluation agencies.

Approved Evaluation Agency:

Evaluations must be sent directly from the evaluation service to tuc.admit@touro.edu; evaluations received from applicants will not be processed.

Transcript Evaluations Must Include:

  1. Course by course evaluation
  2. Number of semester units each course is worth
  3. Letter grade for each course
  4. Cumulative GPA
  5. Indication the degree earned is equivalent to a degree from a TUC approved accrediting body.

Multiple Deposit Policy

Applicants to Touro University California (TUC) may also choose to apply to and submit seat deposits for other programs located within TUC or the greater Touro University System (TU). TUC applicants who have deposits at one or more TUC or other TU programs will be given until April 15th (for summer starts) or June 1st (for fall starts) to decide which program they wish to attend and will be required to withdraw from all other TUC/TU programs to which they have deposited. TUC applicants who are accepted and who submit seat deposits after April 15th (for summer starts) or June 1st (for fall starts) will be required to immediately withdraw from any other TUC/TU program(s) to which they have deposited.

Background Checks

Incoming and current students may be required to submit to a background check before and/or during their enrollment at Touro University California. Facts uncovered as a result of a background check which could preclude licensure and/or practice in the profession may impact their ability to begin or continue their education at the University. Details are provided with the letter of acceptance.

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