Pre-Physician Assistant Seminar


Program of Study

The Pre-Physician Assistant Education Seminar (PPA) at Creighton University is a three-year, five-semester program. PPA is tiered to build across each semester starting with PPA 102 in the Spring semester of the freshman year and concluding with PPA 302 in the Spring semester of the junior year. Any Creighton student interested in exploring the profession of physician assistant is welcome to register for the seminar.

Year One

PPA 102

The first semester of the PPA seminar is designed to be an introduction to aspects of the physician assistant program application process as well as an exploration of the PA profession. Topics covered include professionalism & integrity, volunteering, shadowing, patient confidentiality & medical records, and exploring ways to garner patient care experience. Students will learn what activities and academic preparation are necessary to have a competitive application. Additional advising is also given regarding the selection of academic courses necessary for a PA program application.

Year Two

PPA 201

In semester two of PPA, students write a resume, use the COMPAS Journal to record their portfolio of accomplishments, learn from faculty about building relationships for later requesting letters of recommendation and learn ways to obtain necessary patient care experience in an employment setting. Discernment programming includes a panel of healthcare professionals and the opportunity to talk to current PA students.

PPA 202

Students receive a preview of the “Central Application Service for Physician Assistants” (CASPA) which is used by all PA programs in the U.S. Students will be encouraged to explore the PA programs they may be interested in applying to so that a thorough review of the varying prerequisite course requirements can be performed. A Self-Assessment Module will help students take stock of their progress towards a competitive application. An introduction to preparing to take the GRE exam will be provided.

Year Three

PPA 301

In the fourth semester of PPA, students revise their resume, review their activities, and write a personal statement. Students are advised regarding their progress towards a competitive application and information about GRE preparation is offered.

PPA 302

Elements of the final semester of PPA include a Personal Statement Workshop, an Interviewing Skills Workshop, and a more thorough review of the CASPA application system. Students are also advised regarding requesting letters of recommendation. Collecting the final components needed for a competitive application is emphasized.


Key Components of the Pre-Physician Assistant Education Seminar

In addition to providing information and resources to prepare for an application to physician assistant programs, PPA also encompasses programming and advising to assist students in deciding if this is the best path for them.

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Collaboration with Pre-Physician Assistant Club

The PPA program has a strong relationship with the student-run Pre-Physician Assistant Club at Creighton. From scheduling special speakers to developing programming for all students interested in a career in the medical field, the Pre-Physician Assistant Club picks up where the Pre-Physician Assistant Education Seminar leaves off.

COMPAS Journal

PPA students are provided an online tool to track their physician assistant program application materials with the Creighton Online Medical and Professional Application System (COMPAS) Journal. Students build their application materials through all five semesters of PPA. The COMPAS Journal is modeled after CASPA, the national application service used by major physician assistant programs in the country.

Mock Interviews and Workshops

Physician assistant program interviews are a critical part of the application process. Through PPA, students learn interviewing techniques and participate in feedback-driven mock interviews to prepare for their physician assistant program interviews.

Professional Communication Seminar

Often the first contact that physician assistant programs have with a student is the written word. PPA provides workshops for students to develop their personal statements and resumes for their applications to physician assistant programs.

Guest Speakers

From current physician assistant students to physician assistant program admissions professionals and experts in the field of healthcare, PPA gives students the chance to hear from and ask questions to a host of individuals that provide insight into the application process and what to expect in and out of physician assistant program.

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Shadowing Opportunities

Shadowing a physician assistant is an important step in determining readiness to apply to a physician assistant program. Students in PPA will learn ways to acquire these opportunities. Creighton undergraduate alums currently in PA school or already in the PA profession may also assist Pre-PA students with shadowing and mentoring opportunities.


Registration Information

Registrar Number Course Name Meeting Time Location
2015 Spring Semester
TBD PPA 102 Friday 3:30-5:30 PM Rigge 120