​ASK THE PA PROGRAM - Common questions and answers for prospective students


Question 1: Will I be required to complete a background check and drug testing?

Yes.  Complete confidence in the honor and integrity of the health professions student and future PA professional is essential.  Background checks, as well as urine drug testing, validate the integrity of our PA students.  As a result, any prior criminal records and positive findings from urine drug testing will be evaluated by designated CMU staff for the following two main reasons: 

  1. PA students have direct contact with patients and our clinical site affiliation agreements therefore call for a review of criminal histories as part of the PA student credentialing process, prior to the start of clinical experiences and clerkship rotations.  Please be advised that if a criminal conviction or other relevant sanction is shown on the background check, clinical sites may choose not to allow a student to utilize their facilities, which may hinder his/her ability to successfully complete the MSPA program.  (If applicable, we strongly encourage those considering to pursue a field in healthcare to check with the appropriate State licensing board(s) to determine whether your background may be a barrier to future licensing).
  2. Many clinical experience assignments and rotations requiring urine drug testing, so PA students will need to undergo this screening before the start of their clinical experiences/rotations.  Positive drug screens may prevent a student from starting a clinical rotation and hinder his/her ability from progressing through the program. 
  3. Ongoing determinations substantiate that our PA students meet the standards of professional conduct.

Background checks and urine drug testing are considered conditions of acceptance into the PA Program.  These checks are to be completed once enrolled in the program.  Payment for these checks are the responsibility of each student.  Procedures and costs for obtaining background investigations and urine drug screenings will be disseminated by the PA Program staff. 

PA students are required to consent to the release of criminal background information and urine drug testing results to any affiliating healthcare institution that requests or requires this information as a condition of assignment.  For more information, review the New Student Orientation Packet under the Student Handbooks (This portion of the website is currently under development).

Question 2: Am I required to have certain immunizations or health screening procedures completed before I officially start classes?

Yes. PA students also are required to undergo a physical examination and vaccinations review in accordance with CDC recommendations for healthcare personnel.  As students will have some exposure to patients during the first year, no students will be allowed to matriculate until they have supplied proof that they are current on the following immunizations and health screenings consistent with current CDC recommendations.  Second year PA students will need to undergo another TB screening and administration of the flu vaccination.  Please note that costs for physical evaluations, immunization reviews and vaccine updates are the students' responsibilities.  To learn more, please visit the Student Handbooks tab (this portion of the website is currently under development) ​which includes the New Student Orientation Packet received during the spring orientation when students formally enroll for their first semester of summer courses.



[March 27, 2015]