Medical School
Master of Science in Anesthesia Anesthesiologist Assistant Program

MCW Master of Science in Anesthesia (MSA) Program Admissions Process

Providing anesthesia care as a Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant demands mastery of anesthesia knowledge coupled with superior critical thinking and technical skills. To promote success both academically and in patient care, we identify highly-qualified applicants that are an excellent “fit”: individuals who share our core values and passion for learning. Areas such as academic achievement, interpersonal skills, personal motivation, life experiences, and recommendations all contribute to the admissions process.

Prepare to apply

Review important information for the admissions process
Dates and Deadlines
  • CASAA opens: June 1
  • CASAA application deadline: February 1
  • Virtual interviews: September to April
  • Acceptance decisions: Offers of admission are made throughout the admissions cycle to the top interviewed applicants
  • Final admissions decisions: May
  • Last date for prerequisite transcripts to be received for incoming class: July 15*
  • New student orientation: Late August

*Any in progress prerequisite coursework must be completed and verified with final transcripts prior to program start. Accepted applicants cannot have more than one outstanding prerequisite course to complete in the summer semester leading up to matriculation. If an accepted applicant has more than one prerequisite course to complete in the summer semester, they will be deferred to the following matriculating class.


Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Bachelor’s Degree
In order to apply to the program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a college or university located in the United States or Canada that is accredited by an organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Applicants must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 or meet the requirements of the Recent Academic Achievement Pathway. (GPAs include all coursework attempted without grade replacement or grade forgiveness for any repeated courses.)

Test Scores
The Medical College of Wisconsin Master of Science in Anesthesia program does not require the GRE or MCAT exam for submission of application. Applicants who wish to voluntarily submit exam scores may do so by selecting our program’s GRE code (7150). For the MCAT, select Medical College of Wisconsin (no code needed).

Letters of Recommendation (3) from individuals who are familiar with your suitability for graduate study leading into a career in anesthesia clinical practice.

Clinical Anesthesia Shadowing Experience
At least 8 hours of anesthesia shadowing is required. The activity must demonstrate sufficient anesthesia focus by involving an Anesthesiologist, Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant, or Nurse Anesthetist. The shadowing experience must be documented on the Verification of Exposure to Anesthesia Practice Form (PDF) or on any similar form that appropriately confirms the shadowing experience.

Physical and Technical Standards
Meet all physical and technical standards as listed in the Physical and Technical Standards for the Anesthesiologist Assistant Student Guide (PDF).

Prerequisites listed below must be taken for a letter grade* and completed with a C or better with official transcripts received by the program prior to the program start date. Prerequisites must be completed at a college or university in the United States or Canada that is accredited by an organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Online courses are accepted if completed at a CHEA accredited college or university. Applications will still be considered with coursework pending, but transcripts showing successful completion of all prerequisites must be received at least three weeks prior to the program start date for a student to remain eligible to begin the program. College credit for high school Advanced Placement courses do not satisfy the requirement. Students with AP credit in a prerequisite course may substitute a similar course that is equal to, or higher than, the pre-requisite course. For example, a student with AP credit in Calculus I could substitute Calculus II or Statistics I. For questions regarding appropriate alternative coursework, contact the MSA program (

*Due to significant academic disruption resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, prerequisite coursework completed with a passing grade on a pass/fail grading scale in the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years will be accepted.

  • Biochemistry: One semester
  • Human Anatomy*: One semester
    • Courses with lab are recommended but not required
  • Human Physiology*: One semester
    • Courses with lab are recommended but not required
  • Advanced Mathematics: One semester
    • Calculus I or Statistics I (Courses designed for health professions or research applications will be accepted provided significant computation is included. Theoretical or conceptual application only is not sufficient.)
  • Biology I with Lab: One semester
  • Biology II with Lab: One semester
    • The following courses may be substituted for this requirement: Microbiology, Cell & Molecular Biology, Neurobiology, Genetics
  • Chemistry I with Lab: One semester
  • Chemistry II with Lab: One semester
    • The following courses may be substituted for this requirement: Biochemistry II, Organic Chemistry II)
  • Organic Chemistry with Lab: One semester
  • Physics I with Lab: One semester
  • Physics II with Lab: One semester
  • Medical Terminology: One course

*Combined Anatomy/Physiology courses will be accepted; minimum two semesters required.

Recent Academic Achievement Pathway

The program recognizes that some students with superior academic ability may also have experienced academic difficulty early in their education for a variety of reasons. In such cases the program may consider evidence of recent academic achievement. To qualify, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  1. Maintain a minimum of 3.5 GPA in the most recently completed semesters where at least 30 credits were attempted.
  2. Most recent coursework must include at least one prerequisite course.

Notify the program in writing by selecting the appropriate response in the CASAA application.

Advanced Placement, Transfer Credit and Experiential Learning
The Master of Science in Anesthesia program presents a rigorous and fast-paced curriculum. Therefore, advanced placement, credit for previous coursework, or experiential learning will not be offered.

International Students
Applications will be accepted from international students who meet all general admissions requirements.

Note to applicants: A prior felony conviction might restrict an individual’s ability to obtain professional licensure or employment. Acceptance into the Medical College of Wisconsin program or its completion does not imply or guarantee that a student will be able to obtain such licensure or employment

Improving Your Application

Admission to the MSA program is selective with multiple applicants per admitted student. In addition to meeting the minimum eligibility requirements, highly-competitive applicants will have:

  • GPA of 3.5 or higher (Cumulative and Science GPA)
  • Previous or current employment in a healthcare setting

In addition to academic ability, our program values professionalism, diversity, and service to our community. Our admissions process considers the whole applicant, not just GPA and work history. The following attributes can help applicants stand out among their peers:

  • Wisconsin residents or interested in working in Wisconsin after graduation
  • Previous experience serving in a leadership role
  • Participation in published scientific research
  • Fluency in more than one language

We value all these skills and attributes. Participating in these activities can improve an applicant’s chances of selection for an interview.

Application Process

The Medical College of Wisconsin’s application opens annually on June 1 for matriculation in the fall of the following calendar year. All application materials and supporting documentation must be submitted through the CASAA application by the deadline. We are unable to accept documents submitted directly to the program.

  • Step One: Create an applicant account on CASAA
  • Step Two: Select MCW from the list of programs (open June 1)
  • Step Three: Complete all sections on the application
  • Step Four: Submit your application for verification
  • Step Five: If selected, attend a required interview with the program Admissions Committee

Important Application Information

  • There is no supplemental application. All materials needed to apply (fees, instructions, etc.) are contained within the CASAA application.
  • Application materials must be verified in order for the Admissions Committee to review your application. Please check the status of the application after submission. If after several weeks the application has not been verified, contact CASAA to follow up on any missing documentation.
  • MCW will send a confirmation email once the application has been verified by CASAA.
  • Personal interviews are offered to the most qualified applicants to assess interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and leadership. Interviews are required for admission consideration.

What to Expect on Interview Day

How many interview days does MCW hold?
The MSA Program generally has six to seven interview days per application cycle. Generally, there are two interviews are in the Fall and remainder in Spring.

What’s the interview process like?
The evening before the interview, a pre-interview session is available to learn more about the program itself. This is a great opportunity to speak with program faculty and ask questions before the following day’s formal interviews.

This event is highly recommended but not required. The interview day will be a half-day of activities. You will have two 35-minute interview sessions with a panel of two to three interviewers. In between interview sessions, you are able to talk to current students and ask questions regarding the program, student life, or Milwaukee. After the formal interview sessions are complete, applicants are able to speak with faculty and ask any questions they were not able to ask earlier in the day. The MCW Financial Aid Office ends the day’s events by walking through aid options available to graduate students.

When will you receive an admission decision?
Our admissions process is rolling; we typically accept the top 2-3 applicants for admission from each interview group. Applicants who are offered admission or declined will usually receive notification within one week of the interview day. Final admission decisions for all other interviewed applicants are sent in April or early May.

Upon Admission

I have been accepted to MCW’s Master of Science in Anesthesia Program! Now what?

Congratulations! The MSA Program faculty and staff look forward to welcoming you into the MCW family in the Fall. At MCW, you will be provided with a supportive and encouraging environment in which to learn. MCW is dedicated to providing the highest quality certified anesthesiologist assistant education. As future MSA Program graduates, MCW will prepare you to achieve excellence in your career as a Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant.

To prepare you for entrance into the MSA Program, the items below must be completed in advance of your orientation day:

  • Complete all required pre-requisite coursework prior to program start date, with a final grade of C or better. Submit final transcripts documenting prerequisite coursework to prior to program start date.
  • Connect with your student mentor! As orientation day approaches, the MSA program staff will assign you to a current student mentor. These mentors can serve as a great resource for curriculum-related questions to housing questions. Ask them anything!
  • Contact MCW’s Office of Financial Aid ( and comply with all requirements.
  • Complete all required Occupational Health items.
  • Criminal Background Check no later than 30 days prior to program start date.

At orientation or shortly thereafter, these additional requirements will need to be met:

  • Student handbook attestation.
  • Comply with mandatory drug screen facilitated by the program.
  • Additional items as identified by the program.

Financial Aid
Please visit our Financial Aid Office’s website for more information on tuition, fees, and on filing the FAFSA (code 015611), our financial aid application, and other eligibility information.

Academic and Student Services
MCW is committed to supporting students achieve their academic goals. Visit the Student Services website for more information on opportunities available for current students.