Overview of the 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
- Last date for prerequisite transcripts to be received for August 2022 incoming class: July 15, 2022
- CASAA opens: June 1, 2021
- CASAA application deadline: February 1, 2022
- On-site campus interviews: September 2021 to April 2022
- Acceptance decisions: Offers of admission are made throughout the admissions cycle
- Final acceptance decisions: May 2022
- New student orientation: Early August 2022
Minimum Eligibility Requirements
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.)
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). 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 (MCWMSA@mcw.edu).
*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:
- Maintain a minimum of 3.5 GPA in the most recent 30 credits attempted.
- 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.
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
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)
- A test score of 502 or higher (MCAT) or 60th percentile or higher (GRE)
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 test scores. The following attributes can help you stand out among your peers:
- Are you a Wisconsin resident or interested in working in Wisconsin after graduation?
- Have you served in a leadership role?
- Have you participated in scientific research?
- Do you possess prior healthcare experience or have you participated in more than the minimum number of anesthesia shadowing hours?
- Are you fluent in more than one language?
We value all of these skills and attributes. Participating in these activities can improve your chances of selection for an interview.
2018-2019 Admissions Statistics
- Verified CASAA Applications: 227
- Interviews: 35
- Admitted Students: 14
2019 Entering Class Statistics
- Cumulative GPA
- Average: 3.67
- Range: 3.41-4.0
- Science GPA
- Average: 3.66
- Range: 3.29-4.0
- GRE Quantitative
- Average: 66th Percentile
- Range: 50-88
- GRE Verbal
- Average: 58th Percentile
- Range: 47-97
- MCAT Score (New)
- Average: 501
- Range: 494-513
All interested applicants must complete an application via the Centralized Application Service for Anesthesiologist Assistants (CASAA) by February 1, 2022. All application materials and supporting documentation must be submitted through the CASAA application. 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
- 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. Everything you need to apply (fees, instructions) is all contained within the CASAA application.
- Your application materials must be verified in order for our admissions committee to review your materials. Please check the status of your application after you submit your full application. If several weeks have gone by and CASAA has not verified your application, please contact CASAA as pieces may be missing from your application.
- Our program will send you an email confirmation when your 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 four or five interview days per application cycle. One interview is in the Fall and the remainder are in the Spring.
What’s the day like?
The evening before interview day, we have a pre-interview reception which gives you a chance to meet current students, members of the admissions committee, and program faculty/staff. This event is recommended but not required. Your interview day will be a half-day of activities. You will have two 25-minute interview sessions with a panel of two to four 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 interview sessions are complete, we have lunch and a financial aid presentation, followed by a tour of the Medical Education Building and the STAR Center. As the day concludes, you’ll be able to ask any final questions that you might have.
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 chosen for admission will usually receive notification within 48 hours of the interview day. Final admission decisions are sent in April or early May.
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 email@example.com 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, 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.
Please visit our Financial Aid Office’s website for more information on filing the FAFSA (code 015611), our financial aid application, and other eligibility information.