How do I go about fulfilling the shadowing requirement? Does the UT MSA Program facilitate shadowing opportunities?

The UT MSA program requires that every applicant be familiar with the practice of anesthesia, the operating room environment, and the role that anesthesiologist assistants play in the Anesthesia Care Team (ACT). Applicants must arrange to spend time with an anesthetist or anesthesiologist in an operating room environment observing the administration of anesthesia and other human patient care activities. We strongly recommend shadowing for a minimum of 8 hours to familiarize themselves of the role and responsibilities of an anesthesia provider.

At this time, the UT MSA Program does not have a formal program for assistance with shadowing opportunities – applicants should obtain opportunities directly through personal resources or clinical sites, often by contacting the Chief Anesthetist at a given group. Applicants should contact hospitals and medical centers in their region and let them know that they are applying to an Anesthesiologist Assistant Program and are interested in shadowing an Anesthesiologist (MD or DO) or Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant (CAA).

What are the prerequisite courses?  
The prerequisite courses are listed here. Human anatomy/physiology and biochemistry must be taken within 5 years of the application deadline. All other prerequisites must be taken within 7 years of the deadline.

Do you accept online courses or courses taken at community college?
Yes, as long as they are from an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States, U.S. territory or Canada.

Do I have to complete the required courses before applying to the program?
No. All of our requirements must be completed prior to matriculation, not application.

Do I need to take both Anatomy and Physiology?
Combined Anatomy and Physiology and labs are preferred but not required. At minimum 1 semester of Physiology with lab OR 1 semester of Human Anatomy with lab is required. Beginning in the 2025 – 2026 application cycle, only Human Anatomy and Physiology I will be accepted. Human Anatomy I will not be accepted to fulfill this prerequisite in the 2025 – 2026 application cycle.

Human Anatomy II or Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credits) is not a requirement for the 2024 – 2025 application cycle. However, beginning in the 2025 – 2026 application cycle, Human Anatomy and Physiology II will be a required prerequisite.

Is there an exemption for prerequisite time limits if I did exceptionally well on the MCAT?
The five-year time limit can ONLY be waived for biochemistry, human anatomy with lab, and human physiology if you score a 501 or greater on the MCAT. A score of >500 on the MCAT indicates that your knowledge of the coursework is still current, and we do not ask that you retake your older coursework.
A score of >500 on the MCAT does NOT waive prerequisite courses – it merely waives the five-year time limit.

How do I report my MCAT or GRE score?
You can obtain your MCAT score from the AAMC, download your score report, including verification code, and upload it to the CASAA application.

Is prior health care experience required?
No. While it is advantageous that entering students have some kind of direct patient care, applicants that meet the minimum requirement prior to submitting an application may be considered for admission. Students are strongly encouraged to obtain more than the required 8 hours of anesthesia shadowing experience.

Do you give preference for admission to Texas residents?
The MSA program welcomes all applicants that have satisfied the prerequisites listed above.

How do I apply?
Apply through CASAA.

What is the application fee?
CASAA charges $165 for the first program you apply to and $55 for each additional program.

What are the interviews like? 
Applicants are invited to in-person one-one-one interviews with multiple interviewers.

When and how will I know if I am accepted?
The UTHealth Houston MSA Admissions Committee meets on a rolling basis. When a final decision has been made, the applicant will receive an official decision letter sent via e-mail. Students are either accepted, wait-listed, or denied admission.

What is a rolling admission?
Rolling admission evaluate applicants as they are received versus waiting to evaluate all applications after a hard deadline.

I just received my acceptance letter. What do I do now?
Begin gathering the required immunization records, apply for FAFSA, and consider living arrangements and transportation to and from the medical center and surround hospitals in the Greater Houston area. There will be instructions for submitting required documents after accepting your admission. Read your letter carefully noting the 14 calendar days an applicant has to accept the program’s offer of admission.

Can I work part-time while I am in the program?  
Due to the intensity of the program, students do not have time to work any job while they are enrolled.

What can I do to make myself a more attractive candidate for admission?
In addition to academic records, the information considered by the Admissions Committee includes the personal statement by the student, MCAT/GRE score, extra-curricular activities, work and life experiences. Any experience in the health field including research or perioperative experience, as well as the comments contained in the letters of evaluation. We look for evidence of integrity, maturity, concern for others, leadership potential, and an aptitude for working with people.

Can I come visit for a tour?
Tours are not available at this time. All interviewees will be given a tour day of interview.

Will a Criminal Background Check be performed?
Yes. Once accepted into the program, all students are required to undergo a Criminal Background Check.

Can I transfer into the program?
No. It is the policy of UTHealth Houston MSA Program that transfer students will not be accepted.

What is the size of the matriculating class?  
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston is welcoming an inaugural class of 35 anesthesiologist assistant students this August 2024.

Where is the program office located?
The program office is located at the UTHealth Houston Professional Building 6410 Fannin St, Houston, TX 77030.

Where can I find more information about Certified Anesthesiologist Assistants?
American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAAA).

Are there AA organizations I can join? 
Students are encouraged to support the anesthesia organizations that promote our mission:

    • Texas Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants (TAAA) | Student Membership $75
    • American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAAA) | Student Membership $200
    • Texas Society of Anesthesiologists (TSA) | Student Membership $200
    • American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) | AA Student Membership $26