The Master of Science in Anesthesia Program is limited to approximately 27 to 34 students per location per year who progress through the program as a cohort. This small size ensures that students receive a high level of instructor attention and experiential learning opportunities. Additionally, this creates an opportunity for students to form close bonds with their fellow classmates, which often transcend the Program and continue into the workplace.
While reviewing applications, the Master of Science in Anesthesia Program takes a holistic approach, emphasizing the student as a whole person. According to Inside Higher Ed, a holistic review “helps an institution assess applicants as individuals and create an overall class of students through which it can achieve its mission.” While CWRU and the MSA Program have always taken a student’s whole application into consideration, the Program has made significant changes to its admission requirements in the last few years in an effort to expand access to this important healthcare profession to a more diverse applicant pool.
The Master of Science in Anesthesia Program offers rigorous, innovative instruction at our locations in Cleveland OH, Houston TX, Washington D.C., and Austin TX. You are able to apply to one, two, three, or all four of our program locations for one application fee.
Case Western Reserve University Master of Science in Anesthesia has partnered with the Centralized Application Service for Anesthesiologist Assistants, or CASAA, to collect and manage applications. CASAA is the online application service for all graduate-level anesthesiologist assistant education programs in the United States. Through CASAA, prospective students may use a single web-based application and one set of materials to apply to multiple Master's level anesthesiologist assistant programs in the United States.
Our central admissions office in Cleveland processes and reviews applications for all four locations. You will hear directly from the central office about decisions and next steps. If your application is competitive, it will be forwarded to your first preference location after it is verified and has been reviewed. That location is given the first opportunity to consider you for an interview and admission. If your location of preference does not invite you to interview or offer admission, the program can then consider you for your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th preference campus. An applicant may only be considered for one location at a time. CWRU operates as one program even though it has multiple campuses. The applicant should not expect offers of admission from multiple locations. Only one offer of admission will be made.
The following outlines the application process.
Complete an online application through CASAA
The application opens each year in March. In the application, you will be able to select which locations you are applying to and rank them in order of preference. Follow the instructions on the CASAA application. Once your application has been submitted and is in “Verified” status, the MSA Program will review your application. Communication regarding applications is through the CASAA application system. Be sure to check your junk mail on a regular basis because oftentimes the emails from CASAA end up in the spam folder. The CASAA application must be submitted and complete by October 1 for early decision applications or by February 1 for regular decision applications. If the deadline falls on a weekend, the deadline becomes the next business day.
Click here to complete the online application.
CASAA Applicant Evaluations
The Master of Science in Anesthesia Program participates in the CASAA evaluation program, and three evaluations must be received by CASAA before your application can be considered complete. All evaluations must be submitted by October 1 for early decision applications or by February 1 for regular decision applications.
Your evaluators must complete their evaluations online. Letters of recommendation should not be sent directly to the program office. The evaluation requires completion of two parts: (Part I) a rating of attributes and (Part II) a letter. The letter must be uploaded to the online evaluation portal in CASAA. Confidential letters are preferred.
Evaluations are very important in our decision-making process. They provide three additional voices advocating for your admission into the MSA Program and your fitness for becoming an anesthetist. We encourage you to choose evaluators who know you well and can objectively comment on your potential as an anesthesiologist assistant student. We strongly recommend that you ask your evaluators not to submit letters written for other post-baccalaureate programs, such as medical school. Repurposed letters of recommendation may be detrimental to the review of your application. Family members and friends should not provide evaluations.
Anesthesiologist Assistant Shadowing Experience
The MSA program strongly recommends shadowing a certified anesthesiologist assistant in the operating room environment. If you are in an area where CAAs are not prevalent, then shadowing an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist practicing within the anesthesia care team model is suggested. Use the MSA Program's shadowing form to keep a detailed record of your shadowing hours so that you may upload that document to your CASAA application.
Applicants may request a shadowing experience through the MSA Program. Requests can be made at any location office, and procedures differ according to affiliate hospital regulations. While the program tries to accommodate as many applicants as possible, requesting a shadowing experience in no way implies or guarantees placement.
Submit Admissions Test Scores
Case Western Reserve University's Master of Science in Anesthesia Program accepts the MCAT and the GRE. Other entrance exams may be considered on a case-by-case basis. For early decision applicants, the program will accept September admissions test scores even though those scores are released after the early decision deadline. Your application will not be considered complete until an official admissions test score has been received.
If you take the admissions test after you submit your application, log back in to CASAA and update the appropriate section so that CASAA can receive your official scores. Early decision applicants whose scores for the MCAT or GRE are not competitive by the early decision deadline will be asked to retake the respective test by the end of January, and will be considered for the regular decision deadline. Decisions will not be made on these applications until the new scores are released.
Applicants should self-report their MCAT scores and enter their AAMC ID number in the CASAA application. Then applicants must contact the Association of American Medical Colleges to request that their official scores be released to CASAA. (See average MCAT score for our matriculants)
Applicants must use the designated institution code to indicate the MSA Program as a score recipient. The designated institution code for the CWRU CASAA is 4354. Applicants can also self-report their GRE scores in the CASAA application.
Complete Casper Assessment
All applicants are required to complete the Caspers assessment as part of their application. Visit AcuityInsights.app to create an account and complete Casper: an online, open-response situational judgment test
You will register for the Casper test for Anesthesiologist Assistants (CSP-10101 - U.S. Professional Health Sciences).
Casper assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that the MSA program believes are important for successful clinical practice and patient care. In implementing this Casper assessment, we are taking a more holistic and objective approach to reviewing prospective students.
A list of test dates can be reviewed here. Applicants are encouraged to complete Casper before or concurrently with the submission of their application to ensure there is no delay in the review of their application. Your application will not be considered complete without the Casper results. If you are a reapplicant, you will need to take a new Casper assessment.
The admissions committee will review your application and decide whether to extend an interview invitation once your application is in verified status and your evaluations have been received by CASAA.
If a prospective student is invited for an interview, they will interview at their location of preference as indicated on their application. The Master of Science in Anesthesia Program will consider them for all the CWRU locations to which they applied, but they need only interview once. Phone interviews are not permitted. After your interview, the committee will update you on your status as quickly as possible.
The admissions committee makes offers on a rolling basis with final admission decisions being made in early March. All applicants will be notified of their status by mid-March. Admission decisions are communicated by email.
March: Application is available
The CASAA application opens in mid-March. The MSA Program begins reviewing applications in verified status.
October 1: Early decision application deadline
The CASAA application must be submitted and complete by this date for consideration for early decision, unless this date falls on a weekend, in which case the deadline will be the next business day. It can take up to four weeks for CASAA to verify your application, so we recommend that applicants complete their applications as early as possible.
September-February: Interviews held and offers of admission made
Competitive applicants who apply before or by the early decision application deadline are invited to interview and will interview at their location of preference as indicated on their application. Offers of admission will be made on a rolling basis.
February 1: Regular decision application deadline
The CASAA application must be submitted and complete by this date for consideration for admission, unless this date falls on a weekend, in which case the deadline will be the next business day. It can take up to four weeks for CASAA to verify your application, so we recommend that applicants complete their applications prior to the final deadline if possible.
If seats are still available, qualified applicants who apply after the early decision deadline or by the regular decision application deadline are invited to interview and will interview at their location of preference as indicated on their application. All regular decision applicants will receive an admissions decision from the program by the end of March.
March-May: Offers extended to alternates
If seats come open, offers of admission will be extended to applicants on the alternate or waitlist. The program will notify the student immediately in the event of an open position or once enrollment is closed. Students on the alternate list should make sure their coursework is in order in case an offer of admission is made to them.
May: Classes begin
The MSA Program starts in the Summer semester, the Tuesday following Memorial Day.
If you have questions pertaining to CASAA, or if you have technical issues, call CASAA Customer Service at 617.612.2077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions pertaining to Acuity Insights, utilize the chat bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen on the AcuityInsights.app website.
If you have any other questions, we're happy to help and encourage you to reach out.