Admission Requirements

Academic Requirements

Group of first year students with visiting nurse anesthetist

The mission of the Master of Science in Anesthesia Program is to graduate skilled and compassionate anesthetists. The admission policy reflects this goal. Applicants are considered on a variety of parameters that measure academic ability, interpersonal skills, clinical aptitude, and qualities such as professionalism, empathy, and leadership ability. It does so without regard to race, religion, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or political affiliation.

Admission to the MSA Program requires that the following criteria are met:

1. Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university

Applicants for admission must complete a course of study leading to a baccalaureate degree at an accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university, or its equivalent, prior to matriculation.

2. Prerequisite courses

Documentation of each of the prerequisites having been completed with a grade of B- or higher at an accredited U.S. or Canadian institution of higher learning is required. Prerequisites must be taken within five years of the application deadline. For those courses that have been repeated, the highest grade will be used in the calculation. Prerequisites include:

  • one semester of biochemistry: advanced course preferred. Bioengineering courses will not fulfill this requirement.
  • one year of biology with laboratory:* a year-long biology course sequence with lab that stresses general concepts required. Bioengineering courses as well as courses in micro- or molecular biology, cellular biology, genetics and histology will not fulfill this requirement.
  • one semester of human anatomy with laboratory: advanced course preferred. Courses in vertebrate embryology and developmental anatomy will not fulfill this requirement.
  • one semester of human physiology: advanced course preferred. Courses in mammalian physiology and embryology will not fulfill this requirement.
  • one year of chemistry with laboratory:* a year-long course sequence in general chemistry with lab required.
  • one year of organic chemistry with laboratory:* a year-long course sequence in organic chemistry with lab required.
  • one year of physics with laboratory:* a year-long course sequence in general physics with lab required.
  • one semester of calculus:* precalculus will not fulfill this requirement.
  • one semester of advanced statistics:* preferably for the life sciences. Introductory or basic courses will not fulfill this requirement.
  • one semester of English with expository writing:* can also be fulfilled with other expository writing courses in the humanities. Science courses with extensive writing components can fulfill this requirement as well.

* Courses marked with an asterisk that were completed with a grade of B- or higher in excess of five years prior to the application deadline will meet the prerequisite criteria only if the MCAT composite score is 500 or higher. A high MCAT score indicates your knowledge of the coursework is still current, and we do not ask that you retake your older coursework.

Notes on Prerequisites

  • Online prerequisite courses will not be accepted.
  • Substitutions are not permitted, and survey courses for non-science majors are not acceptable.
  • A one-semester course in human anatomy and physiology with lab will fulfill both human anatomy with lab and human physiology prerequisites. You may take these two prerequisites separately or combined. These are the only two prerequisites that may be combined.
  • If a lab was included in a course but is not listed on your transcript, you must provide proof that the lab was completed. An official course description from your institution’s website showing that a lab was included with the course will be sufficient. You can upload lab backup on the Documents page in CASAA.
  • The program will accept AP exam credit for a prerequisite course if you received a score of 4 or 5 on the AP exam, and a grade of B- or higher in your high school AP class. If you are using AP exam credit to fulfill a prerequisite course, we will need your AP score report and your high school transcript. You can upload these materials on the Documents page in CASAA.

3. Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)

Applicants must earn a minimum composite score of 493 on the MCAT, and the test must be taken within three years of the application deadline. When an applicant has taken the MCAT more than once, component scores will not be combined.

2017-2018 Matriculant Averages for MSA Program and U.S. Medical Schools

Matriculants CWRU MSA Program U.S. Medical Schools
Total MCAT 500.3 510.4
GPA Science 3.52 3.64
GPA Overall 3.48 3.71

Medical school matriculant data taken from AAMC Table A-16.

Physical and Technical Requirements

As outlined in the MSA Program’s Non-discrimination Policy, each MSA student must possess general abilities required of most healthcare practitioners, and specific abilities that relate more directly to the practice of anesthesia. Essential requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • motor skills: physical dexterity to master all technical and procedural aspects of patient care, and adequate motor capability to perform complex two-handed tasks.
  • sensory abilities: ability to gather all relevant information about a patient’s physical and psychosocial status with all five senses, especially sight, hearing and touch.
  • intellectual abilities: must have sufficient powers of intellect to acquire, assimilate, integrate and apply information; must have the intellectual ability to solve problems.
  • communication skills: must have sufficient use of speech, hearing and vision to communicate effectively with patients, teachers and peers in both oral and written forms.
  • professionalism: must exhibit professional behavior, including the ability to place others’ needs ahead of your own; display compassion, empathy, altruism, integrity, responsibility and tolerance. Must possess the ability to exercise the requisite judgment in the practice of medicine and anesthesia.
  • physical health: must possess the physical health and stamina needed to carry out the program of education.

A disability does not preclude a student from admission, and the MSA Program makes reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. However, each enrolled student is expected to demonstrate, without unreasonable dependence on technology or intermediaries, the skills and attributes outlined in the program’s Physical & Technical Requirements policy.