Anesthesia, MSA

Degree: Master of Science in Anesthesia (MSA)

Academic Requirements for Admission

The mission of the Master of Science in Anesthesia Program is to graduate skilled and compassionate anesthesiologist assistants. The admission policy reflects this goal. Applicants are considered on a variety of parameters that measure academic ability, communication skills, clinical aptitude, and personality traits.

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 United States, U.S. territory, or Canadian college or university, or its equivalent, prior to matriculation.

2. Prerequisite courses

Documentation of each of the prerequisites having been completed at an accredited United States, U.S. territory, or Canadian institution of higher learning is required. For those courses that have been repeated, the highest grade will be used in the calculation. Prerequisites include:

  • one semester of biochemistry
  • one year of biology with lab
  • one semester of human anatomy with lab
  • one semester of human physiology
  • one year of chemistry with lab
  • one semester of organic chemistry with lab (a second semester with lab is preferred but not required)
  • one year of physics with lab
  • one semester of calculus
  • one semester of advanced statistics (preferably for the life sciences)
  • one semester of English with expository writing 

All academic requirements must be completed satisfactorily before matriculation. 


Our three key prerequisites – biochemistry, human anatomy with lab, and human physiology – must be taken within 5 years of the application deadline. All other prerequisites must be taken within 7 years of the deadline. These time limits will be waived with a current MCAT score of 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.

3. Admissions test

The MSA Program requires either the MCAT or the GRE, which must be taken within three years of the application deadline. When an applicant has taken the MCAT or GRE more than once, component scores will not be combined. If an applicant has taken both admissions tests, they should submit both official scores for review.

4. Altus Suite - admissions assessments of non-cognitive skills

All applicants are required to complete Altus Suite as part of their application. Altus Suite consists of a two-part online assessment of non-cognitive skills, interpersonal characteristics, and personal values and priorities that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program. Altus Suite consists of:

  • Casper: online, open-response situational judgment test 
  • Snapshot: one-way video interview with standardized questions

The program recommends taking Altus Suite before or concurrently with the submission of your application materials.  

International Admissions

Applicants with international undergraduate, graduate, or advanced degrees must meet the standard admission requirements listed above. In addition, an Education Credential Evaluation and Authentication Report for foreign transcripts is required. The MSA Program does not require the IELTS, PTE, or TOEFL for admission; however, we require one year of coursework from a United States, U.S. territory, or Canadian institution of higher learning where English is the main language of instruction. Since all MSA Program prerequisites must be taken in the United States, a U.S. territory, or Canada, international students should be able to meet this one-year English language requirement.

The Application Process

All materials must be received by the deadline. Invited candidates participate in interviews with members of the Admissions Committee, which is comprised of faculty and staff members of the MSA Program. Prospective candidates are permitted and encouraged to shadow an anesthetist in the operating room. Prior approval for this visitation is required, and dates are approved and determined by the individual location of study. An overview of the admissions timeline can be viewed here.