Veterans Program (VET-UP©)

The South College VET-UP© program is specifically designed to offer those veterans who were medics and corpsmen providing life saving health care skills in the United States Armed Forces the opportunity to continue their professional education with the goal of becoming a Physician Assistant.

The program focuses on adding to the extensive military training and real-world experience these veterans have by bridging the gap between military health care experience and the civilian graduate medical education of a Physician Assistant program.

Medically trained veterans who are academically competitive are desired and highly encouraged to apply. Our program offers mentorship, advice, and partnering with a veteran faculty member to assist you in your path to become a Physician Assistant. These men and women will have a unique opportunity to continue to serve others above themselves as “Lifesavers, then Caregivers of the Future.”

We encourage active duty military and returning medics and corpsmen to contact Samantha Stebbins at the School of Physician Assistant Studies at South College, 470-322-1168, or email us at

History of VET-UP©

The Physician Assistant profession was founded on the premise that returning veterans would offer added value to our country’s need for access to quality health care. The first Physician Assistant programs started at Duke University and the University of Washington with military medically trained veterans leading the way for over 80,000 Physician Assistant alumni to follow today. Those men and women went on to form a new sustainable career in health care that changed the health care system that we have today.

At South College we are following in the footsteps of Drs. Stead and Smith by focusing on the valuable skill sets of compassion, caring, and the endless lifesaving efforts of today’s veterans. They are, once again, our future.

There are over 8,000 medics and corpsmen that have seen combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. They have been called the best trained first responders in the world, receiving training far above their counterparts here in the United States. They would all make great PAs.

  • They have heard of our profession but have found barriers put in their way to entering our academic venues,
  • Often they have not completed the prerequisite undergraduate education due to numerous deployments,
  • On the academic side of the bridge, many institutions of higher education have academic restrictions that prevent them from an easy transition into a PA career.
Requirements For VET-UP©

The VET-UP© program is specifically designed for medics and corpsmen candidates as a bridging program to enter the Physician Assistant Program at South College. To be considered for admission the prospective candidate should have: 

  1. A minimum of four years of military medical experience as a medic or corpsmen (IDC or 18-D preferred) to meet the criteria established for acceptance as a transfer student;
  2. Completed or in the process of completing a Bachelor of Science degree with a focus on Health Sciences;
  3. Completed 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours towards a Bachelor of Science degree with a focus on Health Sciences;
  4. A minimum of required course work as stated below. Additional course work may be required.

The program accepts military training and course work (ACE) and off-duty voluntary education (DANTES) transfer credits with the appropriate documentation. The minimum required core courses of the program include:

  1. General Chemistry – 8 semester hours or 12 quarter hours
  2. General Biology – 8 semester hours or 12 quarter hours
  3. Anatomy and Physiology – 8 semester hours or 12 quarter hours
  4. English – 6 semester hours or 8 quarter hours
  5. Math – 6 semester hours or 8 quarter hours
  6. Social Science – 6 semester hours or 8 quarter hours
  7. Microbiology with laboratory (minimum of 3 semester hours or 4.5 quarter hours)

Candidates are evaluated on an individual basis and must complete the CASPA application and final interview process, faculty will assist with the ongoing review of health care experience and required course work recommendations. Additional course work that adds value includes: Medical Terminology, Genetics, Immunology, Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Organic Chemistry, and Biochemistry, although these are not required.

Yellow Ribbon Program

South College is proud to announce that it has signed an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program effective August 1, 2011. Certain veterans and dependents of veterans are eligible to receive financial assistance for education training from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. South College is approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission-Division of Veterans Education to offer degree programs to students eligible to receive veteran’s educational benefits. Students must document their eligibility with the Financial Aid Department and may also contact the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office at 1-800-827-1000 for more information, or online at

Our Commitment to You

We will work with you to “help you – help yourself” in the admission process. We understand that the military to civilian transition is not easy and we want you to succeed. Our veteran faculty members are here to assist you. Contact us at 865-251-1800 for more information about this program.