Admission FAQ

Do you accept courses taken at community colleges?
Yes. Prerequisites taken at community colleges are acceptable. A rigorous undergraduate career is an important characteristic, so students are encouraged to take multiple challenging courses during their undergraduate years, including upper level science courses, in preparation for the rigors of PA school.

Do you accept online courses?
Online courses are acceptable, however prerequisite labs must be taken in-person/on campus.
Exception: Prerequisite lab courses taken in Spring 2020 through Fall of 2021, that were moved to an online format because of the COVID-19 pandemic will be accepted.

Do you accept pass/fail grades for courses?
Letter grades are strongly preferred in all circumstances. Letter grades for prerequisites are required, and Pass/Fail grades will not be accepted for prerequisite courses.
Exception: Prerequisite courses that were taken in Spring 2020 and transitioned to online format mid-semester, where a grade of “Pass” was given. In these circumstances, the applicant must submit a letter from the course instructor, documenting that the student’s average in the course was C or above, in order to meet the prerequisite minimum grade requirement.

Do you accept PA shadowing hours?
We encourage applicants to shadow PAs, but shadowing hours will not count toward “Patient Care Experience” or “Health Related Experience.” Shadowing hours should be documented in the “Shadowing Experience” section of the CASPA application.

Do you accept graduate level courses for prerequisites?
All of our prerequisites are geared toward an undergraduate program, however some graduate level courses may be substituted in place of an undergraduate prerequisite if it meets all other requirements of the prerequisite, and if the applicant does not have undergraduate courses that match the prerequisites. Graduate level courses are included in the Overall Cumulative GPA and Overall Science GPA calculations by CASPA.

My university was on a quarter-credit system. How does this affect my prerequisites?
CASPA uses a standardized conversion ratio to calculate the quarter credit to semester credit equivalency. Applicants must meet the required number of semester credits for each prerequisite. The conversion ratio used by CASPA is: 1.0 quarter hour = 0.667 semester hours. As an example, an applicant would need 6 quarter credits to equal a 4 credit requirement for a prerequisite.

What qualities do you look for in a PA school applicant?
Our most desirable applicants achieve overall GPA and science GPA above the minimum requirements, patient care experience that is high quality and well above the minimum required number of hours, show evidence of a rigorous undergraduate and prerequisite academic career, and have a personal mission that aligns with the mission of our program. Additionally, they have a strong understanding of the PA profession, excellent self-awareness and interpersonal skills, and exhibit evidence of perseverance, passion for, and commitment to their goals.

Are there any recommendations for second-time applicants on how to improve their application?
The Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) has developed a CASPA Reapplicant Checklist which can be used to help improve your application for this competitive process.

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