School of Health Professions

Application Evaluation

Physician Assistant Studies

What characteristics would make me a competitive candidate for admission?

We look for well-rounded individuals. A history of academic success, service to the community and/or to others, strong motivation to be a PA, excellent critical thinking skills and interpersonal skills are examples of characteristics of what we look for in applicants.

How important is a candidate's GPA in getting an interview and how do I make myself more competitive?

A minimum overall GPA and overall science GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale are required for eligibility of review. All required courses must be passed with a grade of “C” or better. As with other universities or colleges, higher GPA’s make a more competitive candidate. The goal is for candidates to be competitive and academically prepared to successfully handle the demands of the MPAS program curriculum.

However, the admissions committee does not base its decision solely on grade point averages. It evaluates the application packet holistically. 

Can I work while enrolled in the program?

The MPAS program is a full-time endeavor. Students are encouraged to devote the maximum time possible to their studies while enrolled in the Physician Assistant Studies Program. The curriculum is intense, demanding, time-consuming, and requires long hours of class and study time. Any activity that takes time away from a student’s efforts within the program is discouraged.

What are the average statistics of admitted students?

Although it varies per year, please see the entering 2016 MPAS class statistics below.

Number of applicants in 2016 841
Class size 45
Average number of PA shadowing hours 249
Average direct patient care hours 3049
Average number of community service hours 549
Average overall GPA 3.45 (range: 3.03 - 3.95)
Average science GPS 3.38 (range: 3.05 - 3.97)
Average age of incoming class 25.6 years (range: 21 - 36)

How can I strengthen my application?

  • Get to know as much as you can about the Physician Assistant profession.
  • Review our website and become familiar with our program.
  • Be able to tell us how you would be a good match for our program.
  • Take additional science courses in college and earn high marks in all the classes.
  • Learn a second language, if you already know a second language, improve your language skills. Consider learning medical Spanish.
  • Hands-on health care experience, PA shadowing, community service and volunteer activities are considered application enhancing.

Where can I learn more about the PA profession?

Here are some helpful resources: