Admission Requirements

Admission into the PA program is limited and competitive. Candidates must apply through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) system. The following information addresses admission and post-acceptance requirements. See application details for more specific information.

Admission Requirements

  • Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree and the PA program prerequisite requirements;
  • GPAs (cumulative and science) of at least 3.0 on a 4.00 for all college work, although to be competitive you should be closer to 3.5.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in a variety of cognitive, problem solving, tactile, communicative, and interpersonal skills, as described in the PA program's Technical Standards;
  • Three letters of recommendation;
  • At least 480 hours (appoximately three month) of direct patient health care experience, 240 of which must be reported at time of application.
  • Submission of complete application materials and personal interview with members of the PA Program Admissions Committee;
  • A signed lifestyle agreement (to be completed at the applicants interview);


  • PA shadowing is highly recommended.
  • International applicants must achieve the minimum TOEFL scores and show appropriate evidence of U.S. residency (temporary or permanent), in addition to meeting general education requirements.
  • Transfer credits from other institutions must meet the scrutiny for equivalency, and non-U.S. courses must meet education standards of the U.S. Department of Education. Transcripts from outside of the U.S. must be converted to U.S. equivalents by a professional agency [World Education Service (WES) is prefered].

Post-acceptance Requirements

  • Completion of physical exam and immunizations;
  • Criminal background clearance;
  • Personal health insurance is required, and personal liability insurance encouraged;

Each PA program applicant must possess a bachelor's degree prior to admission to the graduate PA program. The choice of major is up to the applicant. Application may be made before all PA prerequisite courses are completed; however, prereqs must be completed by August 1 of the summer the candidate begins the program.

Students in the Union College Bachelor of Science in health sciences (BSHS) program are exempt from this requirement as baccalaureate degrees are awarded after successful conclusion of the first year in the PA Program.