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Admission Requirements

All admission requirements must be completed by August 31, 2020 to apply this cycle (April 30 - November 1, 2020). Only application materials submitted through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

There is no pre-screening of admission materials for applicants.


  • Anatomy with lab and Physiology* (This requirement may be met by taking either one semester of Anatomy with lab and one semester of Physiology or two semesters of Anatomy with lab & Physiology combined.)
  • Biology with lab designed for science majors, two semesters*
  • Chemistry with lab designed for science majors, two semesters*
  • English Composition/writing, two semesters
  • Microbiology with lab, one semester*
  • Organic Chemistry with lab, one semester*
  • Psychology, Introduction, one semester
  • Psychology, Upper level, one semester
  • Statistics, one semester
  • Medical Terminology, one semester for at least 1 college credit

The program does accept Advanced Placement® (AP) credit for prerequisite coursework that appears on a college/university transcript.

NOTE: Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 Spring and Summer Term coursework at many institutions, our program will accept "S" (satisfactory) or similar evidence of course completion.  Though these grades often do not have quality points assigned and will not be calculated toward an applicant's GPA, prerequisite courses will be accepted if transcripts reveal "S" (satisfactory) or an equivalent grade.

Additional Requirements

  • Successful completion of an undergraduate degree at an accredited institution by August 31, 2020.
  • Overall GPA of 3.0 (based on 4.0) in all college-level coursework and a minimum GPA of 3.0 (based on 4.0) in the prerequisite science courses marked above with an asterisk (*).
  • Patient Care Experience: A minimum of 500 hours of direct “hands-on” patient care experience is required by August 31, 2020. Examples are RN, EMT or paramedic, medical assistant, PT/OT assistant. See FAQ for more examples.
  • Additional information for International Applicants. Please note the SHRS Academic Credential Evaluation requirement have recently been updated

The GRE General Test is not required for admission into the Physician Assistant Studies program

Application Procedures

Application Deadline: ​November 1. The application deadline for international applicants is August 1. The application cycle opens April 30, 2020 for January 2021 admission. Students are encouraged to apply early as the processing of materials may take 4-6 weeks and qualified applicants will be required to complete an interview. The last interview day for January 2021 admission will be in October 2020 Applications will be reviewed until the class is full.

All applicants must:

  • Complete all sections of the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).
  • Submit a personal essay.​
  • Upload valid Healthcare Provider BLS certification from AHA (American Heart Association) to the CASPA application. NOTE: Due to Covid-19 the BLS requirement deadline will be extended and is to be completed by May 2021. 
  • Submit three letters of recommendation:
    • One from a former college/university instructor
    • One from a supervisor of the required patient care experience
    • A character reference describing your commitment to leadership and service.

Qualified applicants will be required to complete an interview.

Additional Information

Admitted students are required to have a background check.   

Acceptance into and successful completion of the University of Pittsburgh Physician Assistant Program does not imply or guarantee National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) Certification or that the student will be able to obtain state licensure upon graduation.

Admitted Applicant Profile

The successful applicant averaged a cumulative GPA of 3.67 overall and a science GPA of 3.55 in the required science courses.

They averaged 64 hours of shadowing a PA and 4,004 hours of direct patient care. 

Their Bachelor's degrees were from a variety of disciplines with the most common being Rehabilitation Science, Emergency Medicine, and Biology/Biochemistry.