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Prerequisite Coursework

  • 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 & 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

Prerequisite coursework must be completed by August 31, 2018 to apply this cycle (April 26 - November 1, 2018). Only admission materials submitted through CASPA will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee.  There is no pre-screening of admission materials for applicants.

The program does accept AP credit for prerequisite coursework that appears on a college/university transcript.

GPA Requirements

Overall grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (based on 4.0 scale) in all college-level coursework and a minimum GPA of 3.0 (based on 4.0 scale) in the prerequisite science courses marked above with an asterisk (*).

Undergraduate Degree

Successful completion of an undergraduate degree at an accredited institution by August 31, 2018.

Valid Healthcare Provider BLS

A valid Healthcare Provider BLS certification from AHA (American Heart Association) must be obtained by August 31, 2018.  This certification must be maintained throughout the two year program.  Certification card must be uploaded into the CASPA application.

Letters of Recommendation (three required)

  • One from a former college/university instructor
  • One from a supervisor of the required clinical experience
  • A character reference describing your commitment to leadership and service

Patient Care Experience

A minimum of 500 hours of direct “hands-on” patient care experience is required. Examples are RN, EMT or paramedic, medical assistant, PT/OT assistant.  See FAQ for more examples.


The GRE general test is required of all applicants.  The University of Pittsburgh Physician Assistant Studies Program Code in CASPA is:  0452.  Applicants should achieve minimum scores at the 50th percentile on the verbal and quantitative sections and a score of 3.5 or higher on the analytical writing section.

Personal Essay

The CASPA application requires a personal essay.

International Applicants

Please visit our International Applicants page for additional information and requirements.

When to Apply

The University of Pittsburgh Physician Assistant Studies Program participates in the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). For seats in the class that begins Monday, January 7, 2019, this application process can be accessed beginning April 26, 2018. Applications will be taken until November 1 or until the class is filled. Students are highly encouraged to apply early as the processing of materials may take 4-6 weeks and interview slots fill early.

Interview Process

Qualified applicants will be required to complete an interview.

Admitted Applicant Profile

For the class of 44 students admitted in January of 2018 there were 10 males, 34 females with 27 in-state and 17 out-of-state students and 10 states represented. The successful applicant averaged a cumulative GPA of 3.61 overall and a science GPA of 3.60 in the required science courses. The GRE General Test Percentile Averages were:  Verbal 62.0, Quantitative 55 and Analytical Writing 68. They averaged 60 hours of shadowing a PA and 2,532 hours of direct patient care. There were 20 different majors represented with biology the most popular followed by health science.

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 NCCPA Certification or that the student will be able to obtain state licensure upon graduation.