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Admission Requirements

All admission requirements must be completed by August 31, 2018 to apply this cycle (April 26 - November 1, 2018). 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 & 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 AP credit for prerequisite coursework that appears on a college/university transcript.

Additional Requirements

  • Successful completion of an undergraduate degree at an accredited institution by August 31, 2018.
  • 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 (*).
  • A valid Healthcare Provider BLS certification from AHA (American Heart Association) must be obtained by August 31, 2018. The certification must be maintained throughout the two-year program.
  • Patient Care Experience: A minimum of 500 hours of direct “hands-on” patient care experience is required by August 31, 2018. 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. 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. Exam must be taken by August 31, 2018.
  • Additional information for International Applicants. Please note the SHRS Academic Credential Evaluation requirement have recently been updated. For the PA program this change will go into effect for the next cycle (applications for 2020 admission).

Application Procedures

Application Deadline: ​November 1. The application cycle opens April 26, 2018 for January 2019 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 2019 admission is October 30. 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.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation:
    • 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
  • Submit GRE scores to CASPA, institutional code 0452.

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

Forty-four students were admitted in January of 2018. There were 34 females and 10 males, 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 being the most popular followed by health science.