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University and SHRS COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements and Information

Prepare for the next phase of patient care with Pitt's Physician Assistant Studies Hybrid Program.

Qualified applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. They should have an 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 designated below with an asterisk (*). See the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) site for definitions of these GPAs. Exceptions may be made (but are not guaranteed) for candidates who present compelling evidence of success in graduate coursework. This means that if an applicant has an overall GPA of < 3.0, their application may still be reviewed/considered by our team if they have completed an entire masters or doctorate level program.  Completion of graduate level courses without a diploma from said programs will not be considered, nor will graduate-level certificate programs. All admissions requirements must be completed by August 31, 2023 to start classes in the Spring 2024 term of the PAS-Hybrid program.

Individuals from Health Professions Shortage Areas, Underrepresented Minorities in Medicine, and other minoritized communities are encouraged to apply. We welcome applicants of all abilities/disabilities, religions, marital statuses, familial statuses, sexes, ages, sexual orientations, veteran statuses, national origins, all ethnic and racial backgrounds, genetic information, and gender identities and expressions.

Advanced placement, defined as a waiver of required coursework included in the PA curriculum for applicants to the program and/or a waiver of required coursework included in the PA curriculum for currently enrolled students in the program which results in the student advancing in the curriculum without completing required curricular components at the University of Pittsburgh,  is not an option in this program.

PAS-Hybrid applicants need to have completed the following prerequisites:

  • Biology with lab designed for science majors, two semesters*
  • Microbiology with lab, one semester*
  • Chemistry with lab designed for science majors, two semesters*
  • 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.)
  • Statistics, one semester
  • Medical Terminology, one semester for at least 1 college credit
  • English Composition/writing, two semesters
  • Psychology, one semester

There is no expiration date for prerequisite courses. For questions about whether your specific courses satisfy our prerequisite requirements, please review this detailed prerequisite rubric. If you still have questions after reviewing the prerequisite rubric, please contact an enrollment advisor at for additional information. Please note that the GRE General Test is not required for admission to the program.


To apply to the Physician Assistant Studies Hybrid Program, you must complete and submit the following:

  • Online Application: Upload all application materials through CASPA. View application timelines below.
  • Patient Care Experience: A minimum of 500 hours of direct, “hands-on,” patient care experience is required by the application deadline. Eligible experiences include work as an RN, EMT, paramedic, medical assistant, physical therapy or occupational therapy assistant. Contact an enrollment advisor at for more examples.
  • Technical Standards Verification: Students admitted to the program must review the Technical Standards for admission and graduation, and submit a signed form at the time of matriculation verifying satisfactory performance of the essential skills. 
  • Personal Statements: Students must provide two personal statements in the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Your first essay should be a personal statement focusing on why you want to become a PA. The second essay should reflect the mission of the PA Studies Hybrid program and commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Submit three letters of recommendation including one from a Character Reference, PCE Supervisor, and Instructor. Please see examples of who can write these letters and content below: 
    • Required LOR Content of Letter Examples of Authors

      Character Reference

      Evidences leadership, integrity and humility, values honesty and equity among all persons  Could be but are not limited to: peer, coworker, mentor, volunteer group or religious/spiritual leader 
      PCE Supervisor Evidences positive interactions of applicant within with in patient care setting, respectful of best practices/protocols, takes ownership of actions, has strong work ethic, and values wellness of patient and teamwork  Superior who directly oversees your patient care hours who can specifically speak to your skills and patient interactions. Examples could be but arenot limited to: current/past manager or assistant manager, department director, mentor, military superior 
      Instructor Evidences a dedication to learning, is driven, and disciplined to achieve good outcomes, sets high standards and willing to ask questions when unsure of materials  A person who has been directly involved in teaching you in some capacity and can specifically speak to your ability to learn/be taught. Examples include but are not limited to: College of university instructor/professor, a certification or skills teacher, a superior who provided you on the job skills training, a military instructor 


  • Citizenship Requirements: Given the nature of the online format for the didactic year, all applicants and matriculants need to identify as U.S. citizens, have documentation of permanent residency or have dual citizenship status. While an F-1 Academic Student Visa is permissible for in-person courses, this Visa only deems such students eligible for one online course per term, hence excluding participation in this hybrid format.  International students are encouraged to pursue the University of Pittsburgh residential Physician Assistant program, as an Academic Student Visa can be honored with residential training.

Admissions Decision Process

The application and admissions processes for the PA Studies Hybrid Program does not favor specific groups or individuals based on their personal or social identities.

Student admissions decisions are made in accordance with these practices:

  • Screening of Applications: Upon receipt of a verified application from the CASPA service, the Director of Admissions Tara McSwigan and the rest of the Admissions Committee (which includes the Program Director and all full-time faculty), along with program staff, award points for certain applicant criteria and characteristics, and the total points are used to decide who is invited to interview for a seat in the program.  These criteria and characteristics include:
    • Health care experience and level of experience – Higher scores are awarded for longer service and at higher levels of patient care
    • Diploma and degree - While a bachelor’s degree is required, a graduate degree is scored higher
    • Grade Point Averages (GPAs) – Higher undergraduate and specific prerequisite science GPAs receive higher scores
    • Scoring of personal statements – Higher scores are awarded based on the strength of evidence of desire to be a PA, understanding of the role of a PA, demonstration of understanding of the program mission, evidence of how one’s background, qualifications, and/or identies match and/or support the mission, language and writing skills, and editorial care
    • Letters of Reference – Scores are compiled from the quality of the letter and score provided by the recommender in CASPA 
  • Interview: Interviews for seats in our program are performed and scored by the program director, faculty, and practicing PAs. They include the following parts and scoring:
    • Essay – Higher scores are awarded based on apparent appreciation for the state of the PA profession, passion for pursuing PA school to positively impact the profession, language and writing skills, and editorial care
    • Individual interview – Higher scores are awarded based on the strength of demonstration of the following qualities: adaptability/stress management, conflict resolution, and technical and professional knowledge/ability to learn
    • Group interview – Higher scores are awarded based on the strength of demonstration of the following qualities: active listening, conflict management, probing the group to maximize performance, leadership skills, clarification of group responses, encouraging and harmonizing with fellow group members, articulation, drawing others into the conversation, offering ideas, and summarizing
  • Total Scoring and Final Review by Admissions Committee: After completion of the above, the committee reviews candidate scores, reviewer comments, and application information to decide who is accepted, waitlisted, and denied admission.

Additional Information

  • Admitted students must complete a background check
  • Acceptance into and successful completion of the University of Pittsburgh Physician Assistant Studies 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.

Apply Now


If you have questions, reach out to an enrollment advisor at any time at or 412-643-3730.

Upcoming Deadlines

Pitt’s Physician Assistant Studies Hybrid Program offers one program start per year. Qualified applicants can apply to the spring cohort of the program each year.

For the class starting in January 2024, the application cycle will open on April 27, 2023 and close on November 1, 2023. 

Only application materials submitted through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) will be reviewed by the Admissions committee.

Program Costs

All of the figures below are estimated fees and costs.

  • Didactic (First) Year Tuition: $51,747
  • Clinical (Second) Year Tuition: $51,747
  • University Fees: $175 per term
  • PAS Major Fee: $300 per term
  • Immersion Experience Costs (Travel, Lodging, and Meals): $1,275 per Immersion Experience x 3 Immersion Experiences

Estimated Total Cost of All Tuition, Mandatory Fees, and Required Additional Fees and Costs of the Program: $117,827.

Estimated Total Cost of Program: $117,827

Click here for a breakdown of all estimated tuition, fees, and costs. Students in the Physician Assistant Studies Hybrid Program (PAS-Hybrid) at the University of Pittsburgh can expect to pay $51,747 per year (based on the 2023-2024 academic year tuition rates). This cost does not include registration and student fees, and is subject to change each year as approved by the University of Pittsburgh.

Click here to view current University of Pittsburgh tuition costs.

For information on refunds of tuition and fees, see our Policies and Procedures Manual.

How Will You Pay Tuition?

Students have a variety of options to fund their tuition. Some of the most frequently used funding options are included below, but we encourage you to consult with the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid when determining the best options available.

  • Scholarships: We recommend the following sites for external scholarships:
  • Loans: The Federal government provides loan options for graduate students, even if they do not qualify for need-based financial aid. The Pitt Financial Aid Office works with two types of U.S. federal government loans:
    • Federal Direct Loans: This is generally the lowest cost loan available, for up to $20,500 every academic year. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, take at least six credits per semester and submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to qualify. Pitt’s school code for the FAFSA is 008815. We recommend checking out Frank’s FAFSA Application Platform to help.
    • Federal Graduate PLUS Loans: If you need to borrow more, then a Graduate PLUS loan can generally cover the remainder. You will need to submit the application for the Federal Direct loan prior to applying for the PLUS.
    • If federal loans are unavailable or insufficient, we can help you explore private or alternative education loans. Unlike federal loans, private loans do not require a FAFSA to apply. Private loans are not based on need and approval is generally based on creditworthiness and ability to repay. Some students may need to apply with a credit-worthy co-signer. Interest rates, grace periods, repayment options and fees are determined by the lender and can vary considerably from lender to lender; generally, they charge higher rates than Federal loans.