Up and Coming: Heritage University


Location: Toppenish, WA

Number of students:  32

Application Cycle:  April - November (Apply by July to be considered for early interviews)

Interview dates:  2 separate dates in December and January with rolling admissions

Start date:  May

Length of Program:  24 months

Public/Private:  Private

HCE:  Minimum 1000 hours at time of application 

GPA:  Minimum 2.75 overall (recommended 3.0), minimum 3.0 science; must have 3.0 in all prerequisites 

Shadowing:  No specific requirement

The Good Stuff:

  • Currently in Provisional status
  • Medical Spanish is included in the didactic year 
  • Focus on rural healthcare, and clinicals are in smaller towns in the Northwest 
  • Prerequisites must be completed by January of the preceding year
  • Medical scribe is accepted as HCE
  • No GRE required
  • No specific Organic Chemistry requirement
  • Does not accept Letters of Recommendation from professors 

Program Link:  Heritage University PA Program

For the most up to date information on PA programs in one place, check out The Applicant’s Manual of Physician Assistant Programs. (Affiliate link)

Program Spotlight: University of Washington - MEDEX Northwest


I've always heard a lot about this program, but never really researched it myself.  Out of everywhere I've looked at so far, this program has the most options as far as locations and different levels of degrees.

Location:  Seattle, Washington; Tacoma, Washington; Anchorage, Alaska; Spokane, Washington

Number of students:  Seattle (40-50); Tacoma (25-30); Anchorage (20-25); Spokane (25-35)

Application Cycle:  April - October 1st through CASPA w/ supplemental app

Interview dates:  October - January

Start date:  Online anatomy and physiology begins in March, and all students are required to be in Seattle in July

Length of Program:  8 quarters for Bachelor's (summer between years is given off for any other coursework); 9 quarters for Master's

Public/Private:  Public, with preference to students who want to work in the Washington/Alaska area

HCE:  2,000 hours of paid, hands-on clinical patient care (recommend 4,ooo)

GPA:  Minimum 3.0 with minimum B- in courses, and all courses must be complete at time of applying

Shadowing:  Recommended

The Good Stuff:

  • 4 different campuses
  • Bachelor's degree offered at Tacoma, Anchorage, and Spokane.  You have to apply to both University of Washington and the MEDEX program, and they give you time off between years to work on any classes you may need to complete outside of PA school
  • Master's degree offered at Spokane and Seattle - Students choose a focus in either Healthcare for Rural and Underserved Populations, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Academic Medicine and Specialty Practice, or Global Health.  This will be the focus of the capstone project.
  • Extended Masters degree - A mostly on-line option for PAs with a Bachelor's degree to obtain a Master's degree.  There are 2 weeks on campus at the beginning and 1 week at the end.  The importance of having a Master's versus a Bachelor's will depend on what state you are wanting to practice in.
  • 5 year Pharm-D/PA program - Apply to pharmacy school and start with that and then apply to PA school
  • Master's of Public Health option with Bachelor's students - The classes are completed during the summers and a few weekends throughout the 2 years in PA school.  This is not an option for PA students in the Master's program
  • The Master's program is now accepting Canadian students.
  • There are information sessions available, but you have to sign up!
  • It is recommended that course work be done within the last 5-7 years
  • About 50% males in all classes
  • The specific section on physicianassistantforum.com has a ton of information about this program

Program Link:  University of Washington MEDEX Northwest

For the most up to date information on PA programs in one place, check out The Applicant’s Manual of Physician Assistant Programs. (Affiliate link)