Program Spotlight

Up and Coming: South University (West Palm Beach)

Location:  West Palm Beach, FL

Number of students: Planning to accept 50 students

Application Cycle: April - November 1st through CASPA

Interview dates: June - unknown due to this being the first class.  Rolling admissions, so likely until class is full. 

Start date: Expected to start first class January 2017

Length of Program: 27 months

Public/Private: Private

HCE: Recommended, but no specific requirement

GPA: Overall >3.0, BCP science >3.0, all prerequisites with grade of C or better

Shadowing: No specific requirement

The Good Stuff:

  • Program is seeking accreditation this year for Provisional status
  • GRE is required, with preference to scores >50th percentile
  • Biochem OR organic chem
  • Courses from 4-yr college or university are given preference
  • Labs recommended, but not required, for General Biology courses
  • On a quarter system instead of semesters
  • Cannot have more than 2 outstanding prereqs at time of application to be considered
  • "Behavioral interviews" - 2 general interviews (either 1-on-1 or 2-on-1), and 1 with the program director

Program Link: South University (West Palm Beach) PA Program Website


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)


Up and Coming: University of the Pacific

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Location: Sacramento, CA

Number of students:  45

Application Cycle:  CASPA September 1 - March 1

Interview dates:  February - August

Start date:  January

Length of Program:  27 months

Public/Private:  Private

HCE:   Minimum 1,000 hrs

GPA:  Minimum Science and Overall GPA of 3.0

Shadowing:  No specific requirement

The Good Stuff:

  • Program is currently applying for Provisional Status, and will know in September 2016
  • Preference given to veterans, Pacific alumni, residents of geographic area, educationally or socioeconomically disadvantaged applicants
  • Online courses will NOT fulfill science prerequisites.  AP credits do not count either. 
  • No Organic Chemistry requirement
  • No timeline limit on courses
  • Information sessions are available
  • No GRE requirement
  • Cadaver lab in Stockton

Program Link:  University of the Pacific PA Program Website


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: Pacific University

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Location:  Hillsboro, Oregon

Number of students:  54

Application Cycle:  April - September 1st through CASPA with supplemental app; non-rolling

Interview dates:  October, November, December

Start date:  May

Length of Program:  27 months

Public/Private:  Private

HCE:  Minimum 1,000 hrs direct patient care

GPA:  CASPA Science (biology, chemistry, physics) and last 45 hours must be >3.0

Shadowing:  No specific requirement

The Good Stuff:

  • Option to participate in free clinics, international rotations
  • Special program for students from Hawaii - Must have a desire to return to practice in Hawaii.  Didactic year will be completed in Oregon, and then clinical preference will be given for Hawaii locations.  
  • Rural Health Care Track - Option to apply while in school for more specialized training for working in rural health
  • Veterans Outreach Initiative - Top 7 veteran applicants will be given interviews for the program.  
  • Prerequisites must be completed by December of the year before you graduate.  
  • Bachelor's Degree Completion Option - If you do not have a Bachelor's degree and are accepted, you may get a degree from Pacific University after your first year if you qualify.  
  • No GRE requirement
  • A&P must be done within 7 years

Program Link:  Pacific University PA Program Website


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: Touro College (Manhattan)

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Location:  Manhattan, NY

Number of students:  50

Application Cycle:  April - January 1st through CASPA and supplemental application; may apply by November 1st for "early decision" 

Interview dates:  December - March

Start date:  August

Length of Program:  32 months

Public/Private:  Private

HCE:  Minimum 200 hours

GPA:  Minimum science and overall GPA of 3.0

Shadowing:  Minimum 20 hours shadowing a PA

The Good Stuff:

  •  Non-traditional format - During the 16 month didactic year, classes are held in the evenings and on weekends, which would allow for part-time work.  The clinical year is full-time, and then there is a 4 month period for an elective and completing the Master's project.  
  • Joint BS/MS program (dual degrees awarded)
  • Interviews - MMI style 1 on 1 with 4-5 faculty members, writing sample, possible group portion

Program Link:  Touro College Manhattan PA Program Website


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: Western University of Health Sciences

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Location:   Pomona, California

Number of students:  98

Application Cycle:  April-November 1st for CASPA, and December 1st for supplemental application

Interview dates:  January-March, with decisions going out at the end of March.  

Start date:  August

Length of Program:  2 years

Public/Private:  Private

HCE:  Preferred, not required

GPA:   Minimum overall, science and prerequisite GPA of 2.7.  Prerequisites must be completed w/ a C or better

Shadowing:  No specific requirement

The Good Stuff:

  •  Although the minimum GPA is 2.7, it sounds like to get an interview you need a good bit higher.  Rumor has it, they rank applicants based on lowest GPA (overall or science) and then offer interviews from the top.  They usually do not go below 3.2 for invites 
  • MMI style interview - 4 mini sessions with 2 interviewers (faculty or students), with 2 minutes to prepare and 6 minutes for each station.  
  • 7 year deadline for prerequisites
  • No organic chemistry requirement

Program Link:   Western University of Health Sciences PA Program Website


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: South College

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Location:  Knoxville, TN

Number of students:  85

Application Cycle:   CASPA through March of year of matriculation, and supplemental application

Interview dates:   January-May

Start date:   Fall

Length of Program:  27 months

Public/Private:  Private

HCE:  No specific requirement of hours

GPA:  Overall GPA of 2.75, with prerequisite GPA of minimum 2.75

Shadowing:  No specific requirement

The Good Stuff:

  • No specific Organic Chemistry requirement, although it is recommended
  • There's a specific program for students who are military veterans (VET-UP), that offers mentorship and financial assistance
  • Information sessions are available
  • Applicants who interview are notified that day whether they are accepted, denied, or waitlisted
  • Interview process - group interview with faculty, medical terminology quiz, writing sample
  • Preference is given to students of South College (likely invited to interview if met requirements)

Program Link:  South College PA Program Website


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: Stanford University

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Location:  Palo Alto, California

Number of students:  Up to 50

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

Interview dates:  January-February (they call these validation sessions)

Start date: June/July

Length of Program:  21 months

Public/Private:  Private

HCE:  3000 required direct patient care hours  (Average is 8791 hrs)

GPA:  A&P w/ labs and Microbiology GPA must be 3.0 or higher.  Prerequisites must be complete when application is submitted.  

Shadowing:  No specific requirement

The Good Stuff:

  • Primary care focus - The program is actually called the Primary Care Associate Program. It is offered as a certificate program, but there is an option to do an additional online program to obtain your Masters, which can be completed during the clinical year.  
  • 40% of class is minority groups
  • A degree is not required to apply, but you must have a BA to complete the Master's program
  • GRE is not required
  • No organic chemistry requirements
  • Interview/validation session - 2-on-1 with faculty, writing portion

Program Link:  Stanford PA Program Website


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)


Up and Coming: Charles R. Drew University

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Location: Los Angeles, California

Number of students: 26

Application Cycle:  April - January 15th of application year through CASPA

Interview dates:  October - January

Start date:  August

Length of Program:  27 months

Public/Private:  Private

HCE:  Preferred 2000 hrs (volunteer or paid)

GPA:  Overall and science GPA >3.0, with minimum B in prerequisite courses

Shadowing:  No specific requirement

The Good Stuff:

  • Program is currently under provisional status, and will be up for accreditation in March 2016
  • GRE is NOT required

Program Link:  Charles R. Drew 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: Desales University

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Location: Center Valley, PA

Number of students: 80 (about 30 come from the undergraduate program)

Application Cycle:  April - December 1st through CASPA with rolling admissions

Interview dates:  July - January

Start date:  August

Length of Program:  24 months

Public/Private:  Private

HCE:  Minimum 500 hours (volunteer or paid) by matriculation, international experience does not count

GPA:  Overall and science GPA > 3.0

Shadowing:  No specific requirement

The Good Stuff:

  • 2 options for admission - Apply after completing an undergraduate degree, or applying as a Medical Studies major to Desales University and doing 3 years with guaranteed admittance to the PA program (with completion of all requirements and an interview)
  • GRE requirement will be waived if MCAT score is > 30
  • Desales alumni are given an interview if they meet minimum requirements
  • Participants in the Yellow Ribbon Program - financial benefits for veterans and military 
  • Cadaver lab
  • Clinical time during first year/didactic
  • Free clinic that is a requirement for students to participate in
  • Interview - writing assignment, 2 one-on-one interviews
  • The school is a Catholic university

Program Link:  Desales 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: MCPHS University (Boston)

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Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Number of students:  100 students

Application Cycle:  April - November 1st through CASPA with supplemental and rolling admissions

Interview dates:  October-February

Start date:  Fall (early September)

Length of Program:  30 months

Public/Private:  Private

HCE:  Recommended 250-500 hrs

GPA:  Average overall of accepted is 3.3-3.5, minimum overall of 3.0

Shadowing:  Recommended

The Good Stuff:

  • Here is a blog post with a Q&A from a recent student
  • Preference is given to students in the Premedical and Health Studies Pathway Program
  • First summer is off at Boston campus 
  • No organic chemistry requirement
  • GRE not required
  • MCPHS has programs at Worcester and Manchester as well.  You are only allowed to apply to one of the MCPHS campuses.  These programs start in the Spring.  They require a bachelor's degree and are 24 months.  The professors are online for these programs.  
  • There's an early acceptance program is you attend MCPHS, with 4 years of undergraduate work, and then 2 years of the PA program or 3 years of undergrad work and 3 years of PA program. 
  • Cadaver lab at Harvard Medical School
  • Interview - 3 1-on-1 10 minute interviews(faculty, alumni, student), group activity, writing sample

Program Link:  MCPHS University (Boston) website


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)


Up and Coming: Heritage University

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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: Barry University

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Location:  3 campuses - Miami (52 students), St. Petersburg (24 students), St. Croix (24 students)

Application Cycle:  Mid-April to October 15th recommended (must receive complete application from CASPA by December 1st) - rolling admissions

Interview dates:  September - March

Start date:  Fall

Length of Program:  28 months

Public/Private:  Private

HCE:  No set requirement, but recommended 1000 hrs

GPA:  Overall and science GPA greater than 3.0

Shadowing:  Strongly recommended, and "looked upon favorably"

The Good Stuff:

  • Medical Spanish is part of the curriculum
  • Organic Chemistry OR Biochemistry can be taken 
  • No supplemental application
  • No cadaver lab, but plastic models are used
  • 4 students are chosen at both the St. Petersburg location and USVI campus to receive a 20% tuition discount (St. Croix students must agree to work in the US Virgin Islands for 2 years)
  • One of our Pre-PA coaches, Samantha, attended Barry University. Schedule a mock interview with her now! 

Program Link:  Barry 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: Albany Medical College

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Location: Albany, NY

Number of students: 42 (waitlist of ~20)

Application Cycle:  Rolling admissions from May 1st - December 1st (deadline)

Interview dates:  May - December for upcoming cycle

Start date:  January

Length of Program:  28 months

Public/Private:  Private

HCE:  1000 hours

GPA:  Prerequisites with a grade of C or higher, but no specific minimum GPA

Shadowing:  No specific requirement

The Good Stuff:

  • Biochemistry OR Organic Chemistry required 
  • Monthly information sessions available
  • They have agreements with a few different programs for early assurance admissions - basically as long as you maintain your GPA and fulfill all prerequisites and other requirements, you are accepted into the PA program.  
  • Full cadaver lab with about 4 students per cadaver
  • Interview - 2 one on one interviews with faculty (very relaxed)
  • Tuition is estimated to be 55,000 - significantly cheaper than some other private programs
  • GRE is required

Program Link: Albany Medical College 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)


Programs that do NOT Require the GRE

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For the majority of programs, the GRE is required, but there are the occasional few that don't have a standardized test requirement.  A few schools are even accepting the MCAT now as well!  But anyways, this is not an all-inclusive list at this point, but thanks to Christina K., here are some of the schools that don't make you take the GRE!

Emory University - Georgia
Stony Brook University - NY
Drexel University - Philadelphia
Thomas Jefferson University - Philadelphia
PCOM - Pennsylvania
Hofstra University - NY
New York Institute of Technology - NY
Rutgers - NJ
MCPHS University (Boston)
Mercy College - NY
Loma Linda University - California
Arizona School of Health Sciences
University of South Dakota
Western University of Health Sciences - Oregon
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Howard University - Washington DC

Program Spotlight: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (Philadelphia)

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Location:  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (with distant campus in Suwanee, GA)

Number of students:  55

Application Cycle:  April - December 1st through CASPA (with an application fee to PCOM) with rolling admissions

Interview dates:  September - February

Start date:  June

Length of Program:   26 months

Public/Private:  Private

HCE:  Minimum 200 hrs direct patient contact

GPA:   Overall and science GPA of 3.0, with minimum C in all prerequisites

Shadowing:  No specific requirement

The Good Stuff:

  • GRE is NOT required
  • Organic chemistry not specifically required
  • A blog post about a student's first week at PCOM.  (The author put Pennsylvania instead of Philadelphia, so just ignore that.)

Program Link:  PCOM - Philadelphia


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 Texas - Medical Branch of Galveston

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Location:   Galveston, TX

Number of students:  80-90 students

Application Cycle:  CASPA with supplemental application by September 1st

Interview dates:  ~August - December

Start date:  July

Length of Program:   26 months

Public/Private:  Public, but no preference to TX residents

HCE:  No specific requirement, but recommended

GPA:  Minimum overall and science of 3.0, with a minimum C in all prerequisites

Shadowing:  No specific requirement, but recommended

The Good Stuff:

  • Open house information sessions are available, and are typically on Friday afternoons.
  • There is no time restraint on how long ago courses were taken, but if more than 10 years old, it is recommended to repeat anatomy and physiology.
  • Interview - one on one with 2 faculty members (about 20 minutes each)
  • There's a bridge program with the respiratory therapy program at UTMB.  During the last year of the program, 4 students are invited to interview, and 2 are chosen to begin the PA program after completing the RT program and work as an RT for a year.
  • Also a bridge program with Clinical Laboratory Sciences program, and up to 4 students may transition into the PA Program
  • They have a long waitlist after interviews with known number on the list, and last year went to #36 on the list, so that's pretty significant!
  • Here is a video interview with a student from UTMB

Program Link:   UTMB 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: Seton Hall University

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Location:  South Orange, NJ

Number of students:  30

Application Cycle:  June 15 - December 15 through the program website (NOT on CASPA)

Interview dates:  October - February

Start date:  Late August

Length of Program:  3 years

Public/Private:  Private - No preference to New Jersey residents

HCE:  Minimum 100 hours of experience or volunteering

GPA:  3.2 or higher overall and in prerequisites with a minimum C

Shadowing:  May count for HCE, but preference is given to direct patient care

The Good Stuff:

  • Clinical experiences start during the first semester
  • Prosected cadaver lab (no dissection by students)
  • No organic chemistry requirement
  • Group research project 

Program Link:  Seton Hall 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: Loma Linda University

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Location: Loma Linda, CA

Number of students:  36

Application Cycle:  October 1st through CASPA and supplemental (Priority September 1st)

Interview dates:   Early January to late February

Start date:  September

Length of Program:  24 months

Public/Private:  Private

HCE:  2,000 hours hands-on experience

GPA:  Minimum 3.0 overall and science

Shadowing:  No specific requirement

The Good Stuff:

  • Option for international electives in Honduras or Malawi
  • As a religious university, students are required to attend chapel weekly and abide by the lifestyle requirements of the university (no drinking, no smoking, no illegal drugs)
  • Preference given to Seventh-day Adventists, graduates of Loma Linda University, applicants of under-represented populations, applicants with a history of meaningful, continuous involvement in community service consistent with the mission and values of Loma Linda University 
  • GRE is NOT required 
  • Currently on probational status 

Program Link:   Loma Linda 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: Northwestern University

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Location:  Chicago, IL

Number of students:  30

Application Cycle:  CASPA and supplemental by October 1st (rolling admissions)

Interview dates:  August - January

Start date:  June

Length of Program:  24 months

Public/Private:  Private

HCE:  Not required, but recommended to have a minimum 6 months full time HCE (1000 hours)

GPA:  Minimum 2.8 with at least a C in prerequisites

Shadowing:  Encouraged

The Good Stuff:

  •  Problem Based learning - learning occurs in small groups with an emphasis on self learning when tackling a problem
  • Labs are not required for any prerequisites
  • Basic Prerequisites - Biochemistry, Microbiology, Statistics, Medical Terminology, Anatomy & Physiology
  • No expiration date on coursework

Program Link:  Northwestern 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: Duquesne University

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Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Application Cycle:  December 1st 

Length of Program:  3 years of undergraduate and 27 months of PA education

Class Size: 40 students

GPA:  Minimum 3.0

HCE: No requirement

Shadowing: Recommended, but not required

 

The Good Stuff:

  • This program is unique because it is a 5-year program that you start as college freshman with 3 years of prerequisite coursework, and then completion of the PA program.  
  • Service learning is incorporated into the curriculum. 
  • Must take SAT or ACT
  • The program has agreements set up with LaRoche College, St. Vincent College, and Westminister College that allow students to start at their schools and then transfer into the PA program after the third year.  

Program Link:  Duquesne 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)