Admissions - PA School Requirements

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Wednesday, March 6, 2024 from 12- 1 pm

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Wednesday, May 8, 2024 from 12 – 1 pm

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Wednesday, June 12, 2024 from 12 – 1 pm

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Wednesday, July 10, 2024 from 12 – 1 pm

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Thank you for your interest in the USA Physician Assistant Studies program.  If you have any questions please follow this link to email us. 

▼   PA School Minimum Requirements

Applicants who wish to apply to the University of South Alabama (USA) Physician Assistant Studies (PA) program must meet the following minimum PA requirements. Please note that admission to the USA PA program is very competitive and accepted students typically exceed the minimum PA school requirements.

All of the following PA school requirements must be met to be considered for admission into the USA PA program.

  1. Completion of a Baccalaureate degree in any field from a U.S. regionally accredited institution prior to the starting date of the program is required.  Note: International degrees or coursework does not satisfy this requirement.
  2. A minimum overall, science and last 60-hours GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, as calculated by CASPA (includes post-baccalaureate undergraduate and graduate work).

  3. Completion of prerequisite course work completed with a grade of "C" or higher, from a U.S. regionally accredited institution with one semester of at least 3 credits for each course below (except Medical Terminology 1+ credits).    All prerequisite courses for the Physician Assistant Studies program must be completed one semester prior to Matriculation (completed by December to enter the following May) .  Courses are not required to be taken within a timeframe.  Bonus Courses are NOT required but if completed with a “C” or above will strengthen the application. All Bonus courses must be upper level science courses. Quarterly credits are accepted, however, courses that are in a sequence must be completed.  For example,  Anatomy and Physiology I, II, and III.

    Prerequisite required courses are: General Biology plus lab (4 credits). General Chemistry I and II plus lab (8 credits). Human Anatomy and Human Physiology OR Anatomy and Physiology I and II. Microbiology. Organic Chemistry. Mathematics (College Algebra minimum). Statistics. General Psychology. Medical Terminology (1 credit). For further details, please click the following button.


  1. Completion of the General Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within the past five (5) years from the October 1 deadline. The department accepts:
    • A minimum of 145 in both the Verbal and Quantitative sections. The Analytical Writing section is required.
    • The highest complete exam score is used in the ranking of applicants: We do not mix and match scores from different attempts.
    • Official scores must be sent electronically to USA PA Studies Institution Code 2169. USA PA Studies Institution Code 2169 will allow GRE scores to be sent to both USA and your USA designated CASPA application. Scores must be received by CASPA no later than the October 1 deadline to be considered for the current cycle.
    • About the GRE: visit ETS for more information.

  2. Completion of at least 100 Direct Patient Care Experience hours is required:  See Direct Patient Care Experience section under Holistic Application tab. Applicants will document these hours on their CASPA application.

  3. Submission of three (3) reference letters, one of which must be from a Medical Doctor (MD), Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) or Physician Assistant (PA)  submitted to CASPA and included with your CASPA application.   Reference letters sent directly to our office will not be accepted. CASPA will not start the verification process of your application until two of your three letters of reference have been received.

  4. Submission of completed application materials by October 1 as stated in How to Apply, which includes the USA PA Studies Program Supplemental Application (uploaded to the CASPA application, USA Program Materials, Documents Section) and the USA PA Studies Program Application Fee (paid online). CASPA applications must be SUBMITTED to USA, COMPLETED and VERIFIED by October 1.

International Students
have additional PA requirements and application steps for the USA PA program. Please see How to Apply for information.

▼   Holistic Application Preference Criteria

Applicants are selected based on a holistic evaluation.  Many factors are taken into consideration but preference is given to applicants with the following:

  • Higher GPAs (overall GPA, Science GPA, last 60-hour GPA, both undergraduate and graduate level work).
  • Higher GRE scores (quantitative and verbal sections).
  • Possessing an additional degree (Master’s or Doctorate) or a 2nd bachelor degree.
  • Completion of upper-level science coursework (Biochemistry, Genetics, Immunology, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology) with higher grades.
  • Alabama residents and service area residents.
  • Military Service: includes all branches of service.
  • Leadership activities.
  • Disadvantaged Background: Economically and/or environmentally disadvantaged as defined by HRSA and detailed on the CASPA application.
  • Community Service/Volunteerism.
  • Being from a Rural/Underserved area (Childhood residence in rural county as defined by HRSA rural grant qualifier).
  • Higher hours of Direct Patent Care.
  • Higher hours of PA Shadowing Experience.
  • Current Health Training Certifications or Registration.
▼   Interview

The interview process has been designed to complement the evaluation of an academically proven applicant by the holistic appraisal of non-academic traits.

Approximately 170 applicants to the USA PA program will be selected for an interview during the fall. Invitations for interviews will be emailed throughout the interview cycle.

All interviews will be conducted via Zoom beginning in late October through November. Of those interviewed, 60 will be invited to matriculate in the class.

▼   Advanced Placement

The USA PA program does not offer advanced placement.

▼   Technical Standards

Students must be able to demonstrate abilities in observation, communication and motor functions, as well as critical thinking, interpersonal skills, and behavioral and social attributes. For a full description of the technical standards for admission to the USA Physician Assistant (PA) Studies program, visit Technical Standards.