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Physician Assistant Studies Department

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Physician Assistant Program is very competitive. Our admission practices reflect our goal to select candidates that have the best chance of success in meeting the program’s goals. Each applicant is evaluated on his/her individual merits. Decisions are based on academic record, references, personal statement, on-campus interview, level of healthcare experience, and non-cognitive traits.

Statistics from the Class of 2021:

  • Completed Applications Received - 501
  • Applicants Accepted - 51
  • Average Overall GPA – 3.47
  • Average Science GPA – 3.35
  • Average Patient Contact Hours – 2061

Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA)

Students will apply to the program via a centralized application system operated by the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applications will be accepted through CASPA beginning in April and will close on January 15, 2021, for the sixth cohort starting in June 2021.

COVID-19 Admission Policy 

Please make sure the following has been completed by January 15, 2021:

Minimum of 500 clinical hours of direct, hands-on patient care
Minimum grade of "C" or better in the following courses:

No time limit:

  • General Biology I with Lab (4 credits)
  • General Biology II with Lab (4 credits)
  • General Chemistry I with Lab (4 credits)
  • General Chemistry II with Lab (4 credits)
  • Statistics (3 credits)

Seven-year time limit (any of these courses taken before Fall 2014 will not be accepted)

  • Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab (4 credits)
  • Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab (4 credits)
  • Microbiology with Lab (4 credits)
  • Organic Chemistry I with Lab (4 credits)
  • Biochemistry I (3 credits - lab not required)*

*Second semester of Organic Chemistry may be substituted

**Courses completed on a quarter or unit system will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

***We do not accept Pass/Fail courses without a grade. 

Degree Prerequisite

A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution or an equivalent institution must be awarded prior to matriculation into the program. A baccalaureate degree is a minimum requirement. Therefore, a master's or doctorate-level degree awarded in lieu of a baccalaureate degree will meet this requirement.

The academic standard for admission is a 3.0 GPA overall, combined with a 3.0 GPA for science courses. All of the above courses must be completed with grades of "C" or above. Please note that a "C-" will not be accepted. All prerequisites must be completed prior to the CASPA application cycle closing on January 15, 2021.

Submission of:

  • TOEFL score (if high school graduate outside of the United States)
  • If you have attended any schools outside of the United States, please provide a course-by-course WES evaluation. However, Canadian schools that provide English transcripts are NOT considered foreign. Please see the U.S. and English Canadian Transcripts section for how to report your work.

Letters of Reference

Three letters of reference must be received in order for an application to be complete. At least one reference should be from a health care professional associated with the applicant's direct patient care experience.

Pre-Admission Clinical Experience

Clinical experience that includes direct patient care is required. In order to be considered, an applicant must have a minimum of 500 hours of hands-on patient care experience by January 15, 2021. Examples include, but are not limited to, EMT, paramedic, nurse, medical assistant, CNA, ER tech, physical therapy aide, phlebotomist, etc. Experiences such as "shadowing," laboratory testing with no patient contact, non-clinical research, lifeguard, or clerical work are not accepted as clinical hours.

Clinical experiences with higher levels of decision-making are viewed more competitively. Please review the relevant examples in our pre-admission clinical experience document.

Note: meeting the pre-requisite courses and the minimum number of clinical hours does not guarantee an interview or acceptance into the program.

Prior to matriculation, the following submissions are required:

  • Official transcripts
  • Background check
  • Health packet
  • BLS certification
  • Health insurance


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Accreditation Status

*The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Marist College Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Marist College. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards. 

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2030. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy. 

Updated: 4/3/2020