Requirements

The program will consider all applications submitted to CASPA by the deadline of September 1st. However, we strongly recommend that all requirements be completed by the end of the Fall Semester prior to application.

  • Degree
    • Baccalaureate Degree from a U.S. regionally accredited College or University.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA)

    The following GPA are recommended.

    • Overall GPA of 3.0
    • Prerequisite GPA of 3.2
    • Trends U60 GPA (Looking for an upward grade trend of the last 60 credit hours taken.)
  • Physician Assistant College Admissions Test (PA-CAT)

    The PA-CAT (Physician Assistant College Admissions Test) is designed to be a broad-based exam and will provide evidence-based data on what applicants have learned in prerequisite subject areas prior to applying to PA school.

    Topics were chosen based on literature reviews, surveys, and consultations with PA educators who were asked to identify which prerequisites subjects, topics, and concepts are most important for mastery of the demanding PA curriculum. Anatomy and Physiology are given the most emphasis on recognition of what PA students must learn early in the curriculum. Along with Anatomy and Physiology the PA-CAT will test the following subjects; Biology (including Microbiology and Genetics), Chemistry (including Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry), Behavioral Sciences (including Psychology & Sociology) and Statistics. The exam covers a variety of learning targets (outcomes) with a focus on the higher-order cognitive level to assess application and understanding. Topics and subjects covered are subject to change.

    The PA-CAT (Physician Assistant College Admissions Test) will be available commercially in January 2020. For more specific details on the PA-CAT; including the exam blueprint, sample questions, application fees, along with how and where applicants can register to take the PA-CAT visit the PA-CAT website at: www.pa-cat.com.

  • Requisite Coursework
    • The following are REQUIRED courses and MUST be completed. A prerequisite GPA of 3.2 is recommended.
    Course Semester Requirement
    Anatomy and Physiology 2 semesters
    Microbiology with Lab 1 semester
    Organic Chemistry with Lab 1 semester
    Genetics 1 semester
    Biochemistry 1 semester
    Psychology 1 semester
    Statistics 1 semester
    Medical Terminology 1 semester or CE credit
    • Requisite coursework MUST have been completed no more than 7 years prior to matriculation. We strongly recommend that applicants repeat any prerequisite course older than 5 years.
    • CLEP (College Level Examination Program) or Advanced Placement (AP) courses credit may not be used or substituted to meet prerequisite requirements.
    • Experiential learning is not substituted for prerequisite coursework.
    • Online courses from regionally accredited institutions are accepted.

    North Carolina Community College Equivalents

    Please use the chart below to plan your prerequisite pathway.

    Course Pfeiffer University Equivalent NC Community College Equivalent
    Anatomy and Physiology EXSC 265 and EXSC 266 BIO 168 and BIO 169
    Microbiology with Lab BIOL 300 BIO 275
    Organic Chemistry with Lab CHEM 110N (Nursing Only), CHEM 221 or CHEM 222 CHM 251 or CHM 252
    Genetics BIOL 304 BIO 250
    Biochemistry BIOL 351 CHM 271
    Psychology PSYC 202S PSY 150
    Statistics PSYC 222M or MATH 441 MAT 152
    Medical Terminology EXSC 302 MED 121
  • Direct patient care experiences
    • Applicants are expected to have in-depth, hands on, direct patient care experiences in a healthcare setting.
    • A minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care experience in a healthcare setting must be completed prior to application. 24 of the 500 hours must be shadowing a physician assistant.
    • Direct patient care experiences in a healthcare setting will be evaluated based on the type of experience and the number of hours during the application process. 
    • Quality of prior health care experience will be taken into consideration, favorable healthcare settings include:
      • Direct health care experience serving disadvantaged populations
      • Rural health care experience
      • Military health care experience

      Click here for Direct Patient Care Experience/Shadowing form. This form should be completed and included in your CASPA application.

    • Examples of direct patient care experiences in a healthcare setting may include but are not limited to: EMT, Paramedic, Medical Assistant, Nurse, Surgical Technician, Athletic Trainer, Physical Therapy Aide, and Military Medical Corpsman.
    • Shadowing experiences will not substitute direct patient care experiences in a healthcare setting.
    • Applicants will submit verifiable information regarding their direct health care experiences on CASPA.  
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • Three letters of recommendation are required.
    • Letters should be from physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, research mentors, professors or volunteer coordinators/supervisors who had direct interaction with the applicant and can attest to his/her qualities, strengths and suitability for a career as a physician assistant.
    • Letters must not be from a family member or peer.
  • Personal Statement
    • Personal Statement
  • CASPer® Test
    • The admissions process at the Pfeiffer University MS PAS program is designed to give balanced consideration to the experiences, attributes, and metrics of each candidate. To best evaluate personal characteristics such as communication, ethics, and empathy; the program is requiring all applicants to complete the CASPer ® test. This is an online “situational judgment test” designed to evaluate non-cognitive skills. For more information regarding the CASPer ® test please visit: takecasper.com. The applicant is responsible for the CASPer ® test fees. The CASPer ® test must be completed after submitting the CASPA application.
  • International Students
    • Degree and prerequisite coursework taken outside of the U.S. is not accepted (regardless if made equivalent by a U.S. institution).
    • In accordance with Pfeiffer University Graduate Admissions; if degree and prerequisite coursework are from a U.S. regionally accredited college or university; international students must submit evidence of English proficiency through one of the following methods:

      • TOEFL score of at least 550 PBT/213 CBT80 IBT, administered at an official ETS testing center (not at a university)

      • IELTS score of at least 5.0

      • English as a first language reinforced with a satisfactory graduate entrance assessment score

      • Completion of an appropriate level in an ESL program which, according to the ESL school, is sufficient for the undergraduate level of university study

      • CEFR score of C1

  • Residency
    • U.S. Citizen.
    • If not a U.S. citizen, documentation of immigration status will be required.
  • Transfer of credits or Admission with Advanced Standing
    • Transfer credit or admission with advanced standing from another PA program is not accepted.
    • All of the curricular components of the program are required for graduation and must be completed at the Pfeiffer University Master of Science in Physician Assistant program.