Admissions

Admission to the Physician Assistant Program is highly competitive. For the most recent admissions cycle, there were 860 verified applications for 27 seats.  The average GPA of the matriculating cohort was a 3.56 and average science GPA was 3.56, with an average of 4805 hours of healthcare experience. 

Applicants are selected based on the Admissions Committee's assessment of their ability to successfully complete the training, and competently function in the role of the profession as defined by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc., as published in the Accreditation Standards for Physician Assistant Education; the State of Pennsylvania as published in the Medical Practice Act; and the West Chester University Physician Assistant Program. Successful matriculation necessitates that all candidates must have the physical, emotional, and intellectual attributes necessary for success their education and future clinical practice.

Admission Requirements

The process to apply to the PA Program begins in April, 16 months prior to the year of desired enrollment. Applications must be verified by CASPA by March 1st of the year of desired enrollment.

Note: Due to the implications of COVID-19 on a student’s ability to meet the requirements listed below, WCU will accept pass/fail notations on transcripts for prerequisite courses if a letter documenting that the institution of record only offered pass/fail grading options during the Spring 2020-Spring 2021 semesters.  Additionally, students will have the opportunity to complete the required PA shadowing virtually or in-person prior to matriculation rather than prior to application for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. 

Admissions Process:

  • Applicants will submit an application through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants at https://caspa.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login.
  • Candidate reviews begin in August or after a significant number of applications are verified by CASPA.
  • As the program utilizes rolling admissions, it may be to a candidate’s advantage to apply as early as possible.
  • Admission to the Physician Assistant Program is competitive.
  • Candidates are selected based on the Admissions Committee's overall assessment of their ability to successfully complete the training and competently function in the role of the PA profession.

Selection for interview:

  • Candidates must meet the following minimum requirements at the time of application to be considered for invitation for an interview:
  • Have obtained a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA at the time of application
  • Have obtained a minimum of a 3.0 science GPA at time of application
  • Have completed the majority of pre-requisite courses (see below) and have a plan for completion of remaining courses prior to date of matriculation
  • Have completed 400 hours of direct patient care experience in a paid or volunteer capacity  which must be recorded in the appropriate location in the CASPA application
  • Have obtained a grade of C or better in all prerequisite courses
  • Have completed 4 hours of PA shadowing or communicate a plan for completion of shadowing prior to matriculation.
  • All candidates who have achieved the minimum requirements for the program will be evaluated against a rubric that considers cumulative GPA, science GPA, and patient care experience to be considered for an invitation for an interview.
  • Those candidates who are considered to be most competitive will be invited for an interview on a rolling basis until all interview days are filled.
  • Admission to the Physician Assistant Program is competitive. Not all candidates meeting minimum criteria will be invited to interview due to the quantity of highly-qualified applicants.
  • Interviews are typically scheduled August through February.
Required Prerequisite Courses Minimum Credits

Ethics/Humanities

3

English Composition or Writing Intensive Course

3

Psychology (Developmental and Abnormal preferred)

6

General Biology (2 Courses)

6

General Chemistry (2 Courses)

6

Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry

3

A & P 1 or Human Anatomy

4

A & P 2 or Human Physiology

4

Microbiology

3

Upper Level Biology (Genetics preferred)

3

Statistics

3

Medical Terminology

May be certificate

Selection for Program Acceptance:

  • A candidate selected for an interview is not automatically admitted into the program.
  • A candidate is considered holistically and is based a cumulative review of academic performance and rigor, healthcare experience type and quantity (experience and expertise), letters of recommendation, and alignment of application and interview with the program’s mission.
  • Interviews consist of a program presentation, Q&A session, campus tour, and individual interview with multiple members of the PA Program Admissions Committee.
  • The program interview further assesses a candidate’s:
    • Academic potential
    • Motivation and commitment to the PA profession
    • Maturity and self-awareness
    • Problem-solving and critical thinking skills
    • Communication skills
    • Leadership and Collaboration
    • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
    • Commitment to the program mission (critical-thinking, collaboration, and academic, clinical, ethical, and cultural competence)
  • Candidates are assessed via a rubric and a comprehensive score is calculated.  This overall score is what determines a candidates’ admissions status. 
  • Candidates will be notified of their status (acceptance, waitlist, or decline) within 4 weeks of interview. 
  • Successful candidates will be offered admission on a rolling basis until class capacity of 27 students is reached.
  • If the class fills prior to the final scheduled interview, students earning an “accept” score will be offered a spot on the waitlist.

Matriculation criteria:

  • A student who is offered admission must be able to:
    • Complete 4 hours of PA shadowing prior to matriculation
    • Meet the program technical standards
    • Demonstrate completion of a baccalaureate degree and all required prerequisite courses from a regionally accredited college or institution or a NACES-approved foreign degree evaluation by providing official transcripts to West Chester University
    • Successfully complete a criminal background check, drug screen, child abuse clearance, physical examination, and immunization requirements for healthcare providers as published by the CDC and PA Program
  • A non-refundable $1,000 deposit is required to secure the applicant’s seat in the class within 14 days of official acceptance.  This deposit will be applied to the first semester’s tuition.

Waitlist:

  • Candidates may be placed on the waitlist either by earning a “waitlist” score or by earning an “accept” score after the program has filled.
  • Waitlist rankings will be released to applicants by April 15th.
  • Candidates who are placed on the waitlist are responsible for identifying any outstanding prerequisite courses and ensuring that they are able to meet matriculation criteria should they be selected for a seat in the class.
  • The program maintains a waitlist until 1 week prior to the start of program orientation.

Deferral

  • Should an accepted student desire a one-year deferral for extenuating circumstances, they must request this in writing by May 1st.  Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are not universally granted.
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