Physician Assistant Program FAQ

The program matriculates a new class every January. 

Yes, a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university must be completed by October 1 of the year prior to matriculation. Degrees earned outside of the U.S. must be accepted by a U.S. equivalency reporting agency as an equivalent from a foreign institution. 

International applicants with a degree earned outside the U.S. must meet the following criteria:

  • Submit your foreign degree coursework to a U.S. based evaluation service for a course-by-course US equivalency report. This report should then be sent directly to CASPA from the evaluation service. Click here to learn more about foreign evaluation vendors used by CASPA. 
  • All required prerequisite courses must be taken at a regionally accredited U.S. higher education institution and be verifiable through official transcripts
  • Must communicate well in English
  • TOEFL Exam Score: Minimum 550 paper-based exam, 80 internet based
        Additional information about CMU international admissions requirements can be found HERE.

The program requires a minimum cumulative, science, and prerequisite GPA of 3.0. CMU PA Program uses CASPA calculations for applicant’s cumulative and science GPAs. If you have questions about the GPA calculation process, we recommend you reach out to CASPA.

More information on how CASPA calculates GPAs

Prerequisite course information

A minimum of 500 hours of health care experience is required at the time of application. Applicants will have the opportunity to report relevant health care experience in the Supporting Information section of the CASPA application. Both paid and volunteer experiences are acceptable. The number of reported health care experience hours will be considered during the applicant screening process.  

Average statistics of academic and experiential qualifications for the inaugural CMU PA cohort of 2021 are as follows:

Average Prerequisite GPA: 3.61

Average Health Care Experience Hours: 7013

Average Community Service Hours: 653

Shadowing a medical provider, including a Physician Assistant, is highly recommended and valuable when considering a career as a PA. Although shadowing is not required, we do believe the experience is important when making the decision to apply to PA programs. 

We recommend when tracking your hours, record the location, supervisor, contact information, your position, and a short description and the number of hours you completed at each location.

The program partners with the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). The CMU PA Program's CASPA application cycle opens in April and closes September 1. Please note, the CMU MPAS program uses a rolling admissions process. The CASPA application, CASPer Exam results, and CMU Graduate Admission Fee must all be submitted before the application will be reviewed.

Yes, you are able to submit the CASPA application with coursework still in progress. Up to nine semester credits of prerequisite coursework can be outstanding at the time of application. A plan to complete outstanding coursework must be documented in the CASPA application. All applicants must complete the required prerequisites. Any outstanding prerequisites must be completed with a grade of “B” or higher. Any grades below “B” can disqualify any applicant from matriculating into the program. Although applicants can apply with outstanding prerequisites, please keep in mind that all prerequisites must be successfully completed and transcripts for outstanding prerequisite coursework must be received by CMU no later than October 1 of the year prior to matriculation. 

Yes, we strongly encourage you to complete all admission requirements early! The CMU PA Program uses a rolling admissions process. The selection committee will begin review of applicants based on completion date of all admission requirements. An invitation to interview will be offered to the most competitive applicants. With this approach, the program may offer all available seats to qualified applicants prior to the September 1 admission cycle deadline. 

Applications are considered complete and ready for review after all admission requirements are met including:

1) The CASPA application has been verified
2) The CASPer Exam score has been received by the CMU MPAS Program 
3) The CMU $50 Graduate Admission fee has been paid

Applicants are encouraged to consider program deadlines carefully and start the application process early. Once an applicant has completed and submitted the CASPA application, CASPA will verify the information and this process can take up to four weeks. Once an application is verified by CASPA, it is forwarded to CMU PA Program for consideration. Forwarding of an application may take an additional two weeks beyond the verification date. The CASPA application cycle closes September 1.  More information on CASPA and the verification process can be found at:

We highly recommend that all prerequisites are completed within the last five years. However, there is no time restriction or cutoff date for prerequisite course requirements. All prerequisites must be successfully completed and transcripts for outstanding prerequisite coursework must be received by CMU no later than October 1 of the year prior to matriculation. 

View prerequisite course requirements

The best way to communicate with the PA Program and MPAS Admissions Team is through email. The Admissions Coordinator is responsive to questions submitted within three business days. We encourage applicants to contact us anytime by clicking HERE or sending an email to

An arrest will not preclude a candidate from being considered, however, anyone convicted of a felony will not be accepted into the program.

Western Colorado refers to a region of the state of Colorado incorporating everything in the state west of the Continental Divide. Demonstrating a connection to Western Colorado will be the responsibility of the applicant.  Applicants will have an opportunity to describe their connection to Western Colorado in the Maverick Questionnaire within the CASPA application. Relevant experience may include, but is not limited to living, working, or attending school in Western Colorado.  

CASPer is an online situational judgment test that is used to assess non-academic attributes that we believe are important for successful students and Physician Assistants. The CASPer exam score is considered in the Selection Committee review of the application. Your application will not be reviewed until we receive the results of your CASPer Exam. More information about the CASPer Exam is available at:
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