One of the fastest-growing medical fields, the number of physician assistants is projected to rise by 37% over the next decade, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result of the surge in applicants, many PA programs have tightened their admission standards and seen average GPAs rise among those who were ultimately accepted. Want to know which PA programs are the least difficult to get into? To help you narrow down your options and make an informed choice, we’ll discuss the admissions requirements for the most popular PA programs, the course offerings at various PA schools, and other relevant details.
Even if you don’t think you have a high enough GPA to get into a good physician assistant program, don’t give up on your dream. There are plenty of institutions that have lenient admissions policies and/or accept lower GPAs than others. If becoming a PA is something you’ve always wanted to do but thought was out of reach, we encourage you to apply to the programs we’ve outlined below.
PA schools with the easiest admission
Barry University Physician Assistant School
Coursework and hands-on clinical experience in Barry University’s PA program encourages students to constantly improve their skills and expand their knowledge base. Since Barry University is a Catholic institution, its evidence-based medical program for aspiring physician assistants incorporates Catholic teachings of reflection and action.
Loma Linda University Physician Assistant School
Loma Linda is a private institution of higher education in the medical field that partners with local hospitals to give its students clinical experience. The goal of the Physician Assistant curriculum is to prepare students to function effectively as members of a multidisciplinary healthcare team concerned with the patient as a whole.
Loma Linda has one of the most accessible and prestigious physician assistant programs for those with a lower than average GPA due to the school’s emphasis on healthcare.
Midwestern University Physician Assistant School
Midwestern University’s PA program encourages a culture of learning, dedication, and development through its small faculty-to-student ratio and student-led curriculum. Students gain experience working with patients from a wide variety of backgrounds, preparing them to become competent PAs who are also valuable members of their healthcare teams.
This PA program is one of the more accessible ones due to its holistic application process. The school will consider more than just your grades and test scores when making a decision about your application. It is possible to overcome the disadvantage of a low GPA by demonstrating a talent for leadership and community service.
Rosalind Franklin University Of Medicine And Science Physician Assistant School
One of the schools with the lowest GPA requirement is the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. A minimum grade of “C” in each prerequisite course is required before a student can enroll in the Physician Assistant program.
The PA program is designed to promote an environment conducive to learning and empathy through its emphasis on dynamic, hands-on clinical experiences. Graduates of the program typically contribute significantly to the success of their respective interdisciplinary healthcare teams.
University of Kentucky
The College of Health Sciences at the University of Kentucky grants a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has given their stamp of approval to the PA program.
Coursework and clinical rotations fill the 27-month time frame of the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program. Anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, medical ethics, and patient evaluation are just some of the many topics covered in the curriculum.
A bachelor’s degree, competitive GRE score, and completion of required introductory courses in biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, and psychology are all necessary to be considered for admission to the program.
The Master of Science in Physician Assistant program at Keiser University lasts for two years. The first year is spent in classroom instruction, while the second year is spent in clinical rotations and other hands-on learning.
Clinical rotations are required in areas like family medicine, internal medicine, gynecology, psychiatry, and surgery.
The Physician Assistant (PA) program at Keiser University is highly competitive, but it pays off in the end by producing caring, knowledgeable PAs who make a difference in their patients’ lives.
Rocky Vista University
In order to prepare students for a career as a physician assistant, Rocky Vista University, a private institution, offers a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree program.
Coursework and clinical rotations fill the duration of this 28-month program. During their time in the classroom and the clinic, medical assistant students acquire every necessary skill for entering the field with confidence and competence.
Students in a PA program are required to do more than just attend classes and do clinical rotations; they must also complete a capstone project, research project, or case study that demonstrates their competence in the field.
Des Moines University
Des Moines University’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies program is widely regarded as among the best in the country.
The PA program is a full-time, 26-month endeavor that prepares its graduates to practice medicine under the direction of a doctor.
Medical history taking, physical examination, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, and the creation of treatment plans are just some of the many skills taught to students.
The curriculum also includes instruction in areas such as clinical reasoning, pharmacotherapeutics, medical ethics, and public health, in addition to the basic sciences.
The goal of the program is to train PAs who are team players, honest, and professional in their patient care.
Marquette University Physician Assistant School
There are a variety of courses available at the Physician Assistant School at Marquette University for those interested in a career in allied healthcare. Students at the university’s Physician Assistant School are expected to have at least 200 hours of clinical experience or patient contact prior to enrolling in the program.
The Physician Assistant Program at Marquette University is among the easiest PA programs to get into because of how straightforward the admissions process is. Keep in mind that a personal interview is part of the application process and that Marquette University is known for its holistic approach to students.
Missouri State University PA School
Medical education at Missouri State University has a long history of excellence. The Doctor of Philosophy in Physician Assistant is an excellent option for those interested in working in the medical field.
The admissions committee will call you once you’ve passed the initial screening to hear your personal statement.
As part of the curriculum, students may choose to intern at a hospital, a community health center, or another medical or healthcare organization under the supervision of a licensed medical professional. Instructors in both nursing and physician assistant programs have extensive clinical experience.
In addition, the two-year PA program at Missouri State University includes professional clinical experience throughout.
University of Utah
Among PA schools, acceptance to the University of Utah is relatively simple for a number of reasons. The minimum GPA they will accept is 2.7, which is the lowest on this list, despite the fact that they recommend a 3.0.
The University of Utah’s PA program is notable for being one of the United States’ longest running institutions of its kind, having opened its doors to students in 1971. The University of Utah’s PA program is ranked #4 in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Finally, it’s worth noting that, in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve reduced the minimum number of hours required to work in healthcare from 2000 to 1500.
Arkansas Colleges of Health Education
Their goal is to teach students how to provide care that is truly centered on the needs of the patient and their family. They are aware that medical expertise alone is not enough to make it in the healthcare industry. They welcome people of all backgrounds and cultures and actively encourage everyone who wants to attend this university to do so.
Students learn the skills necessary to work effectively with other members of the healthcare team, such as other PAs and the doctor. Since they value the whole person in their healthcare professionals, they make sure their students learn effective leadership techniques. The Arkansas State Medical Board has granted this institution a license, and the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants has accredited them.
You must have a 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.0 in science to be admitted to this school, as well as have taken and passed the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
Bethel University in Minnesota
Medical education at Bethel University is geared toward providing students with a well-rounded foundation from which to practice excellent medicine. These abilities will serve them well both in their academic pursuits at this institution and in their future careers. In addition to a grounding in the humanities, they stress the importance of learning the fundamentals in the hard sciences as well.
They take great pride in teaching their students to use evidence-based medicine to make the difficult decisions that inevitably arise in the healthcare industry. The duration of this program is 27 months, and students can attend classes at their convenience during the day. In addition, there is a wide selection of healthcare-related electives available to students. On US News’s list of the “Best Physician Assistant Programs,” they placed 108th. The fact that the GRE is not required for admission is yet another reason to consider this institution.
Admission to this school requires the following: a Bachelor of Science degree, a minimum 3.25 overall GPA and a minimum 3.25 science GPA, and successful completion of all required prerequisites. All candidates who meet all of the requirements will be invited for an interview.
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
The school is proud of its reputation for providing a welcoming environment where all students can study healthcare together without compromising their individual identities. They advocate for diversity in the workplace and hope to introduce it to the healthcare sector. Their teaching philosophy emphasizes critical thinking that can lead to revolutionary changes in the field.
More than eighty student groups at this school are actively encouraged to make a positive impact in their local neighborhoods. They would love to have you join their ever-expanding family of students and alums. According to US News’ list of the “Best Physician Assistant Programs,” this institution is ranked #15.
Prerequisite coursework includes biochemistry, anatomy, psychology, and physiology for the human body.
In addition to having a minimum GPA and science GPA of 2.75 or higher, submitting at least two letters of recommendation, and writing a compelling personal statement are all necessities for admission to this school.
The George Washington University Physician Assistant School
There is a wide selection of health-related courses available at this university.
The fields of medicine, psychology, biomedical engineering, and nursing all have their own respective academic tracks. Washington, DC is where you’ll find it. If you happen to be in or around the Nation’s Capital, you may find this to be an appealing feature.
Attending this institution will equip you with the skills necessary for success in the healthcare sector. By getting hands-on experience with cutting-edge equipment used by practicing doctors, you’ll pick up valuable skills in patient care as well. U.S. News and World Report named the Physician Assistant Program at George Washington University as the fifth-best in the country.
This institution boasts arguably the best PA program in the United States, but admission is highly competitive due to a long list of requirements.
One semester of psychology, one semester of anatomy and physiology, one semester of statistics, two semesters of chemistry (for science majors), an official transcript and degree evaluation, a minimum GPA and science GPA of 3.0, a completed GRE that you passed in the last 5 years, at least 1000 hours of direct care with patients, and at least 2 recommendations are required for admission to this school.
What’s The Hardest Course In Pa Programs?
Physiology, anatomy, and medical terminology are notoriously difficult subjects for students because they demand extensive memorization.
What’s The Best Major To Take Before Pa School?
Given that PA programs have varying admissions and curriculum requirements, there is no “best” undergraduate major. Still, it’s important for students to have a fundamental understanding of Anatomy, Physiology, and Chemistry. Before applying to a PA program, you may need to fulfill prerequisites at some schools.
How to Join a PA School With a Low GPA?
The GPA is a major factor in being accepted to a PA program. Making sure your application is flawless will increase your chances of getting into the school.
First of all, if you didn’t do well in your introductory courses, you might want to consider repeating them. You may be able to earn more credits in the process, making it easier to gain acceptance to PA school.
Make sure that your application as a whole is strong, not just your grades. While grades are certainly important, it’s also important to have a strong application overall. If you want to get into PA school, make sure you meet all the requirements and then some.
You can also consider enrolling in regionally accredited online courses to bolster your resume.
It’s true that if your GPA is too low, some schools won’t even look at your application. Even with a low GPA, it is possible to gain admission to PA school if your application is particularly strong.
These were the most competitive and least difficult to enter PA programs. Even if you don’t have a perfect GPA or a ton of healthcare experience, applications to these programs will be taken into consideration.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE), previous coursework, and number of hours worked in healthcare are all factors most PA programs consider. It goes without saying that prospective students should do everything in their power to fulfill the extensive requirements set forth by PA schools.
In conclusion, aim for a GPA of at least 3.0, gain as much experience as possible in the healthcare industry, and submit a stellar application.