- Marywood Pre-PA students
- Please see Pre-PA/Internal Application Materials (For Marywood students only)
- Marywood Eligibility students: students who have earned a Bachelor’s degree from another institution and are now taking prerequisite courses at Marywood.
- Students who have earned a Bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation
- Please apply via the Centralized Application System for Physician Assistants (CASPA)
General Admissions Information
Marywood University Physician Assistant (PA) Program operates on a rolling admissions process.
The Admissions Cycle opens in mid-April every year, and the deadline for admission is October 1st. Any application that is received or incomplete after that date will not be reviewed and the applicant will be ineligible for consideration during that cycle.
Admission to the PA Program is extremely competitive, with nearly 900 applications for 60 seats annually. Our admissions committee thoroughly reviews each application and chooses the most competitive applicants for an on-campus interview.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible
There are three points of entry into the Professional Phase of the PA Program:
Incoming Student Profiles at a Glance
Class of 2022
Class of 2021
- General Biology I with Lab
- General Biology II with Lab
- General Chemistry I with Lab
- General Chemistry II with Lab
- Anatomy with Lab*
- Physiology with Lab*
- Organic Chemistry I with Lab
- Organic Chemistry II with Lab
- Microbiology with Lab
- Immunology with Lab**
All prerequisite coursework must be completed prior to matriculation into the PA Program, which begins in May. Applicants may apply with courses in progress or planned.
All science courses must be “Science Major Level”.
Prerequisite Courses include:
*If taking Anatomy & Physiology as a combined course, two semesters with lab components must be completed.
**Immunology with Lab preferred, but if not available, another 300 or 400 level science course can be substituted. Possible courses include Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, or Virology. Any other decisions regarding equivalent courses for Immunology will be made on a case-by-case basis.
In most cases, these courses must have been completed within the last seven years. Applicants requesting an exception to the seven-year limit due to healthcare work experience will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Applicants must also successfully complete a Medical Terminology course from an accredited institution within the last two years prior to matriculation.
Marywood University does not accept transfer credits from other Professional PA programs nor does Marywood offer advanced placement or credit for experiential learning.
- Overall GPA of 3.0 or better on a scale of 4.0
- Prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or better on a scale of 4.0
Applicants must achieve a minimum of C on all prerequisite courses. Any grades of C- or lower will not be accepted.
GPA and Grade Requirement
- GRE code for Marywood University PA program in CASPA is 2407
Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Requirement
All candidates must take the GRE and submit their official GRE scores to CASPA at the time of their application.
Marywood Pre-PA/Internal applicants must submit their GRE scores with their internal application.
GRE scores must have been received before an interview can be scheduled.
MCAT scores are not accepted in place of GRE scores.
Marywood University does not require a specific score for acceptance into the program, but points are awarded during the interview for applicants scoring a combined verbal and math score of 290 and above.
- One recommendation form must be from a nationally certified and state licensed Physician Assistant (PA-C) with whom the applicant shadowed/worked during actual patient-care activities.
- The remaining recommendation forms may be written by college professors, work supervisors, and/or other medical professionals who have first-hand knowledge of your skills, strengths, and weaknesses.
- Recommendation forms from friends, family members, and Marywood PA faculty members are not appropriate and will not be accepted.
Letters of Recommendation
Applicants must provide three recommendation forms at the time of their application. An additional letter can be included with the recommendation form, if desired, but is optional.
Interviews will not be scheduled until the required forms are received by the department.
- Athletic trainer (certified)
- Cardiovascular perfusionist
- ED Technician
- Exercise physiologist
- Home healthcare aide
- Medical assistant/technologist
- Medical scribe
- Orthopedics technician
- Physical therapist/assistant
- Radiologic technologist
- Respiratory therapist
- Surgical technician
Health-Care Related Experience Requirement
All applicants must complete a minimum of 500 hours of direct patient contact experience by the time of matriculation.
The following list gives examples of ways to obtain direct patient contact/healthcare experiences. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of healthcare experiences.
Marywood University does not accept lifeguarding or personal trainer hours. If you have questions regarding any other specific experiences, please reach out to the PA program.
Hours do not need to be fully completed at the time of
Although the program has a minimum requirement of 500 hours, additional points will be awarded during the interview to those applicants who complete more than 500 hours.
- Applicants who work as a medical scribe with a PA-C may count those hours as shadowing as well
PA Shadowing Requirement
Applicants must complete a minimum of 50 hours of shadowing with a nationally certified and state licensed PA (PA-C) during direct patient care activities.
These 50 shadowing hours count toward the overall requirement of 500 direct patient care hours.
- Volunteer work
- Club participation on or off-campus
- Mission work
- Collegiate athletics
- Art, music, dance experience
Applicants should highlight any, and all, extracurricular/service/leadership activities in their applications. Experiences may include (but are not limited to) the following:
In accordance with the mission of Marywood University, the PA program seeks applicants who have shown a commitment to service in their communities.
- Healthcare hours and courses do not need to be complete at the time of the interview, as long as the applicant has a plan to complete prior to matriculation in May.
- 8:45 am – 9:00 am: Candidates arrive
- 9:00 am – 9:30 am: Welcome and PA Program Presentation
- 9:30 am – 11:30 am: Candidates rotate in stations including:
- Individual interview with Admissions Committee members
- Timed writing sample
- Activity with current PA students
- 11:30 am – 12:00 pm: Q&A session/Department & Campus Tour
- September 19, 2020
- October 3, 2020
- November 7, 2020
The Admissions Committee reviews applicants only after an individual’s application is fully completed, including GRE scores and recommendation forms.
Selected applicants will be invited to join us for an on-campus interview day. A successful interview is required for acceptance into the PA program. Candidates should be able to demonstrate a desire for
Interview Day: What to Expect
- Exceed the minimum required overall and prerequisite GPA
- Exceed the
minimum500 hours of required healthcare experience
- Have three excellent letters of recommendation
- Have a history of extensive, varied extracurricular, service, and leadership activities
What Makes a Strong Applicant?
It is important to know that meeting the minimum entrance requirements in no way guarantees acceptance. The most competitive students will meet and exceed the minimum entrance requirements.
The student selection process ensures that admitted students are both committed to our mission and able to withstand the rigors of PA education.
The most competitive applicants will not only
It is also important to note that not having such characteristics
- Overall GPA and Pre-requisite Science GPA at or above 3.5
- Completed all other pre-requisites, i.e., 500 healthcare hours (of which at least 50 hours must be shadowing a PA)
- All courses must be Marywood courses (8 credit maximum may be transfer credits - with prior approval of both the Science Chair and the PA Program Director)
- No Disciplinary actions on record
- Successful interview with the Admissions Committee for the PA Program
Guaranteed Seat Program
The criteria for an automatic transition from the Pre-PA phase to the professional phase of the PA Program are as follows:
If you do not meet the above criteria or are a transfer student you will be guaranteed an interview and be alleviated from applying through CAPSA, however, neither of these conditions is a guarantee that you will be accepted into the Professional PA Program.
- Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities
- Behavioral and Social Attributes
The Technical Standards for Marywood University Physician Assistant Program have been established to ensure that students have the ability to demonstrate academic mastery, competence when performing clinical skills, and ability to communicate clinical information.
A candidate for the physician assistant profession must have the abilities and skills of five varieties including observation, communication, motor, integrative and behavioral, and social. Reasonable accommodations can be made in certain situations in conjunction with the Office of Disability Services, but on an individual basis, and such a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. The following skills are required, with or without accommodations.
Candidates must be able to observe in the lecture hall, laboratory and both the inpatient and outpatient setting. Vision, hearing and tactile sensation must be adequate to observe a patient’s condition and elicit information from a physical exam that includes inspection, auscultation
Candidates must be able to communicate effectively in the academic and health care settings. Candidates should possess effective written and verbal communication skills to allow for communication with patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity, and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications.
The ability to perform the basic diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers and procedures such as palpation, percussion, is required. Candidates must have sufficient motor function to execute movements
Physical stamina is also required to complete the rigorous course of didactic and clinical study. Long periods of sitting, standing and moving are required throughout both the didactic and clinical phases.
Candidates must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize.
Candidates must possess the emotional health and stability required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities. The exercise of good