Physician Assistant Applicant Information

Students in the pre-professional phase are required to maintain an overall GPA of 3.00, as well as a 3.00 average in all prerequisite science courses and/or labs to be considered for admission to the professional phase.

Students who have successfully met all required liberal arts core requirements and science prerequisites may apply for admission to the professional program, following their second year as Pre-PA.

Marywood Pre-PA students who meet all admissions criteria are guaranteed an interview with the Physician Assistant Program Admissions Committee and will receive preferential consideration in this highly competitive area. Each year, approximately half of the cohort seats are reserved for Marywood Pre-PA students

Those students who have previously completed a baccalaureate degree at Marywood University or another accredited institution are not required to complete the liberal arts core requirements but must have the prerequisite science courses to be considered for admission to the professional program.

What Makes a Strong Physician Assistant 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 meet, but exceed, the minimum entrance requirements and have one or more of the following characteristics:

It is also important to note that not having such characteristics does not preclude an invitation for interview or acceptance into the program.  It is equally important to note that having such characteristics in no way guarantees an interview, acceptance into the program, or success in the program. 

Physician Assistant Applicant Resources

Class of 2022
Number of Applications Received 624
Number of Applicants Interviewed 204
Number of Students Enrolled 60

Average Overall GPA 3.61
Average Prerequisite GPA 3.54
Average GRE score (combined verbal & math) 297
Average Patient Care Hours 2525

Class of 2021

Number of Applications Received 869
Number of Applicants Interviewed 101
Number of Students Enrolled 60

Average Overall GPA 3.58
Average Prerequisite GPA 3.43
Average GRE score (combined verbal & math) 296
Average Patient Care Hours 1942

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 prerequisite courses must be “Science Major Level” and must have been completed within the last seven years.

Prerequisite Courses include:

  • 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**

*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.

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 (Baccalaureate) 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.

All candidates for the 2022 Admissions cycle must take either the GRE or the PA-CAT. 

  • All candidates taking the GRE must submit their official GRE scores to Marywood University at the time of their application. The GRE code for Marywood University PA program is 2407.
  • All candidates taking the PA-CAT must notify the program at the time of their application. Applicants must take the PA-CAT prior to November 10, 2022 in order for the score to be processed and received by Marywood University in time to be included in their application.

Marywood Pre-PA/Internal applicants should submit their test scores with their internal application. GRE/PA-CAT scores must have been received before an interview can be scheduled. MCAT scores are not accepted in place of GRE/PA-CAT 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 GRE (verbal and math score) of 290 and above. 

Information on both tests can be found here:

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 program.

  • 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.

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, babysitting, 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 interview, but applicants will need to explain their plan regarding how they will complete their hours by the time of matriculation.

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 must complete a minimum of 50 hours of shadowing with a nationally certified and state licensed PA (PA-C) during direct patient care activities.

  • Applicants who work as a medical scribe with a PA-C may count those hours as shadowing as well

These 50 shadowing hours count toward the overall requirement of 500 direct patient care hours.

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. Points will be awarded during the interview to those applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to extracurricular/service/leadership activities.


The Admissions Committee reviews applicants only after an individual’s application is fully completed, including GRE scores and recommendation forms.

  • 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.

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 and understanding of the profession, maturity, professionalism, good judgment and character, self-confidence, and good interpersonal skills.

Interview Day:  What to Expect

  • 9:00 am – 9:30 am: Welcome and PA Program Presentation
  • 9:30 am – 11:00 am: Candidates rotate in stations including:
    • Individual interview with Admissions Committee members
    • Timed writing sample
    • Q&A with current students
  • 11:00 am – 11:30 am: Final Q&A session/Wrap-up

An identical afternoon schedule will run each interview day from 1:00-3:30pm. 

Interview Dates 2022 (interviews will be conducted on Zoom for 2022)
  • August 27, 2022
  • September 17, 2022
  • October 22, 2022 

INTERNAL MARYWOOD STUDENTS ONLY: Please reach out to Lauren Tokash at or Apply to Graduate Admissions online.

Applications will be accepted beginning April 28th. All application materials must be submitted via Slate, and will not be accepted through email or hard copy. 

Please note these materials are for Marywood students only. All other students should apply via the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA)

All application materials must be submitted by the October 1st deadline to be considered in the current application cycle. 

Marywood Pre-PA/Internal applicants may apply internally for two cycles. If applicants are unsuccessful after two cycles, they must then utilize CASPA for any additional applications.

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 andpalpation.


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 reasonable required to provide care to patients.  Candidates must be able to move between settings such as clinical, classroom, and hospital.

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.

Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities

Candidates must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize.  Problem solving is one of the critical skills required for physician assistants.  The candidate must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures.  Candidates must be able to read and comprehend medical literature.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

Candidates must possess the emotional health and stability required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities.  The exercise of good judgement, and the prompt completion of all academic and patient care responsibilities must be possible.  The development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and other members of the health care is essential.  The ability to function in the face of uncertainty is inherent in clinical practice.  Flexibility, compassion, integrity, motivation, interpersonal skills and concern for others are requirements of the profession.  The ability to function under stress is essential.

The criteria for an automatic transition from the Pre-PA phase to the professional phase of the PA Program are as follows:

  • 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 PA Program Admissions Committee

If you do not meet the above criteria, or are a transfer student, but you meet the graduate PA program basic admission criteria, you will be guaranteed an interview and be alleviated from applying through CASPA, however, neither of these conditions is a guarantee that you will be accepted into the graduate PA Program.