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Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Admission Process

Admission to the Carroll University Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program requires a Baccalaureate degree and satisfactory completion of prerequisite coursework. The program considers all qualified applicants without discrimination regardless of race, color, creed, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status, national or ethnic origin, or handicap that does not interfere with the performance of professional physician assistant practice as provided by law.

Carroll University utilizes the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) to collect admission materials, which will be forwarded to the university.

Timeline for Admission Process

Applications for the 2016-2017 admission cycle will be available through CASPA in April.

The application deadline date is October 1. All materials (including Verified CASPA file) must be received by Carroll University on or before this date. Please note that verification of application materials might take up to 4-6 weeks.

Candidates will be chosen for on-campus interviews in October-January. Twenty positions will be offered each year. Admission decisions are generally finalized in late spring.

Required Application Materials:

  • Verified CASPA application including:
    • Three letters of reference are required, preferably from a college instructor, a supervisor from a work or volunteer clinical experience, and a health care professional such as PA, NP, MD or DO. Letters of reference must be submitted via CASPA.
    • List of course work in progress
  • Official GRE score report using program code 0409. By entering program code 0409 your GRE exam score will automatically be sent to CASPA and considered official submission by Carroll University. The most recent GRE scores will be used. Only GRE exams taken within the last 5 years will be considered.
  • Carroll University Supplemental $50.00 Fee

Admission Requirements

GPA: CASPA calculated cumulative GPA and science GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale

Patient Care Experience: A minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care experience is required. Experience as a medical scribe, a student in training or in observation will not be accepted as patient care experience.

It is important that candidates fully understand the role of a physician assistant. Although this understanding can be obtained in many ways, time spent shadowing is highly regarded.

Baccalaureate degree: Must be awarded from an accredited institution or an equivalent institution. Degree must be completed prior to June 1, 2017.

Prerequisite Courses: Please see below for the specific courses required under each discipline. Completion of all prerequisites is required prior to matriculation. 16-17 application cycle requirements: Anatomy and physiology must be completed within 5 years of matriculation. Courses in Kinesiology, exercise science or nutrition will not satisfy prerequisite coursework.

Biological Sciences - 5 semesters

Biological science courses must include the following:

  • Anatomy (or combined anatomy and physiology)
  • Physiology (or combined anatomy and physiology)
  • Microbiology

Suggested additional biological sciences include:

  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology
  • Endocrinology
  • Upper division biological science related to medicine.

Chemistry - 4 semesters

Suggested Chemistry course options include:

  • General Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Psychology - 2 semesters

Suggested Psychology course options include:

  • General Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Lifespan Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology

Statistics - 1 semester

Other courses highly recommended for success in PA education:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Epidemiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Foreign Language

Additional Information About Prerequisite Coursework:

  • Competitive candidates will have completed biological science and chemistry coursework designed for science majors.
  • Survey courses may not provide the depth and rigor needed for success in PA education.
  • Coursework is accepted from community colleges and online through regionally accredited institutions.
  • Labs are highly suggested for coursework in biological science and chemistry.
  • Completion of biological science and chemistry prerequisites within the last 5 years is preferred.
  • All prerequisite courses must be completed with a "C" or higher. Note that a "C-" will not be accepted.
  • AP courses are accepted for general psychology, general biology I, general chemistry I and statistics. Documentation must be submitted via official college transcript.

Prerequisite Worksheet:

This worksheet is for planning purposes only. It is not necessary to submit the worksheet.


Prerequisite Worksheet

Open Document


The Carroll University MSPAS program will not accept transfer students or transfer credits for any required course in Physician Assistant Studies. Student accepted into the program must complete all required physician assistant courses. Advanced placement will not be granted for any reason, including prior academic studies or professional experience. Only full-time students are admitted to the program.

Additional Information About the Admissions Process

The selection process for the PA Program is highly competitive. Each application is evaluated on individual merits. The submitted materials will be used to evaluate applicants for potential success in the program based on proven academic performance and potential; knowledge of the PA profession; work, community service and other experiences; letters of reference; and essays. Personal interviews, offered to the most qualified applicants, will aid the committee in assessing a variety of non-cognitive factors, including interpersonal skills, personal maturity, motivation and life experiences. Applicants may not be accepted without a personal interview. Invitations for admission will be extended to applicants who appear to be the most highly qualified to meet the mission and goals of the program. Students will be admitted to the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program based on their admission materials and their interview.

Students need not have received their bachelor's degree from Carroll University, but those who do will receive additional admission points.

Any student accepted for admission to the program must have official college transcripts documenting completion of all requirements sent directly to Carroll University prior to matriculation.

Accepted students are required to have completed a health screening, updated immunizations and tuberculosis screening according to current Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for health professionals, criminal background investigation and drug screening as required by internship placement sites. Exceptions to the immunization requirements will be considered on a case-by-case basis where, for example, a student has an allergy to a vaccine or one of its components. If an exception to the immunization requirements is approved, the University cannot guarantee that its affiliated hospitals and clinics will allow the student to participate in patient care, which is a fundamental requirement of the clinical education component of the Program.

International applicants and those who graduated from a non-US college or university must provide the following in addition to the above materials:

  • Documented completion of baccalaureate degree from accredited institution or equivalent via an international credit evaluation sent directly to CASPA with an unofficial copy send to Carroll University.
  • Official TOEFL score sent directly to Carroll University.
  • Proof of citizenship, permanent U.S. visa or visa appropriate for education
  • Statement of financial sponsorship


  • Three (3) hours of English composition is required at a US or Canadian college or university if the initial education was not taken at an English-speaking university
  • All non-Canadian international graduates must provide transcripts reflecting a minimum of 20 hours of natural sciences taken at an accredited U.S. college or university. These hours must include a full sequence of Anatomy & Physiology and Microbiology.

For more information regarding Carroll University application through the Office of International Education, go to

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