Admission Process | M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies

Admission to the Carroll University Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program requires a baccalaureate degree, satisfactory completion of prerequisite coursework and direct patient care experience. 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.

Covid-19 impact on admission:

Admission Timeline

It is expected that seats will remain available throughout the interview timeline. 32 are available.

Required Application Materials

  1. Verified CASPA application
  2. Three letters of reference, 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.
  3. Official GRE score report submitted directly to Carroll University/CASPA (code 0409). Only scores sent to CASPA will be considered. The most recent GRE scores will be used. GRE exams must be taken within the last 5 years to be valid.
  4. Carroll University Supplemental $50.00 Fee

Minimum Requirements


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

Patient Care Experience

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.

Knowledge of the PA Profession

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

A baccalaureate degree must be awarded from an accredited institution prior to matriculation.

Prerequisite Courses

Completion of all prerequisite courses with a C or better is required prior to matriculation. Courses in kinesiology, exercise science or nutrition will not satisfy prerequisite coursework. It is advised that no more than two prerequisite course be pending at the time of application.

Five Semesters Biological Science - Required is 1 semester each anatomy, physiology (or A and P I & II) and microbiology. Anatomy and physiology coursework must be completed within 5 years of matriculation.

The two additional biological science electives could include general biology I and II, genetics, cell biology, immunology, endocrinology or other upper division biological science related to medicine. Additional biological science coursework is recommended.

Four Semesters Chemistry - Suggested course options include general chemistry I and II, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry and organic chemistry. Upper division courses are highly recommended.

Two Semesters Psychology - Suggested course options include general psychology, developmental psychology, lifespan psychology, abnormal psychology

One Semester Statistics – any discipline

Other courses highly recommended for success in PA education: pathophysiology, medical terminology, epidemiology, pharmacology, foreign language

Additional Information About Prerequisite Coursework:

Prerequisite Worksheet

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

Download Prerequisite Worksheet PDF

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 Selection 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 consideration.

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:


See Carroll University's Office of International Education for more information about international admissions.

Panoramic View of campus