2024-25 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:

  • Prerequisite courses successfully completed as pass/fail (without letter grades) will be accepted.
Interested in the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program?
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Admission Timeline

  • Late April CASPA opens
  • October 1: Application Deadline; all required application materials including a verified CASPA application are due
  • September through December: Virtual interviews conducted
  • September: Offers begin as interviews are completed

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


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.
  • One Semester Anatomy** (within 5 years of matriculation)
  • One Semester Physiology** (within 5 years of matriculation)
    • **Also accepted: A&P I, A&P II sequence
  • One Semester Microbiology
  • Two Semesters Biological Science - Electives could include general biology I and II, genetics, cell biology, immunology, endocrinology, or other upper division biological science related to medicine.
  • 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:
    • 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 through regionally accredited four year 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. AP courses must be listed in CASPA and included on university transcripts.
    • The Carroll University MSPAS program will not accept transfer students or transfer credits for any required course in physician assistant studies. Students 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. 

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.

Admission Checklist

  • Verified CASPA application: due October 1
  • ​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.  All letters submitted will be considered.
  • Official score report from one of the following exams:
    • Official GRE score report submitted directly to 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.  There is no minimum score required.
    • Official PA-CAT score report submitted directly to Carroll University (Code WI4902). The most recent PA-CAT scores will be used. PA-CAT exams must be taken within the last 5 years to be valid. There is no minimum score required. 
  • Carroll University Supplemental $50.00 Fee: A supplemental fee waiver is offered to candidates that received a CASPA fee waiver or are McNair Scholarship recipients. Please provide this documentation to the admission office at painfo@carrollu.edu
  • Baccalaureate Degree: A baccalaureate degree must be awarded from an accredited institution prior to matriculation.
  • 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 in administrative work, as a medical scribe, a PT tech, an ABA therapist, or 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.

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
  • Personal statment and essays.
Personal interviews are offered to the most qualified applicants and 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 need not have received their bachelor's degree from Carroll University, but those who do will receive additional admission consideration.

Individuals who have a commitment to diversity, experience with improving healthcare to those in need, demonstrated leadership and service activities, overcame barriers to education (cultural, family—for example), and demonstrated outstanding accomplishment in non-curricular activities will also 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, 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.
  • Proof of English proficiency. Please reference the English Proficiency Requirements.
  • 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.

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


Questions can be directed to PAinfo@carrollu.edu.
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