Easiest PA Schools to Get Into

Is PA School Acceptance Difficult?

Getting into PA school is not an easy feat. According to data from CASPA during the 2016-2017 application cycle, 26,768 students applied to PA schools. Regrettably, the proportion of candidates admitted is rather limited. Intriguingly, the acceptance ratio for entry into PA programs is more stringent than the admission rate for medical schools.

Only 31% of applicants are accepted into their chosen PA school or any PA school for that matter. Conversely, a notable 41% of aspiring students secure admission into medical institutions. This left the other 69% to be hopeful about the reapplication process they would have to endure again the next year. Either that or you could try to get a year’s worth of work experience to boost the value of your application.

Although admission to a PA school is difficult, it's not impossible. There are thousands of other people also trying to apply just like you are.

In the context of submitting applications for educational institutions, specific criteria must be fulfilled to garner further consideration from the school. Additionally there are certain PA schools out there that are easier to get into than others.

You should take a look at the usual necessary requirements and compare those to your own application. If all the schools you are applying to have academic or previous work requirements that are out of your league, don’t feel discouraged. You can still apply for your dream school while also applying to schools where you exceed the necessary requirements for admittance.

Online Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.  

Necessary Requirements: The Usual

Most students who apply to PA school have a bachelor’s degree and some level of healthcare experience. If you’ve worked in a healthcare-related field for three years, you’re right at the average. There is no golden number for how much experience you need to get into PA school, but most schools will tell you their usual average.

Similarly, there is no exact minimum GPA you need to get into PA school because this value varies depending on the institution. A significant number of academic establishments stipulate a minimum GPA requirement between 2.8 and 3.2. This means some schools can go as high as around 3.2 for their minimum, but it will be hard for you to find a school that goes lower than 2.8.

Increase Your Likelihood of Being Accepted

The act of submitting applications to educational institutions can prove to be an immensely challenging and taxing endeavor. Make it easier by taking preemptive measures to give yourself the best chance of being accepted into at least one PA school.

Pay close attention to your application. Every little detail matters so don’t allow someone to overlook the amazing experience you could provide their school just because you have grammatical and spelling errors in your application.

You should always do your best to be part of the early applicant pool at your dream school. You may only be able to do this for one school given some schools have a binding early application process. This means that if you apply early and they accept you, you have to go to their school.

Should you have already determined your desired educational institution, this choice serves as the ideal solution for you! You are able to get your application looked at ahead of thousands of people, so you have a better chance of being accepted.

Even if you send in an early application, you should still apply to various schools. You can apply to a couple of your dream schools that are slightly out of reach, but make sure you also include safe schools on your list just in case your favorite school doesn’t work out. Getting into one PA school is better than getting into none.

To narrow down your choices, below is a list of some great, safe schools with lower requirements. Embracing a conservative approach regarding your anticipated endeavors is completely justifiable!

Our List of Easiest PA Schools to Get Into

(Schools are listed in alphabetical order.)

A.T. Still University, Central Coast

This program focuses on teaching its students the overall science of medicine in addition to the art of it as well. They focus on the whole person aspect of knowledge while following the osteopathic tradition of body-mind-spirit healthcare. The learning-centered aspect of this school allows students to develop their skills using in-person instructions from their faculty and staff.

This university also uses didactic clinical evolutions along with clinical procedures that last a year for every student. This also includes the combination of physical exam laboratories where standardized patient actors assist in helping the students receive the hands-on experience they need to be successful while at A.T. Still University and in the medical field. This school was ranked #46 on the US News list for “Best Physician Assistant Programs”.

  • The minimum requirements to attend this school are as follows:
  • You must have shadowed an osteopathic physician
  • A letter of support from a physician
  • A letter of support from a supervisor
  • Completed physics with one year of lab
  • Completed general or inorganic chemistry with one year of lab
  • Completed organic chemistry with one year of lab
  • Completed general biology with one year of lab
  • Completed English with one year of lab

They also recommend taking other healthcare-related courses in addition to the ones listed.

Arkansas Colleges of Health Education

Their mission is to help students learn the ability to conduct transformative patient and family-centered care. These individuals recognize that thriving in the healthcare domain extends beyond mere possession of medical expertise. They embrace the cultural diversity that exists amongst their students as well as promoting the inclusion of all those who want to be a member of this college.

They teach their students how to effectively collaborate with the other members of the whole healthcare team including other physician assistants and the physician themselves. The whole person aspect of a healthcare professional is important to them, so they ensure their students have the proper leadership skills to allow them to succeed in this field. This school has both the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants and state licensure from the Arkansas State Medical Board.

In order to be admitted to this establishment, the subsequent conditions are required: fulfillment of essential prerequisite courses, a minimum cumulative and science GPA of 3.0 or above, and accomplishment of the GRE.

Barry University Physician Assistant

This program places a large focus on life-long learning for its students. Through the use of advanced technology, they are able to promote collaborative health care by providing intense, clinical training experiences with various types of patient pools.

They want their students to experience the ideal collaborative work environment where all the healthcare physicians have a close working relationship. This is independent of department, hospital, or clinic location.

This educational institution stands out due to its Catholic affiliation, providing students with distinctive prospects for personal growth, both spiritually and intellectually. The students are given reflection techniques that help them perform better in the classroom. Furthermore, a significant accomplishment of this institution is that over 99% of its graduates have completed their studies.

To gain admission to this school, certain criteria must be satisfied. These include:

  • A minimum GPA and science GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Completion of the GRE
  • Successful completion of one course in Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry
  • Two courses in Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Two courses in General/Inorganic Chemistry.

Bethel University in Minnesota

At Bethel University, they focus on making sure their students develop the comprehensive skills they need to perform great medical practices. These skills will help them while they are learning at this university and also once they go out into the workforce. They want their students to also have core knowledge in the natural, social, behavioral, and medical sciences as well as the humanities subjects.

Their emphasis on evidence-based medicine allows their students to be equipped with the necessary skills to make challenging decisions that may arise in the healthcare profession. This program is a total of 27 months and allows students to take classes on campus throughout the day. Students also get to choose from a large variety of healthcare related courses. They were ranked #108 on the US News list for “Best Physician Assistant Programs”. Another great aspect of this school is the fact that you don’t need a GRE to apply or be accepted.

The minimum requirements to attend this school are as follows:

  • You must have at least 250 hours of healthcare experience Completed a B.S. degree
  • A minimum GPA of 3.25 and a science GPA of 3.25
  • Completed all of their prerequisite courses

They will provide an interview to all of the applicants who completely satisfy all the prerequisite requirements.

John’s University

This school has various religious practices that occur on campus including Catholic, Metropolitan Vincentian, and Global. They want to help their students reach academic excellence with everything they do at this university. Although this is true, they also want students to feel free to grow their religious values and the ethics that will make them well-rounded physician’s assistants.

The main focus of their program is to make sure they are able to reach even the poorest and aged patients with their top-quality medical care. Their program consists of people of different races from various socioeconomic backgrounds as well. This school was ranked #170 for National Universities.

Their list of requirements is a bit on the longer side:

  • You must have completed your Baccalaureate degree
  • A minimum GPA and science GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Completed organic chemistry with lab for 2 semesters Completed general biology with lab for 2 semesters
  • Completed general chemistry with lab for 2 semesters Completed microbiology
  • Completed six credits of behavioral sciences
  • Completed human anatomy and physiology
  • Completed English composition
  • Completed calculus or some other form of higher-level math
  • At least three letters of recommendation.

Loma Linda University

This university strives to educate its students to become skilled healthcare professionals who possess the ability to deliver exceptional patient care. They will need to be able to do this alongside physicians and other members of the professional healthcare team. In addition to collaboration skills, having a comprehensive understanding of the medical field is equally vital. They are committed to making sure their students are developed as whole people. These additional qualities are needed for the healthcare providers that serve underprivileged communities. They encourage their students to share their talents globally as well as in the local communities.

This is a 24-month program that involves didactic and clinical phases in the students to take part. Their selection process incorporates applicants from various different backgrounds to ensure there is a diversity of minds at their school and in the future workplace. They evaluate the applicants thoroughly based on their level of experience with patients and to what degree they had long-lasting patient interactions. This school was ranked #108 on the US News list for “Best Physician Assistant Programs”.

The minimum requirements to attend this school are:

  • Must have a bachelors degree
  • A minimum of 2,000 hours of hands-on care for patients
  • A minimum GPA and a science GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Marquette University Physician Assistant School

This University wants to prepare its students to take on a career in the allied healthcare field. Because of this, they offer specific courses that will help their students on this journey. They require their students to have a minimum of 200 hours of personal contact with patients or equivalent work experience in the healthcare field. This serves the objective of ensuring that prospective students are well informed about their desired career path before enrolling in this university.

They complete various clinical rotations for their students to ensure they build upon the healthcare experience they already have before joining their university. Additionally, they provide opportunities for their students to attend science outreach events and conferences to increase their exposure.

They just recently opened their $18.5 million PA studies building to further help their students succeed. Also, this school was ranked #26 on the US News list for “Best Physician Assistant Programs”.

The minimum requirements to attend this school are as follows, you must have a minimum GPA and science GPA of 3.0 or higher, knowledge of the PA profession, a completed GRE if you are a senior or an undergraduate applicant, and a minimum of 200 hours of healthcare experience including patient contact.

Missouri State University PA School

This institution has a reputation for effectively imparting the necessary knowledge for aspiring medical professionals. They consistently endeavor to furnish their students with a top-notch education. You will receive this type of professional clinical experience at every stage of the program.

When you’re a student of this program, you’ll have the chance to take on various opportunities that will enhance your knowledge of the healthcare field. If you so choose, you can work with a licensed physician as an intern to receive their guidance. This could take place at a health clinic in the local community or at a medical facility. This school was ranked #93 on the US News list for “Best Physician Assistant Programs”.

Upon successful completion of the initial screening process, you shall receive communication to finalize your personal statement. This means you are being intently looked at for acceptance, so don’t take this lightly.

The minimum requirements to attend this school include:

  • You must have at least 3 recommendation letters
  • A completed GRE
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

This university promotes its ability to provide its students with an extremely inclusive experience where they can learn about the healthcare industry while staying true to themselves. They promote the celebration of people’s differences and want to bring this diversity to the healthcare industry. Their students are encouraged to think in ways that could help them transform this field.

This institution has over 80 student organizations that are constantly encouraged to make a difference in the community. This school was ranked #15 on the US News list for “Best Physician Assistant Programs”.

You must have completed biochemistry, human anatomy, introduction to psychology, and human physiology as prerequisite courses.

The minimum requirements to attend this school are as follows, you must have completed all the prerequisite courses with a grade of “C” or above within the last 10 years, completed your GRE, at least to letters of recommendation, a minimum GPA and science GPA of 2.75 or higher, and a personal statement.

Further Reading: PA Programs Online in 12 Months

Springfield College

This college focuses on giving its students a balanced combination of classroom knowledge with hands-on experience. Their faculty has a wide breadth of knowledge about various medical specialties and settings. They want to bestow this information onto their students so they are adequately prepared to join the medical field after six years.

Their track seems longer than other PA schools because they incorporate the process of you receiving a bachelor’s degree into the overall journey. Within those six years, you will get a Bachelor of Science degree in health science, and then you will complete your master’s-level physician assistant program to enter the professional phase of your training in January of your senior year. This college was ranked #26 in Regional Universities North.

The minimum requirements to attend this school are as follows:

  • You must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • At least a “C” in all required courses
  • At least 470 hours of experience with patient healthcare
  • 30 hours of shadowing someone in the healthcare field.

Although these are the minimums, they would prefer someone who exceeds the minimum GPA requirement and has at least 1000 hours of experience with direct patient care.

The George Washington University Physician Assistant School

This university offers a variety of classes that fall in line with the healthcare industry. These classes include medical studies, psychology, biomedical technology, and nursing. This can be an attractive factor if you are in or around the District of Columbia area.

By enrolling in this school, you can acquire the knowledge essential to excel in the healthcare sector. You will also learn how to give great patient care by practicing with the newest medical technology that is being used by physicians who are already in the workforce. The George Washington University PA School was ranked #5 on the U.S. News List for “Best Physician Assistant Programs.”

One of the premier PA programs in the United States is offered at this school; however, gaining admission requires satisfying an extensive list of prerequisites.

The minimum requirements to attend this school include:

  • You must have completed one semester of psychology Completed one semester in anatomy and physiology Completed one semester of statistics
  • Completed two semesters of chemistry (for science majors)
  • An official transcript and degree evaluation
  • A minimum GPA and science GPA of 3.0
  • A completed GRE that you passed in the last 5 years
  • At least 1000 hours of direct care with patients
  • At least 2 recommendation letters.

University of La Verne

At this university, it is believed that quality education should encompass more than just proficiency in the healthcare industry, and every student should receive such an education. It is important for students to receive a valuable education that will make them great members of society inside and outside their work field.

The University of La Verne focuses on engaging its students in the local community as well as the community they have on campus. This is a 27-month-long program that is committed to diversifying the healthcare field with brilliant minds who are ready to reshape the future of this industry. This school is ranked #111 on the U.S. News & World Report list for “Best Graduate Schools ranking for Public Affairs”

The minimum requirements to attend this school are as follows, you must have a minimum GPA and science GPA of 3.0 or higher, completed all prerequisite courses with a “C” letter grade or better, completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university or college, at least 3 letters of recommendation, and completed a personal statement.

University of New England Physician Assistant School

This school contains the only PA program in Maine and focuses on teaching its students about how to take care of patients in a variety of populations. UNE supports a two-year program that allows its students to get a lot of clinical experience as well as a well rounded course schedule. This institution has professors from UNE’s Colleges of Health Professions, Arts and Sciences, and Osteopathic Medicine to give their students the preparation they need for the diversity of the medical field.

The course load includes health promotion, disease prevention, public health, geriatrics, and pharmacology. The healthcare profession may require quick decision-making under challenging circumstances. This program prepares you to make these hard decisions with confidence no matter the situation. This school was ranked #126 on the U.S. News list for “Best Physician Assistant Programs”.

The minimum requirements to attend this school are as follows, you must have at least 20 hours of shadowing someone in the healthcare industry, 500 hours of direct work with patient care, at least 3 recommendation letters, and a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

University of Utah

The first attractive factor about this school is that they have a very low minimum GPA compared to most other PA schools. This is also one of the PA schools located in the United States. They were initially established in 1971 and have since maintained their strong standing. They have also held their accreditation since the year 1971 as well.

They co-sponsored the Utah Medical Association which is the largest constituency association in Utah. They want to ensure their students are able to give the highest quality healthcare service to their future patients. This is especially important in underserved and rural communities. This school was ranked #4 on the U.S. News list for “Best Physician Assistant Programs”.

The minimum requirements to attend this school include:

  • Must have at least three letters of recommendation
  • At least 2000 hours of experience in a healthcare-related field
  • Completed human anatomy and physiology courses
  • A minimum GPA and a science GPA of 2.7

Online Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.  

Take the next step toward your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.