Admission Requirements

US Capitol in photo

Admission Requirements

1. Degree: Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university prior to matriculation into the program. If conditional admission is offered, official transcripts must be provided to the program after completion of a baccalaureate degree, but prior to program matriculation.

2. Grade point averages: Both the minimum cumulative and overall science grade point averages (GPA) must be 3.2 or higher. GPA calculations are based on completed coursework at the time of application and are calculated by CASPA, with the exception of any applications including foreign transcripts not included in CASPA calculations. Grade updates post-submission of application are not accepted and will not be considered.

3. Prerequisite coursework: Courses must be 3-credit (semester) or 4.5-credit (quarter) credit hours in length. Courses must be completed at a regionally accredited institution of higher learning in the United States or accredited English-speaking Canadian institutions within the last 10 years (from date of application) with a grade of B- or better. Pre-requisites taken at US community colleges are accepted. The following courses are required:

  • Anatomy & Physiology: One semester of Anatomy and one semester of Physiology are required. This requirement may also be met by taking two semesters of a combined Anatomy & Physiology course. A combination of a separate Anatomy or Physiology and Anatomy & Physiology I or II will not be accepted. It must be either a separate Anatomy and a separate Physiology or the Anatomy & Physiology I+II sequence.
  • Chemistry: Two semesters of Chemistry for science majors. One semester must be either Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry. It is strongly recommended that student complete both Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry prior to matriculation.
  • Psychology: One semester of Psychology. Abnormal Psychology or Developmental Psychology is recommended. A grade of "Pass" on Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology examination score of 4 or higher with credits accepted from a regionally accredited institution are required. This is the only prerequisite for which Advanced Placement credit is accepted.
  • Statistics: One semester of Statistics. 

Courses taken prior to matriculation may not be substituted for course work required in the program. For example, an advanced physiology course meets the program prerequisite for physiology, but matriculating students will not receive advanced standing and are required to take the PA physiology course. 

Applicants may apply to the program with no more than 2 outstanding prerequisites, including those in progress at time of application. All prerequisites must be completed prior to the beginning of the program. Students with a bachelor's degree in-progress are eligible to apply, provided that they will have fulfilled the baccalaureate degree requirement before matriculation. 

Prospective applicants with the majority of their prerequisites missing are encouraged to consider our Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medicine Program.

4. Patient Care Hours: 1,000 hours of direct patient care experience are required. These hours must be completed by the time the application is submitted. Updates post-submission are not accepted and will not be considered. Hours submitted as part of a training, educational, or internship program or shadowing healthcare practitioners will not be credited as direct patient care experience.

Examples of Acceptable Direct Patient Care Experiences: This list is not exhaustive, so if you have questions please contact the admissions office.

5. Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required and must be submitted through CASPA. Please do not submit additional recommendations with the GW supplemental application. Strongest letters of recommendation are written by: 

  • Individuals who can attest to your potential as a physician assistant, preferably a health care professional and/or;
  • Academic instructors who can strongly attest to your academic ability.

Recommendation letters from family members or friends are not accepted.

6. Official Transcripts: CASPA requires official transcripts from every college and university (domestic and international) attended, whether or not a degree was earned. All non-U.S. transcripts (including those in English) must be evaluated by an accredited foreign credential agency. Evaluations are also accepted from AACRAO.

7. English Language Proficiency Test: Written and oral communication in English is required for the development of a therapeutic relationship with patients and professional relationships with colleagues. In general, applicants who are not U.S. citizens are required to submit official test scores for either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Pearsons Test of English Academic (PTE) or the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The following are the minimum scores required for admission:

  • TOEFL: 250 computer-based or 100 Internet-based; TOEFL Code: 5246
  • PTE: overall score of 68
  • IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0, with no individual band score below 6.0

Exceptions: International applicants who meet the following conditions will be considered for admission without submitting TOEFL, PTE or IELTS scores:

  • Citizens of countries where English is the official language (as identified by GW ISO list of Exempt countries) OR
  • Individuals hold a baccalaureate degree from a country where English is the official language as well as language of instruction OR
  • They hold at least a baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency

8. International Applicants & International Medical Graduates 

Applicants who complete their degree outside of the United States or Canadian institutions with English as the language of instruction must follow all admissions requirements listed above and complete a CASPA and GW Supplemental Application, as well as:

  • Submit transcript and degree evaluation: All transcripts must be evaluated by an accredited foreign credentialing agency. The agency must find that the coursework is equivalent to an US bachelor’s degree. 
  • International coursework will not be acceptable for prerequisite requirements.  All prerequisite coursework must be completed within the United States or at a Canadian institution with English as the language of instruction regardless of whether the applicant has already completed it in another country or within a graduate degree. There are NO exceptions to this policy.
  • Advanced standing or transference of credits is not offered.
  • International applicants may be required to take an English Language Test. Please review the policies listed above.

All international applicants must review the information regarding Visa requirements and Requests and Financial Certification.

9. For students who have a MPH degree upon matriculation: The program offers advanced placement for the PA 6110, Evidence-Based Practice for PA Students course to select students who graduated from a CEPH-accredited Master in Public Health degree program prior to PA school, if the student received a minimum grade of B in biostatistics and epidemiology courses. Students must request advanced placement in writing to the Program Director per instructions listed in the Student Handbook. If granted, the student will complete the 1-credit PA 6111 Evidence-Based Practice for PA/MPH course as a substitute for the 3-credits PA 6110 course. 

The program offers advanced placement for the PA 6111, Evidence-Based Practice for PA/MPH Students (1-credit). Joint degree students must request a waiver for PA 6111. If approved by the Director of PA/MPH, the student may enroll in PUBH 6242, Clinical Epidemiology and Decision Analysis (2-credits). In order to meet program requirements, the student must successfully pass the PUBH 6242 course with a grade of B or better.

10. A word about Clinical Training Sites: Securing clinical sites or preceptors is not an admission requirement of the GW PA program. The program abides by Standard A3.03 of the ARC-PA, that states prospective and enrolled students must not be required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors.

11. Technical Standards: Adherence to the Technical Standards is required for admission.