Admissions

COVID-19 Changes

Due to COVID-19, the GW PA program has adjusted a few of its admissions requirements. Please see the following responses to frequently asked questions during this pandemic.

 

Will the program accept pass/no pass prerequisite grades?

Due to the impact of COVID-19, the program will accept up to two (2) prerequisite courses completed on a pass/no pass grading scale. This applies only to courses taken in 2020 and spring 2021. All completed prerequisites must have a “Pass” grade. Please note that courses taken for pass/no pass will not hamper or increase GPA. Keep in mind, you are still required to meet the minimum science and overall GPA of 3.0 for your application to be considered.

Is the GRE required?

The GRE is not required for admissions.

Will there be any adjustment in the application deadline?

Currently, there has been no change to the 2022-2023 application deadline date. The CASPA and supplemental application will be available on April 28th, with the verified by deadline date of October 1st, 2022.

I was planning to attend one of the spring information sessions that have been canceled. Will there be other opportunities to learn more about the program?

Due to restrictions on group gatherings, we are unable to participate in any in-person events as planned.  We encourage you to watch the recorded information session and email us with any specific questions.


General Admissions Information

The George Washington University Physician Assistant Program believes a diverse and inclusive community of students enhances the educational experience and advances our mission of preparing physician assistants (PAs) able to improve the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities. The Program seeks to bring together a class of students from varied backgrounds and experiences in order to foster a learning environment that prepares PAs to address the needs of a diverse society.

Further, the GW PA Program is acutely aware that social and cultural factors play a major role in health and wellness. Our nation is becoming ever more diverse, and it is vitally important that our graduates be prepared to treat patients who come from a wide range of ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds.

In addition to building a class of diverse students, the GW PA Program Admissions Committee values academic preparation and demonstrated leadership, service, and health care experience. The Committee also values applicants who demonstrate through their leadership, service and experience a commitment to our mission and the mission of the SMHS.

Please note that some admissions requirements have changed and will come into effect starting April 2022. 

Applying for Admission

All applicants to the Physician Assistant program must apply through the online application system CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants).

In addition to general CASPA responses, applicants will need to submit short answers to a series of questions tied to the GW PA program mission.

Applicants may only apply to one program; the two-year (MSHS) or the three-year (MSHS/MPH). If selected for admission, the admission offer is only valid for the program for which the application was submitted. Applicants may not switch from the three-year to the two-year program or vice-versa. Please follow the application instructions below for the appropriate program.

Please note that misrepresentation of any part of your application may potentially result in revocation of the offer of admission or dismissal from the program. Applicants who indicate "Intermediate", "Advanced", or "Native" levels of language proficiency on their CASPA applications may be mandated to complete clinical placements at sites which require the use of that language in patient care.

Supplemental Application for 2-Year PA Applicants Only:

In addition to completing the application through the CASPA portal, all applicants must complete the GW PA Program supplemental application. Admission decisions will be communicated via the supplemental application portal. There is a supplemental $60 application fee.

Please review the following instructions:

The GW supplemental application portal can be accessed here: https://gw.force.com/gwapp. Click the "Sign Up" link to create an account. Initiate your supplemental application by making the following selections:

  • What type of program are you applying to? Graduate
  • School: School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Field of Study: Physician Assistant
  • Degree: M.S.H.S.
  • Concentration: Not Applicable
  • Term: Summer 2023

You will need to provide your CASPA ID on the application. You will be asked to specify a campus within the application. Please select "Main Campus". If you have any questions regarding the applications or process, please contact us at paadm@gwu.edu or 202-994-7644.

 

Supplemental Application for 3-Year PA/MPH Applicants Only:

In addition to completing the application through the CASPA portal, all applicants must complete the GW PA Program supplemental application. Admission decisions will be communicated via the supplemental application portal. There is a supplemental $60 application fee.

Please review the following instructions:

The GW supplemental application portal can be accessed here: https://gw.force.com/gwapp. Click the "Sign Up" link to create an account. Initiate your supplemental application by making the following selections:

  • What type of program are you applying to? Graduate
  • School: School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Field of Study: Physician Assistant (You will specify the joint degree option within the application form itself)
  • Degree: M.S.H.S. (You will specify the joint degree option within the application form itself)
  • Concentration: Not Applicable
  • Term: Summer 2023

You will need to provide your CASPA ID on the application. You will be asked to specify a campus within the application. Please select "Main Campus". If you have any questions regarding the applications or process, please contact us at paadm@gwu.edu or 202-994-7644.

 

Application Deadline

Summer Entry: October 1

The GW PA program only has a summer term entry. CASPA applications must be "Verified" by October 1. We strongly recommend submitting your completed application (payment,  transcripts, and two letters of recommendation all received) at least four weeks in advance of the deadline to ensure the application is verified on time. In addition to the CASPA application completed and verified by October 1st, it is also required to have successfully submitted the GW supplemental application by that date.

Application Fee

The fee for using CASPA is based on the number of programs the applicant designates. There is an additional non-refundable GW supplemental application fee of $60 for either the MSHS two-year program or the joint MSHS/MPH three-year program. This fee is waived only for the following applicants:

  • GW alumni (those holding a GW degree or graduate certificate)
  • Current degree or graduate certificate candidates at GW
  • Graduates of Minority Serving Institutions (MSI)
  • Current McNair Program Scholars (a completed Certification of McNair Program Participation and Application Fee Waiver form must be attached to your application)
  • U.S. military and veterans
  • Applicants granted a GRE or CASPA waiver within 2 years of submitting their application

Back to Top

Admissions Requirements

1. Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university prior to matriculation into the program.

Official transcripts must demonstrate completion of a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation to the program.

2. Minimum cumulative and science grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.

GPA calculations are based on completed coursework at the time of application. Updates post-submission of application are not accepted and will not be considered.

3. The following prerequisite coursework from 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 submission:

  • 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.
  • Chemistry: Two semesters of  Chemistry for science majors. One semester must be either Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry. It is strongly recommended to take both Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry prior to matriculation.
  • Psychology: One semester of Psychology. Abnormal Psychology or Developmental Psychology is strongly recommended. A grade of "Pass" or Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology examination score of 4 or higher with credits earned from a regionally accredited institution are accepted.
  • Statistics: One semester of Statistics. 

All prerequisites must be completed with a grade of B- or better and must be undergraduate, graduate, or post-baccalaureate coursework. Each course must be at least three semester credit hours or 5 quarter credit hours. Please note we do not require labs and lab credits will not be counted towards the credit total. 

Applicants may apply to the program with no more than two outstanding prerequisites (including any in progress at the time of application), but prerequisites must be completed prior to the beginning of the program. Students with their bachelor's degree still in-progress are eligible to apply provided that they will have fulfilled all of the baccalaureate requirements (including degree conferment) before matriculating.

4. 1,000 hours of direct patient care experience are required.

These hours must be completed at the time the application is submitted. Updates post-submission of application are not accepted and will not be considered.

Any hours credited as part of a training, educational, or internship program or shadowing healthcare practitioners will not be considered direct patient care experience.

You may find examples of accepted direct patient care experiences below. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and if a position is not listed, it does not necessarily mean that the experience would not be accepted.

Acceptable Direct Patient Care Experiences

5. Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required and must be submitted through CASPA. Please do not submit additional recommendations on the GW supplemental application. Letters of recommendation are strongly recommended to come from:

  • 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 cannot be from family members or friends.

6. Official Transcripts

Arrange for CASPA to receive an official transcript from every college and university (domestic and international) you have 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 Test

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 (PTE) Academic or the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The following are the minimum scores for admission consideration:

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

TOEFL Code: 5246

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

  • They are a citizen of countries where English is the official language (as identified by GW ISO list of Exempt countries) OR
  • They hold at least 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 have completed their degree outside of the United States must follow all admissions requirements.

  • 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 at least a bachelor’s degree. If the credentialing agency does not determine the education to be equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, the applicant must complete a bachelor’s degree.
  • All prerequisite coursework must be completed within the United States regardless of whether the applicant has already completed it in another country or within a graduate degree. International coursework will not be acceptable for prerequisite requirements.  There are NO exceptions to this policy.
  • Advanced standing or transference of credits will not be offered to any applicant.
  • International applicants may have to take an English Language Test. Please review the exceptions listed above.
  • Applicants must complete all entrance requirements listed below and follow the same application process through CASPA and complete the GW Supplemental Application.

Additionally, all international applicants must review the information regarding Visa Requests and Financial Certification.

9. Clinical Training Sites

The provision of securing clinical sites or preceptors is not an admission or program requirement. The program abides by standards (A3.03) of our accrediting body, ARC-PA, that prospective and enrolled students must not be required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors.

Linkage Program

The GW PA Program has a linkage agreement with the GW Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medicine (PBPM) Program.

The GW Post-Baccalaureate program is a one-year certificate program that provides many of the basic science courses necessary for medical or PA school admission. The GW PA program has a linkage with the PBPM program through which up to two (2) post-baccalaureate students are provided admission to the GW Physician Assistant Program each year upon successful completion of the program and satisfaction of the additional requirements.
 

Linkage Program Requirements

  • The applicant must have an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited US or English speaking Canadian university. Any prerequisite coursework must be completed within the past 10 years of application submission with a minimum GPA of 3.5.
  • The applicant must have already taken one semester of undergraduate or graduate-level psychology with an earned grade of B- or better.
  • The applicant must have 1000 hours of direct patient care at the time of the application. The PA program admissions committee will determine whether experiences qualify as direct patient care.
  • The applicant must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 during the PBPM program.

Entrance Requirements

Students admitted to the PA or PA/MPH programs must also complete the following:

1. Review the Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening Policy

2. Review the Physician Assistant Program Technical Standards.

3. Document Submission:

Accepted students will be required to submit the following at matriculation:

  • Immunization records, including PPD (within the past 12 months) and evidence of Hepatitis B, MMR, Varicella, Diphtheria, Polio, Tetanus, COVID-19, and annual flu vaccination.
  • Copy of physical examination
  • Copy of health insurance
  • Copy of criminal background check
  • Copy of drug screening test

4. Minimum Technology Requirements

Candidates that are accepted into the program must meet the following technology system requirements (i.e. laptop or tablet):

Back to Top

    Selection for Interview and the Interview Process

    All interviews are conducted virtually. The interview process grants selected applicants the opportunity to meet prospective classmates, current students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Each interview day includes: multiple mini-interviews, a program overview, and a Q&A session with faculty.

    The interview process is designed to evaluate candidates' communication skills, maturity level, match to the GW mission, and their understanding of the role of the PA in today's health care environment. Please see the Interview Process section of the FAQ page for more information on the interview process and logistics.

    Interviews are held September through December.

    Interview invitations are sent to applicants' personal email addresses. Please be advised that it is possible that the invitations are filtered to the spam folder.

    You can find more information on the demographics, experiences, and academic statistics of our matriculated students here.

    Back to Top

    Advanced Placement Policy

    AP credits are only accepted as replacement for the Psychology prerequisite.