Admissions Processes

Rationale for Admissions Processes

It is vital for student success and contentment that a good fit exists between students, faculty, and the Program. We take great effort in the student selection process to ensure that our students are both committed to our mission and able to withstand the rigors of PA education, and can do so with as much contentment as possible. 

Our Admissions Processes:

From Application to Selection


 CASPA Application and Our Rolling Admissions Process

We will be utilizing the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). CASPA is a national, web-based application system that allows students to apply to multiple programs with a single on-line application. Admissions will occur via a rolling admissions process, allowing us to review completed applications as they are received, invite selected candidates for an on-campus interview, and subsequently make admission decisions. 

The CASPA application includes submission of transcripts, biographic and contact information, academic history and standardized test scores, supporting information, and three letters of reference.

Letters of Reference: It is important that the letters of reference be completed by individuals who have first-hand knowledge of your skills, strengths and weaknesses. References from friends, family members and relatives are not appropriate and will not be accepted. One reference must be from a physician assistant, physician, nurse practitioner or certified nurse midwife; one evaluation must be from a work supervisor; one evaluation must be from a professor.

Once we are notified an applicant's CASPA application has been completed and verified, the application will be reviewed by our admissions committee. It is our goal to notify all applicants of decisions within two-weeks of receiving the CASPA notification of a completed and verified application. Due to the expected volume of applications, the Program will not be able to meet with or speak (by email, phone, or mail) with any applicants not invited for an interview.

Our CASPA Application Opened on June 1st


Our Next On-Campus Interviews will Take Place on October 1st, 2016


Our CASPA Application Deadline is March 1st


Our Last On-Campus Interviews will Take Place in Late March or April or When the Class is Full

You can access CASPA by clicking here!

The On–Site Interview

The Program's Admissions Committee hopes to make on-site interview decisions within two-weeks of being notified by CASPA that an individual's application is fully completed. Selected applicants will be invited to join us for an interview.* Non-selected applicants will be informed by email.

*Candidates serving out of the country (e.g., in the armed-forces or peace-corps) can request a remote interview via video conference.

Applicants are welcomed to have family members accompany them to the interview session. Family members accompanying applicants can attend the Program presentation and tour, but will not be able to otherwise participate in the interview process.

 Selection Processes

It is important to understand that acceptance into any PA program is a highly competitive process. Meeting our entrance requirements in no way guarantees acceptance. Most competitive students will meet and exceed our entrance requirements.

For both the completed application and the completed interview processes, candidates will receive a numerical score that quantifies their appropriateness and competitiveness for the Program. The score is calculated via a Program specific rubric that is designed to better ensure evaluator inter-rater reliability.

As we move through our application review and selection processes, we will post informative data allowing applicants to gauge their competitiveness with previously selected applicants. Data will include such information as group (i.e., of the selected applicants combined) averages for GPAs, GRE score range, patient-care experience hours, and volunteer-service experience hours. This information will be posted on our Cohort Data section.

 Admission Decisions

The Program has four categories for admission decisions:

  1. Accepted: Candidate is accepted into the Program to begin at the next Program start date.
  2. Accepted - Conditional: Candidate is accepted into the Program but must complete remaining course and/or degree requirements (in full accordance with admission requirements) prior to full acceptance. All remaining requirements must be completed before matriculation.
  3. Wait-Listed: Candidate appeared to be a good fit for the Program but was less competitive than other candidates interviewed. After each subsequent interview session with new candidates, wait-listed candidates will be informed of their status and may be accepted into the program at that time or be continued on the wait-list.
  4. Declined: Candidate did not appear to be a good fit for the Program but is welcomed to reapply next year. 
    All declined candidates will be informed on the general reasons as to why they were declined admission and given general pointers on how to ensure a stronger application should they decide to reapply. Due to the expected volume of applications, other than as noted above, the Program will not be able to meet with or speak (by email, phone, or mail) with any declined candidates.

What Makes an Applicant More Competitive Relative to Other Applicants?

All applicants who meet our admissions requirements will be considered for inclusion in an on-campus interview. However, not all applicants who meet the minimum standards for admission will be invited for an interview. Each applicant is evaluated on the basis of her or his relative competitiveness to other applicants. 

The most competitive applicants will not only meet but exceed our admission requirements and have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Completed their undergraduate coursework at two or fewer academic institutions
  • Completed their prerequisite science coursework at a 4-year college/university in 'face-to-face' classes
  • Have no pending prerequisite coursework
  • Completed their prerequisite coursework within the last 10 years
  • Exceed the minimum required undergraduate total cumulative, undergraduate cumulative science, and cumulative prerequisite GPAs
  • Received quantitative, qualitative, and verbal GRE score percentiles at or above 50th percentile
  • Have three excellent letters of reference from appropriate sources
  • Have one or more Admission Preferences (as noted below)

It is important to note that not having such characteristics does not preclude invitation for interview or acceptance into the program.

It is equally important to note that having such characteristics in no way guarantees an interview, acceptance into the program, or success in the  program.

Admission Preferences 

The Emory & Henry College School of Health Sciences' Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program does provide admission preferences to individuals in the following categories:

  • Emory & Henry College Alumni
  • Individuals who have served their country via service in the Armed Forces, Public Health Service, AmeriCorps or with the Peace Corps (in order to receive a point award, candidates in this category must have served under honorable conditions and must provide documentation of service).
  • Long-term (>10 years) residents of Southwest Virginia
  • Students from environmentally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds (as determined by CASPA)
  • Minority applicants

Candidates will be awarded points for up to two of the above categories; these points will be added to the candidate's application score (see Selection Processes).  All candidates, regardless of admission preferences, must meet the same admission requirements.

It is important to note that the above preferences in no way guarantees an admissions interview or acceptance into the program.

It is equally important to note that all competitive applicants, including those who do not fall into one of the above categories, will be considered for an admissions interview and acceptance into the program.

Advanced Placement

We do not offer advanced placement or waive any

program prerequisite or course requirement.


Emory, Va. Campus: P.O. Box 947, Emory, Va. 24327 (map)    276.944.4121
Marion, Va. Campus: 565 Radio Hill Rd., Marion, Va. 24354 (map)    276.944.6342 ·  276.781.7200