Admission & Tuition Info

MPAS Program Admissions/Matriculation Requirements

Below you will find all of our Admissions Requirements. Some of these are required for your application to the program, and some for matriculation into the program.

Since we have a rolling admissions process we encourage you to apply early!

For details on what makes an applicant more competitive for the program, what the interview day is like, or travel details, please see our Admissions Process page.

We are unable to waive any admissions requirements for any applicant regardless of circumstance. 

  • Please see Covid-19 Policies and Screening Procedures on the Program Info page. Scroll down to the brown tab labeled Policy for Covid-19. The link below will return you to the Program Info page.

We do not offer or accept advanced placement or waive any program prerequisite or course requirement

  • Degree Requirement
    • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution will be required prior to matriculation.

    • This degree can be from any field and does not need to be a specific science degree or pre-professional degree.

    • Applicants who completed coursework from a college or university outside of the U.S. must submit a transcript evaluation from the World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) to Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).

  • Prerequisite Coursework

    Listed below are courses required to be considered as a candidate for admission into the program.*

    • Two semesters of Human Anatomy and Physiology with Labs (4 SCH each for a minimum of 8 SCH combined).
      • If Human Anatomy and Human Physiology are taken as separate courses, both must be with labs and, combined, must provide the complete study of the anatomy and physiology of all major human body systems. Exercise physiology coursework does not meet this requirement.
    • Two semesters of Biology, each with labs (4 SCH each for a minimum of 8 SCH combined in addition to the above A&P requirement)

    • One semester of Chemistry with lab (4 SCH)

    • One semester of Biochemistry with lab or Organic Chemistry with lab (4 SCH in addition to the above chemistry requirement) - Biochemistry preferred

    • One semester of Genetics with or without lab (3 SCH in addition to above requirements)

    • One semester of Statistics or Biostatistics (3 SCH): Statistics courses within social or natural science departments (e.g., psychology, sociology) are acceptable.

    • One semester of Medical Terminology (1 SCH)


    *Up to three of the prerequisite courses can be pending completion by the time of application. If applying after December, applicants must be enrolled in any remaining courses to ensure completion of all course prerequisites prior to matriculation. Beyond the prerequisite courses, applicants can still be completing other courses leading to their bachelor’s degree but must have all courses completed prior to matriculation. Additionally, if accepted conditionally into the program, candidates with outstanding courses must receive a minimum passing grade of “C” or better and a combined cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for all outstanding courses. If only one course is remaining, that course grade must be a “B” or better to meet the ‘cumulative GPA requirement for outstanding courses’. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the SHS and PA Program has amended its policies regarding admissions to accept pass/fail grades for mandatory prerequisites in the Spring, Summer, and Fall of 2020 only. However, we suggest, if given the option, we strongly encourage students should select to have the letter grade option for their courses.


    • All courses must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university.
    • To ensure standardization and fairness among applicants, we are unable to waive any prerequisite course requirement for any applicant.
    • Any courses completed at an institution using a quarter credit system must be converted to semester credit hours using the following formula: one semester credit hour (SCH) is equivalent to .67 quarter credit hours; 1 quarter credit hour/1.5 = .67 semester credit hours.
    • AP courses, courses without a letter grade reported on an official transcript, and CLEP scores will not be accepted in place of prerequisites.
    • Although not required, the Program strongly recommends the following courses as preparation:
      • English Composition
      • Introduction to Psychology/General Psychology
      • Abnormal Psychology
      • Developmental Psychology
      • Sociology and/or Cultural Anthropology
      • Physics
  • Grade and GPA Requirement
      All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of ‘C’ or higher and all applicants must have a cumulative Prerequisite Course Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher (calculated by CASPA).
      All applicants must have a cumulative overall Science Course GPA  of 2.7 or higher.
      All applicants must have a cumulative overall Grade Point Average of 3.0 or higher for all undergraduate courses (calculated by CASPA). See below for a potential exception to this one requirement.

    As a policy, the Emory & Henry College Master of Physician Assistant Studies program does not round-up any grades, including our own course examination scores and course GPAs. This also applies to prospective applicant cumulative science and prerequisite GPAs. However, if your cumulative total GPA is below 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and specifically only for the cumulative overall undergraduate GPA, we are mindful that some students do poorly in their freshman year but then excel in their remaining undergraduate and graduate years. Here in the PA Program, we view this as a sign of academic and emotional maturity. If you are such a student, and only once your application has been completed and verified by CASPA, you may email our Admissions Committee Chair, Ms. Tracie Rhinehardt ( and request that the Program reevaluate your transcripts. It is important to understand that this is done on a case-by-case basis and the program decision regarding permitting the recalculation and the results of the recalculation are final and not open to consideration for appeal. Regardless of the outcome, all applicants must still have a cumulative prerequisite grade point average of 3.0 or higher and cumulative science grade point average of 2.7 or higher as noted above. 

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Requirement

    All candidates must take the GRE - General Test and submit their official GRE scores to CASPA at the time of their application.

    • Please note that until your GRE is marked as official in CASPA we do not acknowledge the scores.
    • MCAT scores are not accepted in place of GRE scores.
    • We do not require a specific score or score cut-off for acceptance into the program. 
    • The Program prefers a minimum of 25th percentile or higher for each GRE section to be competitive.
    • GRE must be taken within five years of the date of application.
    • Our GRE code for CASPA is 7413

    Go to ETS’ Preparing for the GRE-General Test Website

  • Hands-On Direct Patient Care Experience Requirement

    All applicants must complete a minimum of 300 hours of hands-on direct patient care experience by the time of application.*

    • Volunteer and Service-Work experience are acceptable.
    • Medical scribe activities and other direct patient care activities (e.g., medical assistant, nursing assistant, dental assistant, radiology technician, mental health counselor) meet this requirement.
    • Activities caring for a family member or relative do not meet this requirement.
    • Activities caring for a single individual (e.g., personal care attendant) do not meet this requirement.
    • Non hands-on direct patient care experience do not fulfill this requirement (e.g., pharmacy tech, unit secretary, front-office worker, shadowing experiences).

    *Unfortunately, we are not able to assist students and applicants in obtaining their healthcare-related experiences. 

    Click here to learn about our collaboration with the Francis Marion Manor Health & Rehabilitation facility

  • Shadowing Hours

    Applicants must complete a minimum of 20 hours of shadowing with a nationally certified and state licensed PA (PA-C) during direct patient care activities; must be completed by the time of application.

  • Service-Related Volunteer Experience Requirement
    • Minimum of 100 hours of community service-related volunteer experience must be completed at the time of application
    • Shadowing hours cannot be included as volunteer experience
    • Rotation/Immersion experiences required as part of a healthcare certificate/degree program cannot be included as volunteer experience

    Need to get your Volunteer Experience hours? We have some solutions.

    Check into volunteering with the Mel Leaman Free Clinic at Emory & Henry College

    Wythe Hospice of Southwest Virginia volunteer opportunities

  • Letters of Reference

    Applicants must provide three letters of reference at the time of their application.

    • One letter must be from a nationally certified and state licensed Physician Assistant with whom the applicant shadowed during actual patient-care activities for a minimum of 20 hours.
    • One letter must be from a professor with whom the student completed one or more college-level courses.
    • One letter must be from a work supervisor (from either volunteer service or paid employment).
    • 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.
    • You will need to inform those writing your letters that they must be submitted with current contact information within the letter and should be submitted on official company letterhead. Otherwise, the letters will not be accepted.
  • Language Requirement

    Applicants must be fully proficient in the use of the English language.

    If English is not the applicant’s primary (i.e., native) language, or the applicant did not complete their undergraduate coursework at a traditional (i.e., face-to-face)  college/university in which the primary language was English, the applicant may be required to submit an official score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT) as part of their CASPA application. The minimum total score needed is 90 and the minimum score needed for each TOEFL iBT section is as follows: Reading: 21; Listening: 21; Speaking: 25; Writing: 23

  • Technical Standards

    General Information

    Along with other Program prerequisites, all candidates must be able to independently, with or without reasonable accommodation, meet our Program specific technical standards of general and specific abilities and behavioral and social attributes, and continue to meet these standards throughout the entirety of their program. The technical standards have been developed in consideration of the demands of didactic and clinical training in graduate health sciences and clinical practice as a physician assistant. 

    View the Program Specific Technical Standards

  • Successful Completion of Background Check, Comprehensive Drug Screening Test, and Medical Clearance
    • Candidates and students are responsible for all costs related to the completion and submission of their background checks, comprehensive drug screens, and medical clearance form. 
    • A failed background check, drug screen, or medical clearance may preclude participation in the didactic and clinical phases of training.
    • Background Check & Comprehensive Drug Screen
      • Prior to matriculation, students must successfully pass a national background check and a comprehensive drug screening.
      • Students will be required to complete a national background check and comprehensive drug screen annually throughout the entirety of the program.
      • All background checks and drug screens must be completed through the Program’s vendor, CastleBranch.
    • Medical Clearance to Participate in Program
      • Candidates invited to join the MPAS program must have the Medical Clearance form completed prior to matriculation. The official form will be accessible by applicants once they are informed of their admission decision.
  • Student Malpractice Insurance

    All students are required to carry their own malpractice insurance for the entirety of their time in the MPAS program with a minimum per incident limit of $1,000,000 and aggregate limit of $3,000,000.


    This is now offered at no cost via the AAPA endorsed insurance carrier.

    Click here for more details regarding the CM&F Groups free PA student coverage 

  • AHA BLS (CPR and ECC) Certification Requirement

    Prior to matriculation, students must hold current certification in American Heart Association Basic Life Support (AHA BLS) and must maintain continuous certification throughout the Program (students are responsible for associated costs of securing and maintaining their certification).

  • Health Insurance, Immunizations and Tb Testing
    Health Insurance

    Student health insurance is required of all students in the PA program and must be secured prior to the first day of class and continued throughout the program. 

    Students are encouraged to check for competitive health insurance rates via other sites as well. Some useful sites include:

    • - The federal government’s official ACA website (you may be eligible to enroll out of the typical enrollment period)
    • - a general health insurance marketplace website
    • Other vendors
    Immunizations and Tb Testing

    For immunizations, the Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program adheres to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Recommended Vaccines for Healthcare WorkersAs students will begin clinical experiences on their first week of the Program, all students must provide documentation that the following immunizations and Tb testing has been completed prior to matriculation, and maintain immunizations and complete annual Tb testing throughout their training.

    Hepatitis B Series Documented evidence from a medical practitioner of a complete HepB vaccine series or serologic proof of immunity, or evidence of contraindication*. Please note the Hepatitis vaccination is a series of 3 vaccines completed over 6 months time.
    Flu (Influenza) All students are required to receive and maintain annual influenza immunization. For incoming students, proof of immunization, or evidence of contraindication*, must be received by the Fall of their matriculation year and annually thereafter.
    MMR (Measles, Mumps, & Rubella) Documented evidence from a medical practitioner of a complete MMR vaccine series, serologic proof of immunity, or evidence of contraindication*
    Varicella (Chickenpox) Documented evidence from a medical practitioner for a history of having chickenpox, varicella vaccination, serologic proof of immunity, or evidence of contraindication*
    Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) Documented evidence from a medical practitioner of TdaP vaccine within last 10 years or contraindication to vaccination*
    Tuberculosis Testing Documented evidence from a medical practitioner of negative two-step PPD testing and, if needed, negative Chest X-Ray results if PPD positive, or evidence of contraindication*. Following initial two-step PPD, one-step PPD required annually.
    Meningococcal Recommended for those who are routinely exposed to isolates of N. meningitidis per CDC recommendations. Not required by program but may be required by some clinical sites.

    *Contraindications to the above will be considered on a case-by-case basis, only with documentation from a medical provider, and must be discussed prior to matriculation. Personal/Religious reasons for declining immunizations will be considered on a case by case basis and must be discussed prior to matriculation. It is important to understand that participating in some clinical experiences may be prohibited from some institutions/practices without completion of immunization requirements.