Admission Requirements

We Are Unable To Waive Any Of The Below Requirements For Any Applicant

Degree Requirement

  • A bachelor's degree from an 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.

  • All courses must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university.
  • As noted above, and 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 without a letter grade reported on official transcript, pass-fail courses without a letter grade reported on official transcript, and CLEP scores will not be accepted in place of prerequisites.
  • 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 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 our 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 Abnormal Psychology - with or without lab (3 SCH)
  • One additional higher level psychology course or any sociology or cultural anthropology course (3 SCH):
    If a psychology course, course must be beyond introductory or general psychology
  • One semester of English Composition (3 SCH)
  • One semester of Medical Terminology (must be at least 2 SCH)

*Up to three of the prerequisite courses can be pending completion by 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 bachelors 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 for all outstanding courses of 3.0 or higher. If only one course is remaining, that course grade must be a "B" or better to meet the 'cumulative GPA requirement for outstanding courses'.

Advanced Placement

We do not offer advanced placement or waive any

program prerequisite or course requirement.

Grade and GPA Requirement

  • Prerequisite Course 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.
  • Cumulative Overall  Science GPA Requirement:
    All applicants must have a cumulative overall Science Course Grade Point Average of 3.0 or higher. Calculated by CASPA.
  • Cumulative Overall GPA Requirement:
    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 exception to this one requirement.
  • What if my Prerequisite and Science GPAs requirement is met, but my Cumulative Total GPA is just under 3.0?
    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 undergraduate 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 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 Dr. Richards (S`~.7=/yr9lw{e$#&]#[GShlzv|^fTR`_nfjy) and request that the Program evaluate your transcripts. If approved, the Program may then recalculate your overall GPA based on your Sophomore, Junior and Senior course grades at a 4-year college or university. Courses completed at a community college will not be included in this recalculation. 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 and cumulative science grade point average of 3.0 or higher as calculated by CASPA.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Requirement

  • All candidates must submit official GRE scores to CASPA at time of their application.
  • 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.
  • GRE must be taken within five years of date of application.
  • Our GRE code for CASPA is 7413

Health-Care Related Experience Requirement*

  • All applicants must complete a minimum of 500 hours of patient contact experience by the time of matriculation with a minimum of 300 of those hours completed at time of application.
  • Volunteer and Service-Work experience are acceptable.
  • 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.

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

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 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

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.

Letters of Reference

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

Language Requirement

  • Applicants must be fully proficient in use of the English language.
  • If English is not the applicant's primary (i.e., native) language, the applicant must 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. 

Program Specific Technical Standards:

  • General abilities:
    As a clinical health science student who will be interacting with patients throughout the didactic and clinical phases of the program, the student is expected to possess functional use of their senses of vision, touch, hearing, taste, and smell such that data received by the senses may be integrated, analyzed, and synthesized in a consistent and accurate manner. A student must also possess the ability to perceive pain, pressure, temperature, position, vibration, equilibrium, and movement.
  • Observational Ability:
    Given the extreme importance of observational data in patient evaluation, the student must have sufficient capacity to effectively and accurately observe and participate in the lecture and small group classroom sessions, laboratory sessions, and patient interactions at both far and near distances, including non-verbal and verbal signals. Inherent in the observational process is the use of the senses to elicit information through procedures regularly required in physical examination, such as inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation.
  • Communication Ability:
    Given the extreme importance of effective interpersonal communication with patients and colleagues, the student must communicate effectively verbally and non-verbally to elicit and transmit information; describe changes in mood, activity, posture; and perceive non-verbal communications from patients and others. Each student must have the ability to effectively and accurately read and write, and comprehend and speak the English language to facilitate communication with patients, their family members, and other professionals in health care settings where written medical records, verbal presentations, and patient counseling and education are integral to effective medical practice and patient care. The student must communicate effectively verbally and in writing with instructors and other students in the classroom setting, as well.
  • Motor Ability:
    The student must be able to perform gross and fine motor movements with sufficient coordination needed to perform complete physical examinations utilizing the techniques of inspection, palpation, percussion, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers. A student must develop the psychomotor skills reasonably needed to perform or assist with procedures, treatments, administration of medication, management and operation of diagnostic and therapeutic medical equipment utilized in the general and emergent care of patients required in practice as a physician assistant. The student must be able to maintain consciousness and equilibrium; have sufficient levels of postural control, neuromuscular control, and eye-to-hand coordination; and to possess the physical and mental stamina to meet the demands associated with extended periods of sitting, standing, moving, and physical exertion required for satisfactory performance in the clinical, laboratory and classroom settings.
  • Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities:
    The student must be able to develop and refine problem-solving skills that are crucial to practice as a physician assistant. Problem solving involves the abilities to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures; to measure, calculate reason, analyze, and synthesize objective and subjective data; and to make decisions that reflect consistent and thoughtful deliberation and sound clinical judgment. A student must have the capacity to read, comprehend and appropriately and effectively apply information from written and electronic medical science literature and resources. Each student must demonstrate mastery of these skills and the ability to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the medical science literature and resources to formulate sound judgment in patient assessment and evaluation, and diagnostic and therapeutic planning.
  • Behavioral and Social Attributes:
    Flexibility, compassion, integrity, motivation, effective interpersonal skills, and concern for others are personal attributes required of those in physician assistant practice. Personal comfort and acceptance of the role of a dependent practitioner functioning under supervision is essential for training and practice as a physician assistant. The student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of the student’s intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment; the prompt completion of all responsibilities in the classroom setting, as well as those in the clinical setting attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients; and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and other members of the health care team. Each student must have the emotional stability required to exercise stable, sound judgment and to complete assessment and interventional activities. The ability to establish rapport and maintain sensitive and confidential interpersonal relationships with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds is critical for practice as a physician assistant. The student must be able to tolerate physically and emotionally taxing loads and still function effectively under stress; adapt to changing environments; display flexibility; graciously accept constructive criticism; manage difficult interpersonal relationships during didactic and clinical training; and learn to function cooperatively and efficiently in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical health science training and clinical practice.

Click here to visit the Powell Resource Center webpages. The PRC is Emory & Henry College's hub for Academic Support Services, including but not limited to disability services, and Counseling Services.

Successful Completion of Background Check and Comprehensive Drug Screening Test

  • Prior to matriculation, students must successfully pass a national background check and a comprehensive drug screening via our vendor, CastleBranch.
  • Students may also be required to complete a second national background check and comprehensive drug screen prior to the start of their clinical phase of training.
  • A failed background check or drug screen may preclude participation in the didactic and clinical phases of training.

Health Insurance, Immunizations and Tb Testing

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. The College, via the Institutions of Higher Education Consortium Trust, is able to offer all full-time students a health insurance plan, underwritten by United Healthcare Insurance Company at a present cost of $3194.00 for the 2017-2018 year. Students who need health insurance can enroll online at or call (877) 220-1790; alternatively, students are encouraged to check for more competitive rates via the federal government's official ACA website - (you may be eligible to enroll out of the typical enrollment period) - or the general health insurance marketplace website.

For immunizations, the Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program adheres to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Recommended Vaccines for Healthcare Workers. As 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) Documented evidence from a medical practitioner of influenza vaccination for the year of matriculation and maintained annual vaccination throughout the program, or evidence of contraindication*. Required annually.
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 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*. 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.

CDCs Recommended Vaccines for Healthcare Workers

Student Malpractice Insurance

All students are required to carry their own malpractice insurance. This is now offered at no cost via the AAPA endorsed insurance carrier.

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