Application Evaluation FAQ - Physician Assistant Studies
What characteristics would make me a competitive candidate for admission?
We look for well-rounded individuals. A history of academic success, service to the community and/or to others, health care experience, physician assistant (PA) shadowing, strong motivation to be a PA, excellent critical thinking skills and interpersonal skills are examples of characteristics of what we look for in applicants.
How important is a candidate's GPA in getting an interview and how do I make myself more competitive?
A minimum overall GPA and overall science GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale are required for eligibility of review. All required courses must be passed with a grade of “C” or better. As with other universities or colleges, higher GPA’s make a more competitive candidate. The goal is for candidates to be competitive and academically prepared to successfully handle the demands of the MPAS program curriculum.
However, the admissions committee does not base its decision solely on grade point averages. It evaluates the application packet holistically. Therefore, the quality and quantity of academic preparation, strong letters of recommendation, GRE, health care related experience, PA shadowing experience, community service activities, leadership evidence and awards are all a part of the holistic evaluation process.
Can I work while enrolled in the program?
The MPAS program is a full-time endeavor. Although employment should not impact the coursework or class attendance, we recommend that students plan accordingly with their time management skills, financial management, study time and personal balance to ensure academic success.
What are the average statistics of admitted students?
Although it varies per year, please see the entering 2016 MPAS class statistics below.
|Number of applicants in 2016||841|
|Average number of PA shadowing hours||249|
|Average direct patient care hours||3049|
|Average number of community service hours||549|
|Average overall GPA||3.45 (range: 3.03 - 3.95)|
|Average science GPA||
3.38 (range: 3.05 - 3.97)
|Average age of incoming class||25.6 years (range: 21 - 36)|
How can I strengthen my application?
- Get to know as much as you can about the Physician Assistant profession.
- Review our website and become familiar with our program.
- Be able to tell us how you would be a good match for our program.
- Take additional science courses in college and earn high marks in all the classes.
- Learn a second language, if you already know a second language, improve your language skills. Consider learning medical Spanish.
- Get hands-on health care experience: volunteer or work as a nurse’s aide; take an Emergency Medical Technology (EMT) course; shadow Physician Assistants to learn more about the profession and develop a concept of how they practice.
Where can I learn more about the PA profession?
Here are some helpful resources:
- Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA)
- American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)
- Texas Academy of Physician Assistants (TAPA)
- AAPA Youtube Channel