Physician Assistant Program
Applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered for a class position:
- A baccalaureate degree earned by May prior to matriculation at the latest. An exception may be considered if a student will earn an August degree, has completed all pre-requisites and has 3 credit hours or fewer to complete during the summer.
- Grade point averages (GPAs): Applicants must have a science GPA of least 3.0 and an overall GPA of at least 3.0. These are considered minimum GPAs, not competitive GPAs. Average competitive GPAs are typically >3.5.
- Direct patient care experience: An applicant needs to have acquired a minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care experience by the time the CASPA application is submitted. This experience varies and can be acquired on a full or part-time basis. Direct patient care experience requiring certification and providing monetary compensation is most competitive (e.g., CNA, EMT, Patient Care Technician, etc.). Shadowing a PA is important and can enhance your application, however shadowing is not considered health care experience. Only 100 student clinical hours (obtained while fulfilling the required components of an educational program or course) can count towards the 500 hours of health care experience needed. Volunteer hours are not competitive health care experience and we typically cannot count more than 250 of these hours towards the 500 hour minimum.
- TOEFL® iBT: Applicants whose native language is other than English are required to take the TOEFL® Internet-based Test by November 1. A combined minimum score of 100 is required, along with minimum component scores of 22 - Reading, 22-Listening, 26-Speaking and 24-Writing. Scores should be submitted to CASPA and to the SLU PA Program. The SLU School Code is R6629. The Department Code for Allied Health is 0601.
- Graduates of an international college/university are required to successfully complete at least 9 semester hours of social-behavioral science courses (e.g., psychology, sociology) and 12 semester hours of upper division science courses at an accredited, four-year U.S. college or university (online coursework is not acceptable). International medical graduates with 500 hours of healthcare experience outside of the U.S. must also acquire at least 250 hours of patient care experience in the U.S. by the time of application.
- The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) is not required.
- All students who are admitted must meet certain health, immunization and related requirements prior to and during their matriculation. Specific information is outlined in the "Quick Check-PA Student Requirements" and "FAQs."
Physician Assistant students are required to obtain a criminal background check and undergo drug testing through Saint Louis University. A positive background check or drug screen could have serious consequences for the student including forfeiture of any or all clinical rotations and/or inability to complete the program. The potential to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) may also be impacted. Additionally, many state regulatory and governing organizations will not grant a license, registration or other similar professional practice document if there is a positive criminal background check or drug screen.
- Successful completion of the following prerequisite courses or equivalents:
Semester Hours Medical Terminology
College Chemistry I & II (2 semester sequence)
Organic Chemistry I & II (2 semester sequence)
Biological and Life Sciences Semester Hours Microbiology (Medical Micro w/ Lab preferred)
Vertebrate or Human Anatomy*
Vertebrate or Human Physiology*
Molecular Biology, Genetics or Upper-Level Biochemistry
*Combined Anatomy & Physiology (A&P I plus A&P II, 6-8 semester hours) may be substituted for the separate anatomy & physiology courses listed above.
- All prerequisite course work must be completed by May prior to matriculation.
All science prerequisite courses must be those for science majors; if offered, accompanying laboratories are highly recommended.
Only grades of C or better are acceptable for science and math prerequisite courses; grades of C- or below are not acceptable.
Prerequisite course work should be completed within 7 years of application.
Additional factors considered during application file review include the following:
- Completion date for science pre-requisite coursework
- Total number of science hours
- Bachelor degree conferral date
- Type of college or university where science pre-requisites were taken
- Barron's ranking of college/university
- Leadership and community service
- Shadowing and research hours
- Reapplication status