Physician Assistant Program
Standard admission to the graduate level MMS Program is granted through a competitive process. Please visit the Application Process Page for details on application submission and timetable.
Successful completion of the following prerequisite courses or equivalents:
Course Semester Hours
College chemistry I and II (two semester sequence)
Organic chemistry I and II (two semester sequence)
Biological and Life Sciences Semester Hours
Microbiology (medical micro with lab preferred)
Vertebrate or human anatomy*
Vertebrate or human physiology*
Genetics: recommended for those submitting applications in 2015 and required for those submitting applications in 2016. For those applying in 2015 Molecular Biology or upper level Biochemistry may be substituted.
*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 seven years of application.
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 considered competitive health care experience and we often cannot count these towards the 500 hour minimum.
A baccalaureate degree earned by May prior to matriculation. 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.
The GRE is recommended and may become a requirement in the near future. GRE Code: 6629
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.
Physician Assistant students are required to obtain a criminal background check through Saint Louis University and undergo annual 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.
Additional Admissions Considerations:
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 or university
- Leadership and community service
- Shadowing and research hours
- Reapplication status
In addition to the requirements outlined for standard admission the following are required for international admission:
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 Health Science is 0601.Graduates of an international college or 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 Committee on Admissions selects students for the Program based on the overall strength of the applicant relative to the applicant pool. The following areas are of primary consideration:
- Academic potential as demonstrated by prior course work
- Motivation for and familiarity with the role of the PA in health care and society
- Quality and duration of prior health care experience
- Ability to make sound professional and personal judgments
- Compassion and empathy
- Interpersonal skills
- Excellent oral and written communications skills
- Capacity for performance of technical functions and tasks required of a PA
- Alignment with the mission of the SLU PA Program
- Potential for success in SLU Program and PA profession
Typical Class Profile
Characteristics of the typical physician assistant class at Saint Louis University (based upon the Class of 2013) are as follows:
Class of 2015
Class of 2014
Class of 2013
Class of 2012
Class of 2011
Class of 2010
|Average Age||26.4 years old||27 years old||27.3 years old||25.5 years old||27 years old||25 years old|
|Age Range||22 - 37||22 - 58||22 - 50||22 - 35||22 - 51||22 - 42|
|Male||31 percent||26 percent||34 percent||21 percent||23 percent||15 percent|
|Female||69 percent||74 percent||66 percent||79 percent||77 percent||85 percent|
|Missouri Residents||57 percent||43 percent||40 percent||35 percent||37 percent||38 percent|
|Average Healthcare Hours||3,470||3,530||2,400||3,750||5,000+||1,942|
Employment during the 27 months of the PA Program is discouraged. Class attendance is mandatory and students should expect to be in classes or studying on campus from at least 8am - 6pm daily. There is additional study and coursework required in the evenings and on weekends.
Advanced standing, advanced placement or credit for experiential learning is not available for any component of the program or any course within the curriculum of the Physician Assistant Program. Additionally, transfer to SLU from another physician assistant program cannot be accommodated.