Admissions

Applying for Admission

All applicants to the Physician Assistant program must apply through the online application system CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants). In addition, applicants must submit an online GW Supplemental Application to the Health Sciences Office of Admissions.

Applicants may only apply to one program; the two-year (MSHS) or the three-year (MSHS/MPH). If selected for admission, the admission offer is only valid for the program for which the application was submitted. Applicants may not switch from the three-year to the two-year program or vice-versa.

Application Deadline

Summer Entry: October 1

The GW PA program has only one entry term. All applicants will apply by October 1 and matriculate in the Summer. CASPA applications must be "Verified" by October 1. Applicants must have their application verified (GPA calculated) by the deadline date. Applications must be completed (e-submitted, payment received, transcripts received, and two letters received) at least four weeks in advance of the deadline to ensure the application is verified on time.

Application Fee

The fee for using CASPA is based on the number of programs the applicant designates. There is an additional non-refundable GW Supplemental Application fee of $60 for either the MSHS two-year program or the joint MSHS/MPH three-year program. This fee is waived only for the following applicants:

  • GW alumni (those holding a GW degree or graduate certificate)
  • Current degree or graduate certificate candidates at GW
  • Current McNair Program Scholars (a completed Certification of McNair Program Participation and Application Fee Waiver form must be attached to your application)
  • U.S. military personnel who have been on active duty within three years of submitting their application for admission

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Entrance Requirements

1. Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university prior to matriculation into the program.

2. Minimum science and cumulative grade point average of 3.0.

3. The following prerequisite coursework from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning in the United States within the last 10 years (2016 - 2006) from date of application submission:

  • Anatomy & Physiology: One semester of Anatomy and one semester of Physiology are required.  They may be met by taking two semesters of a combined Anatomy & Physiology course.
  • Chemistry: Two semesters of  Chemistry for science majors. One semester must be either Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry.
  • Psychology: One semester of Psychology. Abnormal Psychology or Developmental Psychology is strongly recommended.
  • Statistics: One semester of undergraduate or graduate level Statistics. Undergraduate level Business Statistics does not fulfill this requirement and will not be accepted.

All prerequisites must be completed with a grade of B- or better and must be either undergraduate or post-baccalaureate coursework (with the exception of graduate level Statistics). Each course must be at least three semester credit hours or 5 quarter credit hours. Applicants may apply to the program with no more than two outstanding prerequisites (including any in progress at the time of application), but prerequisites must be completed prior to the beginning of the program. College seniors are eligible to apply provided that they will have fulfilled all the baccalaureate requirements (including degree conferment) before matriculating.

4. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within the last five years (2016 - 2011).

All applicants must submit GRE scores. Official GRE score reports must be received by GW no later than October 1 for an application to be considered for admission. The institution code for GW is 5246. DO NOT use code 5268; this is the Medical Center code.

5. 1,000 hours of direct patient care experience is required.

These hours must be completed at the time the application is submitted. Any hours credited as part of a training, educational, or internship program will not be considered direct patient care experience. An additional six months of health-related experience is highly recommended.

6. Statement of Purpose

In addition to your CASPA essay addressing your interest in Physician Assistant studies, please include a statement of purpose on your GW Supplemental Application of 250-500 words that states your purpose in undertaking study in the health sciences at The George Washington University. You should describe your academic objectives and career plans and discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application form.

7. Recommendations

Two letters of recommendation are required and must be submitted through CASPA. Please do not submit additional recommendations on the GW supplemental application. Letters of recommendation should be from:

  • Individuals who can attest to your potential as a physician assistant, preferably a health care professional and/or;
  • Academic instructors who can strongly attest to your academic ability;
  • Recommendation letters cannot be from family members or friends.

8. Official transcripts

Arrange for CASPA to receive an official transcript from every college and university (domestic and international) you attended, whether or not a degree was earned.

All non-U.S. transcripts (including those in English) must be evaluated by an accredited foreign credential agency. Evaluations are also accepted from AACRAO.

9. English Language Test

Applicants who are not U.S. citizens are required to submit official test scores for either Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Pearsons Test of English (PTE) Academic or the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The following are the minimum scores for admission consideration:

  • TOEFL: 250 computer-based or 100 Internet-based
  • PTE: overall score of 68
  • IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0, with no individual band score below 6.0

International applicants who meet the following conditions may be considered for admission without submitting TOEFL, PTE or IELTS or scores:

  • They are a citizen of countries where English is the official language (as identified by GW ISO list of Exempt countries) OR
  • They hold at least a bachelor degree from a country where English is the official language as well as language of instruction OR
  • They hold at least a bachelor degree from an institution accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency

10. International Applicants & International Medical Graduates

Applicants that have completed their degree outside of the United States must follow all admissions requirements.

  • Transcript and Degree Evaluation: All transcripts must be evaluated by an accredited foreign credentialing agency. The agency must find that the coursework is equivalent to at least a bachelor’s degree. If the credentialing agency does not determine the education to be equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, the applicant must complete a bachelor’s degree.
  • All prerequisite coursework must be completed within the United States regardless of whether the applicant has already completed it in another country or within a graduate degree. International coursework will not be acceptable for prerequisite requirements.  There are NO exceptions to this policy.
  • All applicants must take the GRE within the last five years. GRE requirements will not be waived for any applicant.
  • Advanced standing or transference of credits will not be offered to any applicant.
  • International applicants may have to take an English Language Test.  Please review the exceptions listed on the website.
  • Applicants must complete all entrance requirements and follow the same application process through CASPA and complete the GW Supplemental Application.

Due to U.S. federal government regulations, all international applicants should apply at least six months in advance of the application deadline. Additionally, all international applicants must review the information regarding Visa Requests and Financial Certification.  

11. Review the Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening Policy

Review the Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening Policies in the Health Sciences Programs Bulletin.

12. Review the Physician Assistant Program Technical Standards.

13. Submit the following:

Candidates who are accepted for the degree will be required to submit the following at matriculation:

  • Immunization records, including PPD (within the past 12 months) and evidence of Hepatitis B, MMR, Varicella, Diphtheria, Polio, and Tetanus vaccination.
  • Copy of physical examination
  • Copy of health insurance
  • Copy of criminal background check
  • Copy of drug screening test

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Selection for Interview and the Interview Process

The interview process grants selected applicants the opportunity to meet prospective classmates, current students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Interviews are typically held on Saturdays during the fall semester prior to intended entry date. Each interview day includes: a tour of GW's Foggy Bottom campus, ten seven-minute mini-interviews, and a panel discussion with current students and alumni.

The interview process is designed to evaluate each candidate's communication skills, maturity level, match to the GW mission, and his or her understanding of the role of the PA in today's health care environment. Please see the Interview Process section of the FAQ page for more information on the interview process and logistics.

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Advanced Placement Policy

The School of Medicine and Health Sciences Policy for Transfer Credit for Graduate Students states that up to 6 credit hours of course work may be accepted as transfer credit for graduate students provided the course work was completed within the past three years at a regionally accredited college or university, the course work was taken for graduate credit and did not apply toward completion of requirements for another degree, and the student earned a grade of B or better in the course. This policy can be found on page 4 of the Health Sciences Programs Bulletin.

The GW PA Program reserves the right to refuse transfer credit in part or in whole or to allow credit provisionally. The Program may request additional information or materials in making a determination regarding a request for advanced placement. The PA Program does not provide transfer credit for individuals based upon experiential learning.