Admissions Requirements

Application submissions for the Class of 2021 will begin April 27, 2018, and must be received by August 1st.

The Physician Assistant program will be participating in CASPA; applicants must complete both a CASPA application and the IUPUI graduate application by the August deadline. The CASPA application must be in “Complete” status by August 1st in order to be considered. This means all application materials submitted to CASPA have been received and documented by CASPA. Applicants must submit materials to CASPA several weeks in advance in order to be complete by the August 1st deadline.

In addition to the CASPA application, an online IUPUI application must be received by the application deadline. Late application materials cannot be accepted.

All applications received by the deadline are prescreened to determine that the clinical and academic prerequisites have been met as well as ranked by cumulative undergraduate GPA, prerequisite math/science GPA, GRE scores, and application preference points (see Admission Emphasis). The Admissions Committee then reviews applications. Based on this review, selected applicants will be invited to interview for the program. Final class selection is made after the interview sessions and follows the program’s admission criteria posted on the web. The most competitive applicants will likely be those that have surpassed the minimum academic requirements and have a clear understanding of the program mission and of the PA profession. All applicants will receive a written notification of the result of their application. 

Applicants who previously matriculated in any physician assistant program in the United States are not eligible for admissions into the IU MPAS program.

  • Degree Requirement

    Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in any major from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a prerequisite math/science GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale. Cumulative GPA will be calculated by CASPA and prerequisite math/science GPA is calculated based on the courses listed on the prerequisite completion form. All undergraduate and graduate coursework is included in cumulative grade point average calculations.  Applicants who are in process of completing their bachelor’s degree and will finish prior to the start of the program may apply at the beginning of the fall semester in the academic year in which they will graduate. Only one prerequisite course can be remaining but must be in process the same semester that the application is submitted. Applicants who have not yet completed their bachelor’s degree at the time of application but expect to have it completed by the start of the PA program must complete the Declaration of Intent to Complete Degree Requirements form, which must be signed by the applicant and a school official (academic advisor, program chair, or equivalent) verifying degree candidacy including the anticipated graduation date with the application. This form must be sent directly from the school to the PA Program.

    All required coursework must be documented as being completed on an official transcript from a regionally accredited United States college or university.

    A regionally accredited institution must credit courses offered through the United States military.

  • Clinical Prerequisites

    A minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care involvement occurring the United States (within the past five years) must be completed at the time of application submission.

    Direct patient care experience can be achieved either through full-time, or part-time, employment, paid or non-paid services. Applicants may apply experience either providing direct patient care in a healthcare setting or observing health care being provided. A minimum of 10 hours must be observing a practicing Physician Assistant.

    This requirement is meant to help the applicant achieve a knowledge base of the United States health care system and develop the skill set needed for the successful completion of our program; not all health care positions can or will provide the appropriate experience.  Accepted patient care hours will include the observation of assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plan for a patient.  

    Examples of Acceptable Direct Patient Experience

    Clinical experiences involving direct patient care are evaluated on an individual basis. Acceptable clinical backgrounds, including, but not limited to:

    • Internships (please specify)
    • Certified Medical Assistant
    • Medical Scribe
    • Military Medic, Corpsman or Technician
    • Nurse (LPN or RN)
    • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
    • Paramedic / EMT (only hours with patients count)
    • Patient Care Tech
    • Radiology Technician
    • Respiratory Therapist
    • Shadowing hours


    Clinical experiences NOT accepted include, but not limited to:

    • Athletic training
    • Camp or school-based experiences
    • Dental assistant/hygienist
    • Home health aide
    • International Experiences
    • Pharmacy technician
    • Physical therapy aide 
    • Research
    • Student clinical/training hours
    • Transporter
    • Unit coordinator

    Other clinical experiences involving direct patient care are evaluated on an individual basis. It is recommended prospective applicants seek approval from the Office of Student Enrollment Services for their direct patient contact hours if the student is unsure if the experiences will count.

  • Academic Prerequisites

    All applicants must complete the following courses with a grade of C or better, and a cumulative prerequisite GPA of 3.0. In addition, the applicant must have a math/science prerequisite GPA of 3.2.  GPA will be calculated by CASPA. A minimum of 3 semester or 4 quarter units is required for each course unless otherwise stated. Applicants must submit a Prerequisite Completion Form.


    • Human Anatomy (Lab preferred)*
    • Human Physiology with Lab*
    • Microbiology with Lab*
    • General Chemistry with Lab (2 semesters)*
    • Statistics or Biostatistics* (must include inferential)
    • General Biology I with Lab* (no plant-based courses)
    • Upper-Level Human Biology with lab preferred (3-5 credits)* Recommended courses: genetics, immunology, advanced molecular or cell biology
    • Organic Chemistry with Lab*
    • Introductory Psychology
    • Medical Terminology(minimum of 1 credit)


      *These courses comprise the prerequisite math/science GPA.

    Please Note:

    • ALL science courses must be for science majors
    • Online courses are acceptable EXCEPT science courses with labs
    • Dual credit courses are acceptable if recorded on a college transcript with a grade.
    • High School Advanced Placement (AP) courses will be accepted to satisfy prerequisite requirements.  The course must be recorded on a college transcript and the student must receive a score of 3 or higher.
    • For combined Human Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) classes, a full academic year curriculum is required.
    • For other Human Biology courses, genetics, immunology, molecular or cell biology are acceptable.  Plant-based biology courses will not be accepted.
    • Class substitutions that do not cover the scope or information covered in the above classes will not be accepted.
    • Students are approved to retake one prerequisite course, up to 5 credit hours, and the higher grade will be used to calculate the math/science prerequisite GPA.  Both courses will be used to calculate the cumulative GPA.  If more than one prerequisite course is retaken, both grades 

    Have a question about a prerequisite? Contact us at and include the course description or syllabus.

  • Technical Standards

    Technical Standards for Admission and Retention

    The Indiana University Physician Assistant Program faculty has specified the following non-academic criteria ("Technical Standards") which all applicants/physician assistant students are expected to meet in order to participate in the IU Physician Assistant Program and the practice of medicine.

    1. Observation:

    The applicant/physician assistant student must be able to participate actively in all demonstrations and laboratory exercises in the basic medical sciences and to assess and comprehend the condition of all patients assigned to him or her for examination, diagnosis and treatment. Such observation and information acquisition usually requires the functional use of visual, auditory and somatic sensation.

    2. Communication:

    The applicant/physician assistant student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, assess non-verbal communications, and be able to effectively and efficiently transmit information to patients, fellow students, faculty, staff and all members of the health-care team. Communication skills include speaking, reading and writing, as well as the observation skills described above.

    3. Motor:

    The applicant/physician assistant student must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers, be able to perform basic laboratory tests, possess all skills necessary to carry out diagnostic procedures and be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients.

    4. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities:

    The applicant/physician assistant student must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physician assistants, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the applicant/physician assistant student must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. The applicant/physician assistant student must have the capacity to perform these problem-solving skills in a timely fashion.

    5. Behavioral and Social Attributes:

    The applicant/physician assistant student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and others. Applicants/physician assistant students must also be able to tolerate taxing workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to a changing environment, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, commitment and motivation are personal qualities which each applicant/physician assistant student should possess.

    *Adapted from the Indiana University School of Medicine Technical Non-Academic Standards

  • GRE Score Taken in the Last Five Years

    Applicants are required to submit GRE score that has been taken in the last five years. For applicants who have taken the test multiple times, you may submit your highest score to the program. We will accept current GRE scores or the revised scores, as long as they meet the five-year rule; the choice is yours. The ETS Company will provide institutions with equivalency charts so scores can be compared for equal consideration.

  • International Applicants and TOEFL Test

    For international students where English is not the first language, the TOEFL test is required with the following minimum scores for each section:

    Writing: 24

    Reading: 22

    Listening: 22

    Speaking: 26

  • Letters of Reference

    Applicants are required to submit two letters of reference with the CASPA application. At least one of these letters must come from a practicing Physician Assistant you either shadowed or worked with.

  • Personal Statement

    Write a personal statement regarding your interest in becoming a Physician Assistant and submit it in CASPA in the “Personal Statement” section.  Evidence of plagiarism in these documents will result in an application denial and will receive no further consideration.

  • On-Campus Interview

    Based on the application review, selected candidates will be invited for an interview. Program interviews will occur in October. Participation in an on-campus interview is mandatory.

    Interviews are confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis. Candidates will be notified of their interview status by mid-September.