Physician Assistant Studies Department

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Physician Assistant Program is very competitive. Our admissions practices reflect our goal to select candidates that have the best chance of success in meeting the program’s goals. Each applicant is evaluated on his/her individual merits. Decisions are based on academic record, references, personal statement, on-campus interview, level of healthcare experience, and non-cognitive traits.

Statistics from the Class of 2021:

  • Completed Applications Received - 501
  • Applicants Accepted - 51
  • Average Overall GPA – 3.47
  • Average Science GPA – 3.35
  • Average Patient Contact Hours – 2061

Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA)

Students will apply to the program via a centralized application system operated by the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applications will be accepted through CASPA beginning in April and will close on January 15, 2020, for the fifth cohort starting in May 2020.

Please make sure the following has been completed by January 15, 2020:

Minimum of 500 clinical hours of direct, hands-on patient care
Minimum grade of "C" or better in the following courses:

  • Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab (4 credits)
  • Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab (4 credits)
  • General Biology I with Lab (4 credits)
  • General Biology II with Lab (4 credits)
  • General Chemistry I with Lab (4 credits)
  • General Chemistry II with Lab (4 credits)
  • Microbiology with Lab (4 credits)
  • Organic Chemistry I with Lab (4 credits)
  • Biochemistry I (3 credits - lab not required)*
  • Statistics (3 credits)

*Second semester of Organic Chemistry may be substituted

**Courses completed on a quarter or unit system will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

***We do not accept Pass/Fail courses without a grade. 

Degree Prerequisite

A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution or an equivalent institution must be awarded prior to matriculation into the program. A baccalaureate degree is a minimum requirement. Therefore, a master's or doctorate-level degree awarded in lieu of a baccalaureate degree will meet this requirement.

Required Course Prerequisites, including applicable labs, to be completed by CASPA's January deadline:

  • Anatomy & Physiology I & II: 8 credits
  • General Biology I & II: 8 credits
  • General Chemistry I & II: 8 credits
  • Microbiology: 4 credits
  • Organic Chemistry: 4 credits
  • Biochemistry: 3 credits - lab not required (*Second semester of Organic Chemistry may be substituted.)
  • Statistics: 3 credits

The academic standard for admission is a 3.0 GPA overall, combined with a 3.0 GPA for science courses. All of the above courses must be completed with grades of "C" or above. Please note that a "C-" will not be accepted. All prerequisites must be completed prior to the CASPA application cycle closing on January 15, 2020.

Submission of:

  • Official score report of MCAT or GRE within the last 5 years (Marist code: 7412 for CASPA)
  • TOEFL score (if high school graduate of a non-English speaking country)
  • If you have attended any schools outside of the United States, please provide a course-by-course WES evaluation. However, Canadian schools that provide English transcripts are NOT considered foreign. Please see the U.S. and English Canadian Transcripts section for how to report your work.

Letters of Reference

Three letters of reference must be received in order for an application to be complete. At least one reference should be from a health care professional associated with the applicant's direct patient care experience.

Pre-Admission Clinical Experience

Clinical experience that includes direct patient care is required. In order to be considered, an applicant must have a minimum of 500 hours of hands-on patient care experience by January 15, 2020. Examples include, but are not limited to, EMT, paramedic, nurse, medical assistant, CNA, ER tech, physical therapy aide, phlebotomist, etc. Experiences such as "shadowing," laboratory testing with no patient contact, non-clinical research, lifeguard, or clerical work are not accepted as clinical hours.

Clinical experiences with higher levels of decision-making are viewed more competitively. Please review the relevant examples in our pre-admission clinical experience document.

Note: meeting the pre-requisite courses and the minimum number of clinical hours does not guarantee an interview or acceptance into the program.

Prior to matriculation, the following submissions are required:

  • Official transcripts
  • Background check
  • Health packet
  • BLS certification
  • Health insurance


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Accreditation Status

*The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Marist College Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Marist College. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

The final provisional visit will occur October 2019, with a decision regarding full accreditation to be made in March 2020.

Updated: 7/9/2019