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Physician Assistant Studies Department

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Admission Requirements

Admission to the Physician Assistant Program is very competitive. Our admission 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, interviews, level of healthcare experience, and non-cognitive traits.

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 April 25th and must be verified by November 1, 2024, for the tenth cohort starting in May 2025.

COVID-19 Admission Policy 

Please make sure the following has been completed by January 15, 2025:

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

No time limit:

  • 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)
  • Statistics (3 credits)

Seven-year time limit (any of these courses taken before Fall 2018 will not be accepted). 
Applicants that have taken all the prerequisite coursework with a grade of “C or above” but have not met the seven-year recency requirement may take the PA-CAT ( examination to be considered in the application process. Please note that the application will not be considered until the score report is received.

  • Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab (or Human Anatomy with lab if combined with Human Physiology) - (4 credits)
  • Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab (or Human Physiology with lab if combined with Human Anatomy - (4 credits)
  • Microbiology with Lab (4 credits)
  • Organic Chemistry I with Lab (4 credits)
  • Biochemistry OR Organic Chemistry II (3 credits - lab not required)

*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. Please see the COVID-19 Admission Policy for any exceptions.

***Online courses are accepted. However, on campus courses are looked at more competitively. Please see the COVID-19 Admission Policy for any exceptions.

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.

The academic standard for admission is a 3.0 Overall GPA, 3.0 Science GPA and 3.0 BCP GPA calculated by CASPA. 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 January 15, 2025.

Submission of:

  • TOEFL score (if high school graduate outside of the United States, evaluated on a case-by-case basis.)
  • If you have attended any schools outside of the United States OR attended any semesters abroad, and the grades are NOT on your college transcript, please provide a course-by-course WES evaluation. This is the ONLY type of evaluation will we accept. 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. Please note, we will only review three references. One reference needs to be from a Physician or Physician Assistant and another reference must be from a supervisor associated with the applicant's direct patient care experience. Please do not submit any personal references.


Please upload a copy or your resume/CV to your CASPA application.

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, 2025. 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. Please note, we do not count any patient care hours where you were given academic credit.

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

Priority Admission

The Marist College Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program welcomes all applicants to apply. The Admission Committee has a holistic approach to recruiting a diverse cohort. Priority consideration will be given to the following applicants:
  • Current Marist students and alum
  • Veterans
  • Students who live within a 150-mile radius of campus

Prior to matriculation, the following submissions are required:

  • Official transcripts
  • Background check
  • Health packet
  • BLS certification
  • Health insurance
  • Completion of Medical Terminology

Statistics from the Class of 2024:

  • Completed Applications Received - 964
  • Matriculated Applicants - 54
  • Average Overall GPA – 3.61
  • Average Science GPA – 3.54
  • Average Patient Contact Hours – 2834

Attrition and Graduation Rates


Graduated Classes

Class of 2021

Class of 2022

Class of 2023

Maximum entering class size (as approved by ARC-PA)




Entering class size








* Attrition rate




**Graduation rate





**Graduation rate:  Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size.

*Attrition rate calculation:  Number of students who attritted from cohort divided by the entering class size.

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*The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Marist College Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Marist College. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards. 

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2030. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy. 

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at

Updated: 10/1/2020