Physician Assistant Studies Admission Criteria

Applicants are considered without regard to age, gender, sexual orientation, race, color, national origin, religion, political beliefs, or disability.

Applicants must meet certain health and technical standards that demonstrate their capacity to function as a physician assistant.

Admission to the Physician Assistant Studies Program is competitive. The criteria for admission involve three steps: application, interview, and acceptance.


APPLICATION DEADLINE: September 15, 2014  for Classes starting August 2015.   (Class of 2017)


All application materials are due to GVSU's Admissions Office no later than September 15, 2014.

ALL application materials must be submitted to:

Admissions Office Grand Valley State University 1 Campus Drive Allendale, MI  49401-9403


CRITERIA FOR APPLICATION (all documents must be completed and received on or before the deadline):

University Requirements

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education (must be completed by the month of May prior to the fall semester before beginning the professional curriculum)
  2. Completion of Graduation Application
  • $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived for those who have previously applied to Grand Valley State University.
  • Copies of official transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended. Transcripts must be sent from those institutions directly to the GVSU Admissions Office. NOTE:  We do not require official transcripts from Grand Valley

Program Requirements

  1. Graduate Application


  1. All college transcripts –Copies of official transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended. Transcripts must be sent from those institutions directly to the GVSU Admissions Office. NOTE:  We do not require official transcripts from Grand Valley
  • Applicants must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in EACH of the following categories:
    • Cumulative
    • Last 60 hours of coursework
    • PAS program prerequisite courses


  1. Prerequisite Coursework – A minimum grade of “C” must be attained in each of GVSU’s PAS program prerequisites.
  • Click here for the list of prerequisites and recommended courses
  • The following prerequisites MUST be completed prior to the application deadline:
    • Fall 2014 Application: Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Physics, Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry.
    • Fall 2015 Application: Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Physics, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Microbiology.
  • All PAS program prerequisite coursework and a bachelor’s degree must be completed by the month of May prior to the fall semester before beginning the professional curriculum. 
  • Five Year Course Completion. The following courses must be less than 5 years old at the time of application:
    • Human Anatomy
    • Human Physiology
    • Microbiology
    • Biochemistry
  • CLICK HERE for course equivalencies from Michigan Universities


  1. GRE scores


  1. Two recommendations from health professionals, must be submitted with the electronic Graduate Application
  • We recommend, but do not require, that at least one letter be from a practicing physician assistant. 
  • Separate letters from references are NOT required. 
  • Only TWO references are required. 


  1. Healthcare experience. Applicants must complete 500-plus hours of significant volunteer and/or work and/or observational experience in a health care environment.  This experience must be hands on patient care activities.  This information should be documented on the graduate application.  A minimum of 500 hours must be completed by the time of application.


  1. The student who feels they have highly unusual circumstances that impact their ability to meet the above criteria may appeal in writing to the PAS Admissions Committee.  Academic Request Form


  1. Students whose first language is not English should be able to speak and write in fluent English and submit the following materials: 
  • Official TOEFL test with minimum 600 score or equivalent computer based TOEFL 250
  • Original or certified original transcripts
  • Official transcript credential information (e.g. WES, ECE)
  • Transcripts demonstrating 30 hours of higher education coursework taken at an established & accredited U.S. institution.


  1. Criminal Background Check
  • If a student has a history of a criminal record or has criminal charges pending, the student needs to be aware that this may impact their ability to complete the GVSU PAS program according to Exclusionary Law.  
  • Acceptance into the program requires a criminal background check, fingerprinting, and a drug screen in order to participate in certain components of the PAS program.


  1. The Interview is a half day experience which will include:
  • Welcome and overview of the GVSU PAS program and faculty introductions
  • Individual interviews with PAS faculty
  • Written essay (or assessment)
  • Facility tour with current PAS students
  • Q & A with program director
  • Meeting with the PAS academic advisors
  • Meeting with financial aid and housing


  1. Throughout the interview day, PAS faculty will assess:
  • Motivational factors, life experiences, patient care experience, maturity, and personal characteristics that are necessary to be a successful physician assistant.


  1. The application material will be reviewed by the PAS Admissions committee and weighted based on:
  •  GPA, GRE, and healthcare experience/volunteer hours.


  1. Based on the above criteria, the applicants will be ranked and the top ranked applicants will be invited for an interview.


  1. Remaining applicants will be notified that they have not been selected for interview.



  1. Following the interview, the Admissions committee and PAS faculty will review the candidates based on the GPA, GRE, healthcare experience/volunteer hours, letters of recommendation, and the interview.


  1. Based on the above criteria, the candidates will be ranked.
  • Top ranked candidates will be notified of their acceptance into the program.
  • Alternate candidates will be notified that he/she is an alternate.
  • Remaining candidates will receive a letter of decline.


  1. GVSU PAS Alternate Candidate Policy
  • An attempt will be made to fill all vacant spots in the upcoming class
  • Alternates may be notified of an opening up to but, not including, the first day of class
  • The GVSU PAS program will NOT discuss the ranking of students within the alternate list



Important Dates for 2014-2015

Application Deadline

September 15th, 2014

Applicants Notified of Interview

AFTER mid-October 2014

Applicants notified of admission decision

January 2015

Incoming class sent informational packet

Mid-April of 2015


August 21, 2015

Classes begin

August 25, 2015


Advanced Placement

  • Advanced placement is not granted into the PAS program.
  • All students must complete the full program.
  • If students believe they have completed course work that satisfies program requirements, they may submit a letter to the program after acceptance.
    • This letter would include the official transcript of the course with the grade as well as the syllabus of record. 
  • Approval is up to the individual GVSU course instructors with final approval from the PAS program.
  • This information will only be addressed after acceptance into the GVSU PAS program.
  • This information does not pertain to high school 'advanced placement' coursework. 



Page last modified July 9, 2014