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Physician Assistant Studies Admission Criteria

Important Dates for the 2017/2018 Application Cyle

The 2017/2018 PAS Admission Cycle is CLOSED

Application Deadline: September 15th, 2017 (for classes starting August 2018, Class of 2020)

  • Applicants may apply to the Grand Rapids OR Traverse City Campus.  Applicants are not permitted to apply to both campuses.
  • All application materials are due to GVSU's Admissions Office by the application deadline
  • ALL application materials must be submitted to:
    • Admissions Office (Grand Valley State University 1 Campus Drive Allendale, MI  49401-9403

Admissions Academic Request Form Deadline: July 15, 2017

  • Who needs to fill out an Admissions Academic Request Form: You do not need to fill out an Admissions Academic Request Form (ARF) UNLESS you have highly unusual circumstances that impact your ability to meet admission criteria.  If you have extenuating circumstances that you feel make you an excellent candidate in spite of these circumstances, you may appeal to the PAS admission committee by completing the ARF, collecting the required supporting documentation, and then submitting the materials to the PAS admissions committee by the deadline of July 15, 2017.  If your request is granted, you will have until September 15, 2017 to complete the PAS graduate application.
  • Admissions Academic Request form and supporting documentation must be received by the GVSU PAS Admissions committee by the deadline
  • An Admissions Academic Request Form and materials may be submitted via email at 

Applicants Notified on Interview: AFTER Mid-October 2017

Interview Dates:

  • November 3, 2017 (Traverse City Campus Interviews at Traverse City Campus)
  • November 10, 2017 (Grand Rapids Campus Interview at College of Health Science Grand Rapids Campus)

Applicants Notified of Admission Decision: January 2018

Incoming Class Sent Information Packet: Mid-April 2018

Orientation: August 23rd, 2018 (Mandatory)

Classes Begin: August 27th, 2018

Admission Criteria

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

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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.

Criteria for Application

All documents must be completed and received on or before the application deadline.

Applicants are responsible for ensuring they meet all application requirements.  It is recommended to check the website regularly for any changes

University Requirements

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education (must be completed by the month of May prior to program matriculation)
  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
  2. 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 an average GPA of 3.0 or higher in EACH of the following categories:
    • Overall GPA
    • Last 60 hours of coursework
    • PAS program prerequisite courses
  1. Prerequisite Coursework – A minimum grade of “C” (2.0) 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:
    •  Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, 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 program matriculation 
  • Course Completion. The following courses must be completed within the 5 calendar years preceding and including the year of application.  Example: A course completed in April 2011 will expire at the end of December 2016.
    • Human Anatomy
    • Human Physiology
    • Microbiology
    • Biochemistry
  • CLICK HERE for courses from Michigan universities that fulfill GVSU PAS prerequisites
  1. GRE scores:  GVSU code 1258
  1. Two (2) Recommendation Forms
    • Recommendation forms will be emailed to your references at the time of application submission
    • Separate letters of recommendation are NOT acceptable substitutes for the recommendation form
    • At least one recommendation form must be completed by a health care professional
    • The other recommendation form may be completed by either a second health care professional or a professor
    • Only TWO references are required
  2. Healthcare experience: Applicants must complete a minimum of 500 hours of significant volunteer and/or work and/or observational experience in a health care environment by the time of application.  It is highly encouraged that this experience be hands on patient care activities.  This information must be documented on the graduate application and the Supplemental Health Care Experience Log.  After submission of your graduate application you will be contacted by the admissions department via email and be given a link to submit your supplemental health care experience log.
  3.  Students whose first language is not English should be able to speak and write in fluent English and submit the following materials:

  • Official TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB score reports.  The minimum TOEFL score is 80 Internet-based, the minimum IELTS score is 6.5, and the minimum MELAB score is 77.  Only original score reports will be accepted.
  1. Students whose first language is not English and whose higher education studies were completed outside of the U.S. must also submit:
  • 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 and accredited U.S. Institution

Note: If there is a student who feels they have highly unusual circumstances that impact their ability to meet the above criteria, he/she may appeal in writing to the PAS Admissions Committee by submitting an Academic Request Form (ARF).  An ARF only needs to be filled out if a student does NOT meet all the application requirements and has extenuating circumstances that have either mitigated the necessary requirements (as in a 5-year course waiver) or prevented the completion of the course (extension).  An ARF expires after the completion of the current application cycle and must be re-submitted for every application cycle in which the student applies.  All ARFs are due on or before July 15 in the year of application.  NO LATE ARF FORMS WILL BE ACCEPTED.  

Criteria for Interview

  1. Candidates application materials will be reviewed by the PAS Admissions committee.  Factors used to rank candidates for interview selection may include any or all of the following: GPA, GRE, letters of recommendation, and healthcare experience hours.
  2. Based on the above criteria, applicants will be ranked and the top ranked applicants will be invited for an interview.
  3. Remaining applicants will be notified they have not been selected for interview.

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 and members of the local health care community
  • Written essay
  • Facility tour with current PAS students
  • Q&A with program director
  • Meeting with GVSU College of Health Professions Student Services academic advisors
  • Meeting with financial aid and housing

Throughout the interview day, PAS faculty will assess:

  • Motivational factors, life experiences, patient care experience, maturity, and personal characteristics that are necessary to become a successful physician assistant.

Criteria for Acceptance

  1. Following the interview, the PAS Admissions Committee and PAS faculty will review candidate application materials.  Factors used to rank candidates for admission selection may include any or all of the following: GPA, GRE, letters of recommendation, healthcare experience hours, and interview scores
  2. Based on the above criteria, the candidates will be ranked.
  • Top ranked candidates will be notified of 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
  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.

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, the course grade, and the syllabus of record. 
  • Approval is required from both the individual GVSU course instructors and 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. 

Traverse City Campus

The PAS program is the recipient of a HRSA grant which was awarded to expand the PAS program to Northern Michigan.  The purpose of the grant is to educate individuals who plan to provide health care to the Northern Michigan community.  If invited to an interview, applicants to the Traverse City campus will be required to identify their interests in medically underserved areas and highlight characteristics which would make them successful in this community. Furthermore, in addition to the general admission requirements which include GPA, prerequisite courses, letters of recommendation, GRE, and interview, admission to the Traverse City campus will also include the following considerations: previous/current residence in Northern Michigan, and current/previous connections to or experiences in Northern Michigan.

HOPE College Articulation

STATEMENT OF AGREEMENT.  The PA Program of Grand Valley State University (GVSU) agrees to admit to its Accreditation Review Committee – Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) -accredited, entry-level master's degree program in Physician Assistant Studies up to two (2) suitably-qualified and duly-enrolled, full-time students from Hope College who satisfy all admission criteria. The admission of these candidates shall occur on a non-competitive basis with respect to the applicant pool as a whole. For more information and requirements, please contact the HOPE Pre-PA advisor.