Physician Assistant Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission into the PA program, you must meet the following criteria. 

Bachelor's degree

You must have completed or be in the final stages of completing your bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college/university or appropriate international institution. You may apply while your degree is in progress; however, your degree completion and final transcripts are required prior to enrollment into the PA Program.  

Minimum grade point average (GPA) requirements

  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required at the time of application.
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point is required in every prerequisite course.

Prerequisite course and equivalencies

At the time you apply for admission to the PA program, you must have completed the prerequisite courses.  View the course equivalencies from other institutions.  The following rules apply for prerequisite courses:

  • We allow up to two outstanding prerequisite courses at the time of application, however, those classes must be completed successfully by December 31st in the year of the application.
  • All prerequisite courses must be completed within six years prior to the time of the application. Classes older than that must be retaken.
  • Credit/no credit will not be accepted for any prerequisite course requirement.
  • Advance Placement (AP) is subject to the PA Program Director's approval.
  • Knowledge-based testing does not satisfy any of the prerequisites.
PrerequisitesCMU Equivalent
Anatomy lecture and labBIO 337 or HSC 214
Physiology lecture and labBIO 392 or HSC 215
PathophysiologyHSC 411
Microbiology (with or without lab)BIO 208 or BIO 320
Biochemistry (with or without lab)CHM 421 or CHM 520
Developmental psychology (from birth through old age)PSY 220

Waiver of courses and transfer credit(s) for courses

You may request a waiver of the six-year requirement or grade requirement for a prerequisite course under either or both of the following conditions:

  • You document a continuous employment history that demonstrates knowledge and continued application of the course content.
  • Within the last six years, you received a B grade or better in a more advanced course in the same subject.
There is no specific form for waiver requests. If requesting a waiver, you should email Clint Fitzpatrick, Director of Graduate Admissions for the College of Health Professions, explaining why you qualify for the waiver and attach documents to verify the statement.

Direct patient care experience

A minimum of 500 hours of paid experience involving direct patient care hours is required. It is recommended that you obtain direct patient care hours in different medical settings, e.g., hospice, assisted living facility, hospital, underserved areas/countries. 

Letters of recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required. We suggest they be from previous employers or coworkers, and preferably medical professionals. We will accept no more than one letter from a professor or advisor. All three letters must be submitted through CASPA, in accordance with CASPA guidelines, and be received by our application deadline.


Our PA Program Admissions Committee evaluates each applicant's credentials and selects candidates for a formal interview. Interviews are held between August and October and consist of two mini-individual interviews, one small group interview, and one writing assessment. Interviewees will also meet faculty, staff, and students as part of their interview day.  Applicants who have earned a baccalaureate degree from Central Michigan University, achieved at least a 3.25 undergraduate GPA and meet all other admission requirements, will be offered an interview.

Northern Michigan University (NMU) articulation agreement

Our PA program, per an articulation agreement with NMU, will interview up to four suitably qualified and duly-enrolled full-time students from NMU who satisfy all of the criteria. 

Lake Superior State University (LSSU) articulation agreement

Our PA program, per an articulation agreement with LSSU, will interview up to two suitably qualified and duly-enrolled full-time students from LSSU who satisfy all of the criteria. 

Michigan Technological University (MTU) articulation agreement

Our PA program, per an articulation agreement with MTU, will interview up to two suitably qualified and duly-enrolled full-time students from MTU who satisfy all of the criteria. 

Technical standards

Our PA program's technical standards establish the essential qualities and abilities one must possess to achieve the knowledge, skills, and levels of competency required for the completion of the program. These technical standards are required for admission and must be maintained throughout our program. If you are unable to meet these standards with or without reasonable accommodations at any time, you may be asked to leave the program.  A student in our PA program must:

  • Have the mental capacity to assimilate and learn large volumes of complex, technically detailed information; to perform clinical problem solving; to synthesize and apply concepts and information from different disciplines to formulate diagnostic and therapeutic judgments, and to be able to distinguish significant deviations from the norm from insignificant deviation from the norm.
  • Possess sufficient postural and neuromuscular control, sensory function and coordination to perform appropriate physical examinations utilizing accepted medical techniques; possess the requisite abilities, including sufficient muscle control of the hands and upper extremities, to learn and perform common diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in an efficient fashion; to have the ability to use accepted medical equipment and instruments and to ensure safe and expeditious treatment for patients.
  • Be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues from different cultural and social backgrounds; this includes, but is not limited to, the ability to establish rapport with patients and to communicate diagnostic and treatment information effectively to patients and colleagues.
  • Be able to record examination and diagnostic results clearly, accurately, and efficiently.
  • Have the capacity to maintain composure and continue to function well during periods of high stress.