To be considered for admission, students must have completed or be in the final stages of completing a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college/university or appropriate international institution. Students may apply while their degree is in progress; however, 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.
Temporary Accommodations During Social Distancing
The director and faculty of the Physician Assistant Program at CMU understand that the COVID-19 outbreak has created a series of challenges for potential applicants. Because of the current unique circumstances, we are willing to consider certain exceptions to our existing application requirements for the 2020 application cycle. We will continue to monitor the effect of the pandemic on students applying at future dates and make decisions on a year-to-year basis.
Credit/No Credit vs. Grade, policy for classes taken Winter/Spring 2020 only
If your institution is offering the option to choose either credit/no credit or a grade, we will require you to take the grade option for all classes. In the case of prerequisite courses, if your school is granting credit for work that would have received lower than a 3.0 (B) grade, we will only accept that course if your professor is willing to provide signed documentation that you would have gotten a B or better if they had been allowed to give you a grade in that class.
If you were unable to complete a required lab due to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent restructuring of classes to the online format, we will not reject your application based solely on that fact, but instead will make judgments on a case-by-case basis.
Direct Patient Care Hours
The PA program at CMU is not changing the existing requirements for direct patient care hours. Every applicant must have accrued and documented at least 500 paid hours of direct patient care at the time of application.
Beginning with the 2020 application cycle, all applicants to CMU's PA program are required to take the PA-CAT (Physician Assistant College Admission Test). The PA-CAT is a specialized test designed to measure applicant knowledge in key prerequisite science subjects typically required for PA school. You will now be able to take the PA-CAT online rather than in a testing center. For information and to register, visit their website.
Prerequisite Course Requirements
- We allow up to two outstanding prerequisite courses at the time of application, however, those classes must be completed successfully by December 31 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.
* See note above for current policy.
List of Prerequisite Courses
See course equivalencies from other institutions.
|PA Prerequisite||Accepted course(s) at CMU|
|Anatomy lecture and lab||BIO 337 OR HSC 214|
|Physiology lecture and lab||BIO 392 OR HSC 215|
|Microbiology (with or without lab)||BIO 208 OR BIO 320|
|Biochemistry (with or without lab)||CHM 421 OR CHM 425|
(from birth through old age)
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.
Direct Patient Care Experience
A minimum of 500 hours of paid experience involving direct patient care hours is required. It is recommended that students obtain direct patient care hours in different medical settings, e.g., hospice, assisted living facility, hospital, underserved areas/countries, etc. To obtain strong direct patient care experience, students are encouraged to obtain certification credentials, e.g., paramedic, nurse's aide, phlebotomist, medical assistant, radiologic technologist, EKG tech, EMT (I or Basic), LPN, dental hygienist, or clinical laboratorians (the student MUST be performing phlebotomy, assisting with bone marrow aspirations/biopsy and must have direct patient interaction, not just with their specimens), and behavioral health technician. All required direct patient care hours must be completed by the application deadline.
Waiver of Courses and Transfer Credit(s) for Courses
An applicant may request a waiver of the six-year requirement or grade requirement for a prerequisite course under either or both of the following conditions:
The applicant documents a continuous employment history that demonstrates knowledge and continued application of the course content.
Within the last six years, the applicant received a B grade or better in a more advanced course in the same subject.
There is no specific form for waiver requests. An applicant requesting a waiver should send an email explaining why they qualify for the waiver and attach documents to verify the statement to CMU's Director of Graduate Health Professions Admissions, Clint Fitzpatrick.
Northern Michigan University (NMU) Articulation Agreement
Statement of Agreement: The PA Program of Central Michigan University (CMU) agrees to admit up to four (4) suitably-qualified and duly-enrolled full-time students from Northern Michigan University (NMU) to the PA Program who satisfy all of the criteria.
Interviews for Central Michigan University Students
Applicants with at least a 3.25 undergraduate GPA who have earned or will earn a baccalaureate degree from Central Michigan University, and who meet all other application and admission requirements, will be offered an interview.
An international student is defined as a student who is not a United States citizen or a student who has educational credentials from outside the United States. All applicants with non-U.S. post-secondary credentials must submit an official course-by-course evaluation of their academic qualifications to CMU and CASPA using one of the following agencies: WES (World Education Services), ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators), SpanTran, or Josef Silny & Associates. This evaluation will be used to determine eligibility for admission to CMU. International applicants must meet all other eligibility requirements for admission to CMU's PA program.
Note: Canadian students are excluded from providing a foreign evaluation; however, official transcripts must be sent to CASPA.
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Scores
All students who are not citizens of a TOEFL-exempt country must submit a satisfactory test score on the TOEFL or IELTS. Score requirements: 79 or 6.5 on the TOEFL/IELTS for regular admission, 61-78 or 5.5 and 6.0 for conditional admissions. For more information on TOEFL requirements, please reference the Graduate Bulletin.
The Technical Standards set forth by the PA program 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 the program. If a student is unable to meet these standards with or without reasonable accommodations at any time, the student may be asked to leave the program.
Students of the 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.
Students are required to notify the program if any changes arise that will prohibit them from meeting these technical standards. The Student Disability Services Office will evaluate a student who states he/she will require accommodations to meet the program's technical standards and will confirm that the stated condition qualifies as a disability under applicable laws. The University will evaluate whether the accommodation 1) is reasonable and 2) would jeopardize patient safety or the educational process of the student or the institution, including all coursework and internships deemed essential for graduation. The Student Disability Services Office and the PA program will jointly decide what accommodations are suitable and/or possible.
If you have questions, need additional information, or would like to schedule a visit, please email the CHP Graduate Admissions Office or call 989-774-1730. Please include your name, telephone number, and the best day(s)/time(s) to reach you.