Program Description

As a student in the CMU physician assistant program, you'll learn in a team environment to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to effectively care for patients. You will develop the poise and confidence required by a PA by working alongside seasoned professionals who have decades of medical care experience.

The program is housed in the state-of-the-art Health Professions Building which offers advanced learning environments and resources including a multiservice outpatient clinic, an advanced instructional wing customized to support all styles of learning, and a laboratory and research area.

Dedicated faculty coupled with a modern learning environment contribute to our students' success. CMU students regularly score in the top 5-15 percent of all students taking the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Physician Assistant program requires:

  • completion or near completion of an undergraduate degree
    - note that any CLEP exam scores are subject to the Registrar's evaluation and credit approval
  • completion of a minimum of 500 paid patient care hours
  • a minimum 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA
  • a GPA of 3.0 or above in each prerequisite
  • completion of prerequisite coursework within a six (6) year timeframe (from the time of applying to the PA program) in each of the following areas:
    • anatomy with lab
    • physiology with lab
    • pathophysiology
    • microbiology (with or without a lab)
    • biochemistry
    • developmental psychology (from birth through old age)
  • no more than two prerequisite courses can be outstanding at the time of application
  • all prerequisite coursework must be completed by December 31 of the application year

CMU Course Equivalencies

Anatomy w/Lab : BIO 337 OR HSC 214
Physiology w/Lab: BIO 392 OR HSC 215
Pathophysiology: HSC 411
Microbiology (with or without lab) : BIO 208 OR BIO 320
Biochemistry: CHM 421 OR CHM 425
Developmental Psychology : PSY 220

See our website for details on course equivalencies.

Letters of Recommendation
Three letters of recommendation are required and all three must be submitted via CASPA, in accordance with CASPA guidelines, and received by our application deadline. CASPA will process an application and deem it "complete" with only two letters of recommendation received.

The admissions committee reviews the applications and the most qualified applicants are invited to campus for interviews. Applicants are assessed on traits such as professional motivation, background knowledge, academic performance, interpersonal skills, diversity of life and professional experiences and orientation to the medical practitioner role. Advance Placement (AP) is subject to the PA Program Director's approval.

Waiver of Courses and Transfer Credit(s) for Courses

A waiver of the six-year requirement, or grade requirement, for a prerequisite course may be requested by the applicant if (1) there is a continuous employment history that would demonstrate knowledge of the course content, or (2) the applicant has a B grade or better, within the last six years, in a more advanced course in the same subject. Knowledge-based testing does not satisfy any of the prerequisites.

All waiver requests must be sent electronically to the attention of:
Clint Fitzpatrick
CMU/CHP Graduate Admissions

Any waiver(s) must be approved by the Program Director.

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.

How to Apply

See our website for Application Instructions.

Graduation Requirements

Completion of CMU's physician assistant graduate program curriculum takes 27 months. The first 15 months are spent primarily on campus in the classroom and laboratory, complemented with an off campus clinical mentorship experience. The remaining 12 months consist of clinical rotations in various medical specialties, such as:

  • primary care family medicine
  • women's health
  • pediatrics
  • mental and behavioral health
  • general surgery
  • emergency medicine


The Physician Assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)

Career Outlook

For More Information

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions
Office of Admission
Health Professions Building 1212
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
(989) 774-1730

Visit the PA program website.