Application Process

We are here for support throughout your application. If you plan to apply to PA school someday and have completed the Orientation course, please meet with us to talk about your plans to apply. And please ask about our detailed Canvas course on Applying to PA Programs. We will be happy to add you! 


Application Timeline

Below is a rough timeline for preparing your application.  Click on the arrows for more information. We have also prepared a guide for completing the CASPA.  


Fall before you apply

Research Schools. For a searchable directory of programs, visit the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA).  For tips on choosing schools, visit our Selecting Schools page.

Make a list of your activities outside of class.

  • Hours, dates, locations, contacts
  • What your role was, what you learned

Identify possible letter writers.  


Spring before you apply

Study for the GRE. Most physician assistant programs require the GRE. To hear how other students have prepared, visit our exam tips page.

Write personal statement. For tips on writing your personal statement, check out our Personal Statement page.

Request letters of recommendation. Most PA schools require 2-3 letters of recommendation.  We recommend that at least one come from a health care professional (preferably a PA) and one from a faculty member. For tips on how to build relationships with faculty, visit our Letters of Recommendation page.


Summer that you apply

Complete the centralized application. Most physical therapy programs use a centralized application called CASPA, which opens in April. CASPA costs $175 for the first school and $50 for each additional program. Once you submit the application, you will need to monitor the progress of your application to make sure that all of your materials arrive and are verified. The centralized application includes:

Complete school-specific supplemental application. Some, but not all, physician assistant programs have a supplemental application. Beginning in 2015-2016 application cycle, schools will be able to move their supplemental applications into CASPA. Check individual schools’ requirements to confirm how and when to submit the secondary application.

Interview. Some, but not all, physician assistant programs have finalists interview. For help preparing, visit our Interview Preparation page.