Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Admission to the PA Program is competitive and multifaceted. The screening of applicants consists of prerequisite coursework, minimal overall and science GPA, and a graduate application, references, a personal statement, shadowing hours, and an in-person panel interview.  All in-person activities may be changed to remote when public health policy requirement are updated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Accreditation standards require that admission criteria into a PA program are established by the PA Program faculty; they also include the Technical Standards for Admission developed by the PA accrediting agency, the Accreditation Review  Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. Listed below are the admission criteria required for entry into the program.

  1. Completed Admission Application and application fee.
  2. Official transcripts from all institutions attended.
  3. Completion or evidence that a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university or college  will be completed prior to submission of application.
    1. Cumulative science pre-requisite GPA minimum 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
    2. Overall Cumulative GPA minimum 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
    3. Successful completion of all pre-requisite coursework with a minimum of a "C" or better.
    4. Applicants who have not earned their prior degree in the USA, Australia, Canada (English-language provinces), United Kingdom, New Zealand, or South Africa must provide proof of English proficiency in one of the following ways:
      1. A minimum score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of 88 (iBT).
      2. A minimum score on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of 6.5.
      3. A minimum score of 110 on the Duolingo English Test.
  4. Three letters of recommendation assessing the applicant’s ability to be a physician assistant. We recommend that one be from a practicing MD/DO/PA and one be from a college professor or supervisor.
  5. Shadowing is recommended but not required. Shadowing for 20 or more hours should be documented on the Shadowing Verification Form.
  6. Personal statement: Not to exceed 5,000 characters describing your personal goals in becoming a physician assistant.
  7. Copy of DD-Form 214, military identification, or active orders. This is for Military Veterans or Active Personnel only who are applying to the program.
  8. Meet the technical standards which are the abilities and skill that a student must possess in order to complete the program and are essential for clinical practice as a licensed PA. 
  9. A panel interview: After initial assessment and screening of applications, a portion of selected applicants will be invited to interview on the University of La Verne main campus. Recent graduates with a degree from the University of La Verne as well as Veterans of the United States Military  who meet the admission criteria will be guaranteed an interview.


Prerequisites Course Work

(credit hours are semester units)

Human Anatomy with lab 4
Human Physiology with lab4
General Biology with lab4
General Chemistry with lab I 4
General Chemistry with lab II4
Microbiology with lab 4
General Education
English Composition I4
English Composition II4
Speech Communication2
Philosophy or Religion or critical thinking3
Psychology: general, developmental or abnormal3
Sociology or Anthropology3
Statistics or Bio-statistics3
Medical Terminology (one course)

Recommended Prerequisite Coursework

Creative and Artistic Expression3
History of Fine Arts3
  • Anatomy, Physiology, and all non-science prerequisites must be completed by December 31 of the year prior to when you plan to enter University of La Verne’s PA Program. No exceptions will be made.
  • Human Anatomy  with lab, Physiology with lab, and Microbiology with lab must have been completed within 7 years of the cohort start date to ensure recent knowledge in the subject area. 
  • Human Anatomy with lab, Physiology with lab, Chemistry with lab and Biology with lab and Microbiology with lab must not be taken online or correspondence format. They must have a lab. The program wants to ensure that all students have tactile experiences in using laboratory equipment.

Technical Standards

The candidate for the PA program must possess ability, aptitude and skills in the following areas as established by the PA profession: observation, communication, motor, intellectual, behavioral and social.

  1. Observation: The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences, visual presentations in lectures and laboratories, laboratory evidence and microbiologic cultures, microscopic studies of microorganisms, and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A candidate should be able to observe a patient accurately and completely at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation and is enhanced by a sense of smell.
  2. Communication: A candidate should be able to speak, to hear, and to observe patients in order to elicit information, perceive non-verbal communication, describe changes in mood, activity and posture. A candidate should be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech but reading and writing. Communication in oral and written form with the health care team must be effective and efficient.
  3. Motor: Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients through palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate should be able to carry out basic laboratory tests (urinalysis, CBC, wet mount, gram stain, etc.) carry out diagnostic and therapeutic procedures (phlebotomy, venipuncture, placement of catheters and tubes), and read ECG’s and X-rays. A candidate should have the motor functions sufficient to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment for patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of a physician assistant are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the administration of intravenous medications, the application of pressure to arrest bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, the suturing of simple wounds and the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers. Such skills require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
  4. Intellectual: Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of PA’s requires all these abilities. The candidate must also be able to comprehend three dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.
  5. Behavioral and Social Attributes: A candidate should possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients. Candidates should be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads, and to function effectively under stress. They should be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainty inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the Admission and education processes.

Application Timelines

Application Deadlines for Fall 2024

  • Application Available: April 2023
  • Priority Application Deadline: August 1, 2023
    • Applicants who meet the priority deadline will be notified if they are eligible for an interview in Fall 2023.
    • Interviews for those meeting the priority deadline will be conducted in Fall 2023
  • Final Application Deadline: December 1, 2023
    • Applicants who do not meet the priority deadline will be notified of interviews between late March and mid-April for consideration. 

Decision Notifications for Fall 2024

  • Admitted and waitlisted students will be notified in early April 2024.
  • Confirmation of attendance and a deposit is due by May 1, 2024.
  • Waitlisted students being offered admission will be contacted beginning in early May 2024 and will have two-weeks from notification to confirm their attendance and pay their deposit to reserve their place in the class. Waitlist students may receive notification of an open seat as late as two weeks into the first trimester.

Program Requirements

  • All students will be required to submit proof of immunization prior to matriculation in accordance with CDC recommendations for health care providers and state of California standards, including COVID-19, prior to matriculation.
  • PA students are required to have a physical examination prior to matriculation in the program.
  • Applicants should be aware that successfully passing a background check is required for licensure in the state of California. Additionally, a background check and a drug screen may be required for clinical rotations which are required prior to completion of the Master of Science Physician Assistant Program.

Academic Progress

Standards of acceptable performance (cognitive and psychomotor) for courses are communicated to students in writing via the syllabus and orally reviewed at the introduction of the course. A student must achieve and maintain the required 3.00 semester Grade Point Average (GPA) to remain in good academic standing and graduate from the Physician Assistant Program. The required GPA is intended to promote academic excellence and clinical competence. Performance in didactic (pre-clinical) courses is commonly assessed by written exams, oral presentations and/or research papers, direct observation, and final written exams. In designated courses, psychomotor performance may be assessed by skill competency exams and small group exercises. Grades “A or B” represent passing and satisfactory. Any grade of “C” or below is not meeting program academic standards.

Student Conduct

The PA student is required to abide by academic, clinical and professional behavior policies as described in the PA Student Handbook and the University of La Verne academic policies found in the catalog. In some instances, the PA Student Handbook delineates and defines policy used in the PA program. Should a student (pre-clinical or clinical year) be arrested or convicted of a crime prior to the time he/she is prepared to enter the profession, that criminal record may have further implications for the student’s eligibility to practice. Students should immediately notify the program director if arrested or convicted of a crime. Students should be aware of state and federal or professional restrictions barring the practice of individuals with criminal records.

Advanced Standing

The University of La Verne PA Program does not give advanced standing to any applicant admitted to the PA program. No advanced placement or transfer credit may be applied toward fulfilling the physician assistant program curriculum regardless of previous foreign, domestic, graduate or undergraduate coursework. No pre-clinical or clinical phase courses will be waived and no transfer credit for any previous coursework will be permitted even though it may be similar or identical to coursework in the PA Program. All courses in the curriculum are designated as required and must be completed by every student enrolled in the program.

Leave of Absence Policy

A Leave of Absence (LOA) is a student-initiated withdrawal from all Program activities for a specific and defined period of time. Students must be in satisfactory academic standing to request a leave of absence. Students may find it necessary to interrupt their studies due to multiple variables. It is expected that all students participate in coursework as sequenced in the program. Under extraordinary circumstance, the Program may mandate that a student suspend all student activities for a specific period of time such as an infectious disease or illness, or allegations of academic or professional misconduct. Should a student require taking a temporary leave of absence, the request must be presented in writing to the Program Director or designee. Only one leave of absence will be granted during the student’s tenure in the program. Leave may not be more than 2 trimesters. Students missing any coursework during a leave of absence will be required to fulfill all course work requirements with a minimum grade of “B” and with an overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or better before advancing in the program.