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Letters of Recommendation

Three Letters of Recommendation are required. We prefer them to be from a work supervisor, a faculty member, and a physician assistant. 

Pass/Fail Grades

We will not accept pass/fail grades for any prerequisite coursework.

Laboratory Courses

For the 2021 Application Cycle: We prefer ‘in-seat' labs, but if applicants were unable to take 'in-seat' labs in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, we will accept online labs. However, it is required that applicants have completed at least one 'in-seat lab' within the past seven years from application as specified for our prerequisite coursework.

Candidate Interviews

For all selected candidates, all interviews will tentatively be performed using a ‘virtual’ format via Zoom. These virtual interviews will begin in June 2021 and will continue through the fall semester.

PA Shadowing

PA Shadowing/Observation is preferred but not mandatory, if you are unable to secure a shadowing opportunity due to the pandemic. You will be required to provide contact information in your application for the PA(s) you have observed.


The Physician Assistant Studies Program is a post-baccalaureate health professions program. Applicants must provide evidence of an earned bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university that is regionally accredited prior to enrollment.


Official transcripts must show that all prerequisite coursework meets the required attributes. 


If, during verification, a course subject is incorrectly assigned to the wrong category, or the course title does not match the prerequisite, CASPA can re-review the course title and make appropriate changes. The applicant should contact CASPA customer service at Please refer to the CASPA website for further information.


All courses within the curriculum are required. No credit is granted for pre-admission experiential learning, prior coursework, degrees, certifications or advanced training. Transfer coursework (with a grade) to meet prerequisite requirements is acceptable. AP credit will be accepted for all non-science admission prerequisites. Any required course in the sciences will need to be taken at a college-level degree granting institution.


Applicants should notify Dominican University of any current or previous enrollment in another PA Studies Program. Dominican University’s PA Admissions will request grade transcripts from the applicant’s enrollment in any current or previous PA Studies Program.


Apply for admission using the online Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) application. Following are the required criteria:

Grade-point Average

Minimum of 3.15 is required for both overall total GPA and for overall science GPA

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores

The GRE Exam continues to be a requirement and must have been taken within the past five years from date of application. No minimum GRE score is required, however strength of GRE scores relative to the applicant pool will be considered as part of the admission process. Competitive GRE scores are at or above the 50th percentile. There is the option of taking the GRE from home by contacting ETS (Educational Testing Service).

Healthcare Experience Requirements

A minimum of 1,000 hours of work or volunteer experience in a healthcare setting is required. The minimum number of hours must be attained prior to the application submission. Documentation of Healthcare Experience hours must be quantified and described with supervisor contact information in the ‘Experience’ section within the CASPA application.

Applicants are considered competitive who have significantly greater than 1,000 hours of volunteer experience, or work experience that resulted in demonstrable direct (hands-on) patient care or direct patient contact. Please see the FAQ section under 'How to Apply' for a list of some accepted positions for healthcare experience.

Averages for healthcare experience hours for each cohort admitted are posted on the PA website under ‘Cohort Composites’.

PA Observation Experience (Shadowing)

See COVID-19 exceptions above. It is preferred that applicants demonstrate their knowledge and awareness of the Physician Assistant profession through direct observation of a Physician Assistant only. By the time of application submission, applicants must have submitted the optional hours of observation (i.e. shadowing) of PAs, or an equivalent number of hours observing a PA through providing direct patient care along with a PA, if it is to be considered in their application. For example, a medical assistant or other individual who works alongside a Physician Assistant in their health care experience may count some of this time toward their PA observation hours.

Documentation of PA Observation experience must be quantified and described with supervisor contact information in the 'Experiences' section under 'Shadowing Experience' within the CASPA application.

Shadowing/Observation is not counted toward the healthcare experience hours.

Letters of Recommendation

See COVID-19 exceptions above. It is strongly recommended that students request references from the following:

  • Professor: A person who can attest to the applicant's academic preparedness for the program based on direct experience in a teacher-student relationship
  • Supervisor: A person who can attest to the applicant’s intrapersonal attributes and interpersonal communication abilities based on direct observation as supervisor of the applicant’s volunteer or work experience
  • Physician Assistant: A certified, practicing PA that can attest to your commitment, knowledge, and preparedness for the profession based on shadowing or employment experience

Personal Statement

A personal narrative submitted through the CASPA portal is required. In this personal essay, please:

  • Describe in detail your motivation or desire to become a physician assistant and
  • Reflect upon the interprofessional nature of the physician assistant's role in health care teams

Program Question

At least one additional writing sample is required by the Dominican University PAS Program through the CASPA Application portal.

Technical Standards

The Dominican University Physician Assistant Studies Program is a demanding and concentrated program that places specific requirements and demands on all students who matriculate. The minimum technical standards establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to this program to achieve the knowledge, skills and competencies of an entry-level physician assistant. In the event an applicant is unable to fulfill these technical standards prior to or any time after admission, with or without reasonable accommodation, the student will not be allowed to enter or progress within the program.

Accreditation Statement

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Dominican University Physician Assistant Studies Program sponsored by Dominican University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be September 2030. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website.

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