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Application FAQs

I am ready to apply, but am still working on my prerequisites. How many courses may be pending at the time of application?

Up to two courses may be pending at the time of application via CASPA. However, all courses must be completed by September 1. Note: The application deadline is July 15. Updated official transcripts should be sent to CASPA in a timely manner to update your application. It is recommended that coursework be completed within five years of the class start date.

When is the deadline for prerequisite coursework to be completed?

All prerequisite courses must be completed by September 1.

Do you accept online and hybrid courses? 

For the 2020 Application cycle only: If you are unable to take ‘in seat’ labs that were scheduled to be taken in the spring or summer of 2020, we will accept online labs. The one caveat is that you are to have completed at least one ‘in seat’ lab, as required for our prerequisite coursework

Is a laboratory required for the Anatomy prerequisite?

Yes, the required 4-credit hours of Anatomy would need to include a one-credit laboratory (lab may not be online).

Can I take Anatomy and Physiology as a combined course?

Yes, Anatomy and Physiology may also be taken as a combined two-sequence course for a minimum total of 6-credit hours, including a one-credit lab.  If no lab is included, a one-credit anatomy lab would need to be taken in addition to the course (lab may not be online).

I am ready to apply, but I have not completed the minimum shadowing or health care hours yet. Can you still consider my application while I work on getting these complete?

Beginning in 2017, verification of shadowing and healthcare experience must be included with your completed application. The most competitive applicants have demonstrated completion of these items beyond the minimum requirements at the time of application submission. Therefore, we will not consider an application complete without the minimum documentation. No additional documentation will be accepted after your application is submitted through CASPA.

I work alongside physician assistants often at my job. Does this count as shadowing/observation?

Yes. Please give us your best estimate of hours, and provide the contact information of at least one PA for verification in the ‘Experiences’ section in CASPA under ‘Shadowing Experience’.

What is considered for the required Health Care Experience hours?

A minimum of 1,000 hours of Health Care Experience (HCE) is required upon application.

See the Cohort Composites page for the actual averages of HCE hours that each admitted cohort had in the past.

Healthcare Experience should consist of volunteer or paid work experience involving direct patient contact or interaction.

Qualifying roles can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Degree-specific roles: Dietitian, Nurse/RN, Athletic Trainer
  • Certification-required roles: Medic, CNA/Medical Assistant, Anesthesia Tech, EMT, Patient Care Tech, Home Health Aide, etc.
  • Other roles that may not require certification: Opthalmic Tech, Nurse Aide, PT Aide, Rehab Aide, ER Tech, Phlebotomist, Medical Scribe, Pharmacy Technician, Dental Assistant

The following roles do not count as Health Care Experience:

  • Clerical position in a medical setting
  • Sports coach
  • Laboratory technician
  • Veterinary technician
  • Personal Trainer
  • Babysitter
My GPA does not meet the minimum. I believe my total GPA does not reflect my true ability. Will you consider an exception?

We encourage you to address previous academic shortcomings in your personal statement. In order to be a competitive applicant, our minimum requirement for science GPA and overall GPA is 3.15.

When will I hear about the status of my application?

We begin screening your application once it enters “verified” status by CASPA. Sometimes, it can take up to 4 weeks to be verified in CASPA. We will consider your application “complete” once we have received all required materials, including official GRE scores, Health Care and Observation Verification, and three letters of recommendation. At this time, we will let you know by e-mail that your application is complete and under review. If your application appears to be missing any items, or does not meet our minimum criteria, we will contact you as well. Once your application is complete, you may be notified at any time during the application cycle if you are invited for an interview. Our interviews will begin in June.

What happens after I interview?

The admission committee meets monthly. While some offers of admission are extended early, others may be extended at any time during the interview cycle, regardless of how early you interview. Due to our rolling admission process we will make our best effort to notify you of decisions in a timely manner. All notifications of final decisions will be sent by the end of January.

What is meant by rolling admission?

Rolling admission means that we begin reviewing applications and offering interviews as the applications are completed. We do not wait until all applications are submitted before beginning to review them all. This does not guarantee an interview to those who apply early, nor does it rule out those who apply closer to the deadline. However, it is to your advantage to apply early with a complete and competitive application. It is possible that we may have filled all interview spots before the application deadline.

Can I meet with faculty to review my application or discuss my candidacy?

At this time we are unable to offer individual meetings or discussions with faculty to review application materials. CASPA application materials received by the August 1 deadline will be reviewed equally by the committee once submitted and complete. We recommend having your application reviewed by a pre-health advisor or trusted mentor. We also encourage all prospective applicants to attend one of our information sessions offered at various times during the year, at which time you are encouraged to meet and speak with faculty. Please check our website periodically for dates.

Do you accept international medical graduates?

We will consider any applicant who meets the minimum criteria, which must include a bachelor's degree at an accredited institution within the United States. No exceptions can be given for work experience or international degrees. Individual coursework taken outside of the U.S. will be considered on a case-by-case basis (i.e. studying abroad).

Curriculum FAQs

How is anatomy taught in your program?

Anatomy is taught over a semester in lecture and lab formats. Anatomy lab is approached in a hybrid manner: half of lab time is spent studying virtual cadavers with the Anatomage Table, and half the time utilizes traditional cadaveric study.

Housing Resources

Graduate housing is not available through Dominican University. Students may contact Residence Life at or (708) 524-6217 to find rental units or leasing agents for options in the Oak Park/River Forest area. Listed below are graduate housing options:

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.