How to Apply
We are committed to growing a profession that reflects the diversity of the population it serves. While we encourage and consider all applicants to our program, the Dominican University Physician Assistant Studies Program will give added consideration to qualified individuals who add diversity to the class and the PA profession. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals underrepresented in medicine, those from an environmentally and economically disadvantaged background, first generation college students, and individuals who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
The Dominican University Physician Assistant Studies (PAS) Program uses the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Our admission cycle opens in April of each year, for the cohort that will begin studies in January (Spring Semester) of the following year. All applicants will apply online using the CASPA application only; no supplemental materials are required or accepted. CASPA GRE Code: 7340
Dominican University plans to admit 30 students each year.
Final deadline for submission of your CASPA application is July 15 of each cycle. The admission committee will review applications on a rolling basis and applicants are encouraged to apply early, although all applications will be equally reviewed.
Note: our course completion deadline for prerequisite coursework is September 1.
Interview invitations will be based on a holistic review of the entire application. For all selected Candidates, all interviews will be performed using a ‘virtual’ format via Zoom. These virtual interviews will be held in June, during the summer and early fall semester. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply before our application deadline date of July 15, due to rolling admissions and the large volume of applications anticipated.
Admission candidates selected for a seat in the new class will be notified of their acceptance by phone, followed by an e-mailed acceptance letter with instructions for accepting the offer of admission. Due to rolling admission, this notification may take place any time during the admission cycle. All students will receive a final decision by the end of January.
Accepted Candidates must submit electronically a total non-refundable deposit of $1500 to hold a seat in the class. The full $1500 deposit is due within a specified time frame from the date of the acceptance offer by phone. This deposit will be credited toward the student’s tuition bill when the student matriculates.
Students selected for the waitlist will be notified by email. The student must inform the program if they would like to remain on the waitlist. Students offered admission from the waitlist will be given a shorter timeframe to submit the required deposit.
Post Acceptance Requirements
The following are required to be completed prior to the first day of class:
- Registration form, signed with acknowledgement of payment and refund policies
- Physical Examination Form (pdf), verification of TB testing and all immunity titers with lab results as listed in the PAS policy on immunizations—submitted to the Wellness Center
- Criminal Background Fingerprinting/Sex Offender (CBSO) check completed and on file in the PAS program office*
- Urine Drug screen (10 panel) completed and on file with PAS program office*
- Completion of any open items identified in the acceptance letter, including proof of health insurance
- Signed Student Handbook Acknowledgement Form returned to the PAS program office
*These will be repeated prior to the start of the second year. All screening is done at the expense of the student.
Graduate housing is not available through Dominican University. Students may contact Residence Life at firstname.lastname@example.org or (708) 524-6218 to find rental units or leasing agents for options in the Oak Park/River Forest area. Listed below are graduate housing options:
- Off-Campus Options: Visit Graduate Housing Options.
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 seven 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?
We accept online and hybrid coursework for courses, excluding laboratories, from regionally accredited colleges and universities. See the exception below for laboratories.
Lab Preferences; COVID 19 exceptions: We prefer 'in-seat' labs. If an applicant was unable to take ‘in-seat’ labs that were scheduled to be taken in 2020 or 2021 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, we will accept online labs. It is required that an applicant has completed at least one ‘in-seat’ lab within the past seven years from the class start date, as specified 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, Human 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 anatomy 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 preferred minimum health care experience hours and PA shadowing hours yet. Can you still consider my application while I work on getting these complete?
Documentation of the preferred patient care/healthcare experience hours optional PA shadowing hours to be considered, must be included in the CASPA application portal under the 'Experiences' section, at time of application submission. The most competitive applicants have demonstrated completion of these items beyond the minimum preferred hours at the time of application submission. 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’. These hours cannot count toward both PA shadowing/observation and Healthcare Experience.
What is considered for the preferred Patient Care/Health Care Experience hours?
A minimum of 750 hours is preferred for Patient Care/Health Care Experience (HCE) upon application.
Patient Care/Health Care 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: Ophthalmic 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
My GPA does not meet the minimum. I believe my total GPA does not reflect my true ability. Will you consider an exception?
An applicant that does not meet both of our minimum GPAs for overall total GPA of 3.0 and overall science GPA of 3.0, will not pass our program's initial screening. If you just meet these minimum GPAs, we encourage you to address previous academic shortcomings in your personal statement. In order to be a competitive applicant, our minimum requirements for overall total GPA and overall science GPA are each 3.0.
When will I hear about the status of my application?
We begin screening your application once it enters “verified” status by CASPA. It can take up to four weeks to be "verified" in CASPA. We will consider your application “complete” once we have received in CASPA all of the required materials including: college transcripts; official GRE scores; preferred patient care/healthcare experience hours information; preferred PA shadowing/observation hours information; 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 reviewed by our program, you may be invited for an interview at any time during the application cycle. Our interviews will begin in June and will continue through the summer and fall semesters.
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 or admissions staff to review transcripts or other application materials. CASPA application materials received by the July 15 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.
Please contact our the PA Studies Program Admission with questions at: email@example.com.
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).
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.