Admission requirements

Bachelor's degree

  1. Applicants must obtain a bachelor's degree before the first day of class in May.
  2. This degree must be from an accredited college or university.
  3. The undergraduate degree may be in any field of study, although science degrees are preferred.
  4. If coursework was completed at a non-US institution,students must obtain a course-by-course evaluation of their transcripts by World Education Services: www.wes.org.  The results of the evaluation must be sent to Wayne State University. Please see the transcript evaluation guide for more information about foreign transcript evaluation.

Cumulative undergraduate coursework GPA

  1. The minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA average acceptable for consideration of admission is 3.0.
  2. Applicants may request that their last 60 undergraduate credit hours be used to calculate the cumulative GPA if their cumulative undergraduate GPA as calculated by CASPA is below 3.4. This request should include rationale for the request and must be emailed to the WSU Office of Student Affairs at cphsinfo@wayne.edu with a copy to the WSU PAS admissions email at PAadmit@wayne.edu, by August 1. Please note: Only undergraduate coursework will be used in the calculation; no graduate coursework will be used. If undergraduate courses were taken after graduation, these courses may be used in the calculation of the cumulative GPA. Use of Last 60 Credit Hour Waivers are valid for one application cycle. Re-applicants must apply for a current admission cycle waiver, as waivers do not roll over from one application cycle to the next.
  3. Any questions regarding undergraduate coursework may be directed to cphsinfo@wayne.edu.

Prerequisite coursework GPA

  1. The minimum prerequisite coursework GPA average acceptable for consideration of admission is 3.0.
  2. All prerequisite coursework must be undergraduate courses and grades must be a "B" (3.0) or higher.  
  3. All science prerequisite coursework (human anatomy, human physiology, microbiology with lab, and chemistry courses) must be completed within six years of the time of application submission. The developmental psychology, nutrition, basic statistics, English composition courses, and medical terminology prerequisite courses are not subject to the six-year completion requirement. They may be completed greater than six years prior to the time of application submission and do not require a waiver.

*If any of the science courses were completed greater than six years prior to the time of application submission, a Six-year Prerequisite Science Course Waiver Request from the WSU PA Studies program must be obtained prior to August 1. Applicants for prerequisite science course waivers must have continuous work experience without any work gaps in the content area in order to be eligible for the waiver (such as teaching chemistry for the past 7 years or being a physical therapist for the past 9 years dealing with anatomic joints covering the anatomy prerequisite). An applicant who does not have continuous work experience in a health field or course content area will not be considered for a waiver. The waiver request must include: a) the name, course number, institution, name of the course(s) to be waived, semester/year course was taken b) a detailed explanation of why the continuous employment experience demonstrates mastery of the prerequisite course content. A detailed account of the principles and objectives and the prerequisite course content must be included, along with specific employment duties. Attach to the email your transcripts showing the grade for the course. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for waiver reviews. Do not send transcripts by mail for waiver reviews. Send the request and all supporting information to PAadmit@wayne.edu.

Example of six-year prerequisite science course waiver request

Basic Statistics, STA 2020, University of Indiana, Fall 2007
In my work as a research assistant, I am responsible for developing statistical analysis models for studies involving genomics. I currently work on 4 different projects, all of which require me to collect and analyze data. I prepare monthly statistical reports and identify all statistically significant findings for review by my team. Additionally, I have authored the statistical explanation portions of 2 published articles since 2013. I also worked as a Teaching Assistant for STA 2040 for 3 semesters while I was finishing my prerequisites at Hillsboro Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Please note that a grade of "B" (3.0) or higher must have been earned in each science course to be considered for the Six-year Prerequisite Science Course Waiver Request. Courses with grades earned B minus or less will not be considered for the waiver.

Six-year Prerequisite Waivers are valid for one application cycle. Re-applicants must apply for a current waiver, as waivers do not roll over from one application cycle to the next.

Prerequisite coursework

The following prerequisite courses must be completed by September 1:

  • Human Anatomy - one course
  • Human Physiology - one course
  • Upper Level Physiology (Must be human based & at 3000 level or higher) one course**
  • Microbiology with lab - one course
  • Chemistry - two courses required; one inorganic/general and the second course must be organic chemistry or biochemistry
  • Nutrition - one course, general human/clinical nutrition
  • Developmental Psychology - one course
  • Basic Statistics - one course
  • English composition - two courses
  • Medical Terminology - one course

** The following course can also be used to fulfill the upper level physiology requirements: exercise physiology, human physiology (BIO 3200), comparative physiology (BIO 4120), genetics, cell biology, endocrinology, pathophysiology, immunology, neurophysiology, and histology. 

Questions about prerequisite course equivalencies?

Consult the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (EACPHS) Office of Student Affairs transcript evaluation guide, and complete your transcript evaluation.

Applicants are highly encouraged to have their completed prerequisite courses evaluated by an EACPHS Office of Student Affairs advisor in order to have assurance of appropriate prerequisite coursework completion. Please use the Request for Evaluation of Prerequisite Admission Requirements form. In the left column of this page, select the Physician Assistant Studies button, and you will find the PA Studies prerequisite list. Submit the completed form, all unofficial transcripts, and additional information (transcripts, etc) to the EACPHS Office of Student Affairs at cphsinfo@wayne.edu. The evaluation of transcripts should be done early in your application process, in order to have enough time to take additional courses if needed.

Questions about whether your prerequisite coursework meets the WSU PAS requirements? Review the PA Studies Course Equivalency Guide. Email any questions regarding prerequisite coursework to the EACPHS Office of Student Affairs at cphsinfo@wayne.edu.

Graduate Record Exam

  1. All applicants must complete the General Test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within five years of the time of application submission. Exams taken prior to this date will not be considered.
  2. The examination must be taken by July 31 of the application year and the official student score sheet must be submitted to CASPA application by September 1. Scores submitted after the September 1st deadline will not be accepted.
  3. The minimum acceptable GRE scores are 285 combined verbal and quantitative and a 3.5 analytical writing score. The GRE must be taken by July 31, and scores must be submitted by September 1. Scores lower than this minimum will render the applicant not eligible for admission.
  4. Testing scores from one examination date will be considered for admission, not necessarily the most recent score. We utilize the exam with the highest scores. Also, only scores from one testing date will be considered. For example, we will not consider a verbal score from one exam, a quantitative score from another, and a writing score from yet another. All scores considered will be from the same exam.
  5. The Wayne State University Physician Assistant Program CASPA GRE Designated Institution code is: 3647. Make sure to utilize this Designation Institution Code when indicating WSU PAS as a score recipient. The Educational Testing Service will transmit official GRE scores electronically to CASPA and they will be included in your CASPA application.
  6. Questions regarding the GRE may be directed to cphsinfo@wayne.edu.

Direct, hands-on patient care experience

  1. A minimum of 500 hours (within the last two years prior to program application) of direct hands-on patient care experience in a health service environment is required. Paid health care experience is preferred due to the level of responsibility and duties afforded in these positions. Volunteer health care experience may be considered, but paid, supervised health care experience is strongly encouraged.
  2. The 500 hours of direct patient hands on patient care experience must be completed by the September 1 application deadline and must occur during the two years prior to the time of application submission.
  3. To be acceptable for admission, the direct hands on patient care experience must:
    •    require the applicant's use of medical terminology on a regular basis.
    •    require the applicant's knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology
    •    demonstrate the applicant's familiarity with medical documentation and patient education
    •    provide regular, direct hands on contact with patients in a health care environment
    •    health care experience involving a wide variety of disease states and involving all organ systems is preferred

The questions often arises, "Will my experience be acceptable in fulfilling this requirement?" and many titles of jobs are presented for consideration. We ask that you consider the above requirements to determine if your health experience is acceptable, regardless of your work title. It is preferable that applicants have direct hands on patient care experience in settings such as hospitals, physician offices, or clinics. Experience gained in homes, pharmacies, and other settings is less competitive in the admission process.

Some examples of experience not acceptable toward 500 hours of direct hands on experience requirement: PA or physician observer or shadow (in lieu of other direct hands on health care experience), non-clinical research assistant positions, student clinical experience (student nurse, student EMT, student athletic trainer, or other health care student), student "intern" experiences, candy striper or junior volunteer positions, CPR or ACLS instructor, wellness coach, wilderness medicine instructor, patient transporter, pharmaceutical representative, pharmacy technician, laboratory technician, home care aides, ski patroller, life guard, aerobics instructor, unit clerk, insurance clerk, medical secretary or other clerical positions, patient greeter, patient sitter, medical scribe positions.

Questions regarding direct hands on experience may be answered in the FAQs section of the WSU PAS website. If your question has not been answered on this site, please direct your question to PAadmit@wayne.edu.

Personal interview

A personal interview will be granted to select individuals who meet all admission requirements and have submitted the CASPA application and the WSU Graduate Application by the admissions deadlines. Applicants should seek out as much information as possible concerning the role and laws governing the practice of the physician assistant and be able to articulate this information during the interview process. Applicants can gain this information by direct observation of clinically practicing physician assistants and by reviewing the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Michigan Academy of Physician Assistants websites.

Applicants should be able to articulate their answers to these four questions:

  1. What made you decide to pursue a career as a physician assistant?
  2. What have you done to prepare to become a physician assistant?
  3. Why are you choosing to enroll in the Wayne State University's Physician Assistant Studies program?
  4. Assuming you complete the Physician Assistant Studies program at Wayne State University, what professional goals do you hope to achieve?

Completion of the personal interview does not guarantee admission to the WSU PA Studies Program. Admission to the program is competitive. All those admitted to the WSU PA Studies program have met all requirements and have successfully completed a personal interview.