Admission requirements

  • Bachelor's degree

    Applicants must obtain a bachelor's degree before the first day of class in May.

    This degree must be from an accredited college or university.

    The undergraduate degree may be in any field of study, although science degrees are preferred.

    If coursework was completed at a non-US institution, students must obtain a course-by-course evaluation of their transcripts by World Education Services: 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

    The minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA average acceptable for consideration of admission is 3.0.

    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 and must be emailed to Robert Hellar in the WSU Office of Student Affairs at 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.

    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.

    Any questions regarding undergraduate coursework may be directed to

  • Prerequisite coursework

    The following prerequisite courses must be completed by September 1:

    • Human Anatomy* - one course
    • Human Physiology* - one course
    • Upper Level Science - (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

    *Combined human Anatomy and physiology courses will only fulfill human anatomy prerequisite requirements.  Combined courses will not fulfill human physiology prerequisite requirements

    ** Examples of courses that can be used to fulfill upper level science requirements: exercise physiology, human physiology (BIO 3200), comparative physiology (BIO 4120), genetics, cell biology, endocrinology, pathophysiology, immunology, neurophysiology, and histology. 

    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. You can also review the PA Studies Course Equivalency Guide.

    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) with the electronic form. The evaluation of transcripts should be done early in your application process, in order to have enough time to take additional courses if needed.

    Email any questions regarding prerequisite coursework to the EACPHS Office of Student Affairs at

    Six-year prerequisite science course waivers

    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 must be obtained from the WSU PA Studies program 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 seven years or being a physical therapist for the past nine 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:

    • Name, course number, institution, name of the course(s) to be waived
    • Semester/year course was taken
    • Detailed explanation of why the continuous employment experience demonstrates mastery of the prerequisite course content
    • Detailed account of the principles and objectives and the prerequisite course content must be included, along with specific employment duties


    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. Courses with grades earned B minus or less will not be considered for the waiver.

    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.

    Attach to the email containing 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


    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.

  • Prerequisite coursework GPA

    The minimum prerequisite coursework GPA average acceptable for consideration of admission is 3.0. 

    All prerequisite coursework must be undergraduate courses and grades must be a "B" (3.0) or higher. Due to the unique situation created by COVID-19, many institutions are allowing students to choose a Pass/No Pass option in lieu of a letter grade for certain semesters. The Wayne State University Physician Assistant program requires all applicants to receive letter grades in all of their prerequisite courses. Pass/No Pass scores/grades will not be accepted.

    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. 

    All prerequisite courses must be completed by September 1.

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

    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. Register for a test at

    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.

    The examination must be taken by August 1 of the application year and the official student score sheet must be submitted to CASPA application by September 1. Scores submitted after the September 1 deadline will not be accepted.

    The minimum acceptable GRE scores are 285 combined verbal and quantitative and a 3.5 analytical writing score. Scores lower than this minimum will render the applicant not eligible for admission.

    We utilize the exam with the highest scores. However, 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.

    Questions regarding the GRE may be directed to

  • CASPer: Computer-based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics

    All applicants to the Wayne State University Physician Assistant Studies program are required to complete an online assessment (CASPer) to assist with our selection process. Successful completion of CASPer by September 1 of the application year is mandatory in order to maintain admission eligibility. CASPer is an online test that assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program and will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening. In implementing CASPer, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process. The CASPer test is part of the Altus Suite Assessments and is the only component of the Altus Assessments that is currently required by Wayne State University, however if considering other programs you may want to take all three assessments as it is the same fee.

    In order to take CASPer, you will be responsible for securing access to a computer with audio capabilities, a webcam, and a reliable internet connection on your selected test date. CASPer can be taken practically anywhere that you can satisfy the aforementioned requirements. No exceptions will be provided for applicants unable to take CASPer online due to being located at sites where internet is not dependable due to technical or political factors.

    Please go to to sign up and reserve a test using your and a piece of government-issued photo ID. You will be provided with a limited number of testing dates and times. Please note that these are the only testing dates available for your CASPer test. There will be no additional tests scheduled. Please use an email address that you check regularly; there may be updates to the test schedule.

    Please direct any inquiries on the test to Alternatively, you may use the chat bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen on the website. The CASPer test is comprised of 12 sections of video and written scenarios. Following each scenario, you will be required to answer a set of probing questions under a time contract. Each response is graded by a different rater, giving a very robust and reliable view of personal and professional characteristics important to our program.

    No studying is required for CASPer, although you may want to familiarize yourself with the test structure at and ensure you have a quiet environment to take the test. CASPer test results are valid for one admissions cycle. Applicants who have already taken the test in previous years will therefore be expected to retake it.

  • TOEFL testing (if applicable)

    TOEFL testing is required if English is not your native language and/or you have not completed all secondary or postsecondary education in the United States, Canada or another English-speaking country. Register for a test at

    The TOEFL must be taken by August 1 and results submitted to your CASPA application no later than September 1. To properly submit your scores, please include both the CASPA code 3647 and WSU Graduate School code 1898.

    The following are the required scores for admission to the WSU PAS program:

    • Written: 600
    • Traditional Computer: 250
    • IbT (Internet-based testing): 100

    Please note: The minimum acceptable score required by the PA Studies program is higher than required for other programs at Wayne State University. Applications containing TOEFL scores less than the above-noted minimum requirements will not be considered.  

  • Direct patient care experience

    A minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care experience in a health care environment is required. Paid health care experience is preferred due to the level of responsibility and duties afforded in these positions. The 500 hours of direct 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. To be acceptable for admission, the direct 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

    Preferred experience would also include:

    • 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.

    The question 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.

    The type of health care experience submitted will be considered during the admission process. Jobs with a high level of autonomy and medical decision-making, such as paramedic or dietitian, will be ranked higher than a nursing assistant in a nursing home or scribe. However, ALL eligible types of HCE have a strong chance of admission to the program.

    Some examples of experience not acceptable toward 500 hours of direct hands-on experience requirement: PA or physician observer or shadow, non-clinical research assistant positions, student internships (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, home care aides, ski patroller, lifeguard, aerobics instructor, unit clerk, insurance clerk, medical secretary or other clerical positions, patient greeter and/or patient sitter.

    If your question about the healthcare experience requirement, has not been answered on this site, please direct your question to

  • Evaluations (3-5)

    You are required to request at least 3 and may request a maximum of 5 evaluations, which your evaluators will submit directly to CASPA. The WSU PA Studies program asks that evaluators are PAs, MDs, DOs, or other health providers familiar with the role of the physician assistant. At least one of the three required evaluations must be completed by an individual who has observed you during direct patient contact experience, and/or a work supervisor those most familiar with you and your clinical work. The evaluation should include a verification of your completed health care experience hours.

    A stronger applicant file is one that has evaluations from health care professionals who have known you for a period of time of greater than one year and can comment on your performance with direct patient health care. We strongly urge applicants to avoid references from most academic professors/instructors, unless they are able to fully complete the form regarding observed direct patient contact. 

    References from family members or those in a personal relationship with you are highly discouraged. 

  • Personal interview

    A personal interview will be granted to select individuals who meet all admission requirements and 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:

    • What made you decide to pursue a career as a physician assistant?
    • What have you done to prepare to become a physician assistant?
    • Why are you choosing to enroll in the Wayne State University Physician Assistant Studies program?
    • 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.

  • Volunteer hours

    As per our mission statement, we value community service. A history of volunteerism is strongly recommended in an applicant and need not be health care based.

  • Technical standards

    The Wayne State University Physician Assistant Studies program acknowledges section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 public law 93-112. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (Public Law 101-336), and the Michigan Handicappers Civil Rights Act, and ascertains that graduates from the program must possess certain minimum technical capabilities

  • Background check

    The Wayne State PAS program supports individuals with criminal conviction histories to pursue a career as a physician assistant. We understand that some applicants' history of criminal convictions may have been the inspiration that led them to the field of medicine.

    In the interest of a fair and inclusive admissions process, the WSU PAS program does not require applicants to disclose felony convictions or pending felony charges. We strongly support applications from all prospective students.  

    Applicants who are admitted to the program will be required to undergo a background check prior to entrance into the program. This is required for clinical rotation placement, a requirement for graduation, and for continued success as a PA professional. 

    It is important for the program to be transparent regarding the challenges that students with criminal histories may face as they pursue their PA education and career. Students with criminal histories may be precluded from participating in clinical education experiences, which are required to graduate. While the program will make every reasonable effort to assist students in securing an appropriate clinical placement, the program nor the university can guarantee a clinical placement. Also, students with criminal histories may be excluded from obtaining PA licensure in some states or credentialing in some hospital systems.