College of Science and Health | DePaul University > Student Resources > Office of Advising & Student Services > Pre-Health Advising > Health Careers > Physician Assistant

Physician Assistant

The American Academy of Physician Assistants defines a physician assistant (PA) as an authorized person who can practice medicine as part of a team with physicians. PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery and write prescriptions. Currently, most PA programs utilize an application system called the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants otherwise known as the CASPA.

Pre-physician assistant students typically obtain a bachelor of science (BS) or a bachelor of arts (BA) degree while completing the requirements for admission to PA programs. PA programs do not require nor prefer a particular undergraduate degree.

How do I apply to physician assistant school?

Students apply to PA school through a centralized application system called the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Similar to the common application for undergraduate school, students can apply to the majority of PA programs through a single application on the CASPA. However, there is a handful of programs that do not utilize the CASPA. The CASPA application opens in April.

As of 2017, CASPA application cost: $177.00 for one school and $51.00 for each additional school/program.

What are the prerequisites for applying to physician assistant programs?

It is important for students to check each school's requirements carefully as some schools will require courses not listed below. For more information about a specific program, please contact that school directly.

​Course
​General Biology with lab
​1 year
General Chemistry​ with lab ​1 year
​Organic Chemistry with lab ​2 quarters to 1 year
​Biochemistry ​1 quarter
​Microbiology​ ​1 quarter
​Anatomy ​1 quarter
​Physiology ​1 quarter
​Statistics ​1 quarter
 

Do I need to take an entrance exam?

Physician Assistant programs require students to take the Graduate Record Examination

As of 2017, the GRE costs $205.00​.

Sample Timeline - Traditional 4 Year

Students should meet with their academic advisor and pre-health advisor each quarter to make sure they are taking the correct courses for their major/professional interest. 


Below is a sample timeline for a Health Sciences major. Please be aware that PA programs do not require or prefer a specific major and the below timeline should not be used to replace regular meetings with your academic advisor.


Sample Timeline - Accelerated 3+ with RFUMS

Students should meet with their academic advisor and pre-health advisor each quarter to make sure they are taking the correct courses for their major/professional interest. Below is a sample timeline and should not be used to replace meeting with your academic advisor.

Accelerated 3+ physician assistant program with Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is only available to Pathways Honors students majoring in Health Sciences.

Into what physician assistant programs have DePaul students been recently admitted?


Arcadia University
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Midwestern University
Northwestern University
Rush University
Rosalind Franklin University
University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse

What is considered a competitive GPA and entrance exam for a physician assistant programs?

Competitive GPA: 

Cumulative GPA: 3.52

Science GPA: 3.42

Competitive GRE Score:

Verbal: 154

Quantitative: 154

Analytical: 4.0

It is important for students to check each school's requirements carefully as some schools will require information not listed above. For more information about a specific program, please contact the school directly.​