Additional Considerations

The PA program strives to transform enrolled students into competent entry level PAs as well as mission-centered servant leaders. As such, other factors such as diversity, maturity, professionalism, compassion and service to community are also important criteria for acceptance.

Therefore, in addition to excellence in academics, the admissions committee weighs other individual factors when considering each applicant, including:

  1. Applicants from the University’s 3+2 Accelerated Pathway to Physician Assistant Studies; 3+2 students must meet all minimum admissions requirements as outlined above
  2. Hands-on patient care experience
  3. Licensed healthcare worker
  4. Shadowing one or more PAs
  5. Military service
  6. Work/professional experience
  7. Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University graduate
  8. Applicants from medically underserved areas
  9. Mission work/community service
  10. Graduates from Catholic universities

In general, the higher the GPA and greater number of additional admissions considerations, the more competitive the applicant.

The following table should give the applicant guidance as to how competitive he/she is in comparison to prior PA classes. The competitive candidate has a “B” or better in all defined pre-requisite course work. Repeated attempts at pre-requisite coursework will be noted and weaken candidate’s overall application packet.

ClassAverage Undergrad GPA (cumulative)Average GPA (pre-requisite)Average Science GPAAverage Volunteer HoursAverage PA Shadowing HoursDirect Patient Care HoursWork Experience Hours


























3 year mean3.53.63.5





Admissions Process

Minimum Admission Requirements

In order to be considered for admissions, all applicants to the PA program must:

  1. Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited, U.S. college or university or equivalent prior to the time of matriculation (with exception of applicant's from the university's 3+2 Accelerated Pathway to Physician Assistant Studies program)
  2. Meet the following GPA minimums:
    • Cumulative Undergraduate:3.0
    • FranU Pre-Requisites: 3.0
    • Cumulative Undergraduate Science: 3.0
  3. Complete all pre-requisite courses within 7 years of application:
    • Anatomy and Anatomy Lab for science or pre-health professions majors (2000 level or above)
    • Physiology for science or pre-health professions majors (2000 level or above; a combined anatomy and physiology I and II with labs are acceptable alternatives)
    • General Microbiology
    • Organic Chemistry I (no lab required)
    • Organic Chemistry II (2000 level or higher, no lab required) or Biochemistry (3000 level or higher, no lab required)
    • General Psychology or other related psychology course (3 credit hours)
    • Statistics
    • Genetics
    • Medical Terminology (certificate or other courses acceptable)
    • Please note:
      • Applicants must make a minimum grade of C or higher in all pre-requisite coursework; B or higher in all pre-requisite coursework is preferred.
      • "Survey" courses generally do not meet admissions criteria and must be reviewed by the PA admissions committee for approval.
      • Repeated coursework negatively impacts the applicant.
      • No Graduate, medical school or other transfer credit will be awarded as advanced placement/PA program credit;
      • While the program will not waive any pre-requisite requirements, in some circumstances, the PA admissions committee may allow substitutions for equivalent or more rigorous previous graduate, medical school course work or professional experience(s) as satisfying pre-requisite requirements ONLY. This may apply to pre-requisite courses taken beyond 7 years ago as well. Applicants requesting such substitutions should email pa@franu.edu to request a copy of the pre-requisite substitution form. The form must be completed by the applicant and submitted to the admissions committee for consideration. Applicants should include detailed descriptions of course work, professional experiences, a copy of the undergraduate transcript, and any additional materials as requested by the committee. The committee will evaluate each request on a case-by-case basis and all decisions made will be final.
        • Example: A currently practicing licensed clinical social worker applies to the program. The applicant holds an undergraduate degree in psychology (2008) and a master's of social work (2011). She has conducted clinical research with several peer-reviewed publications. In this circumstance, the admissions committee will accept her Psychology 101 course taken in 2005 and her master's level Biostatistics course (taken in 2010) as satisfying the pre-requisites because she has demonstrated evidence of continued knowledge and skills in those particular areas, despite the age of the courses.
  4. Submit three letters of recommendation;
    • Letters should be from individuals who know the applicant well; Former professors, employers, healthcare/professional colleagues are good choices.
    • Recommenders should consider, and attest to the applicant's academic success, work ethic, maturity, professionalism, interest in the healthcare field, etc.
    • Letters must be submitted directly from the recommender through the CASPA portal (not mailed or emailed to program faculty or university administration).
    • While it may be tempting to ask "high-profile" community members to provide a letter of recommendation, these are not generally helpful unless the above criteria is met; no extra consideration is provided for such letters.

5. Submit a personal statement summarizing why the individual desires to be a Physician Assistant and what they feel they can contribute to the profession.

6. Complete a third-party situational judgment assessment (Casper). The Casper assessment helps the program evaluate behavioral attributes necessary to succeed as a PA student. Applicants are responsible for scheduling their Casper test from available test dates (vary by application cycle) and are responsible for the testing fee. Applicants must complete the Casper assessment each year they apply by the due date published in the program's CASPA portal. Failure to complete the Casper assessment prior to the published deadline will result in ineligibility for an interview. Instructions and tips for taking the Casper assessment can be found here: Welcome to TakeAltus - TakeAltus.

7.. Attend a personal interview; After the initial application review, qualified applicants will be further screened via personal interview.

8. Meet and maintain all Technical Standards in order to be enrolled in, and progress through, the PA program; Technical Standards are posted on the web page.

Technical Standards

Physician assistants must have the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to render a wide spectrum of patient care services in a broad variety of clinical situations. Consequently, it is essential that in its admission process, the physician assistant program assesses an applicant’s physical and emotional capabilities as well as his/her scholastic accomplishments and academic potential in order to assure that the applicant can meet the full demands of the program’s curriculum and graduate as a skilled and effective healthcare provider. 

In making this assessment, the program must consider the applicant’s current physical and emotional status, any cumulative or progressive disability and any drug-induced impairment that may pose obstacles to the safe application of his/her knowledge and skills to the provision of quality care or prevent effective interaction with patients. Learn more about Technical Standards.