Physician Assistant student working with a mannequin in the simulation lab.

Academic Prerequisites

Priority consideration will be given to applicants who meet the following requirements at the time of CASPA e-submission, with the exception of the baccalaureate degree requirement. See the Degree Requirements below. Applications are reviewed and admission decisions for seats in the cohort are filled on a rolling basis during the CASPA cycle, until seats are filled.


All candidates must apply through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).

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Degree Requirements

A Baccalaureate degree from an accredited United States or Canadian accredited institution of higher learning, must be completed by June 30th of the year of planned enrollment.

Applicants with a bachelor degree from outside of the US and Canada will be considered, if ALL pre-requisites were completed from at an accredited US/Canadian institution AND if TOEFL is submitted with the application.

The program gives preference to candidates with a Master's degree.

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Grade Point Average (GPA)

Cumulative GPA's (UGPA) is calculated utilizing ALL college-level courses completed by the applicant.

  • 3.0 Minimum Cumulative Undergraduate and Cumulative Science GPA (CSGPA) based on a 4.0 scale is required.*
  • If prerequisite coursework was completed more than 10 years from the June 30th of the year of planned enrollment, the GPA from that coursework will not be considered. All coursework more than ten (10) years old may be repeated and the GPA of the repeated coursework will be considered instead.
  • GPAs less than 3.0 will only be considered if the applicant has completed a graduate degree in either biological or chemical sciences or obtained a Public Health degree, and has successfully completed the coursework.

The program gives preference to candidates with a higher GPA.

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Prerequisite Coursework

Prerequisite courses must have been completed less than ten (10) years from the year of planned enrollment. If required coursework was completed more than 10 years ago, both UGPA and SGPA will not be considered. While priority will be given to applicants who have completed all prerequisites at the time of CASPA e-submission, the committee will still consider applicants who have no more than two prerequisites in-progress. If offered admission by the department, the offer would be contingent on successful completion of all outstanding coursework with a B or better prior to enrollment.

All coursework more than ten (10) years old may be repeated and the GPA of the repeated coursework will be considered.

It is required that there be no more than 1 pre-requisite below B-. It is preferred that all prerequisites are at least B-.

Prerequisite courses that are below B-, can be retaken and the GPA of the repeated coursework will be considered instead.

  • Mathematics (Pre-calculus or Statistics) (3 credits)
  • General Biology + Laboratory (8 credits)
  • General Chemistry + Laboratory (8 credits)
  • Biochemistry + Laboratory (*preferred) or Organic Chemistry + Laboratory (4 credits).
  • Microbiology (3 credits)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II with Laboratory (7 credit minimum)
    Human Anatomy + Laboratory (4 credits) and
    Human Physiology (3 credits)

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Healthcare (Patient Care) Experience

A minimum of 300 hours of direct patient care experience, is required. Acceptable experience includes, domestic or international employment or volunteer work. A broad range of healthcare experience is encouraged. Those applicants with at least 40 hours spent shadowing or working directly with a Physician Assistant are preferred.

Acceptable direct patient care hours would be those from a position which involves hands-on responsibility.

The program gives preference to a higher number of direct patient care hours.

Experience Working With or Shadowing a PA

A minimum of 40 hours of experience in working with or shadowing a PA is strongly preferred. If your healthcare (patient care) experience already includes at least 40 hours of working with a Physician Assistant, these hours will be considered. If your healthcare (patient care) experience did not include at least 40 hours of working with a PA, it is recommended that you work with or shadow a PA for at least 40 hours in addition to the 300 healthcare (patient care) experience.

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Resume/Curriculum Vitae (Describe in Detail)

  • Professional experiences
  • Volunteer and service activity

The program gives preference to leadership positions in school and community service.

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  • Three (3) references from professionals
  • At least one (1) from a physician assistant or physician (MD or DO)

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Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

The GRE General Test administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service) is not required.

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English as a Second Language

Students for whom English is not their first language must submit scores from the TOEFL (Minimum Score 88 on the IBT), IELTS (International English Language Testing System/Minimum Score 7) or Pearson PTE (Minimum Score 60) that are no more than two years old.

TOEFL codes for Pace University are as follows:

  • Westchester Campus: 2644

The Admission Committee may require additional testing if there are concerns about your ability to read, write, and speak English sufficiently to meet the demands of your intended curriculum.

TOEFL/IELTS/Pearson PTE Requirements

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Advanced Placement Credits (AP Credit)

  • AP credit will be accepted for pre-requisite courses only.
  • No AP credit will be awarded for the fulfillment of any PA Program didactic or clinical curricular content.

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Advanced Standing

Under no circumstances will a student be given credit toward the courses in the Pace University-Pleasantville Physician Assistant Studies Program.

Successful applicants are conditionally accepted into the program pending verification that all admission requirements have been met and the applicant has successfully passed a criminal background check.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept online coursework to satisfy prerequisite requirements?
Online coursework is acceptable if it is taken at an accredited institution and meets both our minimum credit and lab requirements. However, we strongly encourage students to take the science coursework in a traditional, in-person classroom environment to increase the competitiveness of your application.

Do you accept coursework taken at a community college to satisfy prerequisite requirement?
Yes, if it meets both our minimum credit and lab requirements.

How can I determine if my coursework meets your prerequisite requirements?
To determine if your coursework is equivalent to our prerequisite requirements, we invite you to use our Transfer Credit Equivalency Database. If you do not see your course(s) listed, please send a copy of the course description to for review.

Can upper-level or graduate-level coursework substitute for lower-level undergraduate prerequisites?
Unfortunately, we’re unable to use upper-level or graduate-level coursework to satisfy lower-level undergraduate requirements.

Do you accept AP or IB coursework for prerequisites?
A score of four or higher on the respective exam is acceptable for meeting prerequisite requirements.

Can I provide updates to my application after submitting it through CASPA?
While we do not accept updated information after CASPA e-submission, if invited to interview with the department, you are welcome to provide any new information at that time.

What documentation is required for clinical observation hours?
Please note that we do not have a form letter or template for observation documentation. You can submit timesheets, a brief narrative, or any other form of documentation. You’re also welcome to upload a form you’re using for another institution.

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