Physician Assistant Studies Admission Requirements

The Mercyhurst University Physician Assistant Studies Program participates with the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Please refer to the application process page for instructions. Individuals whose applications are viewed positively will be invited for a personal on-campus interview.

  • Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. or a provincially accredited Canadian college or university or evidence of expected completion of that bachelor's degree before the time of matriculation. The undergraduate degree must be completed before matriculation.
  • Applicants must have an overall GPA of 3.2 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Applicants must have a GPA of 3.2 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) in prerequisite courses.
  • Applicants must have 200 hours of healthcare experience (paid or volunteer).
  • GRE verbal and quantitative reasoning scores will be used in the evaluation of the application. GREs must be completed within a 5-year time frame at application. This is for the 2023-2024 CASPA cycle only
  • Applicants are required to supply three (3) letters of recommendation.
  • Applicants must submit a succinct personal statement that discusses professional goals in reference to the physician assistant profession.
    International or non-native speaking students must submit official, notarized scores from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam and must meet the minimum score requirement of 79+.
  • A completed Student Health Record, which includes the Pre-Admission Immunization Record and the Cohen Health Center Student Health Record, is required for matriculating into the program, participating in patient care at clinical sites and progressing through the program. Students are required to provide current immunization and serologic immunity verification in accordance with CDC guidelines and must have proof of health insurance throughout the program of study.
  • Criminal background checks, including finger printing, child abuse clearance and drug screening are required for matriculating into the program, participating in patient care at clinical sites and progressing through the program. Students are financially responsible for this process, which may need to be repeated annually or more frequently as required by clinical sites. Adverse results at any time can prevent a student from matriculating into the program, being promoted within the program, placed at clinical training sites or recommended for graduation. Adverse results, including felony and misdemeanor convictions, can limit the ability for clinical training experiences, national certification or state licensure. The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, is a good resource for guidance for concerns with background findings.
  • Entry into the program will be based on the completion of prerequisites, the interview process and space availability.
  • Applicants must meet technical standards.
  • Candidates with higher overall GPAs, prerequisite GPAs, GREs and direct patient healthcare experience are more competitive for earning admission.
  • Preference will be given to equally qualified Mercyhurst graduates.

Prerequisite Courses

Applicants must complete all prerequisite courses listed below with a grade of “C” or better prior to matriculation. Courses, other than Medical Terminology, taken as pass/fail or for noncredit will not be accepted. One credit of Medical Terminology is preferred; a certificate may be accepted due to limited course offerings.

A minimum of 12 credits of the prerequisite courses including physiology and microbiology must be completed within the five years prior to matriculation.

  • The Anatomy and Physiology requirements may be met by taking either one semester of Anatomy and one semester of Physiology, or two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology combined.
  • Chemistry with labs (8 credits – 6 course, 2 labs)
  • Organic Chemistry with labs (4 credits – 3 course, 1 lab)
  • Biology with labs (8 credits – 6 course, 2 labs)
  • Anatomy with lab (4 credits – 3 course, 1 lab)
  • Physiology (3 credits)
  • Microbiology with lab (4 credits – 3 course, 1 lab)
  • Genetics (3 credits)
  • Statistics (3 credits)
  • Psychology (3 credits)
  • Medical Terminology (1 credit)

All PA program coursework must be taken in sequence. Transfer/AP/life experience credit will not be offered. Defined prerequisites are not substituted for any course in the program of study.

three male physician assistant students and one female student work in a lab