Since many Physician Assistant schools have rolling admissions, applying early is important. As the cycle proceeds and spots in the class are filled, admission for the remaining spots can become more competitive. The entire application process takes nearly a full year to complete. By familiarizing yourself with the application process early on, you can develop a schedule for the many application-related tasks you will need to complete and submit a high quality application early in the cycle.
Most PA programs use The Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants as their primary application.
In addition to submitting a primary application through one of these services, most PA schools require a secondary or supplemental application. The final step in the application is an interview.
Here is a timeline for the 2021-2022 PA school admissions cycle to help you with your planning:
- Become familiar with the application process and about PA schools. Good sources of information are the CASPAS site, PA school websites, and your pre-health advisor.
- Confirm that you are on track to complete the pre-requisite courses for PA school.
- Continue to gain medical and community service and/or research experience throughout the next year.
February – March 2021
- Request letters of recommendation from faculty and PAs individually or obtain a committee letter per your undergraduate institution’s protocol.
- Consider taking the GRE in winter or early spring.
April – May 2021
- CASPA opens in late April.
- Take or retake the GRE.
- Begin receiving supplemental applications from programs. Note: some schools have secondary application questions within the CASPA application in the “Program Materials” section. Those must be completed at the time CASPA is submitted to those schools.)
June – August 2021
- Continue receiving supplemental applications.
- Interviews begin in July or August at some schools.
September – Spring 2021
- Interview at PA schools.
- Stay in contact with schools you are waitlisted at.
- Begin PA school!