Student Selection

Applicants must apply through the centralized application process (CASPA). Applications are reviewed, and those applicants considered most competitive, will be invited to visit Iowa City for a personal interview. Interviews will be conducted from July through December. All applicants will be notified before March 1 about their admission status.

Under present College of Medicine regulations, applications will only be accepted from U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Individuals must have completed the majority of the science course requirements, Biochemistry must be completed at the time of application, and have official TOEFL scores (if applicable) prior to our application deadline of October 1st. Candidates who will be earning their baccalaureate degree before the class begins in August are eligible to apply.

Physician Assistant Interview Process and Selection Criteria

The University of Iowa PA Program uses a comprehensive approach in selecting its candidates. After a review of CASPA submitted materials, applicants are invited for an interview. Selection of interviewees by the Admissions Committee is based on several criteria including academic achievement (particularly in the sciences), type and extent of health related experience, 3 letters of recommendation (1 must be a collegiate academic reference and 1 must be a direct patient healthcare supervisor), and the candidate's personal narrative and the University of Iowa PA Program's Life Experiences Inventory survey.

Candidates selected for an interview will be invited to participate in the University of Iowa PA Program Interview Process. Evidence of academic potential, knowledge of the PA role in the health care system, maturity, self-assurance, strong intrapersonal and interpersonal communication skills, and motivation will be assessed during the interview process. From this group, a class of 25 students will be selected for admission.

Interview Session Information

Applying and interviewing for a graduate program is a very stressful process, so the University of Iowa tries to make sure the interview experience is informative, relaxed and fun. The Interview Process will consist of the following aspects:

  • Pre-Interview Orientation Session/Student Panels/Alumni Panel
  • MMI Interview Session and Candidate Debrief Session
  • Additional Information Provided to Students Prior to Interview Includes:
    • ​Virtual Campus Tour
    • Virtual Financial Aid Presentation

Admission Interview Dates

  • Session #1
    • July 12 and 13, 2024
  • Session #2
    • August 23 and 24, 2024
  • ​​Session #3
    • ​October 4 and 5, 2024
  • Session #4
    • ​November 8 and 9, 2024
  • Session #5
    • ​December 13 and 14, 2024

Admission Selection Process

The University of Iowa PA Program offers admission on a rolling basis. Please remember that candidates selected for an interview are not automatically admitted into the program. Candidates who meet admission selection criteria will be offered admission, traditionally, within two weeks of an interview. The rolling admission process will continue until the end of the interview cycle. At this point, all candidates who interviewed will be reviewed and offers will be sent out to fill the remaining open 25 seats in the program. Additional candidates from the interview cycle will be placed on our Alternate List. If a spot becomes available from the time of admission through the start of classes, the PA Program Admission Committee will review all candidates on the Alternate List and select the candidate they feel best fits with the other students in the admitted class. All notifications of admission (offer, alternate list, or denial) will be communicated no later than March 1st.

Admitted Applicant Profile

For our class matriculated in August 2023, the successful applicant averaged a cumulative GPA of 3.85 on 127 semester hours of college credit, a science GPA of 3.80 on 71 semester hours, an average of 2,438 hours of health care and 453 hours of research experience, and the following GRE scores: verbal = 156, quantitative = 157, and written (analytical) = 4.6. The class average age was 24 years.