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Admission Requirements

Application and Prerequisite Courses

The Physician Assistant Program at The University of Iowa is a non-thesis, 28-month graduate level program awarding the Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree upon completion. One class of 25 students is enrolled in August each year. Applications are accepted starting in April (date established by CASPA) with a deadline for completed application on Oct. 1. All application materials including official GRE/MCAT scores, 3 recommendations, and college transcripts must be received by CASPA by our Oct. 1 deadline. Under present Carver College of Medicine regulations, applications will only be accepted from U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major shift in the daily lives of individuals across the globe. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Iowa PA Program is aware that many things may affect the admission process for students during the upcoming cycle. While the University of Iowa PA Program understands COVID-19 may cause issues with meeting some of the admission criteria, it is important that we continue to uphold the mission of the PA Program in the Carver College of Medicine and select students who will be successful in our program.

The University of Iowa would like to address updated policies for admission in lieu of COVID-19 pandemic. All changes for the 2020-2021 CASPA Admission Cycle are listed in gray boxes below each admission criteria variable. Please read the information below.

Admission Requirements

Updated admission requirements for the 2020-2021 admission cycle only in gray

1. Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States

No changes for the 2020-2021 CASPA Cycle

2. Introductory and advanced (upper division) level courses

The biochemistry course requirement must be completed at the time of application submission.

a. ​​​No changes for the 2020-2021 CASPA Cyle

b. If an applicant has the option to take a course for letter grade versus Pass/Fail, the PA Program strongly encourages students to take the letter grade option (especially for all prerequisite courses).

c. If an applicant does not have the option to take a course for letter grade and the institution has moved Spring courses to Pass/Fail, the PA Program will review these on an individual basis.  The applicant should state this on their application.

3. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale

​​​​See policy under #2

4. Minimum cumulative Science GPA of 3.20 on a 4.00 scale or attain a Science GPA of 3.20 on a 4.00 scale on the most recently completed 40 semester hours of Biological and Chemical Science coursework (A = 4.00)

See policy under #2

5. Minimum test score at the 25th percentile or higher on each section (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing) of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test taken within the last 10 years. MCAT taken within the last 10 years can be submitted in place of the GRE.

Official scores from ETS for the GRE must be received in order for your application to be reviewed. If you choose to submit a MCAT score, official scores from AAMC must be received in order for your application to be reviewed.

GRE scores can be submitted directly from ETS or a copy of the score report can be uploaded by the applicant during the application process.

6. Minimum of 1,000 hours of direct patient health care experience by Dec. 31 prior to the year of matriculation

Direct patient health care experience hours are determined by the program.

For the 2020-2021 CASPA Cycle, a minimum of 500 hours by Dec. 31, 2020 will meet our direct patient health care experience hours.

7. 3 Recommendation Letters

1 must be from a collegiate academic reference with whom you took a course or did research under and 1 must be from a health care experience supervisor. Health care providers that supervised during a shadowing experience does not meet this requirement. It must be from a supervisor during your direct patient health care experience.

No changes for the 2020-2021 CASPA Cycle

8. In addition, all applicants must be able to meet the program's technical standards.

No changes for the 2020-2021 CASPA Cycle

9. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), taken within the last 2 years, is required of all applicants for whom English is not their native language.

We may waive the TOEFL requirement for applicants with Masters or Doctoral degrees from an accredited US institution. To review your application, we must receive official scores from ETS for the TOEFL. Only the IBT (Internet Based Test) form of the TOEFL will be accepted. We require a total score of 93 and a speaking score of 26 for entry into our program.​

No changes for the 2020-2021 CASPA Cycle

The University of Iowa PA Program understands that this is a difficult time for everyone. Please contact Thomas M. O’Shea, PhD, MEd, Director of Administrative and Student Services for any questions or concerns you may have regarding the 2020-2021 Admission Cycle. Please send all inquiries to the following email address: thomas-oshea@uiowa.edu.

Request Information/Application(s)

Application for the class beginning each August should be made through the Central Application System for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Please visit the CASPA Web site for more information. All materials for application need to be received by CASPA by our October 1st deadline. Official GRE scores, as well as official TOEFL scores, should be sent to CASPA using our CASPA GRE Code, "0466 U Iowa Phys Asst CASPA". Official MCAT scores should be sent to CASPA.