Student Selection

Individuals must have completed the majority of the science course requirements, Biochemistry must be completed at the time of application, and have official GRE/MCAT scores 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.

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

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 August through December. All applicants will be notified before March 1 about their admission status.

Physician Assistant Interview Selection Criteria

The University of Iowa PA Program is highly competitive. The most competitive applicants are selected and invited to campus for an interview. Selection of interviewed candidates 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), GRE/MCAT scores, and the candidate's personal narrative and interview evaluation. The following guidelines for the interview selection criteria are listed below:

Pie chart showing interview selection criteria

Physician Assistant Admission Selection Criteria

Candidates selected for an interview will be invited to campus in Iowa City, Iowa for a 2-day 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. Admission selection will consist of the following:

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. Interview sessions are over a 2-day period: Day #1 of your interview will consist of a University of Iowa PA Program Overview, introduction to faculty/staff, updates to financial aid, a walking campus tour, panels with current students and recent alumni, and an informal dinner. Day #2 of your interview will consist of the Multi-Mini Interview format. Interview times will be assigned during the selection process. Interview dates are scheduled between the months of August through January, depending on the PA Program availability. Selected students participate in one interview session.

Admission Notification 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 denied) will be communicated no later than March 1st.

Admitted Applicant Profile 

For our class matriculated in August 2017, the successful applicant averaged a cumulative GPA of 3.71 on 152 semester hours of college credit, a science GPA of 3.76 on 76 semester hours, an average of 2,478 hours of health care and 1,067 hours of research experience, and the following GRE scores: verbal = 159, quantitative = 158, and written (analytical) = 4.5. The class average age was 26 years.