Master of Science, Physician Assistant (PA) Admissions

A female physician assistant student confers with a patient in a hospital room

After graduation from an accredited physician assistant educational program and certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, students are licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. Physician Assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision-making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services under the general supervision of the physician.

UNE offers an undergraduate "early assurance" designation to a select group of students interested in graduate health programs. If the student completes all requirements of the early assurance designation option, meets all admission standards, and performs satisfactorily during the campus interview, preference for admission is granted.

Application for Summer 2019

  • All applicants must apply through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA)
  • CASPA application portal opens April 26, 2018 for Summer 2019 admission.
  • The CASPA application deadline for electronic submission is October 1, 2018.
  • Campus interview sessions will be held September through January as needed, and by invitation only.

Processing of applications

  • Candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible in the admissions cycle to ensure full consideration for interview.
  • Verified applications will undergo preliminary review as they are received.
  • UNE will notify you via email when we receive your verified application. Additional email communications will be sent as your status changes throughout the admissions cycle.
  • On-campus interview is required and by invitation only.
  • Admissions are rolling and decisions are sent out after each interview session. 
  • Upon acceptance, applicants will be asked to submit an initial non-refundable deposit to hold your place in the class. A second non-refundable deposit will also be required at a later date in the admissions cycle.

Note: All materials submitted as part of the application become the property of UNE and will not be returned or released to anyone, including the applicant. This policy includes letters of reference, primary and secondary applications, personal statements, transcripts, and any other supporting materials.

For specific academic dates, please view the UNE Academic Calendar.


program admissions requirements

COURSEwork Requirements

  • Science (all with labs, 8 semester credits or 12 quarter credits)
    • Biology
    • General Chemistry
    • Human Anatomy & Physiology
      • Completed within seven (7) years of matriculation
      • Must include all body systems and be a full-year, two-semester, sequence or the equivalent
      • Combination of courses must consist of both 4 credits of anatomy with lab and 4 credits of physiology with lab OR 8 credits of A&P I & II (both with lab)
      • Animal Physiology will not satisfy the physiology prerequisite
  • Other
    • Psychology/Sociology or related behavioral science (6 semester, 10 quarter credits)
    • English (6 semester, 10 quarter credits)
    • Statistics (3 semester, 5 quarter credits)
    • Courses in Advanced Physiology, Pathophysiology, Microbiology, Physics, and Biochemistry are highly recommended
  • Maximum of three (3) AP credits may be applied toward the English prerequisite only
  • All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed with a grade of “C” or better (“C-“grades, not acceptable)  
  • Prerequisites may be in-progress or planned at the time of application, but must be completed by December 31 of the application year
    • Planned or in progress coursework must be listed on the on the CASPA application at time of submission; not doing so will result in the applicant not meeting minimum requirements
    • Upper level coursework (with labs) acceptable to fulfill general science requirements
    • Online courses offered through UNE’s Online Science Prerequisites as well as online courses from other U.S. regionally accredited colleges or universities are acceptable with approval of program
    • Transcripts for coursework and/or degrees completed in the Fall term prior to the PA program start to be submitted to CASPA for verification during the Fall Academic Update period
    • Transcripts for coursework and/or degrees completed in the Spring term to be submitted directly to UNE's Office of Graduate  Admissions as soon as available


  • Minimum 90 undergraduate semester credits (135 quarter credits) from a U.S. regionally accredited institution(s) at time of application, and a Bachelor's Degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution, or international equivalent, prior to matriculation 
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, as calculated by CASPA which includes  all coursework taken with no forgiveness for retakes (average for matriculated students has been 3.5 for the past few years)
  • Minimum CASPA BCP GPA of 3.0 (average for matriculated students has been 3.5 for the past few years)
    • BCP is GPA calculated by CASPA for all biology, chemistry, and physics courses completed
    • Additional credit hours beyond the minimum pre-requisites, especially upper level coursework, in the Biology, Chemistry, and Physics areas, will enhance your application and make you a stronger candidate
  • UNE no longer requires GRE score report
  • Minimum 500 hours of direct patient care required (average for matriculated students has typically been in the range of 2500 – 3500 hours over the past few years)
  • PA shadowing, minimum 20 hours required 
    • “Shadowing” of PAs in more than one practice facility and practice area is very important for a clear understanding of the role of the PA on the medical team
    • Applicants will be required to show evidence of PA shadowing hours in a primary care, inpatient or outpatient setting and must record in the “Health Care Shadowing Experience” section of CASPA (“Shadowing” does not count toward direct patient care hours)
  • Proficiency with computer technology strongly recommended
  • Three (3) letters of reference from writers who know you and can speak to your academic abilities and/or professional experience (letters from friends or family members are not acceptable)
  • Only those applicants who meet minimum requirements will be considered for admission
    • Just meeting minimum requirements, however, does not guarantee an interview
    • Average GPAs for students accepted into the program are well above published minimums
  • Before or upon matriculation, accepted candidates will be expected to
    • Meet all health immunization requirements (Student Health Care)
    • Obtain a physical examination with proof of up-to-date      immunization status
  • Before or upon matriculation, accepted candidates will be required to pass criminal background checks and/or drug screenings, as well as periodically throughout the program as required by clinical affiliations
  • Must have a current American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) course for the provider and must maintain current BLS throughout the program
  • Must meet all Academic and Technical Standards of the Physician Assistant profession


  • Applications for admissions accepted through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) only
    • CASPA application portal opens annually in late April
    • Applications must be electronically submitted to CASPA by the posted deadline
    • For more information and detailed instructions for completion of the application, visit CASPA
    • Given the normally heavy volume of applications, candidates are strongly encouraged to submit and complete applications as early as possible in the cycle to ensure consideration for an invitation to interview
  • On-campus interviews are required for admission and are granted to qualified applicants by invitation only 
  • Offers of admission will be made on a rolling basis
    • Decisions are made following each interview session and continue until the program starts
    • If accepted two (2) deposits will be required to secure your seat in the class
  • International applicants and applicants with international degrees
    • Must have their transcripts evaluated for degree and grade equivalency to that of a regionally accredited US institution (International Admissions)
    • Must be able to understand and communicate (in writing and with speech) in English to be admitted to the university
      • UNE accepts several methods of English Language Proficiency
      • If an applicant cannot prove English Proficiency in another way, scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required and official score report must be submitted as a part of the completed application

policy exceptions

  • Policies have been established to ensure fair and consistent admissions practice for all applicants
  • All criteria presented in this summary are subject to change per professional accreditation requirements, changes in curriculum or other institutional standards, and clinical affiliation requirements
  • Exceptions to existing admission policies are rare and made on a case by case basis, only when it is deemed necessary and appropriate to maintain fair and consistent practice for all candidates

Transfer Credit

Transfer Credit

  • Transfer credits are rarely awarded to students who transfer from another physician assistant program
  • Transfer credits will be reviewed and awarded on a case-by-case basis

Advanced standing

  • No advanced standing available

Experiential Learning

  • No credit will be awarded  for experiential learning

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