Physician Assistant Program Admissions

After graduation from UNE's 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-to-graduate track to a select group of students. If a student completes all requirements, meets all admission standards, and performs satisfactorily during the interview, preference for admission is granted.

Important M.S.P.A. Application Dates

Application Process

  • All verified applications received on or before the application deadline will receive full admission consideration.
  • Highly qualified applicants will be invited to complete a virtual interview. Interviews are conducted by invitation only.
  • UNE communicates all status updates, notifications, and admission decisions via email.

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



ADmissions Requirements


The University of New England Master of Science, Physician Assistant program participates in the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). All applicants are required to apply online through this service.

Degree Requirements

Completion of a Bachelor’s Degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution, or international equivalent, prior to matriculation.

  • All applicants are required to submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Official transcripts should be sent directly to CASPA. Please see the CASPA application for additional information and instructions.
GPA Requirements
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, as calculated by CASPA (inclusive of all coursework taken with no forgiveness for retakes).*
  • Minimum Biology, Chemistry, Physics (BCP) GPA of 3.0, as calculated by CASPA.*
    • BCP is the standardized GPA calculated by CASPA and includes all completed biology, chemistry, and physics coursework.
  • Last 60 credit hour GPA, as calculated by CASPA, will also be considered.
  • All applicants must meet minimum GPA requirements to be considered for admission.
  • Due to the highly competitive nature of the program, meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee an interview or acceptance.

*Preference is given to applicants with 3.25 or higher GPAs.

Prerequisite Coursework Requirements
Course Subject Course Credits Course Details
Biology I and II 8 semester or 12 quarter credits
  • Labs Required
  • Equivalent to a two (2) semester course sequence.
General Chemistry I and II 8 semester or 12 quarter credits
  • Labs Required
  • Equivalent to a two (2) semester course sequence.
Microbiology 4 semester or 6 quarter credits
  • Lab Required
Biochemistry 3 semester or 4.5 quarter credits
  • Lab Not Required
Anatomy & Physiology I or Human Anatomy 4 semester or 6 quarter credits
  • Lab Required
  • Must have been completed within seven (7) years of matriculation.
Anatomy & Physiology II or Human Physiology 4 semester or 6 quarter credits
  • Lab Required
  • Must have been completed within seven (7) years of matriculation.
  • Animal Physiology/Exercise Physiology will not fulfill this requirement.
Psychology/Sociology 6 semester or 9 quarter credits
  • Behavioral Science courses are acceptable to fulfill this requirement
  • Equivalent to two (2) courses.
English 6 semester or 9 quarter credits
  • Equivalent to two (2) courses.
Statistics 3 semester or 4.5 quarter credits
  • A college-level statistics course is acceptable to fulfill this requirement
Highly Recommended Courses

Additional consideration will be given to applicants who have successfully completed one or more of the courses listed below:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Advanced Physiology
  • Genetics **
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology
  • Organic Chemistry w/lab

**For those planning to apply for Summer 2025 acceptance: Genetics will be a required prerequisite course.

Other Important Prerequisite Coursework Considerations
  • All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed with a grade of “C” or better (“C minus” grades are not acceptable).
  • Prerequisite courses may be in progress or planned at the time of application, although all courses must be completed with official transcripts submitted to CASPA no later than December 31, 2023.
  • Official transcripts for coursework and/or degrees completed in the summer/fall term should be submitted to CASPA for verification during the CASPA Academic Update period.
  • Official transcripts for coursework and/or degrees completed in the spring term should be submitted directly to UNE’s Office of Graduate Admissions prior to the start of the program.
  • All planned or in-progress coursework should be listed on the CASPA application at the time of application submission; not doing so will result in the applicant not meeting all admissions requirements and therefore will not be eligible for admission review.
  • Online courses offered through UNE’s Online Science Prerequisites as well as online courses from other regionally accredited U.S. colleges or universities are acceptable with program approval.
Letters of Evaluation

Three (3) letters of evaluation* are required- submitted via CASPA

  • One (1) letter must come from a healthcare provider (allopathic physician (MD), osteopathic physician (DO), physician assistant, or nurse practitioner).
  • Two (2) letters should come from other healthcare providers, professors, supervisors, or co-workers. Letters should be requested from those who can speak to the applicant’s academic abilities and/or professional experiences.

*Letters from friends or family members are not acceptable.

Experience Hours

All applicants are required to complete a minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care experience prior to application submission:

  • Hours can be completed through paid employment or volunteer work.
  • Hours completed for academic credit, e.g. internship hours to complete a bachelor’s degree is acceptable.
  • All hours must be documented within the CASPA application, specifically in the Patient Care Experiences section.
  • Examples of acceptable patient care experiences are available via the linked PDF: UNE Patient Care Experiences (PDF)
Shadowing Hours

All applicants are required to complete at least 20 hours of Physician Assistant (PA) shadowing prior to application submission:

  • Shadowing hours must be completed with a licensed PA.
  • Shadowing in more than one practice facility and practice area is recommended in order to gain a clear understanding of the PA role within a medical team.
  • Shadowing can be completed virtually.
  • Shadowing hours do not count toward direct patient care experience hours.
Personal Statement
  • Please refer to the CASPA application for writing prompts and additional information.

Interviews are a required part of the application process:

  • Highly qualified applicants will be contacted and invited to interview by the Office of Graduate Admission.
  • Interviews are done by invitation only.
International Applicants

International applicants and those with foreign degrees and coursework are required to satisfy the following additional requirements:

  • Official credential evaluation by World Education Service (WES), confirming degree and grade equivalency to that of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. The completed credential evaluation should be submitted directly to CASPA. Please refer to the International Admissions section of the UNE website for more information on the type of credential evaluation required for admission review.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate written and spoken fluency through the successful completion of an English language proficiency test. Applicants should refer to the English Language Proficiency page on the UNE website for specific information, minimum score requirements, and test score submission instructions.
Other Requirements

Prior to matriculation, accepted and deposited students will be required to complete the following compliance requirements:

  • Completion of physical examination with proof of up-to-date immunization status. Please refer to UNE’s Student Health Center for detailed information.
  • Satisfactory completion of a criminal background check and/or drug screen prior to matriculation, as well as periodically throughout the program (as required by clinical affiliations).
  • All students must have a current American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) certification at the time of matriculation. BLS certification status must remain current throughout the duration of the program.
  • Proficiency with commonly used current information technology is required.
  • All students must be able to meet the Academic and Technical Standards of the Physician Assistant profession.

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 other supporting materials.

Policy Exceptions
  • Policies have been established to ensure fair and consistent admissions practice for all applicants.
  • 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.
  • All academic (coursework and degree), health, and experience requirements presented in this summary are subject to change per accreditation mandates or clinical affiliation requirements.
Advanced Standing
  • No advanced standing is available.
Experiential Learning
  • No credit is awarded for experiential learning.

Transfer Credits

Transfer credit is not accepted or awarded.


Office of Graduate Admission and Recruitment

Office Hours

8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Portland Campus 

Girard Innovation Hall, room 254
716 Stevens Ave.
Portland, ME, 04103
(207) 221-4225

M.S.P.A. Admissions FAQ

How can I find out about the status of my application to UNE’s Physician Assistant master's degree program?

You will receive an email confirming receipt of your verified application from the Office of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment. All communication from Graduate Admissions and Recruitment will be sent to the email address listed on your CASPA application. If you wish to check the status of your application please email the Office of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment.

Does state residency play a role in admissions to UNE’s Physician Assistant master’s degree program?

There are no quotas for Maine or New England students. Prospective students from all geographic regions are encouraged to apply for admission.

Can I update or make changes to my M.S.P.A. application post-submission?

Yes, updates can be made post-submission. Experiences can be added, but edits of previously submitted information is not allowed. Coursework can be updated; however, updates are not verified and will not affect any GPA calculations. See more information on updating your CASPA application

I am reapplying to UNE’s Physician Assistant master’s degree program. What do I need to do?

Applicants reapplying to the UNE PA program need to resubmit all application materials for any new cycle in which they apply, including: primary CAS application, transcripts, letters of recommendation, written statements and responses, fees and payments, and any additional required documentation. Applicants should also actively update their experiences, extracurricular activities, clinical involvement, and volunteering each cycle as well, to reflect the most up-to-date engagement.