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Physician Assistant Studies

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies offers a graduate-level curriculum that focuses on developing critical thinking, professional problem-solving, appreciation of human diversity, and ethical leadership. Through its mission, the program will help meet the surrounding communities’ need for qualified healthcare providers.

Qualities for a good physician assistant include but are not limited to: intelligence, an ability to understand and interact with people, a capacity for calm and reasoned judgment, and a demonstrated commitment to patient care. An ideal physician assistant candidate will have a combination of life, educational, and work experience that demonstrates this commitment to patient care, an understanding of the PA profession, and an ability to perform in both a demanding academic and professional setting.


The PA program at Mount Union:

  • UMU’s PA Program has been ranked as a top PA program in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
  • UMU’s five-year NCCPA PANCE exam pass rate is 96% for all first-time takers (2016-2020).
  • Over the past five years, UMU Students have scored an average of 9.77 out of 10 for professionalism on their preceptor evaluations.
  • Extensive opportunities for hands-on experience outside of clinical rotations

Professional Licensure Disclosure


Mount Union PA Program Admissions Requirements: COVID-19 adjustments

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Physician Assistant Studies program has considered modifications to the admission requirements.  Please see the following in response to frequently requested information:

  1. Shadowing hours – 40-hour minimum is still required but the date has been extended from the time of application to the time of matriculation (entrance date into the program). The program will accept virtual shadowing hours for up to half (20 hours) of the required total 40-hour minimum.
    • We still value PA shadowing and recommend applicants submit to CASPA all of their hours completed.
    • Additional shadowing forms submitted after completing the CASPA application can be sent directly to Laurie Scarpitti,
  2. GRE – required.  Scores are to be submitted directly to Mount Union using the code 5966.
    • Applicants are to submit the scores if they have taken the GRE, but if still awaiting testing, please consider taking the GRE General Test at Home.
  3. Online prerequisite courses and labs - Online prerequisite coursework and labs taken between January 2020 and May 2022 will be accepted, and online lab courses prior to and after this time frame will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.


PA Program Admission Requirements

  • Degree: A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university or college is required. Applicants with degrees from any discipline are welcome to apply to the program as long as the prerequisite coursework is completed prior to matriculation (see item 3 below).
  • GPA: The program requires an overall GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale and a cumulative GPA 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale in prerequisite coursework. Overall and science GPAs of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale are required.
  • Prerequisite Coursework: The following coursework is required:

Prerequisite Course Mount Union 
Course Equivalents +
Semester Credit Hours
English Composition WRT 100 or successful
completion of WOC Portfolio
General Psychology  PSY 110S 3-4
General Biology I and II with labs or 
upper-level Biology coursework
BIO 140N AND BIO 141N 8
Anatomy and Physiology I and II with labs † BIO 210
BIO 211
Genetics BIO 240 2-4
Principles of Chemistry w/lab (Inorganic Chemistry with lab) CHE 120N 3-4
Organic Chemistry I w/lab CHE 231 3-4
Elementary statistics or Biostatistics †† MTH 123 OR
PSY 200 or  222
Microbiology with lab BIO 305 4
Medical Terminology †††  

All prerequisite coursework must be completed with a grade of “C” or better.  No grade of “C-” or lower will be accepted.  All prerequisite science and math coursework must have been completed within the past 10 years.  Coursework older than 10 years will be reviewed on a case by case basis for acceptance.

† One semester of Human Anatomy with lab PLUS one semester of Human Physiology with lab can substitute for Anatomy and Physiology I and II.

†† Elementary Statistics cannot be replaced by any other math (like calculus).
††† Medical Terminology requirement must be met via a proficiency exam given on the day of orientation. Failure of the proficiency exam will require the student to complete and pass a self-directed medical terminology course prior to matriculation.

+ Courses from Mount Union are for reference only.  Students may take pre-requisites at other post-secondary institutions.

  • Physician Assistant Shadowing Experience: All applicants to the program must complete 40 hours of shadowing an NCCPA-certified physician assistant prior to application to the program. The applicant is responsible for the arrangement of the shadowing experience. Documentation verifying the shadowing experience must be submitted with the CASPA application to the program. Applicants with more than the minimum 40-hour requirement will be preferred. Download Shadowing Form. (Note: Upload to CASPA all completed shadowing forms in one file)
  • Supplemental Application: Applicants no longer need to download and fill out a Supplemental Application. This information will be captured when applying via the CASPA website.
  • Completed Application: Applicants must complete an application via the  Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) and submit it by the  October 1st deadline.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE): General Exam. Please designate code  5966 on the GRE registration. Test scores should not be older than three years. While there is no minimum GRE score required for admission, the competitive candidate will have scores above the 50th percentile. Scores greater than the 50th percentile are preferred.
  • Candidates must have the ability to meet the Technical Standards of the program: See  Technical Standards link for details.
  • Three letters of recommendation must be submitted via the CASPA website: One recommendation must be from a practicing physician or physician assistant.
  • For International Students Only:
    Foreign Transcripts: All transcripts from an institution in any country other than the United States must have a course-by-course evaluation, plus determination of letter grade equivalence. The following agencies may be used for foreign transcript evaluation:

World Education Services 
Attn: Document Center, Bowling Green Station PO Box 5087 
New York, NY 10274-5087 
Phone: (212) 966-6311 or (800) 937-3898 Fax: (212) 739-6100 
Education Credentials Evaluators PO Box 514070 
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470 Phone: (414) 289-3400 
Fax: (414) 289-3411 
SpanTran: a credential and transcript evaluation service. Users who access the link below are offered a 10% off discount.
Web: SpanTran
  • International students must submit official TOEFL scores: Scores of 590 or above on the paper-based test, 243 or above on the computerized test or 100 or above on the internet test are required for citizens of non-English speaking countries.
  • International students are required to have U.S. Visa information: if they are currently residing in the United States.
  • Background Check: Students must request and pay online for a criminal background check prior to program matriculation. Information will be provided upon acceptance.
  • Patient Care Experience: This experience is not required but is preferred.
  • Preference: Preference in the selection of students for the interview process will be given to University of Mount Union graduates who meet all other admissions prerequisites.
  • Priority Admission: The University of Mount Union Physician Assistant Studies Program offers priority admission to some applicants. Please see the  Priority Admissions section for details.
    Note - The University of Mount Union Physician Assistant Studies Program does not offer credit for experience. 
    Note - There is no advanced placement within the University of Mount Union Physician Assistant Studies Program. 
    Note - The PA Program does not accept transfer credit from a student previously enrolled in another PA program, nor does it accept experiential credit. All students accepted into the PA program must satisfy all requirements of the didactic and clinical years of study. 

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