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Physician Assistant Studies Early Assurance Pathway

Issued: 09/10/2018
Last Revised: 12/01/2021
Reviewed: 12/01/2021

The University of Mount Union Physician Assistant Studies Program

The Mount Union Physician Assistant Studies Program offers Early Assurance for up to 10 seats for currently enrolled undergraduate students at the University of Mount Union (UMU). Students must have completed three semesters of study at the University of Mount Union to be eligible to apply for the program. Accepted students will have a reserved seat in the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program for the summer semester (May) starting immediately following completion of their bachelor’s degree.

This is a two-step process for admission into the PA Program.


The first step of the process is to conclude three semesters of undergraduate studies at the University of Mount Union. To be eligible for Early Assurance consideration, students must meet all the following eligibility guidelines:

1.) Complete at least 3 semesters of full-time academic study at UMU in a degree granting Bachelor of Science program of study.

2.) Maintain enrollment at UMU throughout the application process.

3.) Successfully complete the following prerequisite courses including laboratories: BIO 140 and 141, CHE 120, BIO 210 and 211, CHE 231. These courses must be completed with a grade of B or better on the first attempt.

a. Applicants may have one course in-progress in spring semester (4th semester) of interview. If one course is in-progress, then full determination of Early Assurance status will be made in May when the spring grade for that course is finalized. All six pre-requisites for the Step 1 process must be complete by the end of the student’s fourth semester.

b. If the student enters the University of Mount Union with College-Credit Plus approved courses, then the pre-requisite courses for that candidate would be the next higher-level course. Students must work with their academic advisor for the determination (for example, if a student has CCP credit for CHE 120 Concepts in Chemistry then the recommendation for the next level course to meet the pre-requisite may be CHE 214 Inorganic Chemistry).

4.) Possess a minimum overall/cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.4 and a science GPA of 3.4 or higher for all post-secondary coursework. Science GPA will be calculated using all science coursework using the CASPA model of calculation (Biology/Zoology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, Other Science). CASPA science GPA information can be found at the following:

5.) Interested candidates must apply using the UMU PA Early Assurance Application. Applicants are invited to apply in the fall semester if they are in the process of completing or have already completed at least 3 semesters of full-time coursework at UMU. Applicants must complete the entire application and submit all required credentials by the published deadline.

6.) Interviews will be granted by invitation-only following application review. Early Assurance interviews will be conducted in the spring semester. A successful in-person interview at UMU is required prior to an offer of Early Assurance.

7.) Selection into the Early Assurance Pathway is via an annual selective process. Early Assurance offers will be made in April with a student response due in early May.

8.) Candidates who are not offered an Early Assurance reservation are eligible to apply through the typical application process (applications due October 1st prior to the following May start of the program).


The second step allows a student who has been granted Early Assurance to the UMU Physician Assistant Studies Program the opportunity to apply for admission to claim that reserved seat. This second step is the actual process of obtaining admission to the UMU Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program.

To receive admission to the PA program, undergraduate students granted Early Assurance through the Early Assurance Pathway are required to complete the following: 

1.) Successfully complete all prerequisite coursework for PA program admissions with a grade of C or better (you may have 1-2 courses pending at time of application to UMU PA Program).

2.) Complete all PA admissions criteria (including minimum GPA requirements, 40 hours of PA shadowing, letters of recommendation, etc.).

3.) Maintain an annual meeting with a PA faculty member (mentor) with a positive performance review. (Candidates will not need a PA program interview during the admission cycle as the earlier in-person interview and these annual meetings take the place of the traditional interview that follows completion of the CASPA application.)

4.) Apply to UMU PA Program through CASPA. Students must follow all CASPA application procedures and deadlines. As with all candidates for this program, it is solely the student’s responsibility to meet all admission dates and deadlines. Early Assurance is a privilege of the opportunity to secure a seat in the PA program and not a right to matriculate into it.

5.) Graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Mount Union.

Early Assurance Pathway Process Description:Undergraduate students at the University of Mount Union who complete all of STEP 1 will have applied for Early Assurance, formalizing their desire to become a physician assistant and to apply for admission to the UMU PA Program once closer to completion of the baccalaureate degree. Students will receive a STEP 1 decision from the PA Program in April (typically in the 4th semester of undergraduate coursework). Once Early Assurance is awarded, students will complete STEP 2 prior to October of their senior year. If STEP 1 and STEP 2 are completed successfully, Early Assurance UMU students will not be required to interview in the fall semester prior to matriculation (required of

all non-Early Assurance applicants). Admission decisions for enrollment in the PA Program will be made by the UMU PA Admissions Committee. Grade point average (GPA) data used for the STEP 2 admission decisions will reflect applicable coursework available in October in CASPA (prior to matriculation in May); Early Assurance students should maintain competitive cumulative and science GPAs.

Early Assurance students that do not meet their matriculation admission requirements in the October CASPA review will have a second review of their application credentials in December by the UMU PA Admissions Committee. All December review admission decisions are final for the admission cycle and candidates that do not meet admission standards will be denied admission for that admission cycle. Denied candidates shall not be reviewed again for that cycle but can apply in the normal process for the next admission cycle.