Requirements
School of Physician Assistant Studies Admissions

Competitive Admissions

requirement specifics
Overall Science GPA 3.0
Prerequisite science courses Human anatomy & physiology, microbiology, general chemistry, statistics & medical terminology (28 credit hours)
Patient care experience 2,000 hours (1 year) (Strongly Recommended)
Combined GRE score (Verbal and Quantitative) 300, 3.5 or above Analytical writing

Individuals who are interested in applying to the University of Florida School of Physician Assistant Studies must meet certain minimum requirements in order to be considered for interview. These requirements include academic degree, prerequisite courses, patient care experience, professional references, official GRE scores, and completion of all portions of the application available through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) as well as the University of Florida supplemental application.

Once all requirements are met, the Admissions Committee reviews the complete application package and identifies the most qualified applicants for potential invitation to interview with the School of Physician Assistant Studies faculty. Individual interviews are required in order for an applicant to be considered for acceptance, and only the most qualified interviewees will receive an offer of a seat in the new entering class.


Degree Requirements

Applicants must complete a BACHELOR’S DEGREE at a college or university that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies, such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. To determine if a college or university is regionally accredited, visit chea.org.

The School of Physician Assistant Studies does not accept foreign degree equivalency evaluations. We do not make exceptions. All coursework must be completed at a school that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies.


Prerequisites and Other Courses

Applicants must complete all preprofessional prerequisite courses at colleges or universities accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies. To determine if a college or university is regionally accredited, visit chea.org.

All applicants must complete the following PREPROFESSIONAL PREREQUISITE COURSES with a grade of C or better by the end of the fall semester before the program’s academic year begins in late June. Preference is given to applicants whose prerequisites are no older than 5 years at the time of application:

Prerequisite Courses

Course Credit hours
Human Anatomy & Physiology* 6-8 semester hours, including labs
Microbiology** 3-5 semester hours, including lab
General Chemistry (Inorganic) *** 8-11 semester hours, including labs
Statistics (including statistical tests and analysis) 3 semester hours
Medical Terminology 1 semester hour or more
  • * Human Anatomy & Physiology: To meet this requirement take Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 with lab PLUS Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 with lab –OR– take Human Anatomy with lab PLUS Human Physiology. Human Anatomy and Physiology courses must cover all organ systems. Applied Anatomy and Physiology courses that do not will not be recognized as fulfilling the prerequisite course requirement. Comparative, Survey, Elementary, Mammalian, Vertebrate, and/or Functional Anatomy; Exercise, Applied, Advanced, Survey, Vertebrate, and/or Mammalian Physiology courses CANNOT replace the Human Anatomy and/or Human Physiology requirements.
  •  ** Microbiology: Preference is given to those with higher level Microbiology. Many of the Clinical, Medical, Introductory or Survey Microbiology courses will not meet our prerequisite requirement. 
  • *** Chemistry: A complete sequence (i.e. Chemistry 1 with lab PLUS Chemistry 2 with lab) geared toward science majors (appropriate as a first-level course for a Chemistry major)

CLEP or Advanced Placement Courses – CLEP examination or advanced placement credit may not be used to meet any of the School’s requirements. Experiential learning is also not an acceptable substitute for prerequisite requirements.

Applicants who have attended Florida colleges and universities can find a list of approved prerequisites at the following link:

Applicants completing courses at non-Florida institutions can send a fax or email of the course description and content to the UF School of PA Studies Admissions Office for review to determine whether a course fulfills a prerequisite requirement: 352-294-8167 or admissions@pap.ufl.edu.

Recommended Additional Courses

Additional chemistry, biology, and social science courses beyond the minimum requirements will strengthen an application, especially if the additional courses are highly correlated with medicine. If an applicant has completed the minimum preprofessional courses listed above and is searching for electives, the following areas would strengthen an application.

Medically-related Sciences, including such courses as:

Biochemistry (prerequisites: Organic Chemistry 1 and 2)
Biostatistics
Cell Biology
Cell Physiology
Embryology
Epidemiology
Genetics
Histology
Immunology
Molecular Genetics
Organic Chemistry
Parasitology
Pathogenic Bacteriology
Virology

Non-medically-related Sciences, including such courses as:

Physical Chemistry
Physics
Quantitative Analysis

Social and Behavioral Sciences, including such courses as:

Abnormal Psychology
Death and Dying
Developmental Psychology
Human Growth and Development
Human Sexuality
Marriage and the Family
Medical Ethics
Psychology
Sociology

Writing, including such courses as:

Expository Writing
Technical Writing

Humanities/Liberal Arts, including such courses as:

Communications
Humanities


Patient Care Experience

Settings such as hospitals and hospital-related clinics offer the greatest opportunities for working alongside and understanding the range of professional responsibilities of multiple members of the healthcare team. In these settings, but also private physician offices, charitable clinics, and therapy businesses, there are opportunities for you to gain exposure to a wide range of patient problems, diagnoses, and treatment management.  Whatever it is you are doing now or choose to do to gain clinical exposure prior to PA school, we recommend that you keep a detailed list of tasks performed and procedures in which you assisted.

Direct Patient Care

Although there is no minimum direct patient care requirement, applicants are encouraged to complete one year (2000 hours) Direct Patient Care (DPC) experience before their intended matriculation (enrollment date).*

To help you better understand what qualifies for DPC, think of DPC as actually providing healthcare to patients. So, Direct Patient Care means actually providing care and doing for patients.  We often think of DPC as ‘hands-on’.  However, work that is ‘hands-on’ may not qualify as Direct Patient Care.  The element of providing healthcare must be present.   The following discussion is aimed to make this more clear.

Examples of DPC include taking vitals, bathing patients, helping patients transfer from bed to bedpan or toilet, walking patients, drawing blood, performing diagnostics, administering prescribed therapy or treatments, counseling. For applicants who are already health professionals, such as paramedics, respiratory therapists, or nurses, the practice of your profession for the recommended length of time would constitute such clinical experience.

Applicants without previous health care experience are often able to acquire DPC experience working as a medical or nursing assistant, or aide. Patient care experience can be acquired on a paid or volunteer basis, as long as the recommended amount of time is met in an acceptable health care setting.  Applicants often complete nursing assistant certification, gain paramedic training, or learn how to become a scribe in order to secure paid employment while gaining clinical experience. Scribe work is perhaps the only example of non-professional level clinical experience we consider to be DPC which doesn’t allow for touching patients. It is the integration and application of various aspects of patient care required of a scribe working alongside a physician, PA, or ARNP that qualifies scribing as providing Direct Patient Care

Direct Patient Care Experience (DPC):

Positions receiving full credit: Positions receiving less than full credit:
Acupuncturist (up to ½)
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Behavioral Therapist (up to ½)
Chiropractor Chiropractic Assistant (up to ½)
Clinical Psychologist Dental Assistant (up to ½)
Corpsman (Navy) EEG/EKG Tech (up to ½)
Dental Hygienist Home Health Aide (up to ½)
Dietitian/Nutritionist Medical Technologists (1/4 to full credit)
EMT/Paramedic Massage Therapist (up to 1/2)
ER Tech Mental Health Counselor/Therapist (up to 1/2)
Exercise Physiologist/Athletic Trainer Nuclear Medicine Tech (up to 1/2)
Medic (Army) Optician (up to 3/4)
Medical Assistant/Nursing Assistant Phlebotomist (up to 1/2)
Nurse (RN, LPN) PT/Rehabilitation Aide/Assistant (1/2)
Occupational Therapist  Research Coordinator (up to 1/2)
Patient Care Assistant/Tech (PCA)  UF ER Research Associate (1/2)
Physician  
Respiratory Therapist  
Scribe  
X-Ray/Radiology Technologist  

Health Related Experience

Health Related Experience (HRE) is considered to be an individual’s exposure to the healthcare field, the patients and the healthcare professionals caring for them, but the exposure doesn’t permit the individual to provide healthcare, or the exposure is outside of the medical setting. Examples of HRE include shadowing, transporting patients, patient education, clinical trial work other than DPC work itself, laboratory bench work, telephoning patients, non-nursing home health care, clerical work, electronic medical records work outside of patient care, office work.  Also, without exception, internships and other categories of educational training are considered HRE.

UF Admissions puts great stock in applicants who take the time and effort to regularly shadow PAs for a meaningful period of time. Regardless of your exposure to Physician Assistants in your work area, you are encouraged to seek out PAs to shadow on a regular basis and in a variety of settings. Opportunities such as these will help you  to better understand the variety of PA roles in primary care, e.g., family medicine, internal medicine, general pediatrics, and some of the many  subspecialties in which PAs serve the medical community.

Examples:

  • Lactation Specialists
  • Medical Office Clerical Staff/Receptionist/Scheduler
  • NICU Baby Cuddler
  • Observer/Shadower
  • Patient Transporter
  • Pharmacy Cashier/Clerk
  • Pharmacy Tech
  • Research Assistant (health related)
  • Student Clinical Rotation/Internship
  • Ward Clerk
  • Personal trainer

Patient Care/Health Related Experience and CASPA

CASPA applications request listing of responsibilities and total time spent in patient care (DPC) and HRE. Shadowing experiences are to be listed as HRE on the CASPA application, as discussed above.

You will be asked to list job title, role, name of institution, name and title of supervisor, and to provide a detailed description of tasks, number of hours worked per week, and total number of weeks worked.

Specifically, we ask that you break down jobs/clinical experiences which combine direct and related healthcare exposure, such that DPC and HRE hours are listed under respective DPC and HRE CASPA sections. The same job/clinical experience title and dates worked should be used for each.

Applicants should be careful not to duplicate information and to provide accurate dates/hours in each section of the CASPA application.

GRE Scores

All applicants must meet the GRE requirement by submitting scores from the GRE General Test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections). Scores must be received as Official in CASPA on or before September  1. NoteInformation on Testing sites and times is available on the GRE website. On test day, use 0427 for the Institution Code. Applications received without official GRE scores in CASPA on or before Sept. 1 will be considered incomplete.