Physician Assistant Studies Admission
The Midwestern University PA Program considers applicants who possess the academic and professional promise necessary for development as competent, caring members of the healthcare community. The admissions environment is highly selective with approximately 1,400 applications received each year for 86 seats. The application deadline is October 1, 2023, however, the PA Program uses a rolling admissions process in which applicants are continuously accepted until all seats are filled, so applicants are encouraged to apply early.
Completed applications received on or before the application deadline are reviewed to determine applicant eligibility for interviews. The following criteria are used to select the most qualified and diverse candidates: science and cumulative grade point averages (GPA), rigor of undergraduate and prerequisite courses, letters of recommendation, healthcare experience, economic or educational disadvantaged background status, knowledge of the profession, and motivation for a career as a PA. Additionally, in all aspects of the Program, the Program is committed to achieving and fostering diversity, inclusion, and equality to enrich the educational experience and realize the University’s and Program’s missions and goals. Competitive candidates are typically invited to campus for interviews during the months of August through January.
Admission Requirements for the PA Master's Program
Students seeking admission to the PA Program must submit the following documented evidence:
*Beginning with the 2022-2023 CASPA Application Cycle, the Midwestern University PA Program will no longer require completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test for admission into the Program.
- Minimum cumulative science and overall GPAs of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. Competitive applicants typically have science and overalls GPAs of 3.3 or higher.
- Completion of prerequisite courses as listed below from regionally accredited colleges or universities.
- All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of a C or better.
- Grades of C- are NOT acceptable for any prerequisite courses.
- If advanced placement (AP) credit has been granted by an outside institution, this credit will automatically be considered for the following prerequisite courses: Math, Statistics, English Composition, and Social and Behavioral Science courses.
- For AP credit earned in Biology and Chemistry, MWU may request the submission of appropriate documentation (as determined by MWU) to verify the AP credit earned meets the program's admission standards.
- Life experience credits do not count toward fulfillment of any prerequisite courses.
- Courses in which grades of "pass" are earned will be counted only when applicants can provide verification that the earned grades are equivalent to grades of C or better (grades of C- are not acceptable).
- Completion of prerequisite courses by December 31st of the year which precedes the year of anticipated matriculation.
- No exceptions will be made.
- Applicants must determine which prerequisites are missing and which courses must be taken to fulfill any outstanding prerequisites.
- Students invited to interview must show documentation on the day of their visit that they are enrolled in or registered for any outstanding prerequisites.
- Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university before matriculation.
- Candidates invited to interview are required to submit Casper test results.
- Motivation for and commitment to healthcare as demonstrated by previous work, volunteer work, or other life experiences.
- Demonstration of service and leadership through community service or extracurricular activities.
- Oral and written communication skills necessary to interact with patients and colleagues.
- Passage of Midwestern University criminal background check.
- Commitment to abide by the Midwestern University Drug-Free Workplace and Substance Abuse Policy.
- Submission of documentation that demonstrates completion of or progress towards completing tuberculosis screening and all required immunizations. Students are required to complete tuberculosis screening and all required immunizations prior to beginning their clinical phase of training.
|Biology with lab*
|General Chemistry with lab*
|Organic Chemistry with lab*
|Math (college algebra or above)
|Social and Behavioral Sciences (Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology)
*All science prerequisites must be courses designed for science majors. No survey courses will fulfill science prerequisites. Courses with an online laboratory component will not meet any biology or chemistry prerequisite. The Midwestern University-Downers Grove Physician Assistant Program is aware that many universities and colleges across the country had to modify their curriculum in reaction to the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. One modification was offering coursework, including laboratory components, online. Currently, the PA Program policy is that courses with an online laboratory component will not meet any biology or chemistry prerequisite. This policy will be amended to accept prerequisite coursework with a laboratory component completed during Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, or Fall 2021 which was only offered online. In these circumstances, MWU may request appropriate documentation to verify that the institution was not offering in-person laboratory components for prerequisite courses the applicant completed during the above time period(s). In addition, advanced placement credit received at the undergraduate level may not satisfy biology or chemistry prerequisites. For advanced placement (AP) credit earned in biology and chemistry, MWU may request the submission of appropriate documentation (as determined by MWU) to verify the AP credit earned meets the program's admission standards.
**Courses accepted for the English Composition prerequisite include rhetoric, composition, technical writing, and courses designated as writing intensive by the institution.
Pass/Fail coursework during COVID-19:
The Midwestern University-Downers Grove Physician Assistant Program is aware that many universities and colleges across the country had to modify their curriculum in reaction to the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. One modification included awarding Pass/Fail final grades instead of traditional letter grades for completed coursework. According to the admissions requirement of the Midwestern University-Downers Grove PA Program, prerequisite courses in which grades of "pass" are earned are counted only when applicants can provide verification that the earned grades are equivalent to grades of C or better (grades of C- are not acceptable). This requirement will be waived for all prerequisite coursework completed during Spring, Summer, or Fall 2020 in which only pass/fail grades were awarded. In these circumstances, MWU may request appropriate documentation to verify that the institution was not awarding letter grades for prerequisite courses the applicant completed during the above time period(s).
An international student must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, or from a recognized post-secondary Canadian institution that uses English as its primary language of instruction and documentation. Of the 30 semester hours, 15 hours must be in the sciences, 6 hours in non-remedial English composition, and 3 hours in speech/public speaking.
Applicants who wish to receive credit for prerequisite coursework completed outside the U.S. or at a Canadian institution that does not use English as its primary language of instruction and documentation must submit an official, detailed, course-by-course evaluation obtained from one of the following evaluation services:
International applicants who do not provide documentation of acceptable U.S. or Canadian course/degree equivalency will not receive credit, and will be required to complete all prerequisite courses at an accredited college or university in the United States, or at a recognized post-secondary institution in Canada that uses English as its primary language of instruction and documentation.
For clarification about recognized post-secondary institutions in Canada that use English as a primary language of instruction and documentation, international applicants should contact the Midwestern University Office of Admissions.
Technical Standards for Admission
The Technical Standards set forth the nonacademic abilities considered essential for students to achieve the level of competence required by the faculty to obtain the academic degree awarded by the college.
Candidates must have abilities and skills in five areas: 1) observation; 2) communication; 3) motor; 4) intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative; and 5) behavioral and social. Technological compensation can be made for some limitation in certain of these areas, but candidates should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.
- Observation: The candidate must be able to accurately make observations at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and sense of touch and is enhanced by the functional use of all of the other senses. The candidate must be able to accurately auscultate lung/breath, heart and bowel sounds to complete the curricular requirements to individually complete a physical examination of a patient/client.
- Communication: The candidate must be able to communicate effectively, efficiently and sensitively in both oral and written form and be able to perceive nonverbal communication.
- Motor: Candidates must be able to coordinate both gross and fine muscular movements, maintain equilibrium and have functional use of the senses of touch and vision. The candidate must possess sufficient postural control, neuromuscular control and eye-to-hand coordination to perform profession-specific skills and tasks. Candidates must be able to lift 20 lbs.
- Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: The candidate must be able to problem-solve, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, record, and synthesize large amounts of information in a timely manner. The candidate must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand spatial relationships.
- Behavioral and Social Attributes: The candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of the candidate's intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment and the consistent, prompt, completion of all responsibilities and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. The candidate must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, effective interpersonal skills, willingness and ability to function as an effective team player, interest, and motivation to learn are all personal qualities required during the educational process. The candidate must agree to participate in touching/palpating on the skin and being touched/palpated on the skin by individuals regardless of gender in all academic settings, including intra- and extraoral examinations. These activities will take place in large and small group settings as directed in the College's and/or Program's curricular requirements.
Candidates are required to verify that they understand and meet these Technical Standards at least 4 weeks prior to matriculation (or if admitted later, within 1 week of deposit). Candidates who may only meet Technical Standards with accommodation must contact the Office of Student Services to make a formal request for accommodation. The Dean of Students, in consultation with the College Dean/Program Director, will determine what reasonable accommodations can be provided. The College is not able to grant accommodations that alter the educational standards of the curriculum.
Students must meet the Technical Standards for the duration of enrollment at the College. After matriculation, if a student fails to continue to meet the Technical Standards during subsequent enrollment, the student may apply for accommodation by contacting the Office of Student Services. If the accommodation needed to meet the Technical Standards alters the educational standards of the curriculum, the student's ability to satisfactorily progress in the curriculum will be evaluated by the appropriate College's Student Graduation and Promotions Committee.