Admission / Apply

Physician Assistant Studies in Downers Grove

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Admission Requirements
Prerequisite Courses
International Students
Technical Standards for Admission
Application Process and Deadline
Interview / Selection Process
Matriculation Process
Reapplication Process
Related Links

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 more than 1,500 applications received each year for 86 seats. The application deadline is October 1, 2019, 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.

Competitive Admissions

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 candidates: science and cumulative grade point averages (GPA), rigor of undergraduate and prerequisite courses, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores, letters of recommendation, healthcare experience, knowledge of the profession, and motivation for a career as a PA. 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:

  1. Minimum cumulative science and overall GPAs of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  2. GRE scores from the general test using the Midwestern University institution code 1769.
    • The test must have been taken no earlier than January 1, 2015.
    • Test scores must be received by the Office of Admissions no later than December 1, 2019. Scores must be sent directly from ETS to the MWU Office of Admissions.
    • Applicants are expected to achieve a score at or above the 50th percentile in each section. If an applicant has attempted the GRE examination on more than one occasion, the most recent GRE scores will be utilized in the review of the applicant's file
    • For additional information about the GRE, contact ETS at 866/473-4373 or visit
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university before matriculation.
  6. Motivation for and commitment to healthcare as demonstrated by previous work, volunteer work, or other life experiences.
  7. Demonstration of service and leadership through community service or extracurricular activities.
  8. Oral and written communication skills necessary to interact with patients and colleagues.
  9. Passage of Midwestern University criminal background check.
  10. Commitment to abide by the Midwestern University Drug-Free Workplace and Substance Abuse Policy.
  11. Successful completion of tuberculosis screening and all required immunizations prior to matriculation.

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Prerequisite Courses

Course Sem Hrs Qtr Hrs
Biology with lab* 4 6
Anatomy* 4 6
General Chemistry with lab* 8 12
Organic Chemistry with lab* 4 6
Math (college algebra or above) 3 4
Statistics 3 4
English Composition** 6 9
Social and Behavioral Sciences (Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, etc.) 6 9

*All science prerequisites must be courses designed for science majors. No survey courses will count to fulfill science prerequisites. Courses with an online laboratory component will not meet any biology or chemistry prerequisite. 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 or 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.

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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.

International Applicant Packet

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Behavioral and Social Attributes: The candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her 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.

Candidates are required to certify that they understand and meet these Technical Standards. Candidates must provide such certification prior to matriculation. Candidates who may not meet the Technical Standards must inform the Director of Admissions, who will then contact the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students, in consultation with the College Dean and Program Director, will identify and discuss what accommodations, if any, the College (/Program) would need to make that would allow the candidate to complete the curriculum. The College (/Program) 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.

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Application Process and Deadline

1. CASPA Application

Completed applications with all required materials must be submitted to the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) at by October 1, 2019. Please refer to the CASPA application instructions for specific details about completing the application, required documents, and processing time. CASPA applications are available beginning in April of the academic year preceding the year in which the applicant plans to matriculate. Due to the large number of applications and the limited number of seats available, applicants are strongly encouraged to complete their CASPA application early in the cycle. Completed applications are reviewed continuously throughout the admissions cycle.

2. Letters of Recommendation

Applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation from professionals to CASPA ( The Office of Admissions will only accept letters of recommendation received directly from CASPA. It is preferred that one letter is written by a science professor who has actually taught the student or a pre-health advisory committee. The second letter may be written by any one of the following: a pre-health advisory committee, a pre-health advisor, college professor, or a healthcare professional (preferably a PA) who is well-acquainted with the applicant's academic and professional qualifications. Please refer to the CASPA application instructions for specific guidelines and requirements for submitting letters of recommendation.

3. GRE Scores

Applicants are required to submit official GRE general test scores to Midwestern University. The MWU institutional code for submitting scores is 1769. Only test scores earned during the previous five years, no earlier than January 1, 2015 and sent directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to the Office of Admissions are acceptable. Test scores must be received by the MWU Office of Admissions no later than December 1, 2019.

4. Completed Applications

The Office of Admissions will send letters verifying receipt of completed CASPA applications with all required materials to applicants who meet the minimum overall and science GPA requirements of 3.00. Letters will also include instructions on tracking application status online. Applicants must track the receipt of their application materials to ensure the submission of all required documents. Only applicants who submit all required application materials by the published deadlines will be considered for acceptance into the program.

Please Note: Applicants are responsible for notifying the Office of Admissions of any changes in their mailing address or e-mail address. All requests for application withdrawal must be made in writing via e-mail, fax, or letter to the Office of Admissions:

Midwestern University
Office of Admissions
555 31st Street
Downers Grove, IL 60515
630/515-7200 or 800/458-6253
Fax: 630/971-6086

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Interview / Selection Process

Completed applications are reviewed to determine which applicants merit invitations for on-campus interviews. The following criteria are used to select the most qualified candidates for interview invitations: science and cumulative grade point averages (GPA), rigor of undergraduate and prerequisite courses, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores, letters of recommendation, healthcare experience, knowledge of the profession, and motivation for a career as a PA. Interviews are typically scheduled during the months of August through January. Applicants selected to interview will be notified by e-mail or telephone of available dates. Interviews are required before final admissions decisions are made.

Applicants who have been invited to participate in a required on-campus interview will be evaluated on verbal communication skills, understanding of the profession, commitment to patient care, and other elements as determined by the program. The interview day will also provide applicants with an opportunity to learn more about the Physician Assistant program, financial aid programs, and student services. A campus tour and lunch will also be provided.

The PA Admissions Committee reviews the complete applications of candidates who were interviewed and then submits recommendations to the Program Director for action. The CHS Dean, via the Office of Admissions, then notifies applicants in writing of admissions decisions. All applicants with complete applications will receive notification in writing regarding their status by the end of March.

Please Note: Applicants who interview before December 31 are required to bring documentation verifying any outstanding coursework in progress (by providing a copy of a class schedule or a transcript listing the coursework). Applicants must submit documentation of satisfactory completion of prerequisites no later than the December 31st deadline. Applicants who fail to submit this proof by the designated date will not be considered for admission into the Program.

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Matriculation Process

The matriculation process begins after applicants receive notification of their acceptance. To complete the matriculation process, applicants must:

  1. Submit the matriculation agreement and required deposit monies by the date designated in the matriculation agreement. Deposits are applied towards the first quarter's tuition.
  2. Submit official final transcripts from all colleges attended post-high school by the deadline of two weeks (14 days) prior to the first day of classes. Students who are accepted to MWU less than one month prior to the first day of classes will have 30 calendar days from the date of their acceptance to submit all official transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Any special circumstances or requests for exceptions to this policy must be sent to and approved by the Office of the Dean of the College. Students who fail to submit all official final transcripts by the stated deadline may jeopardize their acceptance or continued enrollment in the College.
  3. Submit completed medical files documenting completion of a physical exam, immunizations, tuberculosis and titer blood testing as instructed by the Office of Student Services and detailed in the Student Handbook.
  4. Meet the Technical Standards for the College. 
  5. Submit proof of medical and disability insurance coverage. Students may select either a plan offered by an MWU-approved carrier or a comparable plan offered by an outside carrier of their choice, as determined by the Office of Student Services. Insurance must be maintained throughout the entire period of enrollment. 
  6. Submit additional documents as requested by the Office of Admissions or College.
  7. Students who are requesting an F-1 visa or who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must prepay tuition and in some cases other mandatory program fees for the first year of their educational program 6 weeks before the first day of the first quarter of each academic year. Furthermore, the student must prepay tuition and in some cases other mandatory program fees for each successive year at the start of each academic year on the University’s stated due date.
  8. Submit a signed Credit Policy Statement.
  9. Authorize and pass the appropriate MWU criminal background check, international police clearance, and/or fingerprinting background check as required by the College.  Students who fail to provide completed checks/clearance or fail to pass background checks/clearance by the end of the first month after the start of the first quarter of enrollment may jeopardize their acceptance or continued enrollment in the College, and the student may be required to take a mandatory leave of absence.
  10. Submit a signed MWU Drug-Free Workplace and Substance Abuse Policy Statement.

Applicants who fail to satisfy these matriculation requirements or who omit or falsify information required on official admission documents automatically forfeit their seat in the program. Any individual accepted for admission to the College/Program who does not comply with stated timelines for submission of all required materials will be notified by the College/Program regarding missing materials and the potential forfeiture of his/her seat.

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Reapplication Process

After receiving either a denial or an end-of-cycle letter, prospective students may reapply for the following year's admissions cycle. Before reapplying, however, individuals contemplating reapplication should seek the advice of an admissions counselor. To initiate the reapplication process, prospective students must complete and submit new applications through CASPA and proceed through the standard application process.

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Related Links

CASPA Application

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) / Educational Testing Service

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