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College of Health Sciences > Physician Assistant Program > PA Program Admission Information > PA Program Admission Selection Criteria
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Admission Selection Criteria 2016-2017 Application Cycle

Admission to the PA program is competitive and student selection is based on various factors, such as overall strength of academic performance, type and quality of prior health care experience, including experience working with or shadowing PAs, and interpersonal communication skills.

 The program is rigorous and academic preparedness will be assessed based on general and science course grade point average, prerequisite course work grade point average, coursework completed prior to application, and performance on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Requirements for Admission to the PA Program

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university prior to matriculation into the program.
  • A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required. GPAs greater than 3.3 each for total and science is considered competitive; GPAs greater than 3.5 each for total and science is considered highly competitive.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores taken within five years prior to application submission. A minimal combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 1,000, or 302 in the new scoring system, is required for interview and admission consideration. 
    • A combined score of 1,200 and above, or 309 in the new scoring system, is considered competitive; a combined score of 1,290, or 314 in the new scoring system, and above is highly competitive.
    • The score must be attained at a single seating of the exam. If you take the GRE more than once, batched and partial scores are not accepted.
    • Original copies of your GRE scores must be sent directly to Rush University. The PA Program GRE code is 0962.
  • Documented hands-on, direct patient contact experience in a health care setting, accrued within seven years of application submission.   A minimum of 1000 hours direct patient contact experience is required at the time of application submission.  Having 1,500 hours and above is considered competitive, and having 2,500 hours and above is considered highly competitive.
  • A completed application submitted to the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).
    • A supplemental application and $40 fee is required only if you are invited to interview at the program. Information regarding this will be provided with an interview invitation.
  • An on campus interview with members of the PA program faculty and admissions committee sheet
  • All applicants must meet the minimum requirements to perform the essential functions of a PA. See the Technical Standards sheet for more information.
  • Admission is contingent upon successful completion of a health assessment, criminal background check, and drug screening processes prior to matriculation.  Information regarding this requirement is discussed during interviews.
  • Applicants with coursework or a bachelor's degree conferred outside of the United States must submit a course equivalence evaluation by either World Education Services (WES) or Education Credentials Evaluators (ECE)
  • TOEFL scores, if English is not your native language.

Attendance in the program is on a full-time basis only.  No advanced standing or transfer credits are awarded, regardless of a candidate’s previous professional or academic experience.   

The PA program admits students into the class on a rolling basis. This means that at each interview session, offers are made to fill seats in the class. Under a rolling admissions process, it is possible to fill all the seats in the class before interviews are done. It is to the applicant's advantage to submit all application materials as early as possible.

Due to the competitive nature of the application process, meeting posted admission criteria to the program does not guarantee a candidate will be offered an interview for the program.

Completing My Application to Rush University PA Program

The 2016-2017 application cycle is open from April 27, 2016 to November 1, 2016. 

Applications must be submitted online via CASPA at:

The CASPA application requires:

  • Submission of official transcripts for all college course work completed
  • Three letters of recommendation.  It is preferred that at least one of the letters be from a PA, physician, or other health care provider who is familiar with the PA profession.
  • A personal statement per CASPA criteria
  • Payment of an application fee as outlined by CASPA

For More Information

For inquiries related to the CASPA admissions process, contact CASPA directly.

For questions about the Rush University Physician Assistant Program, contact our program at (312) 563-3234 or via e-mail at:

For information about Rush University or the admissions policies of the College of Health Sciences at Rush University, contact the College admissions office directly at (312) 942-1721.

You can attend an upcoming open house event to find out more information about the PA program.

See: for information related to upcoming PA Program Open House events.

For more information regarding the University’s TOEFL requirement, refer to the College of Health Sciences TOEFL Policy, available at:

We strongly encourage you to review our FAQ sheet as well. Many of the questions we commonly get about the program and our admission processes are answered in the FAQ sheet.





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