Physician Assistant Program - Prospective Students

Students graduating from the Penn State College of Medicine PA program will be awarded a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree.

The Penn State PA Program, located on the Penn State College of Medicine Campus in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is a 24-month, full-time graduate program with the inaugural 30-student class having enrolled May 2014 and graduating in May 2016.

This master's degree is a professional graduate degree which identifies the recipient as being trained in the practice of medicine as a physician assistant. This degree is not a preparation in the science of medicine but rather connotes preparation for professional practice as a physician assistant. This degree is awarded as a Penn State degree and is presented from the College of Medicine. Students who complete all graduation requirements will take part in the annual College of Medicine Graduation Ceremony held each May.

Physician Assistant Program Class Profiles




Applications Received:

(Pennsylvania Residents)





Class Size:

(Early Assurance Program*)





Applicants Interviewed:

109 (5.6%)

107 (4.9%)

Resident/Non-Resident 13/17 14/16
Women: 17 10
Men: 13 20


12 (40%) 15 (50%)

Average Age:






Overall Cumulative GPA:






Overall Science GPA:






Healthcare Hours:






GRE Total:






GRE Quantitative:






GRE Verbal:






GRE Writing:






Additional Level of Education:









*Number of students in the entering class coming from an Early Assurance Program.

**Underrepresented includes veterans, educationally disadvantaged, economically disadvantaged, and/or underrepresented minorities in healthcare.

The 2015-2016 CASPA cycle for Penn State is now open! 

Penn State will accept secondary applications postmarked by January 30, 2016.

Applicants seeking admission to Penn State College of Medicine in the 2015-2016 CASPA cycle would begin their graduate studies in May 2016.

2015-2016 CASPA Cycle: All applicants to Penn State must be CASPA-verified by January 15, 2016, We strongly encourage you to submit & complete your CASPA application 4-6 weeks prior to our January 15 deadline to allow sufficient time for your CASPA application to be verified. What does CASPA-verified mean?

CASPA Application Fee Waivers: A limited number of CASPA fee waivers are available. Click here to learn more

Secondary Application: Penn State requires a secondary application, including a $50 application fee, in order to receive full consideration by the admissions committee. Only CASPA-verified applicants will receive our request to complete the secondary application.

Secondary Application Fee Waivers:  Penn State PA Program follows the same federal low-income level guidelines as stated on CASPA's website. Documentation supporting an applicant's request for a secondary fee waiver must be submitted with the secondary application. 


Applicants will need to complete an undergraduate bachelor's degree prior to matriculation into the Penn State PA Program. The emphasis on his/her major should be in the health sciences, however this is not mandatory for consideration into the program.

For admissions consideration, an applicant should ordinarily have the following admission requirements:

  • at least an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0;
  • at least a required science GPA of 3.0;
  • health care experience of 500 hours (paid or volunteer);
  • completion of pre-requisite courses, as listed:
    • general biology
    • anatomy and physiology – two semesters (or one semester each)
    • microbiology
    • general or principles of chemistry
    • biochemistry or organic chemistry
    • general psychology
    • statistics or bio statistics
    • two semesters of English composition (or two courses listed as writing intensive courses)
  • completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) without minimum score requirement or MCAT (medical college aptitude test) with a combined score of 29 (if less than 29, the GRE is required)
    Penn State PA Program GRE Code: 0900  
    Official GRE scores are uploaded directly to CASPA
  • three letters of recommendation for the candidate
  • personal statement describing the rationale for pursuing the physician assistant career

The most qualified applicant will be invited to campus for an in-person interview in order to ascertain who will be the best fit for this program, and for the applicants to find out more about this PA Program. The link to Penn State's supplemental/secondary application will be emailed to applicants after the CASPA application has been completed and verified.

Tuition & Fees Schedule for 2014-2015 - Resident or Non-Resident











Year 1 Fees

Year 2 Fees














Year 1 Total

Year 2 Total










The primary way for obtaining financial assistance as a graduate student at Penn State College of Medicine is by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at

Penn State's Federal School Code: 003329

View Refund Policy and Procedures

International Student Requirements:

In addition to all of the standard admission requirements listed on the 'Requirements' tab, all international applicants must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language(TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), with the exceptions noted below*. 

TOEFL exam type: TOEFL Minimum Accepted Score:
Paper-based 550
Computer-based 213
Internet-based (iBT) 80; minimum of 19 on speaking section

Request submission of your TOEFL test scores to The Pennsylvania State University, school code 2660. 

IELTS exam  Minimum Accepted Score:
Composite Score 6.5

*International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement if they have received a baccalaureate or a master's degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following: 

  • Australia
  • Belize
  • British Caribbean and British West Indies
  • Canada (except Quebec)
  • England 
  • Guyana
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Liberia
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Ireland
  • Scotland 
  • United States
  • Wales


PA Focus is a PAEA-operated blog designed to assist pre-PA students. current PA students, and veterans

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