Easiest PA Schools to Get Into (2023)

April 25, 2024
10 min read
Contents

”Jonathan

Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 4/25/24

Are you looking to apply to physician assistant schools but worried you might not get in? This guide covers the easiest PA schools to get into and how you can increase your chances of getting in. 

A career as a physician assistant is a great way to be directly involved in the medical field without becoming a doctor. In fact, a physician assistant has a lot of the same responsibilities as a medical doctor. 

Here we discuss what is a PA, the ten easiest PA schools to get into, and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about becoming a PA. Let’s get started!

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What is A Physician’s Assistant (PA)?

A PA is a healthcare professional who works closely with doctors to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive healthcare services. PAs are trained to examine and treat patients, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and write prescriptions. They may also assist in surgery and provide follow-up care to patients. 

The job duties of a PA may vary depending on the state in which they work and the specific needs of their practice. PAs work in a variety of medical settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices, and may specialize in a particular area of medicine, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, or surgery. 

One of the first steps to becoming a PA is to complete a PA program. Physician assistant programs are postgraduate programs that educate students to work as physician assistants. These programs typically last two to three years and include didactic coursework and clinical rotations in various medical specialties. 

PA programs are designed to prepare students to work under the supervision of doctors, providing a range of medical services, including taking medical histories, performing physical exams, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, prescribing medications, and assisting in surgery.

These programs are very competitive and often require applicants to have a strong academic background and some healthcare experience. Admissions committees look for various factors when evaluating applicants, including grades, test scores, and clinical experience. 

Additionally, PA programs often look for applicants who have a strong desire to pursue a career as a physician assistant and who demonstrate an understanding of the role and responsibilities of the profession.

If you feel like you are not a strong applicant for PA school, it is worth trying to apply to easier PA schools in the country. This article will go over a list of the easiest PA schools to get into in the U.S., their requirements, and some tips on giving yourself a competitive edge when applying. 

10 Easiest PA Schools to Get Into

Below is a list of the easiest PA schools to get into. 

University of Utah

Ranking: #8 in Best Physician Assistant Program

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Cumulative GPA: 3.0

Science GPA: 3.0

GRE score: N/A

Acceptance rate: 8%

In-state tuition: $82,172

The University of Utah, Physician Assistant Program, is one of the oldest PA programs in the country. It is a full-time, 27-month program.

Admission to this program is based on various factors, including undergraduate GPA, prerequisite courses, and healthcare experience. 

The program includes didactic coursework and clinical training in many medical specialties, such as internal medicine, psychiatry, and general surgery. Upon completion of the program, graduates are prepared to perform their PA duties in a clinical setting.

The PA program also provides students a chance to get involved with the community. The program's goal is to address health disparities in the Utah community and have students engage and serve the community while also gaining valuable learning experience. 

Brenau University 

Ranking: #394 in National Universities

Location: Gainesville, Georgia

Cumulative GPA: 2.75

Science GPA: 2.75

GRE score: Verbal 152, Quantitative 152

Acceptance rate: N/A

In-state tuition: $44,226

Brenau University is a private university that offers a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program. The program is designed to include group-based learning, technology, and interprofessional collaboration.

The Brenau University physician assistant program typically takes two years to complete and includes didactic coursework, clinical rotations, and a capstone project. During the clinical year, students must complete nine rotations, where they will learn and develop skills in caring for and treating patients. 

The program strives to produce PAs who are prepared to collaborate in healthcare and practice with integrity and compassion. 

University of Kentucky 

Ranking: #25 in Best Physician Assistant Program

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Cumulative GPA: 2.75

Science GPA: N/A

GRE score: N/A

Acceptance rate: N/A

In-state tuition: $9,546.50/semester

The University of Kentucky offers a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program through its College of Health Sciences. The PA program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program is a full-time, 27-month program that includes didactic coursework and clinical rotations. The curriculum covers various topics, including anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, medical ethics, and patient assessment.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a bachelor's degree, a good GRE score, and meet the prerequisite course requirements, including biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, and psychology.

West Coast University - California 

Ranking: N/A

Location: Los Angeles, California

Cumulative GPA: 3.0

Science GPA: 2.7

GRE score: N/A

Acceptance rate: 83%

In-state tuition: $81,426.75

If you have always wanted to live in sunny Los Angeles, consider going to West Coast University for their Master of Physician Assistant program. The program focuses on teaching students clinical and cultural competence, personal wellness and insight, and ethical responsibility. 

The PA program curriculum covers many medical subjects, including anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and medical ethics. Students also receive hands-on training through clinical rotations, which are supervised by licensed physicians.

These rotations allow students to apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world setting and gain valuable experience working with patients. 

Keiser University 

Ranking: #249 in National Universities

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Cumulative GPA: 2.75

Science GPA: 3.00

GRE score: 295

Acceptance rate: N/A

In-state tuition: $92,189

​​Keiser University's Master of Science in Physician Assistant program is a 24-month program. The first 12 months consist of didactic courses, while the last 12 months include clinical instruction and rotations. 

Students must complete clinical rotations in various fields, such as family practice, internal medicine, women's health, surgery, and psychiatry. 

Though it does cost more then other programs, the Keiser University PA program is a rigorous but rewarding program. It prepares students to become competent and compassionate PAs who can positively impact their patients' lives.

Samuel Merritt University

Ranking: #96 in Best Physician Assistant Program

Location: Oakland, California

Cumulative GPA: 2.80

Science GPA: 2.80

GRE score: N/A

Acceptance rate: 2.25%

In-state tuition: $67,500

If you love the warm weather in California, consider going to Samuel Merritt University. They offer a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program designed to prepare students for a career as a physician assistant.

The program at Samuel Merritt University is a full-time, 27-month program that includes both classroom and clinical instruction. Upon completion of the program, graduates will have the medical knowledge, communication and teamwork skills, and patient care skills to become successful physician assistants. 

Rocky Vista University 

Ranking: N/A

Location: Parker, Colorado

Cumulative GPA: 3.00

Science GPA: 3.00

GRE score: no minimum requirement, however, scores in the 50th percentile or higher are preferred

Acceptance rate: N/A

In-state tuition: $827/credit hour

Rocky Vista University is a private college that offers students a Master of Physician Assistant Studies program designed to prepare students for a career as a physician assistant. 

The program is 28-months long and consists of didactic coursework and clinical rotations. Students learn all the crucial skills needed to become competent physician assistants during their didactic and clinical work. 

In addition to coursework and clinical rotations, students in the PA program must complete a capstone project, a research project, or a case study demonstrating their knowledge and skills in the field.

Des Moines University

Ranking: #142 in Best Physician Assistant Program

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Cumulative GPA: 2.80

Science GPA: N/A

GRE score: N/A

Acceptance rate: 16%

In-state tuition: $47,380

The Master of Physician Assistant Studies program at Des Moines University provides students with rigorous training that will have them thrive in the profession. 

The PA program is a 26-month, full-time program that trains students to become licensed healthcare professionals who work under the supervision of a physician. 

Students are trained to perform various medical tasks, including taking medical histories, performing physical exams, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, and developing treatment plans.

In addition to teaching basic science, the program also focuses on clinical reasoning, pharmacotherapeutics, medical ethics, and public health. 

The program intends to produce physician assistants who practice collaboration, integrity, and professionalism when treating and caring for patients. 

Northwestern University

Ranking: #8 in Best Physician Assistant Program

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Cumulative GPA: 3.00

Science GPA: N/A

GRE score: N/A

Acceptance rate: N/A

In-state tuition: $53,937

Northwestern University Physician Assistant program is a 24-month program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).

To be eligible for the Northwestern University PA program, applicants must have a bachelor's degree and meet other requirements, such as prerequisite coursework and clinical experience. Prerequisite coursework typically includes biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology.

In addition to classroom instruction, the Northwestern University PA program includes clinical rotations, which provide students with hands-on experience in various medical specialties. Students may complete clinical rotations in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and physician offices.

Mercer University

Ranking: #96 in Best Physician Assistant Program

Location: Macon, Georgia

Cumulative GPA: 3.00

Science GPA: 2.90

GRE score:  

  • Verbal Reasoning: 155
  • Analytical Writing: 4
  • Quantitative Reasoning: 154

Acceptance rate: 75%

In-state tuition: $11,206/semester

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program at Mercer University is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). It is a 28-month program that consists of didactic and clinical education.

The didactic portion is typically completed in the first two years, while the clinical portion is completed in the final year. The didactic portion includes coursework in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and medical ethics, as well as clinical rotations in various specialties.

Find More PA Schools With Easy Requirements

If none of the schools on this list are resonating with you, don’t worry. There are lots of other PA schools out there where you can easily gain admission. 

In fact, you can find a PA school tailored to your specific interests with our interactive PA school selection quiz down below! 

List of 30 Easiest PA Schools to Get Into Without GRE

Here's a compilation of 30 PA schools that offer a smoother path to admission, all without the GRE requirement.

School Acceptance Rate Average GPA Average GRE Clinical Experience
Advent Health University 90% 3.0 Unknown Not Required
Augsburg University 77% 3.17 Unknown Required
Bay Path University 75% 3.4 Unknown Required
Bethel University 32% 3.0 304/3.8 GRE Required
California Baptist University 80% 3.6 Unknown Required
Franklin College 93% 3.0 Unknown Required
Gannon University Ruskin 84% 3.76 Unknown Required

School Acceptance Rate Average GPA Average GRE Clinical Experience
Hofstra University 64% 3.30 300 Not Required
King’s College 70% 3.55 Unknown Required
Le Moyne College 78% 3.2 Unknown Not required
Lipscomb University 74% 3.0 Unknown Required
Loma Linda University 38% 3.7 Unknown Not Required
Marshall B Ketchum University 77% 3.55 Unknown Required
Mercer University 75% 3.0 Verbal Reasoning: 155
Analytical Writing: 4
Quantitative Reasoning: 154
Required

School Acceptance Rate Average GPA Average GRE Clinical Experience
Mercy College 86% 3.2 Analytical Writing GRE Score: 3.87 Required
Miami-Dade College 55% 3.0 Unknown Recommended
Northwestern University 7% 3.77 Unknown Required
Samuel Merritt University 2.25% 2.8 Unknown Required
Rocky Vista University N/A 2.8 Unknown Required
West Coast University - Texas 100% 3.5 Unknown Recommended
West Coast University - California 83% 2.7 Unknown Recommended

School Acceptance Rate Average GPA Average GRE Clinical Experience
University of North Dakota 83% 3.0 Unknown Required
University of Utah 8% 3.0 Unknown Required
Midwestern University 79.3% 3.53 Verbal Reasoning GRE Score: 157
Analytical Writing GRE Score: 4
Quantitative Reasoning GRE Score: 156
Not Required
University of New England 96% 3.50 Unknown Not Required
Chatham University 66% 3.74 Unknown Not Required
University of the Cumberlands 83% 3.47 Unknown Not Required
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus 72% 3.7 Unknown Recommended

List of 30 Easiest PA Schools to Get Into with Low GPA

Here's a list of 30 PA schools where you can find more accessible admission requirements, making them great options for those with lower GPAs aiming to kickstart their journey towards becoming physician assistants.

School Acceptance Rate Average GPA Average GRE Clinical Experience
Advent Health University 90% 3.0 Unknown Not Required
Augsburg University 77% 3.17 Unknown Required
West Coast University - California 83% 2.7 Unknown Recommended
University of North Dakota 83% 3.0 Unknown Required
University of Utah 8% 3.0 Unknown Required
Samuel Merritt University 56% 2.8 Unknown Required

School Acceptance Rate Average GPA Average GRE Clinical Experience
Rocky Vista University N/A 2.8 Unknown Required
Mercer University 75% 3.0 Verbal Reasoning: 155
Analytical Writing: 4
Quantitative Reasoning: 154
Required
Mercy College 86% 3.2 Analytical Writing GRE Score: 3.87 Required
Miami-Dade College 55% 3.0 Unknown Recommended
Mercer University 75% 3.0 Verbal Reasoning: 155
Analytical Writing: 4
Quantitative Reasoning: 154
Required
Mercy College 86% 3.2 Analytical Writing GRE Score: 3.87 Required

School Acceptance Rate Average GPA Average GRE Clinical Experience
Le Moyne College 78% 3.2 Unknown Not required
Lipscomb University 74% 3.0 Unknown Required
Hofstra University 64% 3.30 300 Not Required
Franklin College 93% 3.0 Unknown Required
Bethel University 32% 3.0 304/3.8 GRE Required
Bay Path University 75% 3.4 Unknown Required

School Acceptance Rate Average GPA Average GRE Clinical Experience
University of Nevada 86% 2.75 Unknown Not Required
University of Kentucky 94.5% 2.75 Unknown Required
University of Mount Union 76% 3.44 Verbal Reasoning: 150.5
Analytical Writing: 3.98
Quantitative Reasoning:
151.05
Recommended
Springfield College 76% 3.26 Unknown Recommended
University of Toledo 92% 3.45 Verbal Reasoning: 154 Analytical Writing: 3.8Quantitative Reasoning: 153
Not required
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 87% 3.06 Unknown Recommended

School Acceptance Rate Average GPA Average GRE Clinical Experience
University of South Dakota 99% 3.35 Unknown Not required
University of Saint Francis 98% 3.3 300 Not required
Shenandoah University 74% 3.53 300 Recommended
St. John's University 85% 3.5 310 Recommended
Campbell University 89% 3.4 Verbal Reasoning: 154
Analytical Writing: 4
Quantitative Reasoning: 153
Required
Des Moines University 16% 2.80 Unknown Required

Tips for Improving Your Chances of Getting Into PA School

PA school can be challenging to get into. If you’re worried about your chances of getting into PA school, here are some tips to help you be a more competitive applicant. 

Earn a High GPA During Your Undergraduate Degree

Most physician assistant programs require applicants to have a minimum GPA of 3.0, although some programs may have a higher or lower requirement. Earning a strong GPA during your undergraduate studies demonstrates your ability to handle the challenging academics of PA school.

Take The Necessary Prerequisite Courses

PA programs typically require applicants to have completed certain prerequisite courses, such as anatomy, physiology, and biology. Make sure you have completed all required courses and earned strong grades in them.

Many PA schools have a minimum 3.0 science GPA requirement that they consider when accepting applicants. You must maintain a high science GPA, which will determine your acceptance into PA school. 

Write a Strong Personal Statement 

Your personal statement is critical to your PA school application. It outlines your goals, experiences, and qualifications as they relate to your desire to become a physician assistant. Use it to highlight your strengths and explain why you are interested in becoming a PA.

Your personal statement should be well-written, with clear and concise language. It's important to keep your personal statement concise and focused and to avoid including unnecessary or irrelevant information. 

Obtain Letters of Recommendation

PA schools ask for one to three letters of recommendation. Ask professors or supervisors who can speak on your academic and professional abilities to write letters of recommendation on your behalf.

Gain Healthcare Experience

Many physician assistant programs require applicants to have a certain amount of healthcare experience, such as volunteering or working in a healthcare setting. This experience helps demonstrate your commitment to the field. It also helps you gain valuable skills and knowledge that will be useful in your future career as a physician assistant.

Apply to As Many PA Schools As You Can 

It can be competitive to get into PA school, so applying to multiple programs is a good idea to increase your chances of being accepted. Make sure to research the different programs and their requirements to ensure you are a good fit.

Also, if you're worried about not being a competitive applicant, apply to PA schools that are easy to get into. This guide provides you with a list of easy PA schools to choose from.  

Get Ahead with Our PA School Application Guidance

Thinking about PA school but concerned about your application? We've got your back. Our team of experts is here to make your journey smoother. Need a solid GPA? We've got tips. 

Crafting a killer personal statement? We've got you covered. We'll help you pick the right programs, get valuable healthcare experience, and plan a winning application strategy. Don't let the process overwhelm you; let us help you reach your goal of becoming a physician assistant with our PA school admission consulting

Discover your chances of getting into PA school with our free PA School Admissions Calculator!

Easiest PA Schools to Get Into: FAQs

If you still have questions about the easiest PA schools to get into, check out these frequently asked questions. 

1. What PA School Can I Get Into With a Low GPA?

Some PA schools have a low GPA requirement; they are:

  • The University of Utah's minimum GPA requirement is 3.00
  • Brenau University's minimum GPA requirement is 2.75
  • The University of Kentucky's minimum GPA requirement is 2.75

Although these schools have a low GPA requirement, you should aim for a higher GPA score to be considered a competitive applicant. 

2. Can I Get Into PA School With a Low GRE Score?

If you're worried that your GRE score is low, you can apply to PA schools that don't require it. PA schools with no GRE requirement include the University of Utah, Oregon Health and Science University, and Stony Brook University.

3. How Hard is it to Get Into PA School?

It isn’t easy to get into PA school. According to the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), in a recent study, out of 25,593 applicants, only 8,106 people got accepted into a PA program. This translates into 31% of applicants getting into PA school, which is a low acceptance rate. 

4. What are the Easiest PA Schools to Get Into in New York?

The easiest PA schools to get into in New York are:

  • Canisius College's minimum GPA requirement is 3.00
  • York College's minimum GPA requirement is 3.00
  • D'youville College minimum GPA requirement is 3.00
  • Le Moyne College's minimum GPA requirement is 3.00

These schools offer great PA programs for students and are great schools if you're considering going to school in the New York region. 

5. What PA School is the Easiest to Get Into?

It's tough to pinpoint one PA school as the easiest because admission criteria vary, and what's "easy" for one person might not be for another. The ease of getting in depends on your qualifications and the program's requirements. Research programs that match your qualifications and career goals.

6. What are the Easiest PA Schools to Get Into in California?

  • Advent Health University’s minimum GPA requirement is 3.00 
  • Loma Linda University’s minimum GPA requirement is 3.0 
  • Touro University California, Los Angeles’s minimum GPA requirement is 3.0 
  • Samuel Merritt University’s minimum GPA requirement is 2.8

7. What are the Least Competitive PA Schools in Florida?

  • Mercy College’s  minimum GPA requirement is 3.0
  • Miami-Dade College’s minimum GPA requirement is 3.0 

8. What PA Schools in Texas Have the Most Accessible Admission Requirements?

  • West Coast University - Texas’s minimum GPA requirement is 3.0
  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s minimum GPA requirement is 3.0

Final Thoughts

If you're contemplating applying to PA programs but are worried your grades could be better, consider applying to the easiest PA schools in the country. This guide has provided you with a sufficient number of PA schools all over the U.S. that are relatively easier to get into than others. 

Just note that although these PA schools have a low GPA requirement, it would be wise to get your GPA higher than the school's requirement to stay competitive. Also, make sure to hit the deadlines, put your best foot forward, and show how excited you are for your future as a physical assistant.

Best of luck!

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