PA Schools That Don’t Require the GRE

February 14, 2024
8 min read


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 10/17/23

Are you thinking about applying to PA programs but nervous you won’t be accepted without sitting the GRE? Don't worry; you've got options! In this guide, we’ll go over all the PA schools that don't require GRE exam scores plus how you can improve your chances of acceptance. 

If you're thinking about a career in the medical field, it’s worth considering a PA program. While physician assistants work under close supervision, PAs have many of the same responsibilities as doctors and play a significant role in healthcare teams. 

Typically, the GRE (or Graduate Record Examination) is a requirement for PA programs. However, in recent times, many schools have waived the GRE as a requirement. In this article, we'll be going over all the PA schools where the GRE is not necessary. So get ready, and let's get started!

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List of PA Schools That Don’t Require the GRE

So, you haven’t completed the GRE and are concerned this will hinder your acceptance to a PA program. Well, we have some great news for you; there are actually over 100 colleges (102, to be exact) across the US that accept students without a GRE score! 

In fact, according to U.S. News, below are the top five PA programs that don’t require applicants to have taken the GRE. Rankings are based on U.S. News best Physician Assistant Programs.

U.S. News Rank Program State Time to Complete In-State Tuition (total)
#2 (Tie) Baylor College of Medicine TX 30 months $36,835
#2 (Tie) University of Iowa IA 28 months $22,319
#4 Emory University GA 28 months $47,001
#5 (Tie) George Washington University DC 24 months $52,569
#5 (Tie) Oregon Health and Science University OR 26 months $97,362

As we mentioned above, there are way more than just five PA programs you can apply to without the GRE. Check out our complete list (below) to see all the 102 PA school options where the GRE is not a requirement.

While this list is a comprehensive one, there are other factors that impact acceptance, including different PA program’s difficulty levels. Be sure to familiarize yourself with each school's admission requirements so you’ll be ready and informed when it comes time to apply.

If you want to explore more PA schools, try out our PA program selection tool to help you find the perfect PA program!  

3 Tips to Get Into PA School Without Taking the GRE

We’ve covered the different PA programs that accept students without a GRE score. Now, let’s talk about a few things you can do to boost your application package.  

Prioritize Particular Courses During Your Bachelor’s Degree

PA programs often require a fair amount of prerequisite courses to be eligible for admission. In fact, PA candidates actually have to do more prerequisite coursework than pre-med students! Because of this, it’s imperative you cater your undergraduate courses to your PA program of choice. 

Aside from the prerequisites, try to take some upper level science courses, like immunology. This will add knowledge experience to your transcripts, which PA program admission team’s will notice. Additionally, if you can take courses with a laboratory component, do so.

Finally, keep in mind that many PA programs require students to maintain a particular average, (often it is a C+, even B-) in all their prerequisite courses. 

Write a Strong Personal Statement

A personal statement is an important part of any application package. It lets the admission team know who you are, why you’re interested in their program, and why you would make a great addition to their institution. 

When applying to a PA program specifically, it’s invaluable that your personal statement explain not only why you want to be a physician’s assistant but why you’d be good at it. Talk about some of your characteristics and experiences that have lead you towards a PA degree and how they demonstrate the ways in which you’d make a great PA. 

A personal statement can, at times, feel like bragging and, in a way, it is. But that’s okay! Admission teams want to read about you. They want you to convince them why you’d make a great PA because, if you believe it, they will too.     

Find a Mentor

Try to find a mentor or mentors who have a connection to the PA world. Mentors are invaluable; they will be able to provide you with advice, industry information, and may be able to open doors for you. 

Ideally, this relationship should be developed early in your undergrad so your mentor can truly come to know you. This way, when they write your letter of recommendation, it will be genuine, thorough, and comprehensive. Additionally, the more time you have with them, the more you can absorb their knowledge and advice.  

A mentor can range from a professor to a professional you shadowed during your clinical and/or research experience. They should, however, be someone that relates to the PA field so they will be able to write a strong and applicable letter of recommendation.

PA Schools That Don’t Require GRE: FAQs

If, after reading this guide, you still have some questions, check out these common frequently asked questions. 

1. Can You Get Into PA School Without GRE?

Yes, you can get into a PA school without completing the GRE. However, not all schools allow candidates to apply without their GRE scores. Here’s a list of some PA schools that waive the GRE:

  • University of Colorado;
  • University of Utah; 
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School;
  • University of North Dakota;
  • Albany Medical School; and,
  • New York Institute of Technology.

There are countless applicants, like you, who want to avoid taking the GRE. That makes the application processes for these PA schools that much more competitive. 

2. Are There Any PA Schools In Florida That Don't Require GRE?

Yes, there are PA schools in Florida that don't require GRE; they are:

  • Advent Health University;
  • Gannon University Ruskin;
  • Miami-Dade College;
  • The University of Florida; and,
  • The University of Tampa.

These schools may also be a bit more competitive than other PA schools because they have waived the GRE. It’s crucial that your application is competitive in order to get into these schools. 

3. Do Texas PA Schools Require GRE?

Not all PA schools in Texas require the GRE. Here is a short list of some schools in Texas where the GRE is not mandatory for acceptance:

  • Army Medical Center of Excellence; and,
  • The University of Texas–HS Center at San Antonio.

Texas doesn’t have many PA schools that waive the GRE. This makes those particular schools a little more competitive for those applying to PA schools in Texas.

Final Thoughts

Many schools in the U.S. require PA school applicants  to take the GRE. The GRE is a challenging test and can make or break a person's application to PA school. However, in recent years, many colleges have decided to waive the GRE, making it easier for applicants. 

By highlighting PA schools that don’t require the GRE, this guide will help you kickstart your future career as a physician assistant without the extra stress of taking the GRE.

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