The PA Scholars PAthway provides a select group of highly qualified undergraduate students an exclusive opportunity for early acceptance into the Mount’s graduate Physician Assistant (PA) Program. Mount students who fulfill the prerequisites for the PA Program while completing their bachelor’s degree must apply for the PA Scholar’s PAthway by April 18th of their sophomore year. Qualified applicants will be offered an interview, followed by notification of their acceptance into the PA Scholars PAthway Program during the first semester of their junior year.


Students selected for the PA Scholars PAthway will have the unique experience of being among the Mount’s new PA program candidates and graduates. Additional benefits of the PA Scholars PAthway program include:
  • Extensive preparation for any PA Program, as well as the potential for early undergraduate degree completion prior to applying to the Mount’s PA Program.
  • Assistance in acquiring necessary health care experience with area facilities, e.g.; Bayley, Mother Margaret Hall and Mercy West. Completion of the CED 220 course is required before being placed at these area facilities for your co-op experiences.
  • Assistance arranging required shadowing experience with area physician assistants.
  • Direction for finding GRE support and registering for the GRE prep courses.
  • A dedicated Graduate School Planning Advisor to coordinate a student’s academic schedule and assure all undergraduate requirements are met. 
  • Opportunity to interface with the Mount’s PA program faculty at the Graduate School Planning picnic, events, in classes (HLT 100, CED 303), and graduate information sessions.
  • A guaranteed interview for students who meet all application requirements prior to the official matriculation date for the PA Program.
  • Early admission determination for the Mount’s PA Program (for Mount St. Joseph University students only). Up to 10 of the 32 spots are available for early admission. Those students who are not granted early admission will be reconsidered with the regularly scheduled application and admission process.
  • Mount St. Joseph graduates receive additional consideration in their admission application.
  • Recognition at Commencement (green cords for medical profession).


  • Cumulative GPA and Science GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours completed, including a minimum of six of the core prerequisites courses.
  • A minimum of 30 hours must be completed in residence at Mount St. Joseph University.
  • No grade less than a “B” in a core prerequisite course.
  • Applicant must have completed a minimum of 100 hours of direct patient care experience.
  • Recommended that applicants have a minimum of 20 hours of shadowing experience with a clinically practicing PA.
  • Submit a PA Scholars PAthway application. Download the application here.


Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and science GPA of 3.0.

These prerequisite core courses and the corequisite laboratories must be taken at the Mount:

  • General Chemistry with labs  (one year, CHE 111/112)
  • Organic Chemistry  with lab (CHE 211)
  • Biochemistry (CHE 325)
  • General Biology with labs (one year, BIO 111/112)
  • Microbiology (BIO 305)
  • Anatomy and Physiology with labs (one year, BIO 201/202)
  • Developmental Psychology (PSY 204)
  • Statistics (MTH 174)

GRE must be taken within 5 years of your start date. 

Three letters of recommendation: one from a current PA, one from a current professor or supervisor, and one more professional colleague.

Minimum health-care experience of 500 hours to include direct patient care (e.g. nurse aide, nursing assistant, medical assistant, EMT) which may be paid or voluntary in nature.

Minimum of 40 hours shadowing a physician assistant in a clinical setting.

Complete an application for the program through the CASPA system. 

Note: Early degree completion may require enrollment in summer courses. PA Scholars PAthway students with a GPA of 3.5 or greater who complete all prerequisite courses and other admission requirements will be guaranteed an interview.

Visit www.msj.edu/PA for up-to-date information on the Physician Assistant Program.


Once accepted, scholars must meet additional requirements to maintain status in the program. Students must remain in good academic and professional standing at all times in their undergraduate program. They must follow the curriculum prescribed by the department for the degree selected and complete all core prerequisite courses for the PA Program. Scholars must also complete the following requirements before official matriculation to the Mount’s PA program:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better in all subsequent academic semesters.
  • Achieve a B average or better in each core prerequisite course.
  • Accumulate a minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care experience. Direct patient care experience must be registered within the Cooperative Education program. For more information, visit the Cooperative Education page. Contact the Career and Experiential Education Center for assistance with the co-op registration process.
  • Complete the minimum of 40 hours of shadowing with a clinically practicing PA.
  • Complete a Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) submission. The application can be accessed at https://caspa.liaisoncas.com/.
  • Submit three letters of Recommendation to CASPA: one letter must be from a physician assistant, one letter must be from a current professor or supervisor, one letter must be from another professional or social colleague (family members not permitted)
  • Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE, see https://www.ets.org/gre). use GRE Code 7328 to submit scores to CASPA.


First Year
  • Complete enrolled prerequisite courses with a “B” or better.
Second Year
  • Complete enrolled prerequisite courses with a “B” or better.
  • Complete CED 220: Foundations of Professionalism.
  • Complete 20 of the required 40 hours of shadowing experience with a clinically practicing PA.
  • Complete 100 of the required 500 hours of direct patient care experience.
  • Apply to the PA Scholars Pathway by April 18th.
Third Year
  • Complete enrolled prerequisite courses with a “B” or better.
  • Complete 30 of the required 40 hours of shadowing experience with a clinically practicing PA.
  • Complete 250 of the required 500 hours of direct patient care experience.
  • Complete CED 303: Charting Your Path to Graduate School.
  • Complete the GRE preparatory courses (CED 301 & 302).
  • Complete the GRE exam with a minimum grade of 300 and an analytic writing score of 4.
  • Complete the CASPA application online. The system opens in April each year.
Fourth Year
  • Complete all bachelor degree requirements.
  • Complete the required 500 hours (minimum) of direct patient care experience.
  • Complete the required 40 hours of shadowing experience with a clinically practicing PA.
  • Complete all academic prerequisites with a minimum grade of “B” or better.