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Physician Assistant School - Timeline

  • It is important to create a timeline for yourself when applying to PA programs
  • Be flexible.
  • Course scheduling, extra-curricular activities, deadline changes, etc. all contribute to the need of having flexibility in your timeline.
  • For specific application deadline dates, you should always check individual PA program websites.
  • An online list of PA programs by state, including admissions deadlines, entrance requirements, credentials awarded, fees etc. can be found on the PAEA website and is available to students for a one-year subscription of $35.
  • Generally applications are submitted one year prior to the year you plan to attend.
  • Apply early. 
  • Here is a timeline that you should consider prior to and while applying to schools.


Prior to Applying
  • Take prerequisite courses and meet with advisors
  • Begin to establish and develop “contacts” with professors, GSIs, campus staff members, community members, employment supervisors, etc.
  • Open an Interfolio account to store the letters written for you.
  • Begin researching PA programs
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities 
  • Consider taking additional vocational coursework to earn a certificate so you can work as a paraprofessional (i.e., paramedic, community health worker, medical assistant, or phlebotomist) in a healthcare setting and start accumulating direct patient contact hours. 
  • Prepare for and take the GRE .
  • Attend various health professional school workshops, graduate school fairs, etc.
  • Order and collect official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities that you have attended.
  • Gather Letters of Recommendation.
The Application Cycle
  • Should be taking the GRE or waiting for the release of your score from an earlier test.  
  • Confirm deadline dates for individual PA programs.  
  • Begin to fill out and submit applications for PA programs. If applicable, contact CASPA, or individual schools directly for specific questions that are not found in their instruction manuals
  • Have letters of recommendation sent to individual schools or CASPA - check individual schools for specific criteria
  • CASPA verifies primary application & begins releasing application to schools within four weeks of receipt
  • Continue to work, volunteer, etc.
Last stages of the Application Cycle
  • Several PA programs interview candidates.
  • Make an appointment for a Mock Interview with a pre-health advisor at the Career Center.
  • When interviews are completed, schools inform applicants of admission status. Admissions decision processes and timelines vary between PA programs.

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