Admission requirements

This program has a competitive admissions process. Please review the minimum requirements listed below prior to applying 

Degree expanding section

Applicants must have completed a Bachelor's degree (in any degree area) prior to starting the program.

Prerequisite coursework expanding section
Biology
  • Human Anatomy (1 semester) AND Human Physiology (1 semester)
      • 200 level or above
  • OR Human Anatomy & Physiology (2 semester sequence)
      • 200 level or above
      • UWL courses:  BIO 312 & 313

Human Anatomy & Physiology courses are strongly preferred, Mammalian or Vertebrate Anatomy & Physiology may be accepted when Human Anatomy & Physiology is not available. The admission process is competitive, and the program's professional curriculum includes graduate level human anatomy & physiology.


  • Microbiology (1 semester)
      • 200 level or above
      • UWL course:  MIC 230

At least two of the required Biology courses (A&P and Microbiology) must include a lab.

Chemistry
  • General or Introductory Chemistry (two semester sequence)
      • UWL courses:  CHM 103 or 104

  • Organic Chemistry (1 semester)
      • 200 level or above
      • UWL course:  CHM 300 or CHM 303 or CHM 304

  • Biochemistry (1 semester)
      • 300 level or above (must be completed at a four year institution)
      • Molecular Biology or Cellular Biology (300 level or above) are acceptable alternatives.
      • UWL courses:  CHM 325 or CHM 417 & 418 or BIO 435 or BIO 315

At least two of the required Chemistry courses must include a lab. At least one Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry lab is encouraged.

Other
  • Precalculus or Calculus (1 semester)
      • UWL courses:  MTH 151 or MTH 207

College Algebra AND Trigonometry may serve as an acceptable alternative but often require two semesters of study


  • Statistics (1 semester)
      • UWL courses: STAT 145

Biometry/Biostatistics and Research Methods courses often serve as acceptable substitutes.


  • General, Introductory, Developmental or Abnormal Psychology (1 semester)  
      • UWL courses:  PSY 100, 204, 210, 212, 304, 310, 311, or 312

Prerequisite course completion timeline

You may apply to the program while completing prerequisite work. However, all prerequisite courses must be completed prior to beginning the program

The program does not have a "statute of limitations" as to how recently prerequisite courses must have been completed. However, due to the rigor of the program, an applicant's current (within the last 4 years) academic aptitude is considered. It may be advantageous to demonstrate recent completion of some courses. 

Crediting institution

While some junior/community college courses may meet prerequisite requirements, the competitive nature of the admission process suggests an advantage to prerequisite completion at a baccalaureate institution. Biochemistry must be completed at a four year institution.

Advanced Placement (AP) credit

The program accepts AP credit with an official undergraduate transcript listing  the specific credits/courses for which AP credit was granted, an AP exam score alone is insufficient for satisfaction of prerequisite requirements.

Graduate level transfer credits & advanced program placement

  • Transfer credits from other PA programs are not accepted
    • Due to the tight sequencing and integration of the curriculum we do not accept didactic or clinical credits from other institutions.
    • Students must complete the entire PA curriculum at UWL.
  • Medical student looking to switch to our program need to complete the UWL PA application process.
    • MCAT scores will not be accepted as a substitute for GRE results
  • Advanced placement is not available.
    • All students must complete the entire PA curriculum at UWL regardless of previous education or experience.
Questions regarding prerequisite coursework?
Peter Amann  Profile of Peter Amann

Application Review Specialist
4033 Health Science Center
pamann@uwlax.edu
608.785.6622

  • Information to include in your email:
    • Course number
    • Course description
    • Institution at which the course was completed
Grade point average expanding section
  • 3.00 minimum cumulative GPA required
  • 3.00 minimum science GPA (as defined by CASPA) required

GPA is calculated on a 4 point scale by CASPA and based on the applicant's CASPA record. For more information on this process visit CASPA GPA FAQ. Applications not meeting GPA requirements will not be evaluated.

Due to the highly competitive nature of the program, the GPA of students admitted typically far exceeds this minimum requirement.

*International applicants - the program will include the coursework listed in the individual's foreign credential evaluation in determining GPA values.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) expanding section
  • Official GRE General Test scores are required
    • Submit scores via our program's CASPA code: 0445
        • GRE scores are valid for 5 years

GRE scores are used as a measure of academic aptitude, no minimum score is required. More information available at ETS GRE.

Healthcare experience expanding section

Prior direct patient healthcare experience is strongly recommended, in particular experience involving direct, face-to-face patient care.

While healthcare experience is not required, students admitted to the program in the past have averaged over 1000 hours of direct patient care experience. Examples of patient care experience include:

  • nurse
  • emergency medical technician (EMT)
  • paramedic
  • radiology technician
  • respiratory therapist
  • physical therapy aide
  • patient care technician
  • athletic trainer
  • phlebotomist
  • certified medical assistant
  • laboratory/medical technician
  • certified nursing assistant (CNA)
  • mental health worker.
Technical standards of performance expanding section

The PA profession requires knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. A PA must be able to integrate all information received from multiple sensory sources, consistently, quickly, and accurately, and must have the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize such data.  As such candidates for both the profession and this program must have sufficient:

  • Somatic sensation and functional use of the senses of vision, hearing, and equilibrium
  • Exteroceptive sense (touch, pain, and temperature)
  • Proprioceptive sense (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis, and vibratory)
  • Motor function necessary to carry out the activities described each of the technical areas described below. 

A candidate for the profession and this program must be able to meet all of the technical standards as described below. Upon admission to the program, students are responsible for reviewing technical standards and determining if they need assistance in meeting these standards.

Students needing assistance are encouraged to contact a disability support specialist for information on possible accommodations. Technological compensations may be applied to provide accommodations, but all candidates must be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.

At any point in the program, if a deficiency is noted (by faculty or preceptors) and determined to jeopardize patient care, the program may deny a student the ability to progress through the program.

Observation

a. The candidate/student must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences, including but not limited to examination of gross organs and tissues in normal and pathologic states, microscopic studies of microorganisms and technology assisted instruction .

b. The candidate/student must be able to observe a patient accurately both at a distance and close proximity. 

Communication

a. The candidate/student should be able to speak, hear, and observe patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive the use of nonverbal communication.

b. The candidate/student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with both patients and their family members.

c. Communication does not include only speech, but also reading and writing.  The candidate/student must be able to communicate in a professional manner that is both effective and efficient through oral, written, and electronic forms with all members of the health care team.

Motor

a. The candidate/student should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers.

b. The candidate/student should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment of patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of physician assistants are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, the suturing of simple wounds, and the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.

Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Qualitative Abilities

a. The candidate/student must be able to demonstrate the following abilities: measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, a critical skill demanded of physician assistants, requires each of these intellectual abilities.  

b. The candidate/student should be able to comprehend three dimensional relationships and the spatial relationships of anatomical structures.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

a. The candidate/student must possess the emotional health and stability required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients.

b. The candidate/student must be able to tolerate a physically taxing workload and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments and to learn to function where there are uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.

c. The candidate/student must demonstrate compassion, integrity, a concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation, all of which are personal qualities that are assessed upon admission and during their education.