Admission requirements

Application Deadline:  August 1, 2020 for Summer 2021 start

The program hosts monthly information sessions during the annual application window (March to August).  Attendees learn about the program and its application process, and also have the opportunity to ask questions.  To learn more please visit UWL PA Information Sessions

Admission and Application Requirements

The PA program requires applicants complete the following requirements prior to matriculating in the PA program.  Individuals failing to satisfy all requirements by the stated deadline will not be considered for admission.

CASPA Application expanding section

The program participates in the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).  The 2020-21 CASPA application cycle will open on April 30, 2020.  Applicants must submit all required application materials to CASPA by the program's August 1 application deadline such that CASPA considers the application "Complete".  The application does not need to be "Verified", merely "Complete" on August 1.  The CASPA application will include the program's narratives and applicants are to submit three recommendations/references via CASPA.  To learn more about CASPA please visit -  CASPA

Program Application Fee expanding section

A non-refundable $50 program application fee is required of all applicants.  Please include a completed copy of the PA Program Application Fee Form with your payment.  Payment instructions are included on the form.  

Supplemental Application expanding section

The program no longer provides or requires submission of a Supplemental Application.  (Note:  a program application fee of $50 is still required.  See Program Application Fee.)  Once the applicant designates our program to receive their CASPA application the applicant will be prompted to complete the program-specific narratives.  Completed narratives will be included in the final CASPA application forwarded to the program.

Degree expanding section

All students must earn a Bachelor's degree prior to entering the PA Program.  The degree must be completed prior to matriculating in our program, therefore, individuals may apply while finishing their degree.  A particular major is not required.

Prerequisite Coursework expanding section

All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to beginning the program.  Comparable courses from other regionally accredited institutions are acceptable.  Students may apply with outstanding prereq courses so long as they demonstrate a plan to complete those courses before matriculating in our program.  For further information on prerequisite course requirements please visit -  Prerequisite Coursework

Grade Point Average (GPA) expanding section

A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00, calculated on a 4-point scale by CASPA, is required of all applicants.  A minimum science GPA (as defined by CASPA) of 3.00 is also required.  Applicants not meeting the stated 3.00 GPA requirement will be ineligible for admission and removed from consideration.  For further information regarding the GPA requirement please visit -  Grade Point Average (GPA)

Graduate Review Exam (GRE) expanding section

Submission of Graduate Review Exam (GRE) scores directly from ETS is required of all applicants.  No minimum score is required.  For further information regarding the GRE requirement please visit -  Graduate Review Exam (GRE)

Healthcare Experience expanding section

Prior direct patient healthcare experience is expected, however, not required.  As previous healthcare experience is not required the program does not require a minimum hour total.  For further information on the Healthcare Experience requirement please visit -  Healthcare Experience

Technical Standards expanding section

A candidate for the PA profession and this program must have abilities and skills of five varieties including observation, communication, motor, conceptual, integrative and quantitative, and behavioral and social.  For further information please visit - Technical Standards

International Applicants expanding section

For international applicants the program has several additional admission requirements.  International applicants are those who have completed more than one semester of their post-secondary education outside the United States, those for whom English is their second language, or those who are not US citizens.  The program requires the following of international applicants: 

  • A course-by-course transcript evaluation by an identified transcript evaluation service.  To learn more about transcript evaluation please visit Transcript Evaluation
  • Fluency in written and spoken English via TOEFL/TSE examination results.  To learn more about English competency please visit TOEFL Results
  • Applicants must be either, citizens of the United States, hold a permanent US immigrant visa (green card), or other visa status appropriate for education.  To learn more please visit Citizenship and Visas

Additional information for International Medical Graduates (IMG's) is available at IMG Information

Transfer & Placement expanding section

Transfer Credits:

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.  All students, regardless of their prior background and education, must complete the entire PA curriculum at UWL.

We do not routinely accept transfer students from medical schools.  If a medical student would like to attend our program they need to apply just like all of the other applicants, through CASPA, as well as submit our supplemental materials and GRE results.  We do not accept MCAT scores as a substitute for GRE results.  These individuals need to provide a rationale and justification for their admission.   The program does not grant advanced placement to any student, regardless of their background.  If accepted, these students are required to complete the entire curriculum, regardless of background and experience.


Advanced Placement:

The program does not grant advanced placement to any student.  If accepted, these students are required to complete the entire curriculum, regardless of background, education and experience.

Application Review and Selection

Timeline expanding section

Mid-April

CASPA portal opens.  Applicants may create an account and begin their application.   CASPA also begins accepting materials such as, official transcripts and references.  To learn more about creating a CASPA account and beginning the application process please visit CASPA . 

August 1

Application deadline.  The program requires a "Complete" CASPA application at the deadline.  A "Complete" application means the CASPA application has been e-submitted and all required documents (transcripts, references, etc.) have been received by CASPA.  Official GRE score results must be submitted with ETS.  The Program Application Fee must be submitted to UWL.  CASPA stops accepting materials and the program deactivates the Program Application Fee link at the deadline.  International applicants must also submit all required additional documents (i.e. TOEFL, foreign credential evaluation).  Those failing to meet the deadline will not be considered for an interview. 

Mid to Late August

Interview candidates selected and notified immediately via email. 

Monday, September 21, 2020

On campus interviews; first of two dates.  In order to gain admittance applicants must participate in the on campus interview.  Interview dates and times are assigned and no changes will be permitted.  Alternate dates and times will not be offered under any circumstances.  Interviews via telephone or internet will not be permitted. 

Friday, October 9, 2020

On campus interviews; second of two dates.  In order to gain admittance applicants must participate in the on campus interview.  Interview dates and times are assigned and no changes will be permitted.  Alternate dates and times will not be offered under any circumstances.  Interviews via telephone or internet will not be permitted. 

Early November

Candidates interviewed in September and October are notified of their admission status.

Late May

Students begin courses.

Selection Criteria expanding section

The rigor, intensity of this program, and the skills and responsibility necessary for practice as a physician assistant require the program to seek applicants with a strong academic background, along with refined interpersonal skills and maturity.  Prior healthcare experience is also an indicator of a career commitment to clinical practice.  The program's admission process will consider each applicant's strengths and select for admission those applicants best qualified to meet the program's mission.

To be considered for an interview all references, transcripts and GRE scores must be received by CASPA by August 1.  The Program Application Fee must be submitted to UWL by August 1 as well.  CASPA stops accepting materials after the deadline passes.


Factors considered in the interview selection include the following:

  • Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA), as calculated by CASPA
  • Science GPA, as calculated by CASPA
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores.

The final admission selection process includes the following:

  • Written application including references 
  • Background predictive of potential for future practice in the service areas of the program's partner institutions 
  • Knowledge of the PA profession and the profession's role in the healthcare system 
  • Interpersonal Skills 
  • Quality and extent of healthcare related experience.
Strong GPA and GRE scores are necessary to gain an interview, and ultimately admission.
 
Any offer of admission will be contingent on acceptance of the candidate by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Office of Admissions, and successful completion of all degrees and current coursework, including prerequisites. 
Admissions Data expanding section
Characteristic Class of 2021
(matriculating May 2019)
Mean GRE - Verbal 
Percent Below
(range)
157
(149 - 165)
Mean GRE - Quantitative 
Percent Below
(range)
158
(150 - 170)
Mean Cumulative GPA
(range)

3.89
(3.69 - 4.00)

Mean Science GPA 
(range)

3.86
(3.70 - 4.00)

Mean Age at Application
(range)

22.3
(20-29)

Mean Healthcare experience hours 
(range)

1940
(0 - 5,900)

 

Class of

CASPA
Applications

Students
Interviewed

Students Admitted

Average Cumulative GPA

Average Science GPA

2022 413 90 28 TBD TBD
2021 416 90 28 3.89 3.86
2020 397 72 25 3.91 3.89
2019 373 60 19 3.88 3.83
2018 354 60 19 3.87 3.87
2017 319 60 19 3.90 3.87

2016

421

60

19

3.87

3.86

2015

374

60

19

3.89

3.88

2014

336

60

19

3.86

3.85

2013

326

60

19

3.79

3.77

2012

285

60

19

3.82

3.81

2011

226

60

14

3.80

3.80

2010

197

60

14

3.79

3.73

2009

168

60

14

3.78

3.68

2008

165

60

14

3.66

3.51