Admission requirements

Application Deadline:  August 1, 2019 for Summer 2020 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

The PA program requires applicants complete the following requirements prior to matriculating in the PA program.  The program neither requires, nor recommends, majoring in one particular major or subject area.  Comparable courses from other regionally accredited institutions are acceptable.

The following are required of all applicants: 

  • CASPA Application:
    The program participates in the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).  The 2019-20 CASPA application cycle opened April 25, 2019.  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.  To learn more about CASPA please visit -  CASPA
  • Program Application Fee and Supplemental Application: 
    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.  The program no longer provides or requires submission of a Supplemental Application.  (Note:  a program application fee of $50 is still required.)  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:
    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.
  • Prerequisite Coursework:
    All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to beginning the program.  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):
    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):
    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:
    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:
    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


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.  A "complete" application means the CASPA application has been e-submitted and all required documents (transcripts, references, etc.) have been received by CASPA.  The Program Application Fee must be submitted to UWL.  CASPA stops accepting materials and the program deactivates the Program Application Fee link.  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. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

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. 

Monday, October 7, 2019

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. 

Mid November

Candidates interviewed in October are notified of their admission status.

Late May

Students begin courses.

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.  To learn more please visit - Admissions Data.


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. 

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 application 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.

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