OLDAdmission requirements

Application Deadline:  August 1, 2022 for Summer 2023 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.

Estimated program cost and other important financial aid information can be found on our Financial Aid page.

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 2022-23 CASPA application cycle will open on April 28, 2022.  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 recommended, 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

Additional Requirements for International Applicants expanding section

In addition to the application requirements listed above, international applicants will need to submit the following items:

  • Transcript information - As noted above, official, certified or attested transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended must be submitted. Additionally, documents issued in languages other than English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.
  • Course-by-Course Evaluations – This program requires a WES or ECE evaluation to be submitted as part of the application process.
  • Proof of English language proficiency: Non-native English speakers must submit evidence of language proficiency requirements for admission via official TOEFL results.  Only results within the last two years will be accepted.  Applicants must achieve an overall score of at least 100 iBT as well as minimum scores in each of the following TOEFL iBT categories:
      • Reading=22
      • Listening=22
      • Speaking=26
      • Writing=24
  • Proof of funding: Submit a bank statement and completed Affidavit of Support form.
    • Applicants who require F-2 visas for dependents (spouse and/or children) must submit additional proof of funding and passport copies for each dependent.

  • Passport information: Submit a photocopy of the photo page of your passport. 

Please contact International Admissions at  intladmissions@uwlax.edu if you have questions.  Each of the items listed in this section "Additional requirements for international applicants" can be sent directly to the UWL Admissions Office.

UWL Admissions Office
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601

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.

Professional Licensure Disclosure expanding section

If you plan to apply for licensure in a state other than Wisconsin after completion of this program, you should contact that state's appropriate licensing board and refer to the Professional Licensure Disclosure to determine whether this UWL program meets licensure requirements in a specific state.

Application Review and Selection

Timeline expanding section


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. 

Friday, September 23, 2022

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 3, 2022

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 of this training program and the skills and responsibility necessary for clinical practice as a physician assistant (PA) 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.    

While academic preparation is the primary criterion used in the admissions review process, nonacademic factors may contribute to the strength of an application. These may include qualities such as demonstrated leadership, involvement, and/or adding a diverse dimension to our campus community.  Diversity is essential to our university and profession.  Individuals from underrepresented, disadvantaged, or marginalized communities, and military veterans, are encouraged to apply.  

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:  "In collaboration with nationally renowned partners, we develop exemplary PAs, in an inclusive culture, who equitably optimize the health of our region." To align with this mission, current employees of Gundersen Health System, Mayo Clinic, Marshfield Clinic, or UWL who are interested in advancing their career as a PA are encouraged to apply.    

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 
  • Non-academic factors as described above 
  • Current employment at Gundersen Health System, Mayo Clinic, Marshfield Clinic or UWL (minimum employment of at least 12 months at the time of application submission) 
  • UWL students currently enrolled at least part-time (> 6 credits) and on track to earn a bachelor’s degree prior to the program start or those who have graduated from UWL within 12 months of application submission 
  • Applicants must meet the other minimum qualifications required by the program
 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 
  • Rigor on undergraduate education 
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 2024
(matriculating May 2022)

Mean GRE - Verbal 

(149 - 164)

Mean GRE - Quantitative 

(147 - 163)

Mean GRE - Written

(3.5 - 5.5)

Mean Cumulative GPA

(3.80 - 4.00)

Mean Science GPA 

(3.74 - 4.00)

Mean Age at Application

(20 - 24)

Mean Patient Care Experience Hours 

(0 - 5035)


Class of



Students Admitted

Average Cumulative GPA

Average Science GPA

2024 491 90 28 3.92 3.90
2023 492 90 28 3.92 3.89
2022 413 90 28 3.87 3.86
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