Selection criteria

A page within Physician Assistant Studies

The rigor of this program along with 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 viewed as 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
  • Addition of 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.  
  • Alignment with 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."
    • 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.   
Interview selection factors

Factors considered when selecting candidates for the interview portion of the application process include: 

  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA), calculated by CASPA 
  • Science GPA, calculated by CASPA 
  • CASPer, scored and distributed by Acuity Insights Assessment
  • Non-academic factors as described above 
  • Current employment at Gundersen Health System, Mayo Clinic, Marshfield Clinic or UWL
    • if at least 12 months of employment 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
Program acceptance factors
Factors considered when selecting candidates for acceptance to the program include:
  • 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 of undergraduate education 
  • Strong GPA scores

Offers of admission are contingent on acceptance of the candidate by UWL Admissions and successful completion of undergraduate degree and prerequisite coursework.