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Admission Requirements

COVID-19 updates

The University of Dayton Physician Assistant program requires letter grades for prerequisite courses. However, we recognize that many colleges and universities moved to pass/fail grading for spring and summer 2020 courses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will consider accepting these grades on a case-by-case basis if no option for a letter grade was available.  Any student that may be affected should contact us at 937-229-2900 for further information.

Admission requirements

Admission to the University of Dayton Department of Physician Assistant Education is highly competitive. In order to be considered for the interview process prior to admission, all applicants must have achieved all of these prerequisites prior to matriculation:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, with a cumulative undergraduate GPA, a prerequisite non-natural science GPA, and a prerequisite natural science GPA of 3.00. Only grades of C or above will be considered. Note: A grade of C- will not qualify for consideration into the prerequisite GPA.
  • Complete the prerequisite coursework.
  • Obtain 250 hours of health care experience: Hours can be completed through observing/shadowing or participating in patient care (volunteer work is accepted). Clinical observation form (pdf) >>
  • Obtain 20 hours of community service experience: Complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service activity (volunteer work is accepted). Applicants are responsible for arranging their community service activity and will submit verification of community service hours form to the Department of Physician Assistant Education. Community service form (pdf) >>
  • Provide three letters of recommendation.  At least one should be from a recent college professor and one from a health care professional who has known the applicant for at least six months.  Reference letters from relatives will not be accepted. 

Note: Special consideration is given to current University of Dayton students and graduates of other Marianist universities.

Applicants can apply prior to completing all prerequisite courses with the following conditions:

  • They have no more than two outstanding science courses.
  • All outstanding course(s) must be able to be completed prior to matriculation.

All prerequisite natural science coursework must be current within ten (10) years of admission to the PA program for applicants with an undergraduate, graduate, or higher level degrees. Upper-level coursework may be substituted for expired prerequisite courses at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.  Requests for substitution should be submitted in writing and include rationale for substitution. 

  • Immunizations: Current immunizations are required, as determined by the CDC recommendations for health care providers. All immunization costs are the responsibility of the student.
  • International Rotations: Any student participating in international elective rotations is required to follow the CDC recommendations for travel, including any immunizations, testing, prophylactic treatment, or other requirements. All costs associated with these additional requirements are the responsibility of the student.
  • Background check and drug screen: All students will be required to undergo a criminal background check (both state and federal) and drug screen prior to being accepted into the PA program and prior to beginning the clinical year. Please understand the findings of such a check could disqualify you from being accepted into the program. All background check costs are the responsibility of the student.
Advanced placement courses

Advanced placement courses will qualify for meeting prerequisite requirements for nonscience prerequisites, but will not calculate into the required GPA. Each applicant is limited to two advanced placement courses.

Advanced standing/transfer students

Due to the variance in curricula among physician assistant schools throughout the country, no student will be admitted as a transfer from another program. There will be no advanced standing offered to any student; all applicants must meet all admission requirements and complete all coursework in the curriculum regardless of past academic background.  All applicants must also apply through CASPA, as no direct admission is offered. 

Technical standards (pdf)

If an applicant has completed their prerequisite courses in a quarter system, please convert to semesters using the following: Each quarter hour of credit divided by 1.5 = semester credit hours. (example: 6 quarter hours = 4 semester hours)

  • Human anatomy with lab: 4 semester hours
  • Human physiology with lab: 4 semester hours
  • Microbiology with lab: 3-4 semester hours
  • Organic chemistry with lab: 8 semester hours*
  • Biochemistry (lab preferred): 3-4 semester hours
  • General psychology: 3 semester hours
  • Second psychology course: 3 semester hours (i.e., life span development, abnormal psychology)
  • Statistics: 3-4 semester hours
  • Medical terminology: 2-3 semester hours

*Beginning with the 2024-25 CASPA Admission cycle, the 8 Cr Hr of Organic Chemistry will need to be Organic Chemistry I and II.

All prerequisite natural science coursework must be current within ten (10) years of admission to the PA program for applicants with an undergraduate, graduate, or higher level degrees. Upper-level coursework may be substituted for expired prerequisite courses at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.  Requests for substitution should be submitted in writing and include rationale for substitution. 

Survey courses

The University of Dayton PA program does not accept survey science courses towards the admission prerequisite requirements.

Outstanding prerequisite courses

Any courses taken during the Fall semester of the application year are considered "in progress". Outstanding science prerequisite courses are those remaining to be taken the Spring or Summer semester before matriculation in the program.

Students may have up to two outstanding science prerequisite courses when they apply. Students with more than two outstanding prerequisite science courses should take a gap year to complete the required science prerequisite courses and apply the following CASPA cycle.

Prerequisite course grades

Students must receive a grade of at least a C in the prerequisite courses to meet the admission requirements. Any coursework resulting in a grade of C- or lower will not meet admission requirements and will need to be retaken.

This outstanding coursework does count as an outstanding science prerequisite.

Employment during the program

In compliance with ARC-PA Standard A 3.04 and A3.05, PA students must not be required to work for the program. In alignment with the above noted ARC-PA standards, the program:

  • Does NOT allow MPAP students to be employed by the program.
  • Does NOT substitute it’s students for administrative support staff.
  • Additionally, the program discourages its students from working while enrolled in the program. Attendance at work for a work-related activity does not constitute an excuse from being absent from any program related activity or poor performance in the program. Work or work related activities will not interfere with any program related activity.
Student health

In compliance with ARC-PA Standard A 3.09, Principal faculty, the program director and the medical director must not participate as health care providers for students in the program, except in an emergency situation.

Note: All accepted students must have health insurance for the duration of the program.

Solicitation of Clinical Sites

In compliance with ARC-PA Standard A 3.03, PA students are not required to provide and should not solicit clinical sites or preceptors.  Any current student who wishes to do clinical rotations with a preceptor who is not already established with the program may provide contact information to the Clinical Education team.  This will allow the Clinical Education team to evaluate the prospective site and create the necessary affiliation documentation to ensure all students are able to meet their learning outcomes for each clinical experience.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The GRE is not required for admission to the program. Learn more about admission requirements (pdf) >>

Attend an information session

Prospective students interested in the University of Dayton Master of Physician Assistant Practice (MPAP) program should plan to attend an information session. Register for a PA information session >>

International students

Additional conditions and requirements apply for international students. Learn more >>


Physician Assistant Education

Fitz Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2958