Admissions Process and Requirements

On this page, you will find information surrounding the admissions processadmissions requirements, including prerequisites and recommended coursework; articulation agreements; and international application details for Chatham University's MPAS program.

Admissions Process

All applications to Chatham University’s PA program must be submitted to the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).

Start CASPA Application

All applications will be considered on time if fully verified in CASPA by October 1st. Please plan accordingly as CAS verification may take 4-6 weeks. The admissions team recommends submitting your complete application by the beginning of August. All required materials listed under Admissions Requirements must be included at the time of submission, with the exception of degrees, shadowing, 1 letter of recommendation from candidate's choice, and/or 3 or less remaining pre-requisites. Applicants with 4 or more pre-requisites will not be considered for interview. The application cycle will open in late April 2024 for students intending to start in the fall of 2025.

Once an application has been verified by CASPA, the application is reviewed to ensure that the minimum academic requirements have been met. Then an initial holistic review of the application is done by the admissions team. If an applicant needs to send in any outstanding transcripts, coursework (pre-reqs have been completed) and/or needs to update additional shadowing, volunteer, and/or work hours, they can email  

The PA program’s Admissions Committee reviews all applicants through an individualized, holistic review process. We value academics as well as the many characteristics and qualities an applicant would bring to the program and give preference to those who best align with our program’s mission. The PA program regards diversity in all ways. Any and all work, volunteer, leadership, life experiences, and scholarship are valued and should be shared within the application. We strive to admit a class that is representative of the communities around us. Chatham University has an integrated degree program and articulation agreements with several other universities.

Invitations to interview are given to those who best meet the admission requirements and align with the program’s mission. Interviews are scheduled in both late September and October with 110-120 prospective students per date. Applicants will be notified via email with their invitation to interview. The interview process involves a group of 2-3 applicants with 2-3 faculty members/alumni. Applicants will also complete a timed writing prompt, and participate in a PBL session, tour the facilities virtually or in-person, and have a Q&A session with current students.

Once an applicant has successfully completed the interview, the complete application is reviewed by the PA program admissions committee. As part of the review, Chatham reserves the right to request a background check prior to the offer of admission. Candidates must meet all program and technical requirements to be considered for matriculation. The top applicants are notified of acceptance within 3-4 weeks following the interview date. Final decisions are made based on the recommendation of the Admissions Committee. Admission to the program is based on the number of seats available for the upcoming fall. Chatham accepts approximately 60 students per year. Waitlisted students will be notified by the Admissions department upon any updates to their status.

Accepted applicants with outstanding pre-requisites (less than 4) or degree conferrals will be notified of their provisional status. All outstanding items must be monitored via your Chatham application portal; these need to be completed by June 1st of the matriculating year. Chatham’s PA program follows Chatham University’s academic calendar; any differences will be made in advance by notice to students. Accepted students should communicate via their Chatham email.


Admissions Requirements

  1. Completed and fully-verified CASPA application. NOTE: A minimum two (2) years of post-secondary education following high school graduation must have been completed prior to submitting the graduate application. The deadline for the CASPA application to be fully verified is October 1.
  2. baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  3. A cumulative overall GPA of 3.25 and science GPA of at least 3.25, as calculated by the Centralized Application System for Physician Assistant (CASPA), at the time of graduate application submission. Information on how CASPA calculates GPA’s can be found here.
  4. Prerequisite Courses. A grade of "B-" or better is required for each of the 11 prerequisite courses and must be completed within the last 10 years at the time of the application submission. Pass/Fail grades are not permitted. All prerequisite courses must be fully completed by June 1st of the year of matriculation. Applicants with four or more incomplete prerequisites may not be considered for an interview. See the prerequisites section below for more detail.
  5. Three specific letters of recommendation. Two are required at the time of submission: one from a college professor or academic advisor, one from a volunteer or work experience. The third recommendation may be the candidate's choice and may be submitted through CASPA or via upload from the Chatham application portal. (Students who have not been enrolled in any college coursework in the past three (3) years may submit an additional work or volunteer letter in place of the academic letter.)
  6. PA Shadowing Hours – 24 hours of PA shadowing is recommended before application submissions. Those with completed hours will be given priority review for interview consideration. All shadowing must be completed by November 1, 2024. Waitlisted students should also work to obtain these hours in case an offer becomes available. Telehealth shadowing is acceptable, provided the PA is actively engaged with a patient (i.e., a YouTube lecture does not count as shadowing). Shadowing a physician or nurse practitioner will not satisfy the shadowing requirement. Shadowing must be unpaid. Shadowing completed after CASPA submission may be updated in the Chatham application portal.
  7. Resume – Provide an updated resume with all scholarship, employment, volunteer opportunities, leadership experience, and/or service. 
  8. Interview – Applicants are required to receive a passing score on the interview to meet the criteria for admission. Interviews are by invitation only. This cycle’s interview dates are:
    • In person: Saturday, September 28, 2024
    • Virtual: Tuesday, October 15, 2024
    • In person: Saturday, October 19, 2024
Chatham University’s PA program does not accept or grant advanced placement (a waiver of required coursework in the PA curriculum for applicants or currently enrolled students which would result in students advancing in the curriculum without completing required coursework within the program).
*We do not require direct patient care hours or the GRE or PA-CAT.

Several factors are weighed by the admissions committee when considering students for interview invitations and admission offers. In addition to the minimum requirements above, students can build a competitive application by reporting the following in their CASPA application:

  • Advanced degrees
    • Masters
    • Doctorate
  • Research, publications, presentations
    • Research coordinator
    • Publications in a peer-reviewed journal/book
    • Local/Regional/National/International presentations to a professional organization
    • Abstracts/posters at a state/national conference
  • Advanced trainings and/or certifications*
    • Paramedic
    • EMT
    • CRNA (nurse anesthetist)
    • Perfusionist
    • ACLS
    • PALS
    • ATLS
    • RN/LPN
    • Athletic trainer
    • Physical therapy assistant
    • Phlebotomist
    • Radiology technician
    • Advanced Hospital Corps Military

         *does not have to be medically related

  • Significant contact with other cultures
    • Multilingual
    • College major in another language
    • Residing in a foreign country for at least 1 month
    • Participates/identifies with a different cultural background
    • Foreign-born native speaker
    • Study abroad program
  • Identifies as being part of an underrepresented group(s) in medicine and the PA profession
    (Underrepresented group(s) include: first-generation college student, low socioeconomic status as per HRSA criteria, identifies as part of the LGBTQIA+ community)
  • Volunteer experience (at least 100 hours)
    • Volunteer work in a homeless shelter/medical clinic
    • Volunteer at a local food bank
    • Translator
  • Work experience (at least 750 hours)
  • Voluntary service to underserved and/or diverse populations
  • PA shadowing more than 75 hours
  • Time management and/or leadership experiences
    • Shift supervisor
    • Team captain of a college sports team
    • Officer in a club/sorority
    • Officer in a specific society
    • Caregiver for someone
    • Graduate teaching assistant
  • Chatham alumnus
  • Military experience
    • Veteran
    • Active Duty Reserves
  • Complete as many pre-requisites ahead of application submission; do not have more than 3 outstanding ones that still need to be completed.
  • For internationals students, it’s recommended to complete a medical terminology course in the United States.
  • List all coursework in your CASPA application, even if it’s in progress or scheduled for an upcoming semester.
  • List all work experiences and volunteer experiences.
  • Research Chatham’s PA program. We have a unique curriculum and it’s important to make sure it’s a good fit; it’s recommended to sit in on a PBL session if able.
  • Shadow different types of PAs in a variety of different settings. Make sure this is the right profession for you.
  • Proofread your personal essay.
  • Make sure the people that are writing your recommendations know you and why you want to be a PA.
  • Practice interviewing skills; most universities/colleges have student service programs that can help with interview prep and how to manage a group interview setting.
  • Check your overall and science GPA via CASPA if concerned about meeting program GPA requirements
  • Upload shadowing hours, volunteer and/or work hours to your Chatham application portal if completed after CASPA verification

Graduates of foreign undergraduate and graduate institutions may apply to the PA Program. An international graduate, not also holding or completing an in-progress baccalaureate or higher degree from an institution of higher learning in the United States is considered an international applicant.

Interested applicants should first ascertain whether they meet our general admission requirements and that they would be eligible for PA licensure in their chosen state upon graduation.

Foreign Medical Graduates

Chatham will review applications from international medical graduates as we do all other applications. General admission requirements must be fulfilled, in addition to the criteria outlined below. Advanced standing in the PA Program will not be offered. Each state, the federal government, U.S. territories and other jurisdictions establish requirements that must be met before licensure as a PA may be granted. It is recommended that you investigate state and other requirements for PA licensure as you prepare to make application for future admission to a PA program. Licensure requirements are also subject to change. 

Foreign Transcripts

CASPA will not accept, translate or verify transcripts from international institutions (except Anglo-Canadian). A course-by-course foreign transcript evaluation is required for all International coursework completed outside the U.S. or Canada. The foreign transcript evaluation must be submitted and verified by CASPA by the October 1st deadline. An application will not be reviewed unless it has been verified by CASPA and meets the deadline.

A foreign transcript evaluation must be requested from an accredited credential evaluation service. Chatham recommends ECE or WES evaluations be utilized.  Applicants should refer to the CASPA FAQ on submitting foreign transcripts. To fulfill Chatham University PA Program degree requirements, the foreign transcript evaluation must indicate a U.S. degree equivalency of at least a bachelor's degree for the degree earned outside the United States or Canada. "First Professional Degree in Medicine" is equivalent to an MD in the United States and will fulfill the degree requirement. "Equivalent to four years of study in the United States" is not equivalent to at least a bachelor's degree and will not fulfill the degree requirement. 

Citizenship or VISA Status

Appropriate and current legal status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is a prerequisite for enrollment and continued status as a student in the PA Program. Individuals who are not citizens of the United States must demonstrate acceptable immigration/visa status to appropriate Chatham University authorities. The Chatham University PA Program will not sponsor or assist with this process. Chatham University is SEVP-certified to enroll F1 students. As part of the application process, non-citizen students will be reviewed for I-20 eligibility.


Official and valid TOEFL scores are required of all applicants who do not have a baccalaureate degree from the U.S. or Canada, regardless of the official language of the country of origin or the predominant language of attended educational institutions. See the prerequisites section for more information. PDF Score Reports printed or received by mail are not recognized as official scores. Scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to School Code 2081. Official TOEFL score reports must be submitted and received by the Oct. 1 deadline. Allow at least four weeks for scores to be received.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

Official TOEFL scores are required of all applicants who have not earned a baccalaureate degree or graduate degree from a regionally-accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university, regardless of the official language of the country in which the education took place or the predominant language of the degree-granting institution. Minimum scores are listed below.

Results from the TOEFL Essentials Test cannot be used in fulfillment of the TOEFL requirement.


Minimum TOEFL scores

TOEFL test options






Internet-based test






Official and valid TOEFL scores must be submitted and received by the October 1st application deadline. PDF score report copies received at the time of testing or in the mail are not considered an official score report. TOEFL scores are valid for two years prior to the June of intended enrollment.

The Chatham University Institution Code is 2081. 

Visit the TOEFL Website


  • Medical Terminology: One term of 100- or 200-level undergraduate coursework, minimum 1 credit.
  • Anatomy & Physiology: One term of each, undergraduate or graduate-level, with a lab for Anatomy. We accept 4 credits of Human/Vertebrate Anatomy with lab and 3 credits of Human/Vertebrate Physiology OR 4 credits of Anatomy & Physiology I with lab and 4 credits of Anatomy & Physiology II with lab, but no "mixing and matching" between these two paths.
  • Microbiology: One term of 100- or 200-level undergraduate coursework, 3 credits total. This is independent of the Human Biology requirement below.
  • English: One term of a writing-intensive English course, 3 credits total, or AP English Exam credit as listed on the undergraduate transcript.
  • Intro/General Psychology: One term of undergraduate coursework in introductory/general psychology or human growth & development, 3 credits total, or AP Psychology Exam credit as listed on the undergraduate transcript. 
  • Human Biology: Two terms of 100- or 200-level undergraduate coursework, including labs, 8 credits total. Examples of the courses we have accepted toward the Human Biology prerequisite requirement include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • General Biology 1 
    • General Biology 2
    • Intro to Biology 1
    • Intro to Biology 2
    • The Cell
    • The Organism
    • Cell Biology
    • Organismal Biology
    • Form & Function
    • Evolution & Ecology
    • AP Biology Exam Credit, as listed on undergraduate transcript
  • Inorganic Chemistry: Two terms of 100- or 200-level undergraduate coursework, including labs, 8 credits total. Examples of the courses we have accepted toward the Inorganic Chemistry prerequisite requirement include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • General Chemistry 1
    • General Chemistry 2
    • Intro to Inorganic Chemistry 1
    • Intro to Inorganic Chemistry 2
    • Inorganic Chemistry 1
    • Inorganic Chemistry 2
    • Qualitative Analysis (Inorganic Chemistry)
    • AP Chemistry Exam Credit, as listed on undergraduate transcript
    • Organic Chemistry 2 (can be substituted for Organic Chemistry 1 OR 4 credits' worth of the Inorganic Chemistry requirement, but not both)
  • Organic Chemistry: One term of 100- or 200-level undergraduate coursework, including a lab, 4 credits total. We do not accept Biochemistry toward this requirement. The courses we have accepted toward the Organic Chemistry requirement include: 
    • Organic Chemistry 1
    • Organic Chemistry 2 (can be substituted for Organic Chemistry 1 OR 4 credits' worth of the Inorganic Chemistry requirement, but not both)

Recommended Coursework

The following coursework is recommended, but not required, by the PA faculty:

  • Genetics (does not substitute for the Human Biology requirement)
  • Statistics
  • Nutrition
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Additional/Advanced Anatomy and Physiology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Cadaver Lab Dissection
  • Pharmacology
  • Neuroscience or Neuroanatomy

Articulation Agreements

Chatham University’s PA Studies program maintains articulation agreements with a select group of Colleges and Universities for students who meet advanced criteria of 3.5 overall GPA and 3.4 science GPA as calculated by CASPA and who meet all other admission requirements as noted above. All candidates must successfully pass each portion of the interview day to be considered for a seat. Interview days include a group interview and written essay. Applicants from these institutions are advised to discuss the articulation requirements with their advisor as well as the graduate admission counselor at Chatham University. 

Agreements exist with the following institutions for the 2024-2025 academic year: