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Admissions Process

The admissions process for the EMU PA Program is highly competitive. Nearly 900 applications were received for 30 seats for the class beginning May 2019.

Required Applications and Deadline

The Eastern Michigan University PA Program requires a completed Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) application and an EMU graduate application. If you wish to begin the program in May 2020, both applications must be submitted between April 26, 2019 and September 1, 2019 or they will not be considered.

Application deadline: September 1

CASPA Application

In order to be considered complete, all of the following must be received by CASPA by September 1:

  • Complete and properly submitted application
  • Application fee paid to CASPA
  • Official transcripts for all colleges/universities attended
  • Official GRE scores
  • Two letters of reference

Applicants are expected to be aware of all pre-admission course requirements and complete their application in accordance with admission requirements. After an application is reviewed and a decision is made, no changes to fulfill the minimum requirements or fix an error can be made. 

For further information about a "complete" CASPA application, visit the CASPA Applicant Help Center.

EMU Graduate Application

The following must be received by EMU by September 1:

  • Completed EMU graduation application for the "Summer (May-August) 2020" semester
  • $45 non-refundable fee submitted to the Graduate School, payable by credit card
  • If you are an international or foreign degree applicant, you must also submit your official TOEFL score and course-by-course degree evaluation by an EMU approved service. 

If you are extended an interview invitation, official transcripts for all colleges/universities must be sent to EMU at that time. 

Application Review and Timeline

The EMU PA Program admission committee reviews applications and selects the most qualified candidates for on-campus interviews based on a program-specific evaluation rubric. Incomplete applications will not be considered and will be automatically denied. Due to the highly selective admissions process, not all applicants will be granted an interview. 

Interviews for Top Applicants

Successful completion of an on-campus interview is a requirement for admission. The half-day interview includes prepared questions and specific evaluation rubrics, a presentation on the program, and a tour of the PA facilities provided by current PA students.

We interview approximately 90 candidates for 30 seats in the entering class. 

Admission Decisions

After interviews, the committee chooses the top 30 candidates to start the following May. If you are not accepted, you are welcome to repeat the admissions process the following year to re-apply. 

Evaluation Criteria

Candidates applying for admission are evaluated on a number of cognitive and non-cognitive measures, seeking to assemble a class of students who are highly intelligent, well-rounded, work well with others and bring a wealth of life experiences.

Once your completed application is screened and found to have met (or has an appropriate plan to meet) all of the minimum admission requirements, the application is fully reviewed and evaluated. There is no advanced placement or advanced standing for anyone chosen to join the EMU PA Program. The specific applicant areas assessed include:

Academic Background 

Large Impact
  • Highest/best GPA: The EMU PA Program evaluates the highest/best of the following CASPA GPAs: cumulative undergraduate or last 60 cumulative undergraduate semester credit hours. 
  • Science GPA: Your CASPA-generated GPA includes all science courses ever taken at the college/university level such as: biology/zoology, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry, other science and physics.
  • GRE: You must have taken the GRE within five years of the date of your submitted CASPA application. The EMU PA Program will occasionally make exceptions, based on special circumstances, for tests taken more than five years ago. 
Small to Moderate Impact
  • Additional Health Care and Science-related Courses: Applicants will be awarded points for additional health care and science-related courses completed beyond the pre-admission requirements with a grade of "B-" or better. 
  • Graduate Degrees: Applicants will be awarded additional points if they hold a graduate degree.

Clinical Experience/Health Care Hours (large impact)

  • Experience: The type(s) and amount of clinical experience/health care hours are evaluated. These are not a requirement, but, preference is given to candidates with direct patient care experiences, particularly those requiring specific training, a high level of medical decision-making and/or registration/licensure and those with a higher number of clinical experience hours. Find out more.

Life Experiences (small to moderate impact)

  • Overcoming challenges: Economically and/or educationally/environmentally disadvantaged as noted by the indicators on the CASPA application. 
  • Community service/involvement: Determination of the number and extent of community service and involvement in extra-curricular activities as noted on the CASPA application.
  • Leadership and awards: Determination of the number and type of demonstrated leadership, honors and awards as noted on the CASPA application. 
  • Research experience: Involvement in research. High-level involvement in research directly related to humans is favored. 

Letters of Reference (small to moderate impact)

  • Letters of reference submitted to CASPA may be evaluated (minimum of two; more letters are not necessarily better). We evaluate the quantitative and qualitative information in the letters. It is recommended that those supplying the references are qualified to evaluate your interpersonal skills, professionalism and ability to meet the demands of an academically rigorous program. Examples of those who commonly supply them include: health care professionals (physicians, PAs, nurses, etc.), employment supervisors, science instructors or other college professors.

On-Campus Interview (large impact)

  • Only select applicants are invited for an on-campus interview.
  • The interview includes prepared questions and specific evaluation rubrics. 

Other (small to moderate impact)

  • Exceptionalities: Rarely, possible candidate qualities or accomplishments not addressed elsewhere and found to be exceptional and warrant additional evaluation. 
The Physician Assistant Program is part of the School of Health Promotion & Human Performance, 318 Porter Building, 734.487.0090