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Admission Requirements

The ISU PA Program does not award or grant advanced placement. The Physician Assistant curriculum is a progressive immersion experience and each class of students is expected to move through the curriculum as a cohort.



1. Baccalaureate Degree

A Baccalaureate degree needs to be completed by June 30th of the year you plan to enter the PA Studies program. It must be from a regionally accredited U.S. institute of higher learning.


2. Prerequisite Courses

Required courses must also be completed at a regionally accredited U.S. institute of higher learning. The required prerequisite courses are:

  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Human Anatomy (as a single course or as part of a two semester combined anatomy and physiology course)
  • Human Physiology (as a single course or as part of a two semester combined anatomy and physiology course)
  • Statistics
  • Abnormal Psychology (or Developmental Psychology throughout the Lifespan)

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative prerequisite grade point average of 3.0 as well as a minimum grade of C in all prerequisite courses (listed above). Course work ten years or older is not accepted as prerequisite coursework. All prerequisites must be completed and posted to official transcripts by June 30th of the year you plan to enter the program.

First-time applicants to the program may have two prerequisite courses in progress during spring of the year they plan to enter the program.

Re-applicants must have ALL prerequisites completed and have NO prerequisites in-progress at the time of re-application.

If you are concerned about a course meeting our prerequisites, please check our FAQs.

List of Idaho State University courses that meet the prerequisite requirements

List of College of Idaho courses that meet the prerequisite requirements

Regarding Pass/Fail Courses During COVID-19

Idaho State University's Physician Assistant Studies Program has instituted an exception in regards to non-letter grades awarded to prerequisite coursework during Winter, Spring, or Summer 2020 semesters. Due to many institutions offering P/F or S/U grades during the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants displaying a P/F or S/U grade on prerequisite coursework taken during affected semesters will be reviewed in the following ways:

Up to one P/F or S/U grade awarded during affected semesters will be forgiven, with credit given toward prerequisite progression but no grade utilized in the applicant's prerequisite GPA calculation. Additional P/F or S/U grades awarded during affected semesters will either be substituted with the applicant's science GPA or a course grade of B in calculations, with consideration for which provides the best file score for the applicant.

Highly Recommended Courses:

(Please note: This list is not meant to be all-encompassing and includes suggestions only. Check the undergraduate catalog for course availability.)

  • Upper level biology courses such as:
    • Advanced Anatomy (BIOL 4420 Musculo-Skeletal Anatomy, BIOL 4470 Cross-Sectional Anatomy)
    • Advanced Human Physiology (BIOL 3304 Comparative Functional Morphology and Physiology, BIOL 4449 - Human Physiology I, BIOL 4456 Human Physiology II, BIOL 4464 Lectures in Human Physiology, BIOL 4486 Human Systemic Physiology
    • Immunology (BIOL 4451 Immunology, BIOL 4454 Advanced Immunology)
    • Genetics (BIOL 3358 Genetics, BIOL 4461 Advanced Genetics)
    • Endocrinology (BIOL 4443 Endocrinology)
  • Other health-related courses from departments such as Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Health Education, and Gender Studies.
  • Proficiency in a foreign language, especially Spanish


3. Central Application Service for Physician Assistants

As part of the CASPA application process you will be required to submit:

  • three letters of recommendation,
  • official transcripts from all institutions attended,
  • a personal statement,
  • academic history,
  • and your work/shadow/volunteer experience.

The CASPA application must be submitted by November 1st.


4. Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

The GRE is an important admission requirement as the scores are used for ranking applicants. Please go to ETS website for information about testing locations and scheduling the exam.

The GRE General Test must be taken by November 1. The ISU GRE School Code is 4355 and the Department Code is 0634.


5. ISU Graduate School Application

The ISU Graduate School application (also called the "Supplemental Application") is required for admission to the PA program. When applying to the Graduate School, select the Fall semester. Please refer to the ISU Graduate School for information regarding the application, requirements, and fees. Admission requirements for international applicants may be found in the Graduate Catalog.

The Graduate School application requires uploading transcripts. Follow the instructions given within the application in regards to what kind of transcripts and how to upload them.

At the time of application, transcripts submitted through the Graduate School application may be unofficial, however certain features must be present for them to be accepted, including: The student's name, the institution's wordmark or logo in the header, courses, credits, terms, grades, and the date(s) of any awarded degrees.

Students will be required to send the Graduate School a set of official transcripts from all institutions attended only after the student has been accepted to the program.

The Graduate School application deadline is November 1.


6. Technical Standards & Immunizations

All entering students must meet the required list of standards and must have the required immunizations as stated on the Immunizations Form. This includes timely documentation of compliance and submission of required paperwork. All immunizations are required by June 30th of the year a student enters the Program.

If immunization requirements are not met by the June 30th date, a student will not be permitted to participate in required didactic year clinical experiences or service learning activities, registration may be held, and in severe cases an offer may be rescinded. Exceptions must be requested in writing by email no later than June 30th, and must include planned dates for completion of any outstanding immunizations.

Dropboxes for submitting documentation are given if an applicant is invited for an interview.


Additional Considerations:

  • Maturity
  • Work and health care experience are preferred but not required
  • Evidence of the ability to achieve academic success in a rigorous academic program
  • Interpersonal skills and the ability to relate effectively with patients, peers and at a professional level
  • Evidence of a desire to practice primary care in Idaho, particularly among the medically underserved

Background information such as:

  • matriculation or attendance in any PA education program;
  • discipline for academic performance or conduct violations (e.g. academic probation, dismissal, suspension, disqualification, etc.) by any college or school;
  • conviction of a misdemeanor;
  • conviction of a felony;
  • any certification, registration, license or clinical privileges revoked, suspended or in any way restricted by an institution, state or locality

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