Physician Assistant Requirements
Program-Specific Admission Requirements
- All required materials are submitted through CASPA.
- Applicants must apply to the Physician Assistant Studies program at UND through CASPA AND the School of Graduate Studies online application process. Only online applications completed as part of CASPA and the School of Graduate Studies will be reviewed.
- Complete application instructions can be found on the Physician Assistant website.
Applicants who are seeking admission to School of Graduate Studies must meet all of the minimum general School of Graduate Studies admission requirements identified in the graduate catalog. In addition, the prospective student must fulfill the requirements for admission to the graduate program in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies. Admission to the Physician Assistant Program within the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of North Dakota is a competitive selection process. Each applicant is reviewed individually and evaluated on their own merits.
The admission requirements are consistent with the Program mission to prepare competent PAs to serve as primary care providers in rural and/or underserved areas. Along with the mission, the goal is to improve access to health care, help alleviate shortages of primary care providers and deliver comprehensive, affordable health care services to the people of rural and/or underserved populations. Consequently, acceptance is on a competitive basis with an emphasis on the proven adult learner with recent clinical health care experience and insight and inclination to meet the Program mission.
For complete requirements, please see our website for the most current information regarding prerequisites and application instructions at http://www.med.UND.edu/physician-assistant/.
The UND PA Program seeks applicants with:
Academic preparation including:
- solid achievement in undergraduate coursework.
- quality performance in prerequisite coursework (information on prerequisites can be found on the Prerequisites tab at the website linked above).
- ability to learn in an adult learner model, or accelerated environment.
Dedication and experience with rural and underserved populations including:
- prior clinical health care experience with rural and underserved populations,
- residence in rural and/or underserved geographic areas,
Health care experience including:
- background and potential for a career as a clinical PA serving the mission of the UND Program.
- understanding of the Physician Assistant role.
- levels of previous clinical health care experience that involves critical thinking and decision making.
- evidence of health care team effectiveness.
- strong references from physicians, physician assistants, and other clinical supervisors.
Preference is given to those applicants who demonstrate the following:
- Completion of upper level science prerequisite courses within the past 7 years. The most competitive applicants are those who demonstrate recent proficiency in progressively rigorous prerequisite core science coursework.
- Residents of North Dakota are given highest preference followed by those in surrounding states and the region.
- Work experience or resident of rural or underserved communities.
Please note that decisions of the Admission Committee are not appealable and acceptance into the UND PA Program and successful completion of the program does not imply or guarantee that the student will be able to pass the national certification exam or obtain state licensure upon graduation.
- Four-year bachelor’s degree or graduate degree at a regionally accredited institution within the United States. Degree must be completed by December 31 of the application year. Additional instruction can be found on the How to Apply tab on the website above.
- Health-related or science-based degrees are preferred.
- A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) is required. Consideration is given with more recent transcripts showing significant improvement in science coursework.
Health Care Requirements
A minimum of 1,000 hours of health care experience must be completed within the United States and be related to direct (hands-on), supervised patient care showing commitment to a career in medicine. Experience should involve assessment and treatment relating to Western (allopathic) medicine and medical professional judgment. Hours accrued in a student/learner role are not acceptable. This ensures foundational knowledge and skills needed for successful completion of this program.
Dedication and experience with rural and underserved populations including:
- prior clinical health care experience with rural and underserved populations.
- residence in rural and/or underserved geographic areas.
Although all health care disciplines are certainly valuable to the practice of medicine, clinical health care experiences which lack high-level direct patient care and decision-making responsibilities do not prepare students for successful completion of the accelerated program or the professional board exam. Examples of professions that would not count towards the minimum health care hours for admission include administrative assistant, ACLS/CPR instructor, hospital chaplain, pharmaceutical/medical supply representative, medical scribe, receptionist or other clerical position, student intern, veterinarian, etc.
Students may not apply with a preceptor. To maintain compliance with the most recent ARC-PA standards, prospective and enrolled students must not be required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors. Upon acceptance into the program, students will work with the UND DPAS clinical education team for all primary care and specialty rotation placements. Students may not contact any known or prospective preceptors, or attempt to establish their own clinical rotations. Clinical rotations may occur in any geographical area that the program deems fit to meet program requirements and national accreditation standards which are of utmost priority.
Admission to the Physician Assistant Program within the School of Medicine & Health Sciences at the University of North Dakota is a competitive selection process. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee progression in the application process.
All admission requirements must be completed by the September 1 application deadline unless denoted below. No in-progress requirements will be considered. Additional instruction on the application process can be found on the How to Apply tab on the website above.
Applications, clinical experience, transcripts, or previous coursework will not be reviewed until they are made available to us as a complete, verified application through CASPA. It is the applicant's responsibility to evaluate if coursework and experience meet the published standards. Also, it is the applicant's responsibility to contact CASPA directly to verify the receipt of all application materials by CASPA and the current status of their application.
Prerequisite Coursework Requirements:
- Grade of B or higher (3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale) unless denoted below.
- Completed at a regionally accredited institution within the United States (regional accreditation by HLC MSCHE, NECHE, NWCCU, SACSCOC, WSCUC).
- CLEP (College Level Examination Programs) or "test out" courses are not accepted.
- Upper-level university science coursework is preferred. Upper-level coursework is non-introductory, typically with course numbers indicating at least junior or senior status.
- Preference is given to candidates whose core science coursework has been completed within 7 years of the application deadline. The most competitive applicants are those who demonstrate recent proficiency in progressively rigorous prerequisite core science coursework.
- Human Anatomy (At least 3 semester credits). Lab preferred
- Human Physiology (At least 3 semester credits). Lab preferred
- Note: If a combined course such as anatomy and physiology (i.e. A&P I and II) is taken, 2 courses of at least 3 semester credits each are required.
- Microbiology (At least 2 semester credits). Lab preferred
- Statistics (At least 3 semester credits). Preferably statistics for psychology, sociology, or biology
- At least 6 semester credits of additional upper-level University science chosen from the following courses. Taking these courses with their respective labs (if offered) is preferred.
- Biochemistry of Proteins and Information Flow
- Cell Biology
- Developmental Biology
- Systems Biology
- Physiology of Organs and Systems
- Molecular Genetics
- Molecular Biology of the Cell
- Organic Chemistry I (*)
- Organic Chemistry II (*)
- Introduction to Immunology
* Courses denoted with an asterisk (*) a grade of C is acceptable
Other Recommended Coursework
- Medical Terminology
- Additional upper level science coursework (with labs)
Additional coursework beyond the minimum academic preparation requirements will strengthen an application, especially if the courses are highly correlated with medicine such as immunology, pathophysiology, gerontology, medical ethics, health care policy, epidemiology, human nutrition, and additional courses in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and psychology.
Note: The University of North Dakota Physician Assistant Program does not accept transfer students from other PA programs. Advanced placement and transfer of credits is not allowed.
- Complete applications to CASPA and the UND School of Graduate Studies along with all supporting materials as explained on the How to Apply tab on the website above.
- Complete a successful interview.
- Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.
- Comply with the Academic and Technical Standards (defined on the website above) for matriculation, promotion, and graduation.
- Complete a health screening and a criminal background check prior to matriculation.
Students seeking the Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree at the University of North Dakota must satisfy all general requirements set forth by the School of Graduate Studies as well as particular requirements set forth by the Physician Assistant Program.
- Successful completion of all courses in the core curriculum.
- Completion of a written scholarly project approved by the academic advisor.
- Written comprehensive final examination.
|PA 507||Medical Human Anatomy & Radiology I||3|
|PA 508||Medical Human Anatomy & Radiology II||3|
|PA 510||Human Physiology & Pathophysiology I||4|
|PA 511||Human Physiology & Pathophysiology II||4|
|PA 516||EKG lnterpretation||1|
|PA 517||Pharmacology I||2|
|PA 518||Pharmacology II||2|
|PA 521||Diagnostic Studies I||2|
|PA 522||Diagnostic Studies II||2|
|PA 523||Diagnostic Studies Ill||2|
|PA 525||Scholarly Project Development||3|
|PA 540||Clinical Medicine: Primary Care I - Didactic||5|
|PA 541||Clinical Medicine: Primary Care I Clinical||5|
|PA 550||Clinical Medicine: Primary Care II - Didactic||5|
|PA 551||Clinical Medicine: Primary Care II - Clinical||4|
|PA 560||Clinical Medicine: Primary Care III - Didactic||3|
|PA 561||Clinical Medicine: Primary Care III - Clinical||4|
|PA 566||Professional Issues & Role Development I||2|
|PA 567||Professional Issues & Role Development II||1|
|PA 568||Professional Issues & Role Development Ill||1|
|PA 569||Professional Issues & Role Development IV||1|
|PA 580||Specialty Clerkship||6|
|PA 581||Emergency Department Clerkship||4|
|PA 582||General Surgery Clerkship||4|
|PA 995||Scholarly Project||3|
|PA 512||History and Physical Exam I||2|
|PA 513||History and Physical Exam II||2|
|PA 570||Clinical Medicine - Primary Care Clinical Continuation|
|PA 571||Rural/Underserved Primary Care Clinical||3|
This program meets the educational requirements for licensure in all U.S. States.
Physician Assistant Requirements Disclaimer
The requirements on this page are pulled from UND’s academic catalog and may not reflect future terms. Updates are published annually in April.
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