Prospective Applicants

1. Applicants to the Howard University Physician Assistant Program must meet all program admission requirements (see appropriate tab below) to have their application considered and reviewed by the program Admissions committee. All applications will be reviewed to ensure compliance with the following requirements by the stated deadlines:

 

2. Applicants must meet the following minimum criteria for consideration for admission into the Howard University Physician Assistant Program:

  • A Bachelor's degree from US institutions of higher education accredited by a regional accrediting association or the degree equivalent in another country with a 3.0 GPA on a scale of 4.0 from the institution.
    • Students must have completed or be in the final stages of completing a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college/university or appropriate international institution.
    • Students may apply while their degree is in progress; however, degree completion and final transcripts are required prior to enrollment into the PA program.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor's degree earned outside of the US must send their transcripts to one of the member organizations associated with the national association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) for translation. Then submit the results to CASPA and complete all Medical Core prerequisite courses (see below) in the United States. NO exceptions will be made. This is a requirement before admission can be granted. The academic evaluation requirement cannot be waived. Evaluations will not be accepted via email/fax.
  • Applicants who are not U.S. citizens are required to submit official test scores for Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) https://www.ets.org/toefl. The following minimum score is required for admission: 90.  Howard’s school code is: 5297
    • The requirement will be automatically waived for the TOEFL/IELTS requirement for international students who are from a nation where English is an official language or who have studied in the United States for at least four years.
  • Applicants must successfully complete the following prerequisite courses with a grade of “C” or higher (within the Bachelor’s degree or through coursework at a regionally accredited US institution of higher education):
    • General Biology I + II with lab (8 credits)
    • General Chemistry I + II with lab (8 credits)
    • Organic Chemistry with lab or Biochemistry with lab (4 credits)
    • Microbiology with lab (4 credits)
    • Statistics (3 credits)
    • Psychology (3 credits)
    • Social Sciences (3 credits - sociology or anthropology or African-American studies)
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology I + II with lab (7 - 8 credits)
    • Medical Terminology (2 credits
    • *Prerequisite science courses are to be completed within seven years prior to the date of admission.
      • A waiver of the seven-year requirement, or grade requirement, for a prerequisite course may be requested by the applicant if the applicant has a B grade or better, within the last seven years, in a more advanced course in the same subject. Knowledge-based testing does not satisfy any of the prerequisites. All waivers must be submitted with the supplemental application. Program Director must approve the waiver.
      • The program will not award or grant placement credit for courses within the program curriculum.
  • The applicant's personal statement detailing their desire to become a physician assistant.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation addressing the applicant's potential as a physician assistant.
    • One of the letters of recommendation must be from a practicing physician assistant or professor.
  • Documentation of a minimum of 800 hours of paid experience (volunteer experience may be considered) involving direct patient care hours are required.
    • It is recommended that students obtain direct patient care hours in different medical settings, e.g., hospice, assisted living facility, hospital, underserved areas/countries, etc.
    • To obtain strong direct patient care experience, students are encouraged to obtain certification credentials, e.g., paramedic, nurse's aide, phlebotomist, medical assistant, radiologic technologist, EKG tech, EMT (I or Basic), LPN, dental hygienist, or clinical laboratorians (the student MUST be performing phlebotomy, and must have direct patient interaction, not just with their specimens), or behavioral health technician.
    • All required direct patient care hours must be completed by the application deadline.
  • Applicants must be able to pass a background check and drug screening test. Background checks and drug screening tests must be performed prior to admission to the Howard University Physician Assistant Program (within 90 days of matriculation), and prior to the start of the clinical phase of the program.
  • Applicants must have no history of dismissal from another Physician Assistant program for academic or disciplinary reasons.
  • Applicants will not be granted or awarded advanced placement for courses in the program curriculum.
  • All applicants must be able to meet the program's Technical Standards which can be found on the Howard University Physician Assistant Program website.

 

3. All applications submitted through CASPA are received by the Admissions Coordinator or designated faculty/staff to ensure applications meet the minimum criteria to be assigned to a principal faculty member (or medical director) of the Admissions Committee for review and ranking based on the scoring rubrics designed by the program for this purpose. The components of the rubric are:

  • Cumulative GPA
  • Science GPA
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Direct patient care experience (paid/volunteer)
    • Prior healthcare experience
  • Physician assistant shadowing experience (not required)

 

4. Applicant preference (in no specific order) in the decision to extend an offer for interview are:

  • Military veterans or military-connected dependents
  • Graduates from Howard University
  • Graduates from an accredited HBCU

 

5. Qualified applicants who meet a minimum of 75% of total points possible on the Applicant Application Rating Summary form will be invited to participate in an on-site (or virtual) interview. The interview process will include the following elements:

  • Applicants will perform an on-site writing assignment on a healthcare related topic.
  • Interview with a panel comprised of the program admissions committee members, program alumni, advisory board members, clinical preceptors, and matriculating physician assistant students (when appropriate). Interviewers will complete and interview scoring rubric with recommendation.
  • Applicants will participate in a round table discussion with the program director.
  • All components of the interview process will be scored and submitted. Once all scores have been compiled, applicants will be ranking in numerical order based on points accumulated.

 

6. Applicants who meet a minimum of 75% of total points possible after the interview will be eligible for program selection.

 

7. The Admissions Committee will review and vote on the applicants to make final decision on the applicants who will be offered acceptance to occupy the available seats for the incoming class.

  • Students who meet the criteria but are greater than twenty students will be placed on a waiting list.
  • Students who are offered a seat in the program will be made aware through the Howard University Office of Admissions.

Admission Requirements

  • All applicants for the Howard University Physician Assistant Program will need to apply and complete an application through Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). For assistance or questions specific to the CASPA portal, please contact CASPA at 617-612-2080 or email (caspainfo@caspaonline.org). 

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited or internationally recognized higher education institution  

    • An academic evaluation by a NACES member is required from all international students who have studied outside of the United States. All transcripts from non-US post-secondary educational institutions must be sent directly to the evaluation agency by the issuing institution. This is a requirement before admission can be granted. The academic evaluation requirement cannot be waived. Moreover, if your records are in a foreign language, an official English translation is required. We highly encourage you to select a NACES member with electronic delivery. Evaluations will not be accepted via email/fax.  

  • Cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 GPA scale  

  • Science GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 GPA scale  

  • Successful completion of the required prerequisite courses with grade of “C” or higher within 7 years of application 

  • Documentation of a required minimum of 800 hours of direct patient care experience (paid or volunteer) 

    • Prior direct patient care healthcare work experience recommended, but not required  

    • It is recommended that students obtain direct patient care hours in different medical settings, e.g., hospice, assisted living facility, hospital, underserved areas/countries, etc.  

    • To obtain strong direct patient care experience, students are encouraged to obtain certification credentials, e.g., paramedic, nurse's aide, phlebotomist, medical assistant, radiologic technologist, EKG tech, EMT (I or Basic), LPN, dental hygienist, or clinical laboratorians (the student MUST be performing phlebotomy, and must have direct patient interaction, not just with their specimens), or behavioral health technician.  

    • All required direct patient care hours must be completed by the application deadline. 

  • Documentation of a minimum of 40 hours of shadowing a practicing Physician Assistant (Encouraged, not required) 

  • A written personal statement 

  • Three letters of recommendation: One letter of recommendation must be from one of the following individuals:  

    • Academic Professor  

    • Employer/Supervisor 

    • Practicing Clinician (PA/NP/MD/DO) 

  • Completion of criminal background check and drug screening 

    • Please be advised that all students accepted into the Master of Science program will be required to complete a background check and drug screen within 90 days of matriculation and prior to the start of the clinical phase. The background check and drug screen are conducted by an outside agency. 

  • Participation in the program interview process  

  • Applicants who are not U.S. citizens are required to submit official test scores for either Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) https://www.ets.org/toefl. The following minimum score is required for admission: 90.  Howard’s school code is: 5297

    • The requirement will be automatically waived for the TOEFL/IELTS requirement for international students who are from a nation where English is an official language or who have studied in the United States for at least four years.  

Admission Prerequisites

  •  General Biology I + II with lab (8 credits) 

  • General Chemistry I + II with lab (8 credits) 

  • Organic Chemistry with lab or Biochemistry with lab (4 credits) 

  • Microbiology with lab (4 credits) 

  • Statistics (3 credits) 

  • Psychology (3 credits) 

  • Social Sciences (3 credit hours – sociology or anthropology or African American Studies) 

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I + II with lab (8 credits) 

  • Medical Terminology (2 credits) 

Advanced Placement

The Howard University Master of Science Physician Assistant Program does not award or grant advanced placement.

All courses in the curriculum are required for program completion.