Prospective Applicants

Applicants to the Howard University Physician Assistant Program must meet all program admission requirements. To have an application considered and reviewed by the program Admissions committee for Fall 2023, the following items must be completed and verified by April 1, 2023:

  1. Complete and submit application through CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants)-  CASPA | Applicant Login Page Section (

*The program is now accepting applications through CASPA for the Fall 2023 cohort.  The program CASPA portal will close on April 1, 2023. 

Program Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a US institution 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. 
    • 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 
  • 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.
  • Request official transcripts from all US institutions attended sent to CASPA.
  • Request official evaluations of transcripts from all foreign institutions sent to CASPA as follows:
    • Applicants with a bachelor’s degree earned from a foreign institution 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) directly to CASPA. The required minimum score for admission is 90. The CASPA code is: 3709.
    • 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.


  1. Applicants must successfully complete the following prerequisite science* 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 (7 - 8 credits)
  • General Chemistry I + II with lab (7 - 8 credits)
  • Organic Chemistry with lab or Biochemistry with lab (3 - 4 credits)
  • Microbiology with lab (3 - 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 requirements must be completed within seven (7) years prior to the date admissions.
    • 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 and approved by the Program Director.

The program does not award or grant advanced placement credit for courses within the program curriculum.

  1. Applicants must have cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale.


  1. Applicants must have a science 3.0 prerequisite GPA or higher on a 4.0scale.


  1. Submit a personal statement on their desire to become a Physician Assistant.


  1. Submit a current resume/CV inclusive of education, volunteer, and professional experience, if applicable.


  1. Request 3 letters of recommendation addressing the applicant’s potential as a Physician Assistant. One letter of recommendation must be from one of the following individuals:
  • Academic Professor
  • Employer/Supervisor
  • Practicing Clinician (PA/NP/MD/DO) 


  1. Documentation of a minimum of 800 hours of direct patient care experience (paid or volunteer) is required. (HUPA Direct Patient Care or Shadowing Hours Form)
  • 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 have direct patient interaction, not just with specimens), or behavioral health technician.
  • All required direct patient care hours must be completed by the application deadline


  1. Documentation of a minimum of 40 hours of shadowing a practicing Physician Assistant (encouraged, not required) 


  1. Applicants must pass a criminal background check and drug screening test. Criminal background checks and drug screening tests must be performed prior to matriculation to the Howard University Physician Assistant Program (within 180 days of matriculation), and prior to the start of the clinical phase of the program.


  1. Applicants must have no history of dismissal from another Physician Assistant program for academic or disciplinary reasons.


  1. All applicants must meet the program's Technical Standards which can be found on the Howard University Physician Assistant Program website: (


  1. Participation in the program interview process.


Program Admissions Process

  1. 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 program faculty member on 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)


  1. 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


  1. Qualified applicants who meet a minimum of 75% of total points 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 (or virtual) 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.   


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


  1.  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. Each cohort will comprise of twenty (20) students.
  • Students who meet the criteria but are greater than twenty (20) 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 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.