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Admission Information

The admissions process is highly selective and competitive. The interview process begins as soon as verified applications are received from the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Interviews will be offered to qualified applicants, and acceptances will be offered on a rolling admission basis. Early application is strongly encouraged.

Application Procedure

Applicants must complete a CASPA application. Request CASPA application forms from CASPA or by calling them at 617-612-2080. All applicants must complete the K-State PA program supplemental application (opens April 30, 2020), and submit the required fee. Applicants invited to an interview, must also complete application for K-State graduate study, and submit the required fee.

The Admission Committee’s interview teams will interview selected applicants. Following the interview, applicants will be evaluated by the Admission Committee to assess their suitability for the program. Accepted applicants will be notified within 2 weeks of interview. Those who wish to accept a seat must pay a $1000 deposit within 10 business days of receiving the offer to reserve their seat. This deposit will be applied toward the first semester of tuition, and will only be refunded if the PA program does not matriculate students in January 2021.

Application & Timeline

The following information applies to the 2020-2021 admission cycle. CASPA opens April 30, 2020.

Applicants are considered for an interview if they meet the minimum GPA requirements: 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) in prerequisite courses, and 3.0 GPA (on a scale of 4.0) in the last 60 credit hours completed chronologically (whether this coursework is undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate), AND if they demonstrate at least two of the admission preferences.

Program Admission Preferences:
  • Direct patient care experience characterized as moderate or high level
  • Direct patient care experience > 500 hours
  • Work experience or research hours > 500 hours
  • Community service > 250 hours
  • Leadership activities ≥ one year
  • Graduate degree earned in any discipline by August 15, 2020
  • Military service (veterans must have an honorable or entry-level discharge)

Applications meeting the above criteria will be forwarded to the program for faculty review. The program faculty will conduct a holistic review of the applicant’s CASPA and supplemental applications, and select candidates to be interviewed.

  • CASPA application opens April 30, 2020, and closes August 15, 2020.
  • Completed applications are due August 15, and must be CASPA-verified by September 1, 2020. We highly encourage interested applicants to apply early to ensure faculty review.
  • You may send one e-mail alerting us of all program preference changes to your application after submission, but not later than August 15, 2020. The changes should also be uploaded to your CASPA application.
  • Transcripts for graduate degrees completed after your application submission must be uploaded to CASPA and an e-mail sent by August 15, 2020.
  • Interview invitations are extended upon application review, and within 14-21 days of interview.
  • Interviews are held on multiple days from June - October.
  • Admission notifications occur within 2 weeks of interview.
  • Admission deposit of $1,000 is due within 10 business days of acceptance of admission offer.
  • Cohort starts in early spring of 2021.


The following are required for application:


CASPA Application

Domestic applicants should first complete the CASPA application. It must be received and verified by the deadline date of August 15, of the year prior to spring matriculation. Please send all transcripts directly to CASPA. International applicants - please see below.

K-State PA Program Supplemental Application

Upon completion of the CASPA application, applicant must complete the K-State PA program supplemental application, and submit the $75 non-refundable fee. The purpose of the supplemental application is to collect additional information not provided in the CASPA application. Again, please send all transcripts directly to CASPA.

K-State Graduate School Application

Finally, applicants who are invited to interview must complete an application for graduate study at K-State and pay the $65 non-refundable fee.

Letters of Reference

  • Three letters of recommendation submitted by faculty, coaches, employers, patients or health care providers with whom the applicant has a shadow or work history. The program will only evaluate the first three letters submitted if more than three letters are received.
  • A letter from a PA or physician is not required.
  • Letters from immediate family members or friends will not be accepted.

Minimum GPA

  • Minimum undergraduate GPA (last 60 credit hours): 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 as calculated on the CASPA application.
  • Minimum prerequisite GPA: 3.0
  • Graduate GPA will replace undergraduate GPA for applicants who have earned a graduate degree.


  • Neither the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) nor the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is required.

Bachelor’s Degree Requirement

The Physician Assistant Studies Program is a post-baccalaureate health professions program.

  • Applicants must provide evidence of an earned bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education prior to enrollment.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended are required, and must be sent directly to CASPA for review and verification.
  • Applicants may apply before the bachelor’s degree is completed, but the degree must be earned by August 15 of the year prior to matriculation, and the undergraduate GPA (last 60 credit hours) must reflect the required minimum 3.0 or better.

Prerequisite Courses

  • Successful completion of all prerequisite courses by the time of application with a grade of C or above from a college or university accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Any courses completed at an institution using a quarter credit system, must be converted to semester credit hours using the following formula: one semester credit hour is equivalent to .67 quarter credit hours; 1 quarter credit hour/1.5=.67 credit hours
  • Prerequisites greater than 7 years from the date of graduation (degree during which prerequisites were completed) will not be accepted, unless the applicant has provided direct patient care for at least 3,000 hours within the last 7 years from Sept. 1 of the year of application to program.
  • Although CASPA averages retaken courses, if a prerequisite course has been retaken, the highest grade will be utilized for prerequisite GPA calculation.
  • One course cannot be used to satisfy multiple prerequisites.
  • No prerequisite course may be taken on a “pass/fail”, “credit/non-credit” basis, therefore all courses must have a letter grade.
  • The Anatomy and Physiology requirements may be met by taking either one semester of Anatomy and one semester of Physiology, or two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology combined, or a one semester combined Anatomy and Physiology course of at least 8 semester hours.

Required Courses

  • Two Semesters - Biology (one of which must be General Biology with lab)
  • Two Semesters - General Chemistry with lab
  • Two Semesters - Human Anatomy & Physiology with lab (a one semester combined Anatomy and Physiology course with lab, of at least 8 semester hours will meet this requirement)
  • One Semester  - Microbiology or Bacteriology
  • One Semester  - Psychology
  • One Semester  - Human Genetics (must have been completed within past 5 years)
  • One Semester  - Medical Terminology

Recommended Additional Courses

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biostatistics
  • Pharmacology
  • Introductory Statistics or Critical Thinking

Direct Patient Care Experience

  • Direct patient care experience is not required for application, but the program gives preference to applicants with patient care experience in high or moderate categories, and additional preference for those with more than 500 hours of direct patient care experience within any category. Criteria for categorizing patient care experience includes:
    • Hands-on care
    • Period of training required for patient care
    • License required for patient care
    • Exposure to different patient types
    • Independence in providing patient care
    • Applicants whose direct patient care experience is not listed below may use the patient care experience petition form (pdf) to have their direct patient care experience categorized by the program for admission purposes. Applicants MAY NOT petition to have the listed direct patient care roles reclassified (e.g., medical interpreter to be upgraded from minimal to moderate). The program decision may not be appealed.

Patient Care Experience Categories

Physician (M.D./D.O.), Chiropractor, Foreign Medical Graduate, Registered Nurse (RN), Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), Paramedic, Pharmacist, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Respiratory Therapist, Exercise Physiologist, Athletic Trainer, Veterinarian, Corpsman (Navy), Independent Duty Corpsman (Navy), Medic (Army), Independent Medical Technician (Air Force)

Dietician, Personal/Fitness Trainer, EMT, Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Certified Nurse Aide (CNA), Certified Medication Aide (CMA), Dental Hygienist, Home Health Aide, Scribe, Medical Assistant, Clinical Research Coordinator.

Technicians/Technologists: Anesthesia, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Clinical Lab Specialist, ICU, Lab, Medical Lab, Newborn Hearing Screen, Occupational Therapist Assistant, Ophthalmic, Optometrist, Oncology, Orthopedic, Patient Care, Pharmacy, Physical Therapist Assistant, Polysomnographic, Pulmonary, Radiology, Respiratory, Telemetry, Veterinary

Medical Interpreter, Medical Volunteer, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Volunteer, Patient Transporter, Patient Coordinator/Unit Secretary/Unit Clerk, Chiropractic Assistant, Dental Assistant, Health Professions Student (practicum), Lactation Specialist, Social Worker, Mental Health Counselor, Phlebotomist, Living Assistant, Medical Mission Work

Physician Assistant Observation/Shadowing

  • Physician assistant observation or shadowing is not required for application. However, competitive applicants will have observed one or more PAs for as many hours as necessary, to demonstrate their knowledge of the PA role on the healthcare team. PA observation/shadowing experiences are evaluated during the interview.
  • Observation of a PA does not qualify as direct patient care experience.


  • CASPer is an online situational judgment test used to assess non-academic attributes we believe are important for successful students and graduates of the program.  The CASPer test score is one of several screening tools considered in the Admission Committee’s review of applications. Completion of the CASPer test is required, and results are valid for one admission cycle. Test dates are limited. To learn more visit this website about the CASPer test


The following qualify as leadership experiences: (This is not an exhaustive list; if there are activities or events applicants believe should  be included within the leadership/maturity category, they should list them on the application.)

  • Intercollegiate athlete of any type — one year for each season (includes dance, cheer and/or athletic trainer/manager for team)
  • Leadership role in fraternity/sorority or other professional organization/club or student government (must be an executive leadership position such as president, vice president or committee chair —being a member of a club does not count as leadership)
  • Worked at least 15 hours per week while attending college as a full-time student
  • Service in the military — one year for one year of service
  • Other non-college related leadership roles within the community or at one’s place of employment such as serving on city council or filling the role of manager — one year for one year of service

Advanced Placement

  • The PA program does not offer advanced placement for students with prior graduate or doctoral work.
  • The program does not accept transfer students or provide credit for experiential learning.
  • The program does not give credit for prior student experience working in the health care field.
  • All incoming PA students must complete the entire program’s course of study as outlined in the curriculum at Kansas State University.

Non-native Speakers of English

  • K-State’s Graduate School requires each applicant whose native language is not English to demonstrate competence in the English language by achieving a satisfactory score (defined below) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Pearson Test of English (PTE).
  • The TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE is required to ensure language barriers do not jeopardize the student’s progress toward a degree. The TOEFL is offered several times a year throughout the world by the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey (K-State TOEFL school code 6334). International applicants should take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE as early as possible to avoid delays in processing their applications. However, the test date should be no older than eighteen months from the application deadline.
  • An applicant who has earned a degree in the last two years from a regionally or nationally accredited United States college or university is exempt from this requirement. The PA program may however, require demonstration of English language proficiency during the admissions process.

Score requirements


Minimum Score

IBT TOEFL (internet based)88
Pearson Test of English (PTE)68

International Applicants

  • International applicants must apply to the Graduate School prior to applying to CASPA. More information on the Graduate application is located here https://www.k-state.edu/grad/admissions/application-process/international/
  • Applicants who earn their bachelor’s degrees from colleges and institutions outside of the United States may be considered for admission. International applicants must have their transcripts verified and translated by an approved organization (such as World Education Services), and complete at least one year (30 semester hours) of additional undergraduate or graduate study at a regionally or nationally accredited U.S. college or university prior to applying to the program. Applicants must also meet all other requirements.

Admissions Interview

An individual interview is required for admission, and will be offered to the most qualified applicants. Interviews are coordinated by the PA Program Admissions subcommittee. Interview teams will be led by a PA or Physician faculty member, and may include community health care providers, health professions alumni, and K-State College of Health Sciences faculty. Notification of an interview will be sent to the e-mail submitted on the CASPA WebAdMIT system by the applicant. The program will send an interview notification at least two weeks prior to the interview date.

After application review, the K-State Program Admissions Committee will select applicants for an interview. Interviews will be offered on a rolling basis. The K-State PA program plans to admit up to 36 students in the inaugural class of 2021. Due to the high number of applications typically received by programs, it is anticipated many applicants who meet the minimum admission requirements will not be selected for an interview. The 2020 Admission Cycle Interview Dates will be held in June, July, August, and September.

  • An interview is required for admission.
  • Applicants are selected for an interview based on the strength of their CASPA application, including a review of their academic preparation and the program's preferred criteria.
  • During the interview process, applicants will be provided with and asked to acknowledge their agreement to follow the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Code of Ethics and the PA program’s social media and professionalism policies.
  • Applicants will be provided with the PA Program’s technical standards at the time of interview, and must meet these standards upon enrollment.
  • Each interview will be conducted over a one-day period, typically on a Friday. Interview dates are June 26th, July 30th, August 21st, September 4th, and September 18th 2020.
  • Professional dress is expected.
  • The program will interview 100-120 applicants.
  • Applicants are responsible for all travel related expenses (flight, lodging, local travel and off-campus meals), and there are no grants or scholarships available to offset interview expenses. The university has secured special rates with the Holiday Inn and Bluemont Hotel; e-mail the PA Program if you wish to book using these rates.

Acceptance Process

  • After each interview session, interview teams will review all candidate materials and interview performances, complete required documentation from the days interview, and add their recommendations to the form.  The admissions committee will make a final selection decision for the final cohort within 3 business days.  Alternates for admission will also be selected.
  • Typically, applicants will be informed of their acceptance status via a phone call within two weeks of their admission interview, and will receive written confirmation of their acceptance and any conditional requirements via a Letter of Acceptance for the Graduate School, either by standard mail or by e-mail.
  • The remaining applicants will fall into 2 categories:
    • Alternate List – applicants qualifying for the alternate list will be informed by e-mail, and asked to confirm their interest in being added to the list.
    • No Offer List – applicants who are not accepted will be informed by e-mail, and asked to review the program’s form letter on CASPA for possible reasons for non-acceptance.
  • All applicants accepted into the program will be charged a $1000 nonrefundable deposit to reserve their seat. This fee is due within 10 business days of notification and acceptance of offer, and will be applied to the first semester’s tuition upon matriculation.

Technical Standards

Technical Standards Attestation

  • All students must meet the minimum technical standards necessary to achieve the knowledge, skills, and competencies required of an entry-level physician assistant.
  • All conditionally accepted applicants who are offered a seat in the program will be required to sign a statement attesting to their ability to meet the K-State PA program’s Technical Standards.

Post Acceptance requirements

Once accepted into the K-State PA program, the following information must be provided and processes completed prior to matriculation and no later than Dec 10th.  Each requirement and the associated program policies are described below. Details for providing the information and completing the processes are included in the Letter of Acceptance.

All conditionally accepted applicants must demonstrate compliance with the K-State PA Program Student Health Policy by submitting the following information on the Health Information and Immunization Form:

  • Verification of immunizations. Required immunizations will be published annually and updated based on the CDC recommendations for health care workers, and the individual requirements of the clinical sites the program uses for clinical experiences.
  • Verification of completion of a physical examination, which includes an acknowledgement that the applicant meets the technical standards for admission.
  • Health insurance status – All K-State PA students must provide proof of health insurance upon matriculation, and annually. Health insurance must be maintained through the entirety of the program.
  • Background Check and Drug Screening

Completion of the Criminal Background and Sex Offender Checks

  • All conditionally admitted applicants to the Kansas State University Physician Assistant Studies (PAS) Program will be required to undergo criminal background and sex offender (CBSO) checks (pdf) performed at least 45 days prior to matriculation. Criminal convictions of any nature may create difficulty in placing a student into clinical rotations.  Additionally, an applicant’s criminal background may adversely affect the ability to obtain licensure or clinical privileges. It is the applicant’s responsibility to address any such issues and determine the continued viability of their candidacy. Refer to the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) or the applicable state medical board governing PA practice for further information. Applicants with felony convictions will not be admitted due to the inability to place them into appropriate clinical rotation experiences. Applicants are encouraged to accurately disclose all legal history even in circumstances where the conviction has been expunged. Many times, the criminal background check will include past criminal history the applicant was led to believe was erased from the record and the applicant may have been advised by their own counsel to answer inaccurately.
  • The offer of admission is conditional and is contingent upon results of the background check. If a conditionally admitted applicant declines to undergo the background check or if findings of a grievous nature are revealed, the offer of admission will be rescinded. A copy of the CBSO check results will be made available to the applicant upon request. Other copies will be distributed on a need-to-know basis. All applicants will sign a release form indicating the program has the right to release appropriate information to clinical sites. While enrolled, a background check will be repeated annually, or more frequently, at the discretion of the clinical facility.
  • CBSO check results that limit the Program’s ability to secure clinical experiences may prevent a student from progressing in their didactic phase of study, being promoted to the clinical phase, or being recommended for graduation. By accepting admission to the Program, applicants agree to submit to national criminal background checks, and also agree to pay expenses associated with this requirement.
  • Acceptance into and successful completion of the K-State PA Program does not imply or guarantee that the student will obtain state licensure upon graduation.

Completion of the Urine Drug Screen.

  • If marijuana is detected it will be reported as a positive result even if legally prescribed to you in your state. A positive drug screen will result in the admittance being rescinded due to the difficulty in placing the applicant into clinical rotations. It is the applicant’s responsibility to address any such issues and determine the continued viability of their candidacy. Refer to NCCPA or the applicable state medical board governing PA practice for further information. Read the K-State PA program full urine drug screening (UDS) Policy (pdf).

Completion of any outstanding documents/transcripts required by K-State’s Office of Graduate Studies.

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