School of Health Sciences
Physician Assistant
The HPU PA Program
Prospective Students
The Physician Assistant

Admission Requirements

Prerequisite Coursework

Official transcripts must show that all prerequisite coursework has been completed and meets the required attributes described below. Substitutions are not accepted.

Required CoursesSemester HoursComments
Human or Vertebrate Anatomy4Includes one-credit laboratory
Human or Vertebrate Physiology4Includes one-credit laboratory
Biology8Includes two one-credit laboratories
Upper Level Biology3
Microbiology4Includes one-credit laboratory
General Chemistry8Includes two one-credit laboratories
Medical TerminologyCan be credit-derived or a certificate
Humanities and Social Sciences9Must include one upper-level course that focuses on developing a deeper understanding of the human condition including, but not limited to: anthropology, economics, ethics, history, political science, psychology, public health, religion, or sociology.
Recommended Courses
These courses are not required, however they provide a good foundation for the study of medicine.Additional Upper-level Biology Courses, Organic Chemistry, Medical Ethics, Cultural Diversity, and/or Physics

Required attributes of approved prerequisite courses:

  • Prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or above.
  • For prerequisite courses with separate grades assigned for lecture and lab sections, a minimum grade of “C” is required in both sections.
  • No prerequisite course may be taken on a “pass/fail”, “credit/non-credit” basis unless specifically noted (i.e., Medical Terminology).
  • One course cannot be used to satisfy multiple prerequisites.
  • All courses must be completed by the end of the Fall semester of the year in which you apply. At least twelve (12) prerequisite courses must be completed before the Fall semester begins (i.e., only one (1) may be in progress during the Fall semester.)
  • Prerequisite science courses must be completed within 10 years prior to June enrollment.
  • All prerequisite courses must be taken at a U.S. regionally accredited college or university:
    • The Program will accept credits completed at community colleges
    • The Program will accept non-laboratory course credits completed online.
    • The Program will not accept laboratory course credits completed online.
  • AP coursework: AP coursework will be accepted as long as the class appears on a college transcript with assigned credits based on AP Exam score of 4 or higher.
  • 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.

Additional Requirements

  1. Grade Point Averages
    • Minimum Science GPA of 3.0 (greater than or equal to 3.2 recommended)
    • Minimum Overall GPA of 3.0 (greater than or equal to 3.2 recommended)
  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores
    • For the 2014-15 admissions cycle, the GRE must have been taken after 1/1/2010 and before 10/1/2014. The Educational Testing Service only keeps scores for five years.
    • Preference will be given to candidates who score >= 153 on verbal and >= 144 on quantitative sections of GRE tests taken on or after August 1, 2011, and candidates who score >= 500 on verbal and >= 500 on quantitative sections of GRE on tests taken prior to August 1, 2011.
    • High Point University’s CASPA GRE Designated Institution Code, 7291, should be used to report scores.
  3. Health Care Experience
    • Minimum of 200 hours volunteer or work experience in a health care setting with at least 15 of these hours spent working with or observing a Physician Assistant. The minimum health care experience hours must be attained prior to an application being reviewed by the admissions committee for interview consideration.
    • Preference will be given to applicants having significantly greater than 200 hours of volunteer or work experience and to those applicants having experience that requires a period of training and results in direct (hands-on) patient care.
  4. References

    A total of 3 references submitted on the official CASPA reference form are required.

    • At least one reference should attest to the applicant’s academic preparedness for the program based on direct experience in a teacher-student relationship.
    • At least one reference should attest to the applicant’s intrapersonal attributes and interpersonal communication abilities based on direct observation as supervisor of the applicant’s volunteer or work experience.
    • The third reference is of the applicant’s choice.
  5. 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 U.S. regionally accredited college or university prior to enrollment.
  6. Technical Standards
  7. A candidate for the MPAS degree must have abilities and skills in five general areas:

    a. Observation – A candidate must be able to:

    • observe demonstrations and visual presentations in lectures and laboratories.
    • observe patients accurately and completely both at a distance and closely.

    This standard requires functional vision, hearing, and somatic sensation.

    b. Communication – A candidate must be able to:

    • perceive nonverbal communication, speak intelligibly, hear sufficiently, and observe patients in order to elicit information.
    • elicit and transmit patient information in oral and written English to members of the health care team.
    • communicate effectively and sensitively with patients.
    • possess demonstrated reading skills at a level sufficient to accomplish curricular requirements and provide clinical care for patients.
    • be capable of completing appropriate medical records and documents in written and electronic form in a thorough and timely manner.

    c. Sensory and Motor Coordination and Function – A candidate must:

    • possess motor skills sufficient to directly perform palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other basic diagnostic procedures.
    • be able to execute motor movements required to provide basic medical care. Examples of basic medical care include, but are not limited to: airway management, placement of catheters, suturing, phlebotomy, application of sufficient pressure to control bleeding, simple obstetrical maneuvers, etc. (Such actions require coordination of gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision).
    • be able to manipulate equipment and instruments to perform basic laboratory tests and procedures.
    • be able to transport themselves from one location to another in a timely fashion in order to facilitate patient care responsibilities and necessary to receive educational training.

    d. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities. Problem solving is the critical skill demanded of Physician Assistants.  This requires that students have the ability to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize. – A candidate must:

    • be able to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the medical literature in formulating diagnoses and plans.
    • be able to independently access and interpret medical histories or files.
    • identify significant findings from history, physical examination, and laboratory data.
    • provide reasoned explanations for likely diagnoses and prescribed medications and therapy.
    • recall and retain information in an efficient and timely manner.

    e. Behavioral and Social Attributes – A candidate must:

    • possess the ability to use their intellectual capacity, exercise good judgment, and promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis under potentially stressful and/or emergency circumstances.
    • be able to accept criticism and respond by appropriate modification of behavior.
    • be able to develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and colleagues.
    • have a high level of compassion for others with sufficient interpersonal skills to interact positively with people from all levels of society, all ethnic backgrounds, and all belief systems.
    • be able to adapt to changing environments and to learn in the face of uncertainties inherent in the practice of medicine.
    • be able to use supervision appropriately and act independently, when indicated.

    Technological compensation can be made for some disabilities in certain areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.

Transfer Credit or Credit for Experiential Learning (Advanced Placement)

All courses within the curriculum are required. No transfer credit is accepted. No credit is granted for pre-admission experiential learning, prior coursework, degrees, certifications, or advanced training.

For More Information

For information about your application,
or to inquire about a visit,
please contact:

Ms. Carene Kelsey
Norcross Graduate School
Health Professions Recruiter
(336) 841-9527
(336) 841-9024 (Fax)

How to Find Us

Department of Physician Assistant Studies
833 Montlieu Ave
High Point, NC 27268
(336) 841-9504
(336) 888-5034 (Fax)

To drive to our building, point your GPS to:
1030 Mall Loop Rd, High Point

Preparing healthcare professionals for the world as it is going to be SM

The Physician Assistant Studies Program at HPU

Welcome from the Department Chair

Flickr Photostream: Department of Physician Assistant Studies

ARC-PA Accreditation

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the High Point University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by High Point University.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.
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