Congdon School of Health Sciences
Physician Assistant

Admission Requirements

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the High Point University PA Program is aware that many things may affect the admission process for students during the upcoming cycle. While we understand COVID-19 may cause issues with meeting some of the admission criteria, it is important that we continue to uphold our mission and select students who will be successful in our program.

We would like to address updated policies for admission in lieu of COVID-19 pandemic. All changes for the 2020-2021 CASPA Admission Cycle are highlighted below each admission criteria variable. Please read the information below.

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 Physiology3
Biological Science8Includes two one-credit laboratories
Upper Level Human Biological Science 3
Microbiology3Includes laboratory
General/Inorganic Chemistry4Includes one-credit laboratory
Additional Chemistry4Includes one-credit laboratory
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.
Post-Acceptance Required Course
Medical TerminologyCan be credit-derived or a certificate

Required attributes of approved prerequisite courses:

        • Prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or above.
        • Only one prerequisite course may be in progress during the Fall semester of the year in which you apply.
        • All courses must be completed by the end of the Fall semester of the year in which you apply.
        • 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.
        • For the 2020-21 Admissions Cycle, the program will review and consider Pass/Fail courses obtained in the Spring and Summer 2020 semesters.
          • If an applicant has the option to take a course for letter grade versus Pass/Fail, the MPAS Program strongly encourages students to take the letter grade option (especially for all prerequisite courses).
          • If an applicant does not have the option to take a course for letter grade and the institution has moved Spring/Summer 2020 courses to Pass/Fail, the MPAS Program will review these on an individual basis.
          * The applicants should state this on their application.
        • One course cannot be used to satisfy multiple prerequisites.
        • Prerequisite science courses must be completed within 10 years prior to June enrollment.
        • All prerequisite courses must be taken at a U.S. college or university that is regionally accredited:
          • 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.
        • If an applicant has the option to take a laboratory course in-person, the MPAS Program strongly encourages students to take the in-person option (especially for all prerequisite courses).
          If the institution has moved Spring/Summer/Fall 2020 laboratory courses online, the MPAS Program will review these on an individual basis.
          * The applicants should state this on their application.
        • AP & IB coursework: AP & IB 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. For IB coursework, the minimum score is 5 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 Cumulative Undergraduate Science GPA of 3.2
          • Minimum Cumulative Undergraduate Overall GPA of 3.2
          • No changes for the 2020-21 Admissions Cycle.
            • If an applicant has the option to take a course for letter grade versus Pass/Fail, the MPAS Program strongly encourages students to take the letter grade option (especially for all prerequisite courses).
            • If an applicant does not have the option to take a course for letter grade and the institution has moved Spring/Summer 2020 courses to Pass/Fail, the MPAS Program will review these on an individual basis.
            * The applicants should state this on their application.
      2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores
        • Official GRE scores are required. We do not use a cutoff of minimum GRE score, however we do consider strength of GRE scores relative to other applicants as part of our admission process.
        • Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test within five years of the application deadline.
        • 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. 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.
        • PA Observation: Applicants must have a minimum of 15 hours of direct observation (i.e. shadowing) of PAs or attain an equivalent number of hours observing a Physician Assistant through providing direct patient care (e.g., Medical Assistant for a PA).
      4. References
        A total of 3 references submitted on the official CASPA reference form are required. It is recommended that students request references from the following:

        • Professor: A person who can attest to the applicant’s academic preparedness for the program based on direct experience in a teacher-student relationship.
        • Supervisor: A person who can 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.
      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. college or university that is regionally accredited prior to enrollment.

    Technical Standards

    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.
    • demonstrate 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 Admissions Information

For information about your CASPA application, prerequisites, health care experience, or to inquire about a visit, please contact:

Office of Graduate Admissions
(336) 841-9198
(336) 841-9024 (Fax)

The Physician Assistant Studies Program at HPU

Contact Us

Department of Physician Assistant Studies
Drawer 70
One University Parkway
High Point, NC 27268

(336) 841-9382
(336) 888-6318 (Fax)

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

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ARC-PA Accreditation

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the High Point University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by High Point University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.
Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be June 2029. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website here.


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