Physician Assistant

Physician assistants practice medicine on teams with physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare workers. They examine, diagnose, and treat patients.

Physician Assistant at a Glance

A physician assistant (PA) is a licensed medical professional who holds an advanced degree and is able to provide direct patient care. They work with patients of all ages in virtually all specialty and primary care areas, diagnosing and treating common illnesses and working with minor procedures.  

Core 34 Pre-Admission Coursework:  Check Sheet (PDF)Accessible Check Sheet (PDF)

Core Pre-Admission Coursework:  Check Sheet (PDF)Accessible Check Sheet (PDF)

References: KSU requires three letters of reference from faculty, coaches, employers, patients or health care providers. WSU requires three letters, as well.  

Shadowing Experience: Not required for KSU.  Preferred, but not required, for WSU. 

Healthcare Experience: KSU prefers at least 750 hours of direct patient care experience.  WSU strongly prefers, but does not require, healthcare experience. 

Direct patient care is recommended or required by all programs.  Some will accept any healthcare experience with patient contact (work or volunteer) and some will only accept working or volunteering with a healthcare credential (CNA, Paramedic/EMT, CMA, Medical Scribe...). 

Community Service/Leadership Experience: KSU prefers at least 250 hours of community service and at least a year of leadership experience. WSU has no requirement. 

Research Experience: KSU prefers at least 500 hours, but this may be combined with work experience to reach the 500 hour minimum. WSU has no requirement. 

Pre-Admission Standardized Tests: Not required for KSU or WSU.  Some programs require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the  (Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). 

Student Organizations: Pre-Physician Assistant Club, International Pre-Health Sciences Organization, Delta Epsilon Mu (co-ed healthcare fraternity), University of Kansas Women in Medicine, Future Leaders in Healthcare  

Application Window: Typically, late-April to early-August/early-September – some programs have shorter application windows 

Resume Required: No 

Centralized Application Service: Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) 

Early Decision Option: Many programs recommend applying early, although no formal early decision programs are offered 

Interview Required: Yes