Physician Assistant M.S. How to apply

Cohorts begin each June | Program length 27 months | Credits 116 | Format In-person, full time

Applicants for Northwestern College's PA program must complete the following steps to be eligible for admission.

If your ability to meet admission criteria has been or may be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, particularly related to pass/fail grades and official transcript submission, please contact our enrollment counselor to learn about your options. 

Step 1

Review prerequisites 
Applicants must meet the prerequisites to be eligible for the PA program. For a complete list, including courses, review the prerequisite page.

  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution or internationally recognized equivalent
  • Overall and science GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
    • GPAs are calculated by CASPA at the time that an applicant submits their application. GPAs cannot be recalculated following submission, so applicants are advised to wait and submit their application after they complete any courses that they would like included in the GPA calculation.
  • Minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care experience
    • Applications must include a minimum of 16 hours of shadowing experience with one or more PAs.
  • Meet the  PA Program Technical Standards.
  • Completion of prerequisite courses with a B- or better in each course
    • These courses must be completed at a regionally accredited institution.
    • Five of the eight required courses must be completed by the time of application.
  • Completion of the CASPER assessment from Altus.
  • The Northwestern College PA Program will not consider applications from individuals who have attended another PA or graduate medical school in the past.

Step 2

Apply Complete the  CASPA online application 

Applications will be evaluated by the PA Program Admissions Committee by assessing each applicant's:

  • Academic record (overall and science GPAs)
  • Personal narrative
  • Supplemental application responses
  • Professional recommendations
  • Direct patient care experience

Submit application fee  
Following submission of the CASPA application and program-specific questions on CASPA, applicants need to pay the application fee of $100 to Northwestern College. 

Application deadline
Priority deadline: August 1, 2021
Final deadline: October 1, 2021

All applications submitted by the priority deadline of August 1, 2021 will be considered for the first round of interviews. Applications received after August 1 will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the final application deadline of October 1, 2021. Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete application materials as soon as possible. Applications will not be reviewed until all requirements are submitted. An invitation to interview will be extended to the most competitive applicants. All applications must be verified by CASPA by October 1, 2021 to be included in this admission cycle. 

Click here to pay the fee or contact the PA program’s enrollment counselor with any questions. 

Step 3

Select candidates will be invited to interview with program faculty and staff.

Candidates invited to interview will be provided with detailed guidance regarding interview day activities as part of the interview invitations.  Interviews will be held in the fall, and exact dates will be communicated with an offer to interview. During individual and group interviews, applicants will be assessed on the following:

  • Understanding of the PA profession
  • Understanding of the Northwestern College PA Program
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Commitment to learning
  • Self-Awareness
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Cultural competency

Step 4

Post-acceptance requirements  
Interviewees will be notified of admissions decisions within six weeks of the interview via email. Applicants who are accepted to the program will be required to reserve their seat within ten days of this communication through a $500 non-refundable tuition deposit. Details regarding this payment will be provided with the acceptance letter.

Initial acceptance to the program is conditional on successful completion of the following post-acceptance requirements, which must be completed by June 1 of the year of enrollment:

  • Technical Standard Attestation Form
  • Immunization and Health Information documentation
  • CastleBranch Background Check
  • Health insurance documentation
  • Official transcripts submitted to Northwestern College for all undergraduate coursework
  • Applicant acceptance documentation

Step 5

Begin orientation   
Required online orientation and equipment fair will take place on Thursday, May 6th, 2021 from 5:30pm-8:30pm for the cohort beginning in 2021 and in early May 2022 for the cohort beginning in 2022.

Preferred application process for Northwestern College graduates

Admission to PA programs is competitive, and the Northwestern College PA program plans to accept only 32 students per year. Preference in the application process will be given to graduates of Northwestern College, provided they meet all of the program admissions requirements. Any Northwestern College graduate who completes all application materials and meets all admissions criteria will be invited to interview for admission.

International students & non-native English speakers

The Northwestern College PA program requires a TOEFL score to demonstrate English proficiency from any applicant whose native language is not English. A minimum TOEFL score of 100 is required for admission to the PA program. Read more information for international students

Any candidate who completed coursework outside of the United States must submit a transcript evaluation from an approved service such as World Education Services (WES), International Credential Evaluations (InCred), or ECE.


The ARC-PA has granted  Accreditation-Provisional status to the  Northwestern College Physician Assistant Program sponsored by  Northwestern College

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