Admissions Information

*Please note, the admission requirements outlined below are provisional and subject to change as the UNC Chapel Hill Physician Assistant (PA) program pursues approval and accreditation.*  

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Physician Assistant Program has applied for Accreditation – Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for a proposed Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Physician Assistant Program anticipates matriculating its first class in August 2015, pending receipt of Accreditation – Provisional by the ARC-PA in March 2015 of ARC-PA commission meeting. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status for a new PA program that has not yet enrolled students, but at the time of its initial accreditation review, has demonstrated its preparedness to initiate a program in accordance with the accreditation standards.  The program will not commence in the event that this provisional accreditation is not received.

The UNC PA program is  complying with The Academic Program Development Procedures of  the UNC General Administration for developing a new graduate degree program at UNC-Chapel Hill. The program will not commence in the event that approval from the UNC General Administration and the UNC Board of Governors is not received.

Admission Process

The UNC PA program is committed to diversity in the student body and in the physician assistant work force. We encourage persons from all socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and religious backgrounds to apply. Additionally, the PA program is committed to recruiting and matriculating students who are veterans with medical training and in particular Special Forces Medical Sergeants. Veterans will undergo an admissions process that recognizes and provides additional credit for medical service while in the military.

Requirements for Admission

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States to be completed by the end of the spring semester prior to matriculation
  • Recommended overall GPA > 3.0
  • Recommended prerequisite courses GPA > 3.0
  • GRE within 5 years of application. Eg. For an application submitted between April-July 2014 the GRE should have been completed between 1st January 2009 and 1st April 2014. Applicants should plan ahead in scheduling the GRE so that scores will be available at the time of application.
  • Required 1,000 hours of direct hands-on patient care experience (see below for examples). This experience must be completed no later than Dec. 31 of the year prior to matriculation.
  • Three letters of recommendation–preference will be given to applicants with two out of three letters from clinicians (e.g. PAs, NPs, MDs, DOs). No personal recommendations are accepted.
  • Completion of all prerequisite work (see below) by Dec 31 prior to the year of matriculation. One pending prerequisite course is permitted if completed by May 31 before matriculation with a grade of C or higher.
  • Meet the technical standards for admission, progression, and graduation from the PA program. Each applicant is expected to review completely the “Technical Standards for PA Program” (PDF).

Hands-on Patient Care

Examples of acceptable hands-on patient care experience include:  Clinical Nutritionist/Dietician, Clinical Research Assistant, Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic, Military Medic including Special Forces Medics, Radiological or Laboratory Technologist, Nursing (CNA, LPN, RN), Physical Therapist, Physical Therapy Assistant, Respiratory Therapist, Technician:  EKG/Monitor, ER, Ophthalmologic, Pharmacy, Radiology, Surgery.

Examples that do not qualify as hands-on patient care experience include: any clinical experience while a student (e.g. student nurse, student EMT, student athletic trainer), volunteer positions (e.g. greeter in hospital/clinic), wilderness medicine instructor, patient transporter, ski patroller, life guard, aerobics instructor, unit clerk, insurance clerk, medical secretary or other clerical positions.

Prerequisite Courses

All prerequisite work must be done at a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S. The program will not accept transfer credit. Prerequisite courses should have been completed with grades “C” or better. It is strongly recommended, but not required, that all prerequisite courses be taken within the last seven years. See table below for a list of prerequisite courses.   

Prerequisite Courses


Human Anatomy and Physiology – Lecture and Lab

2 semesters or equivalent



General Biology

2 semesters or equivalent

General Chemistry or higher with Lab

2 semesters or equivalent (Prefer biochemistry/organic chemistry as one of the General chemistry courses )


1 semester

Population Science (eg. Introduction to Sociology or Psychology or Epidemiology)

1 semester or equivalent


1 semester or equivalent

Medical Terminology