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.*  

Accreditation Information

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 January of 2016, pending receipt of Accreditation – Provisional by the ARC-PA  commission meeting scheduled for September of 2015. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status for a new physician assistant 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 Physician Assistant 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.

Information Session - May 8, 2015

We will have an information session on May 8, 2015 from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm in Bondurant Hall.    To RSVP, please provide your information using the link below.  There is a limit of 90 people.     

Information Session Sign-up

Admissions Process

The UNC Physician Assistant 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. Especially, we encourage veterans from all areas of the US Armed Forces to apply to our program.  We recognize that your service and experiences would provide a valuable perspective in our program.  We give preference to veterans who served in a medical capacity while serving in the military, in particular Special Forces Medical Sergeants.

UNC PA Program participates in the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) online application process.  All application materials will be sent through the CASPA online tool - no materials will be sent to the university.

Criteria considered in admission decisions include:


                Supplemental Essay

                Aggregate GPA

                Prerequisite GPA


                Transcript Review

                Healthcare Experience

                Military Experience        


                Personal statement

                Awards and Publications

                Professional Membership

                Community Service

Evidence of maturity, motivation, academic potential, communication and interpersonal skills, knowledge of the PA profession, the healthcare system and the unique mission of the UNC PA Program are strongly considered during the admission process.

Applicants to the UNC PA Program must be aware that all courses within the curriculum are required. No transfer credit from other PA programs is accepted. The UNC PA Program admits only full-time students.  The program strongly discourages employment while enrolled. It is very difficult to maintain even part-time employment while enrolled in the PA Program. Students must comply with the program’s academic schedule and employment responsibilities are not a justification to miss scheduled learning activities or an explanation for poor performance.

The UNC PA Program participates in CASPA (Centralized Application Service for PAs). Applicants must complete a CASPA application and submit a UNC supplemental application fee of $50.00.  The link for submitting the supplemental fee will be available in April.

*The program is undergoing provisional accreditation review, and CASPA fees cannot be refunded if the program does not achieve accreditation.  However, the UNC supplemental application fee will be refunded.*

  The completed CASPA application is reviewed by administrative staff to ensure prerequisites have been met and supporting documentation has been received. During the defined application period, applications are reviewed weekly by members of the Admissions Committee. During interviewing season, the Admissions Committee meets on alternate weeks to discuss applicants and make recommendations for interviews to the Program Director. Following interviews the committee decides who will be offered admission.

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Requirements for Admission

With the exception of the GRE Scores, there are no exceptions to the policies listed below.

  • Minimum Cumulative GPA (All Courses Taken at All Levels) > 3.0
  • Minimum Cumulative Prerequisite GPA > 3.2
  • Recommended GRE Scores:  Verbal, 150 or higher; Quantitative, 150 or higher; Analytical Writing, 3.5 or higher.
  • Applicants should plan to have most of the prerequisite work  (see below) completed by May 31 prior to the year of matriculation. Two pending courses may be in progress during the summer prior to matriculation but must be completed by August 31.
  • GRE taken within five years of application.  For example, an application submitted between April and July of 2015, should have GRE scores completed between April 2010 and July 2010. Applicants should plan ahead in scheduling the GRE so that scores will be available at the time of application.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or Canada to be completed by the end of the spring semester prior to matriculation.
  • If you have a baccalaureate degree from a non-U.S. or Canadian institution you can apply for admission if your prerequisite courses were completed at a regionally accredited U.S. or Canadian institution. 
  • Required 1,000 hours of direct hands-on patient care experience (see below for examples). These hours must be completed no later than August 31 prior to matriculation.
  • Three letters of recommendation–preference will be given to applicants with at least two of the three letters from experienced health care professionals, Some examples include physician assistants, public health educators, nurse practitioners, medical doctors, doctors of osteopathic medicine, dentists, rehabilitation counselors, physical and occupational therapists.  This list is simply illustrative and in no way meant to be exclusive. No personal recommendations are accepted.
  • Citizenship requirement/residency requirement.  All applicants, including graduates from foreign institutions, must hold either U.S. citizenship or Permanent Resident status at the time of application. Candidates with "pending" citizenship or permanent residency will not be considered.
  • All courses are required.  Transfer credit from another PA program is not accepted, and no credit is awarded for pre-admission experiential learning.  Only full-time students are admitted to the program.
  • Meet the technical standards for admission, progression, and graduation from the Physician Assistant Program. Each applicant is expected to review completely the “Technical Standards for Physician Assistant 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; Certified Nursing Assistant; Licensed Practical Nurse; Registered Nurse; Physical Therapist; Physical Therapy Assistant; Respiratory Therapist; Ophthalmic Technician; Pharmacy Technician; Radiology Technician; Surgery Technician. 

Examples that do not qualify as hands-on patient care experience include: clerical positions, medical transcriptionist, medical translator,  wilderness medicine instructor, patient transporter, ski patroller, lifeguard, aerobics instructor, unit clerk, insurance clerk, medical secretary, or other clerical/administrative positions.  We are looking for applicants who have direct, hands-on patient care and solely administrative tasks without patient care do not qualify.

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 from other Physician’s Assistant Programs. 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.   Students taking courses on the quarter system will normally need to take two quarters of classwork to equal one semester.   The conversion tool is Quarter Hours X .667 = Semester Hours.  You cannot substitute higher level courses for the general courses listed below.     For example, taking one general biology course with lab and a higher level biology does not meet the requirements for two general biology courses.   AP credits can be used to fulfill prerequisite requirements if you received academic credit for those courses and they are listed on your transcript.


Prerequisite Courses

Semester Hours Minimum

Human Anatomy and Physiology – lecture and lab




Students can fulfill this requirement one of four ways:**

1) Taking one combined Anatomy and Physiology Course with lab component, earning a minimum of 4 semester hours. 

2) Taking separate Anatomy with lab component (4 hours) and Physiology (3) courses for a minimum of 7 semester hours. 

3) Anatomy and Physiology I and II, for a minimum of 6 semester hours.   Please note that if you take Anatomy and Physiology I, you are required to take Anatomy and Physiology II in order to be eligible to apply for our program.

4) Successful completion of the Special Operations Combat Medic Course.


3 semester hours

Additional  biological science courses

6-8 semester hours

This may be cell biology, embryology,  general  biology, histology, or immunology,


8 semester hours with lab. (Prefer Organic or Biochemistry/Biological Chemistry with lab)

Population Science:

General Psychology or Intro to Sociology or Epidemiology

3 semester hours

Statistics or Biostatistics

3 semester hours



   Medical Terminology

   Writing class

3 semester hours  each

**Human Anatomy and Physiology – Lecture and Lab can be fulfilled in one of three ways.    It can be taken as a single class that combines both topics and awards a minimum of 4 credit hours (example, BIO 252 at UNCCH).  It can also be taken as Human Anatomy and Physiology Parts I and Part 2 which would normally award a total of 8 credit hours (example, BIO 168 and BIO 169 at Wake Technical Community College).  Note:  If you take Human Anatomy and Physiology I you MUST complete the second course in the sequence in order to meet the prerequisite requirement.   Finally, the requirement can be fulfilled by taking separate (Human Anatomy + Lab) and (Human Physiology) courses which equal a minimum of 7 credit hours (BIO 271 and BIO 272 at UNC Greensboro).   These are examples and each school may have the courses named differently.   Courses can be taken at accredited 4 year institutions or community colleges, online or in person.   There is no preference to how you complete these courses. 

^Recommended courses are just that:  recommended.  Your application will be evaluated equally whether you have completed those courses or not.   

Prerequisite Course Evaluation Request

After reading the course descriptions below, if you wish to have a particular class that you have taken or plan to take evaluated for admission to our program, please submit the information via the link below.  Supply the course name, number, a course description, and a link to the university/college catalog.   You may also upload a syllabus for a course in the link as well.   Please do not submit all of your courses for evaluation.  You should be able to match most of the required courses with ones that you have taken or plan to take.

Physician Assistant Program Course Evaluation Request

UNC-Physician Assistant Program Cost of Education (PROPOSED)

Tuition and fees are costs that will be directly charged to you by the University Cashier and may be changed each year by the UNC Board of Governors.  The other costs listed are estimates to help you budget for your expenses.


First Year

Second Year

NC Resident






Special Course Fees



Lab Fees















Health Insurance







Total Budget

NC Resident






*Anticipated increase of $2,000 per year.

*See for the most up-to date information