Admission Policies & Practice
Our admissions and recruitment strategy reflects the mission of the Program and is aligned with school policy on fair admission practices.
The Program is an equal opportunity institution of higher learning and is firmly committed to nondiscrimination in its delivery of educational services and employment practices. In compliance with all applicable federal and state laws, such decisions will be made irrespective of the individual's race, color, religion, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age (except for minors), sex, marital status, citizenship status, military service status, sexual orientation, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic condition), disability and/or any other status protected by law. When necessary, the Program will reasonably accommodate an individual (including students) with disabilities if the educational program of the school determines that the student meets the technical standards, and that such accommodations may be made without undue hardship to the school and/or without altering fundamental aspects of its educational program.
Admission Process Timelines
- Matriculation: January 2024
- Application Window: April 27, 2023 to Aug. 1, 2023
- Interviews: July through September 2023
- Class Selection: No later than Oct. 1, 2023
- Expected Graduation: April 2026
Some preference is applied to the following areas/groups in the evaluation of applicants:
- Community Service Hours
- Active Duty Military/Veterans
- Overall Total GPA
- Overall Total Science GPA
- Pacific Alumni (1 year or more in residence at Pacific)
- Applicants with individual HRSA factors
- Applicants with letters of recommendation from a Physician Assistant
- Applicants from the following CA Counties: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo, Yuba
- Applicants from the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington
- Health Care Experience (direct patient care hours)
The PA Program Admissions Committee conducts a thorough vetting of each applicant file received from the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistant Programs (CASPA). Applications are screened upon receipt from CASPA to ensure that all prerequisites have been satisfied. Applications that satisfy all prerequisite requirements are then scored and ranked by proprietary criteria, which include a stratified quantitative and qualitative evaluation of academic achievement and healthcare experience. The program uses a holistic approach to applicant review. The most competitive applicants are invited for an interview. High achievement in any area may not qualify an applicant for an interview. Interviewees participate in a day-long event that includes social activities, a panel interview, and group interviews. Applicants are then scored using a pre-defined scoring system and reviewed by the admissions committee. The committee considers many factors when making selections for admission, including the applicant’s application, interview, experience, suitability for successful completion of the program, and the development of diversity within the student body. In summary, using a holistic approach, the admissions committee considers all aspects of the applicant to make final admission decisions. All seats will be offered after the final interviews have been conducted. Due to our admissions timelines and in fairness to all applicants, we do not offer early or rolling admission.
Granting of Advanced Standing
The PA Program does not offer advanced standing. To ensure that graduates of the PA Program will be adequately prepared for clinical practice, students are expected to participate in and satisfactorily complete all aspects of the didactic and clinical curriculum.
Notification of Selection
Our primary method of communication is email. The admissions committee will meet once all interviews have been completed to make selections for the seats in the class. The Program will send an acceptance email and letter offering a position, or a position on the alternate list, for the incoming class. The Program will likewise notify those candidates who were not selected as soon as practical.
Classes are accepted once a year. Applicants not selected this cycle may reapply in the next application cycle. Applicants who have been in a previous class at the PA Program may apply for re-enrollment through the same process as other applicants unless conditions of dismissal from the prior class bar such action. All re-applicants will be required to submit a new application via CASPA including new evaluations and transcripts. Re-applicants are also required to interview again. All re-applicant strengths and weaknesses will be evaluated against those of other applicants in the current pool.
Advanced Placement Policy
Advanced placement cannot be granted in the Program.
Transfer of Credits Policy
Transfer of credit is not allowed. No credit will be granted for work-related experiences. The program does not accept transfer students.
- All prerequisite course work must be completed at an accredited US institution.
- Baccalaureate degrees will be accepted from foreign institutions only if accompanied by a World Education Services (WES) evaluation of foreign training. CASPA also accepts the WES evaluation of transcripts.
- Note: WES does not evaluate all Caribbean medical schools. If you attended a school that World Education Services (WES) will not evaluate, your transcripts will not be considered as part of your application. Applicants will still be required to demonstrate that all prerequisites have been met with the exclusion of the affected transcripts.
- The entire curriculum is taught in the English language. If English is not your first language, you may be required to take the TOEFL/ IELTS and should submit your score with your CASPA application. The program will not accept applications with a TOEFL score less than 100 or IELTS score less than 7.0. TOEFL scores are valid for two years after the test date per ETS website. View the TOEFL Flowchart to see if it is required for you.
Undocumented, DACA or DACA-Eligible Applicants
Pacific welcomes applications for its MPAS degree program from qualified applicants who are undocumented, including those who have DACA immigration status or who are DACA-eligible. Pacific is also firmly committed to supporting enrolled students from these backgrounds. Admissions to the MPAS degree program follows the same process as all other applicants. All qualified applicants accepted to the program are required to satisfactorily pass a background check. A valid Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) is required to complete this process.
Ability to Practice as a Physician Assistant:
In California, DACA students are eligible to apply for and obtain a license to practice as a physician assistant. To practice in California or any other state, a physician assistant graduate must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and apply for state licensure. The criteria for eligibility to sit for the PANCE board examination and/or to qualify for state licensure are set by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) board and each state. Students should consult the requirements of the licensing authority in any state in which they contemplate practicing to ascertain the qualifications for licensure. Information concerning licensure in California may be found at https://www.pab.ca.gov. Information about other states may be found at https://www.nccpa.net/state-licensing-boards/.
Financial Aid for Undocumented, DACA or DACA-Eligible Applicants
- Undocumented students are currently not eligible to apply for any federal funding, including FAFSA and work study.
- Undocumented students may be eligible for private scholarships, fellowships, grants, and/or loans. Some examples include:
- Non-institutional scholarships are available to members of certain backgrounds, such as military families, members of religious organizations or communities and particular groups of students. For example:
- DREAMers RoadMap is an app launched in September 2016 that will help undocumented students (DREAMers) find scholarships for college.
- Golden Door Scholars invests in education and career access for high-performing DACA students.
- Undocumented students are eligible to apply for alternative/private loans. In order to do so, they must have a co-signer that is a credit-worthy U.S. citizen.