Prerequisites for Admission to the Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) Degree Program
Prior to the submission of an application to the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA), all of the following admission requirements must be completed. Applications received that are incomplete or missing any of the prerequisites will be denied without opportunity for correction. See the How to Apply page for application deadlines.
- Bachelor’s degree1
- All prerequisite coursework2
- Minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (on 4.0 scale)3
- Minimum overall science GPA of 3.0 (on 4.0 scale)3
- Minimum of 1,000 hours of health care experience
1 Degree conferral must appear on the transcript for a CASPA application to be considered complete.
2 Grades for all prerequisite courses must be posted and appear on a transcript (i.e., no “planned” or “in progress” notations on transcript).
3GPAs are evaluated using CASPA’s calculated GPA for overall total GPA and overall total science GPA. See FAQ page for additional information on how CASPA calculates GPAs.
Prerequisite Health Care Experience
We do not consider one type of clinical experience greater than another (i.e. experience as an RN is not more valued than that of a medical assistant). Experience may be paid or unpaid. There is not a published list of health care professions the program considers suitable for clinical experience. At a minimum, the applicant's clinical experience should include one of the following:
- Collecting of, and/or reporting in the patient's chart, data necessary to establish a diagnosis or evaluate the progress of the patient's treatment plan;
- Assisting a health care worker in the performance of diagnostic, therapeutic, or surgical procedures;
- Under the supervision of a health care provider administering or dispensing medications;
- Other work involving direct patient contact and interaction.
Experiences that typically satisfy the HCE requirement include evidence of direct patient care: collecting detailed patient histories, assisting with minor procedures or treatments, administering medications, etc.
Experiences that typically do not satisfy the HCE requirement include administration duties, billing, insurance, patient transport, lifeguarding, care of family members, companionship, caretaking, working with animals, etc.
See the FAQ page for additional information about HCE and examples of experiences.
- All prerequisite coursework must be completed at an accredited US institution.
- A single course cannot be used to meet multiple requirements.
- Online and hybrid courses are acceptable to meet all prerequisite courses.
- No preference is given for coursework completed at 4-year institutions versus 2-year institutions.
Prerequisite Science Courses
Important! Pacific will NOT accept AP/CLEP courses to fulfill science prerequisites.
General Chemistry: Two courses with a minimum of 1 lab. Total of 8 semester units or 12 quarter units. Should be a course sequence designed for chemistry majors.
Biological Sciences: Two courses with a minimum of 1 lab. Total of 6 semester or 9 quarter units. Should be a course sequence designed for biology majors.
Human Anatomy: One course with lab is required. Total of 4 semester or 5 quarter units with lab (or combined Anatomy & Physiology).
Human Physiology: One course is required. Total of 4 semester or 5 quarter units (or combined Anatomy & Physiology). Lab recommended, but not required.
Microbiology: One course is required. Total of 3 semester units or 4 quarter units. Lab recommended, but not required.
Prerequisite Non-Science Courses
Math: One course in Statistics is required. Total of 3 semester or 4 quarter units.
Psychology: One course in General or Abnormal Psychology is required. Total of 3 semester or 4 quarter units.
English Composition: Two courses are required. Total of 6 semester or 9 quarter units. Minimum of 1 composition course; 2nd course can be composition, literature, or writing intensive course. English as a Second Language courses will not fulfill this requirement.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required, but applicants can elect to submit their scores at the time of testing using designated institution (DI) code 7363. If you have previously taken the GRE and would like to submit your scores, University of the Pacific’s GRE code is 4065. Scores are valid for 5 years per ETS website.