Frequently Asked Questions

We've compiled a list of common questions and answers about the graduate physician assistant program. This includes questions about general admissions, academic and experience prerequisites, the application process, admission decisions, competitive applicant profile, program/curriculum, and general information.

Your application needs to be verified in CASPSA by November 1st. This means that you should submit it by mid October at the latest.  

No, CWRU PA program does not have a supplemental application.


All prerequisite coursework must be completed by the end of Fall semester of the year of application. Please note: Applicants will not be considered for admission if they are taking more than two prerequisite courses during Fall Semester.

If you have courses in progress at the time of your application to CASPA, you may have a transcript sent electronically (preferred) after completion of the course to or to the following address:
Physician Assistant Program
CWRU, School of Medicine
9501 Euclid Avenue, 421J
Cleveland, OH 44106-7506

Due to fair practices, we do not make exceptions in our prerequisite coursework.  The prerequisite courses are what we feel is necessary to ensure that a student is prepared for our program. 



All courses within the curriculum are required. No transfer credit or applications for challenge examinations are accepted.  No credit is granted for pre-admission experiential learning and no advanced placement is awarded.

The physician assistant program is a full-time program and there is no part-time status.

If you are accepted and decide to attend our program, we will require you to submit a document for any coursework requiring a lab component unless your university/college lists the lab portion as a separate course on your transcripts. A word document listing an official course description or screen shot from the Registrar page listing the lab component is sufficient. We no longer require this lab confirmation document to be submitted at the time of application.

Applicants with less than 1,000 direct patient care hours completed in the United States at time of application will not be considered for admission. Applicants must have at least 1,000 direct patient care hours when they apply. 

Direct Patient Care can be paid or volunteer experience, but it must be completed in the United States and cannot be taken for academic credit.

Please provide no less than three letters of recommendation. If you have less than three letters you will not be considered for admission. At least one letter of support must be furnished by a health care professional who has known the applicant for at least 6 months.

Please upload a document (MS Word, PDF) which lists in more detail each of your community service experiences for the past five years including a brief description and number of hours of activity/event. At the end of the document you should calculate the total number of hours and list them in the CWRU PA program questions. Community Service is not to be counted as direct patient care experience and vice versa.

Please do not list any experience for which you received payment.  This is for volunteer community service, not for actual paid work.

We recommend that you review our website for answers. The prerequisites are not waiverable and have been selected to best prepare you for success in the program. 

We also host several webinars per year so we recommend that you plan to attend at least one. If you are unable to attend, you can watch the recording from our website. 

If you have done your best to find the answer to your question from our website and still have a question, please email us at



No, while Genetics is important, we require General or Cellular Biology.

No.  Medical Terminology is required. We cannot substitute work experience for this course.   

No, we require 4 credits of Organic Chemistry.

No, we require direct patient care to be earned in the US or Canada.  If you went on a service trip, you may use this as community service hours.