Admissions Selection Factors and Preferences

The OHSU Physician Assistant Admissions Committee adheres to a policy of equal opportunity and non-discrimination on the basis of sex, age, race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, military service, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law. The Committee fully recognizes the importance of diversity in its student body and in the PA workforce in providing for effective delivery of health care. Accordingly, the Program strongly encourages applications from persons from all socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, religious, and educational backgrounds and from persons from groups underrepresented in medicine.

The Program enjoys and benefits from a competitive, national applicant pool and seeks to admit qualified resident and non-resident candidates.   Candidates for admission are considered comparatively on the basis of the following factors:

  • Assessment of motivation, ability to communicate, problem-solving ability and maturity
  • Review of overall scholastic record, including GPAs with an emphasis on BCP (biology/chemistry/physics) GPA. Basic science preparation at the upper division level is highly valued.  GRE scores are also required and evaluated.
  • Review of health care experience, preferably including direct, hands-on patient care
  • Review of letters of recommendation
  • Review of personal statement and supplemental application statements
  • Interest and experience in rural health, underserved populations and/or primary care
  • Community service

In addition to the above considerations, the Program gives preference to the following applicants:

  • Residents of Oregon.
  • Non-resident applicants with Oregon Heritage. The School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program utilizes the Oregon Heritage Policy for student selection, but it is not used as a basis for determining residency. Oregon Heritage is defined as 1) A student with one or both parents residing in Oregon at the time of application, 2) A student who graduated from high school in Oregon with at least two years at a high school in Oregon, or 3) A student who graduated from an Oregon institution of higher education with a bachelor’s or advanced degree with at least two years of attendance at an institution of higher education in Oregon.
  • Resident and non-resident applicants with superior achievements in academics, health care experience, and other related experiences such as leadership, shadowing, community service, etc.
  • Resident and non-resident candidates with an interest and/or experience in rural health, underserved populations, and/or primary care.
  • Veterans.

Citizenship Status

 All applicants must have United States citizenship, resident alien status with a current green card indicating they are a permanent resident of the United States, or a student visa. International graduate applicants (non-U.S. or Canadian graduates) are required to have at least one year of full-time college work at a university or college and take specific prerequisites in the United States. The TOEFL is required.  It is expected competitive applicants will be fluent in English (both written and oral).

The following is the class profile for the entering PA class (June 2017)

• Average total GPA of 3.47
• Average BCP GPA of 3.41
• Average HCE 2.8 years (range 1-15 years of experience)
• Oregon or Oregon Heritage: 64%
• Average GRE percentile scores of:
Verbal – 69th percentile (median 71; range 18-99)
Quantitative – 47th percentile (median 48; range 15-83)  
Analytical Writing – 65th percentile (median 59; range 14-98)