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.

Application Assessment

The Program enjoys and benefits from a competitive, national applicant pool and seeks to admit qualified resident and non-resident candidates. We conduct a holistic, mission-based admissions process and assess applications comparatively on the basis of the following areas:

  • Knowledge of the profession, assessment of motivation to become a PA, 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.
  • 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

Interview Assessment

The Program utilizes a combination of multiple mini interviews (MMIs), an individual interview, and a group interview for our interview process.  In the interview process, we are assessing:

  • Communication
  • Self-reflection and self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Teamwork
  • Understanding of issues relevant in health care
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Professional and personal preparation

Mission Driven

The OHSU PA Program values diversity in backgrounds, experiences and perspectives and is committed to recruiting and supporting a student body of varied demographics. We believe bringing together diverse students with varied backgrounds and skills enriches the learning environment for all. We strive to meet the healthcare needs of urban and rural underserved communities in Oregon and nationwide. In alignment with our Mission, applicants must fulfill one or more of the following mission-based criteria:  

  • Applicants with great interest and experience in serving urban and/or rural underserved populations as demonstrated by long-standing community service,
  • Applicants with outstanding leadership initiative demonstrated through long-term commitments,
  • Applicants who contribute to the diversity of the OHSU PA Program as defined by the School of Medicine (meeting 2 or more of the following):
    • Applicants from racial or ethnic groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in medicine,
    • Applicants who have experienced significant disadvantage or adversity (economic, cultural, educational or family adversity),
    • Applicants from rural environments (i.e., a town of less than or equal to 40,000 population and at least 10 miles from a community of that size or larger),
  • Applicants who are Veterans or active military.