Students learning clinical skills on mannequins.

The OHSU PA Program utilizes the Central Application System for Physician Assistants (CASPA) with application opening each year in late April. All application materials must be submitted through CASPA and your verified application must be received by August 1, 8:59 pm PST/11:59 pm (Eastern Time).  There are no exceptions to the posted deadline. For further details please refer to the How to Apply or Frequently Asked Questions pages of our website.

All admissions requirements must be met in order to be eligible for our program. Please note that in-progress/planned coursework and degrees will be accepted and must be completed by the end of fall term prior to matriculation to be considered for admission. These must be included in your CASPA transcript entry.

Our admissions team is here to help! If you have a question, please connect with us.

Admissions Requirements

Bachelor's Degree

Must be complete by the end of fall term prior to matriculation.

  • Degree must be granted from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or equivalent foreign institution (see the international applicants page for more information about equivalencies).
  • No specific major is required or preferred (science and non-science majors are accepted).
  • Degree may be in progress at the time of application, but must be complete by the end of fall term prior to matriculation.

Cumulative Undergraduate GPA and BCP GPA Requirements

Minimum 3.0 overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required. 

  • Cumulative GPA calculation will include all undergraduate coursework taken, both as part of bachelor's degree requirements and separately.
  • Average cumulative GPA for students admitted in the previous admissions cycle was 3.5.
  • Graduate coursework may be considered in addition to the cumulative undergraduate GPA.

Minimum 3.0 overall BCP (biology, chemistry, and/or physics) GPA of 3.0 is required. 

  • The BCP GPA calculation will include all undergraduate coursework taken in biology, chemistry and/or physics departments that are medically, human, and/or animal science related.
  • Average BCP GPA for students admitted in the previous admissions cycle was 3.4.

Prerequisite Coursework

  • In addition to obtaining a bachelor's degree, all applicants must also complete specific prerequisite courses.  Please refer to the prerequisite coursework page for detailed information about what courses are required.
  • Prerequisite courses must be taken at regionally accredited community colleges and/or universities.  We accept both upper and lower division credits to meet specific prerequisite courses.  The prerequisites indicate the minimum required, competitive applicants will generally apply with more than the minimum.
  • For the 2024-25 application cycle, planned summer 2025 admission, applicants must complete the bachelor's degree and all prerequisite course work with a grade of C (2.0) or better by December 31, 2024 (Fall 2024 term).    All planned prerequisite coursework must be listed in your CASPA application transcript as "in progress."  Unless otherwise noted, AP credit or IB credit will not be accepted to fulfill the prerequisites below.
  • Online coursework from a regionally accredited institution is accepted for all prerequisite coursework, including labs. 
  • Courses taken as Pass/No Pass: Although letter grades for coursework and labs are preferred, the program will accept pass/no pass grading (only passes equal to C or above are acceptable to meet prerequisites) for courses/labs taken beginning spring 2020 term until further notice.  
  • If you are an applicant who has received their education from an international institution, please refer to the requirements detailed on the International Applicants page.

Letters of Reference

Applicants are required to submit three letters of reference as part of their CASPA application. These three letters are sufficient to provide the OHSU PA Program Admissions Committee with information regarding a candidate's potential for becoming a PA and readiness for a master's level PA program.   An applicant may submit up to two additional letters in CASPA for a total of five LORs. Additional letters beyond the three are not required or necessarily encouraged.  Letters should be submitted using the Evaluations section of the CASPA application so that they arrive as part of your complete application.

OHSU does not require the three letters to be from specific sources, however, our preference is for letters of reference to be submitted from each of the following:

  • a physician assistant (PA) or physician (MD or DO)
  • a current or former work supervisor
  • an academic source such as an academic advisor, instructor, or professor

Applicants should select references based on many factors including those who know you best.  The letters should come from professional sources, not family members or friends. 

Please refer to the CASPA Help Center for further information regarding the process for requesting reference letters.

International Applicants

International 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. Applicants must also provide an evaluation of their academic credentials prepared by an international credentialing agency submitted through CASPA. The TOEFL is required and applicants are expected to be fluent in English (both written and oral). Additionally, advanced placement for applicants with previous medical degrees, both within or outside the US, will not be awarded. More information is available under the International Applicants section of our website.

Student visa requirements and fees are the responsibility of the student. The OHSU Office of International Affairs offers information and resources for prospective students. Additionally, federal financial aid is only available to US citizens and US permanent residents. Please check with the Office of Financial Aid if you are unsure of your eligibility.

These requirements are provided as general information only.  Specific requirements and deadlines for completing the requirements are provided to matriculating students after acceptance into the program.


OHSU requires immunizations for its students in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and from the State of Oregon. Students must comply with OHSU pre-entrance immunization requirements per Policy 03-30-150 and Policy 02-90-010, and remain in compliance for the duration of their enrollment at OHSU.

OHSU strongly recommends that all OHSU members, regardless of their work location or job function, remain “up-to-date” with COVID-19 vaccines, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Under the revised policy as of June 12, 2023, all students must be “fully vaccinated” or “up-to-date” with COVID-19 vaccinations OR they must submit a declination form via Enterprise Health and adhere to Student Health’s current requirements designed to minimize COVID-19 transmission.

Background check

Prospective students are not required to disclose criminal convictions prior to receiving an offer of admission. Following a conditional admission offer, prospective students will undergo a pre-matriculation background check pursuant to policy and procedures available on the OHSU Public Safety website.  However, OHSU is a university of health professions, and it is possible that professional and occupational licensure requirements may prohibit individuals with criminal convictions from ultimately obtaining a professional license. Licensure requirements vary by state and prospective students are encouraged to consult their state licensing agency for more information.

If a prospective student is denied admission due to a criminal conviction, they may appeal the final admissions decision to the Office of the Provost at

Student drug and alcohol testing

To promote the health, safety and productivity of students and clients in their care, OHSU policy (OHSU Student Drug and Alcohol Testing No. 7-90-025) states all students accepted to education programs with a clinical component must successfully pass an initial drug screening. The drug testing program will consist of  pre-clinical experience testing of students and "for cause" testing for any student suspected of being under the influence of unlawful drugs or alcohol during their course of study. All PA students accepted to the MPAS program must successfully pass an initial drug screening at matriculation.  Additional drug testing may be required dependent upon the program policies for individual clinical placements and 'for cause' testing during the 26-month course of study.

Information Privacy and Security Essentials (IPSE)

This is required training for all workforce members. Topics include: an introduction to IPS concepts, password management, disclosure rules surrounding PHI, cloud computing, and IPS incident reporting.

Respect at the University (RAU)

Everyone at OHSU, including employees, students, faculty, and volunteers, is required to complete the Respect at the University education. OHSU is legally obligated to train its workforce and student population regarding the prohibition against unlawful discrimination and harassment in the workplace and educational environment. Consistent with this obligation, OHSU maintains policies that prohibit unlawful discrimination and provide for a complaint procedure to address concerns. This course is one of several mechanisms used to disseminate OHSU's expectations to prevent unlawful discrimination and harassment and to reinforce OHSU's Code of Conduct, which requires everyone at the university to engage in respectful behavior.

Integrity Foundations

OHSU employees, students, faculty, and volunteers, are required to complete an Integrity Foundations module annually. 

Basic Life Support certification (BLS)

All entering students are required to have current Basic Life Support (BLS) certification designed for Health Care Providers.   The BLS certification is required to enable you to participate in these clinical practice settings during both the academic and clinical phases of the program. Proof of current certification will be required on or before the first day of summer term.  If you have never been BLS certified, you can contact your local chapter of the American Heart Association to inquire about registering for potential classes.  You can do this through the AHA website and entering your zip code to contact your local chapter.  

Technical Standards

For successful completion of the course of study for the degree of Master of Physician Assistant Studies at OHSU, candidates for graduation must possess the knowledge, skills, attitudes and judgment to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. Candidates must demonstrate the capacity to develop academic and emotional maturity and leadership skills to function in a medical team.

For more information, see our Technical Standards page.