Master of Physician Assistant Studies

Application changes due to Covid-19

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the IU PA Admissions Committee is making the following changes to application requirements for the 2020-2021 application cycle:

  1. Acceptance of online labs for prerequisite courses completed in spring 2020, summer 2020, and fall 2020. These will be accepted for any application year.
  2. Acceptance of a Satisfactory grade for prerequisite courses completed in spring 2020.  The preference would be for all applicants to earn a letter grade.  If an applicant’s school has transitioned to a Satisfactory/Fail or Pass/Fail grading option, grades would be accepted as follows:  For students in the Indiana University system, a Satisfactory grade would be accepted although a Passing grade would not be accepted.  For applicants from universities other than Indiana University, either Satisfactory or Passing grades will be accepted, though Satisfactory is preferred if both S and P grades are an option.
  3. No PA Shadowing hours required for the 2020-2021 application cycle.

Application requirements

To be eligible to apply for the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program, you will need:

If you have not yet completed your bachelor’s degree at the time of application but expect to have it completed by the start of the program must complete the Declaration of Intent to Complete Degree Requirements Form. This form will need a signature from an advisor or a school official and uploaded to CASPA.
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 on 4.0 scale for all coursework.  

  • Overall science GPA of 3.2 on 4.0 scale for all science coursework.  This will include all courses in biology/zoology, inorganic and organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics, and other sciences.  For a list of course subjects included in other sciences, click HERE.

  • All undergraduate and graduate coursework is included in the cumulative grade point average.

At the August 1st application deadline, applicants may have one prerequisite course outstanding scheduled for completion in EITHER the fall or spring term.  The outstanding prerequisite must be completed before the program start date in May

Record all prerequisite coursework on the Prerequisite Course Completion Form and submit in CASPA in the Documents section.

Prerequisite Courses

-Statistics or Biostatistics must include a study of descriptive and inferential statistics

-Human Anatomy with lab*

-Human Physiology with lab preferred (200-level recommended and preferred)* 

-General Chemistry with lab, 2 semesters

-General Biology I with lab; no plant-based courses

-Microbiology with lab

-Upper-Level Human Biology lab preferred; must be one of the following 
courses: genetics, immunology, molecular biology, or cell biology

-Organic Chemistry with lab

-Introductory Psychology

-Medical Terminology

*For combined Human Anatomy & Physiology classes, a full academic year curriculum at a 200 level or higher is recommended and preferred.


No PA shadowing hours required for the 2020-2021 application cycle.
  • The program requires patient contact hours though there are no minimum hour requirements. 
  • These hours may be paid, volunteer, or shadowing experiences.  The purpose of accruing patient contact hours is to ensure the applicant has adequate exposure to the healthcare system, patients, and the role of a PA. 
  • Each applicant’s patient care experiences will be individually evaluated on the variety and quality of the experiences and the cumulative patient care hours obtained. 
  • Pre-approval for patient care hours will not be provided as all patient care hours will be considered.
  • Record all patient care experiences in the CASPA application in the Experiences section.
Only letters submitted in CASPA will be accepted.
 Submitted via the CASPA application.

The IU Graduate CAS Application accepted until August 1st.  

Note:  Transcripts should not be uploaded to the IU Graduate CAS Application.  Transcripts should only be uploaded to CASPA.

Priority consideration for admission interviews will be given to applications in
“Verified” status before the August 1st application deadline.  All application documents must be received and verified in CASPA before an application is reviewed.  

Invited candidates will participate in an admission interview on either September 28 or September 29, 2020.

International Students

  • Reading: 22
  • Listening: 22
  • Speaking: 26
  • Writing: 24

The evaluation should establish a degree equivalent evaluation and course-by-course equivalent evaluation for all foreign coursework.  Approved evaluations services include:

  • International Education Research Foundation (IERF)
    P.O. Box 3665
    Culver City, CA 90231-3665
    Phone: 310-258-9451
  • Josef Silny & Associates
    7101 SW 102 Avenue
    Miami, FL 33173
    Phone: 305-273-1616
  • World Education Services, Inc. (WES)
    PO Box 745
    New York, NY 10113-0745
    Phone: 212-966-6311
    World Education Services
In addition to the program requirements, International applicants must meet additional requirements as determined by the IUPUI Office of International Affairs.

The program utilizes a holistic admissions process. The most competitive applicants will likely be those that surpassed the minimum academic requirements, have a clear understanding of the PA profession, demonstrate professionalism, leadership, community service, and are a good match to the program vision, mission, and values. For more information on the program vision, mission, and values go to the Physician Assistant Studies Department page.  

Priority consideration for admission interviews will be given to applications in
“Verified” status before the August 1st application deadline.  
All application documents must be received and verified in CASPA before an application is reviewed. 


The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Indiana University School of Health & Human Sciences Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program sponsored by Indiana University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2027. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.


The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at

Technical Standards

Technical Standards for Admission and Retention

The Indiana University Physician Assistant Program faculty has specified the following non-academic criteria ("Technical Standards") which all applicants/physician assistant students are expected to meet in order to participate in the IU Physician Assistant Program and the practice of medicine.


The applicant/physician assistant student must be able to participate actively in all demonstrations and laboratory exercises in the basic medical sciences and to assess and comprehend the condition of all patients assigned to him or her for examination, diagnosis, and treatment. Such observation and information acquisition usually requires the functional use of visual, auditory and somatic sensation.
The applicant/physician assistant student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, assess non-verbal communications, and be able to effectively and efficiently transmit information to patients, fellow students, faculty, staff and all members of the health-care team. Communication skills include speaking, reading and writing, as well as the observation skills described above.
The applicant/physician assistant student must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers, be able to perform basic laboratory tests, possess all skills necessary to carry out diagnostic procedures and be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients.
The applicant/physician assistant student must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize. Problem-solving, the critical skill demanded of physician assistants, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the applicant/physician assistant student must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. The applicant/physician assistant student must have the capacity to perform these problem-solving skills in a timely fashion.
The applicant/physician assistant student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and others. Applicants/physician assistant students must also be able to tolerate taxing workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to a changing environment, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, commitment and motivation are personal qualities which each applicant/physician assistant student should possess.

*Adapted from the Indiana University School of Medicine Technical Non-Academic Standards


Additional Information

  • A background screening will be required if you are accepted into the Program.

  • Applicants who previously matriculated in any physician assistant program in the United States are not eligible for admissions into the IU MPAS program.
  • Personal feedback will not be provided to unsuccessful applicants.