Consistent with the missions of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, it is the mission of the Physician Assistant Program to educate professionals committed to the delivery of comprehensive health care in a culturally and ethnically sensitive manner, with a specific emphasis on primary health care for populations and regions in need.

What we look for in a student

The UW-Madison PA Program seeks applicants with a strong academic background, a demonstrated commitment to clinical practice, robust interpersonal skills and experiences reflecting a high level of maturity and professionalism. The program’s admission process will consider each applicant’s strengths and select for admission those applicants best qualified to meet the program’s mission.

A group of physician assistant students in the casting lab

If you attended a university outside the United States please see our information for international students (pdf).

Note: We are not able to review transcripts or conduct advising appointments once your application has been submitted. All applicants must meet all requirements to be considered for admission.

Transfer students

Summary of our policy: The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health offers innovative and highly integrated courses of study that are not conducive to accepting transfer students. Therefore, it is the School of Medicine and Public Health’s policy that transfer students generally are not accepted.

View the complete health profession student transfer policy (pdf)

Academic performance

View a list of equivalent courses at UW-Madison.

If you are not a UW-Madison student, please request a transcript review to confirm completion of prerequisites.

Minimum requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum science and cumulative GPA of 3.20 is required for all applicants.
  • A maximum of two outstanding prerequisites are allowed at the time of application, to be completed by the end of the fall semester prior to planned matriculation.
  • Mammalian biology with lab
  • Microbiology with lab
  • Biochemistry
  • Human anatomy
  • Human physiology (within three years of matriculation)
  • Statistics (one semester)
  • Intro/general/abnormal or developmental psychology (one semester)

Considerations

For applicants who meet the 3.20 minimum GPA requirement: 

  • Trends in grades
  • Recent coursework
  • Prerequisite coursework
  • Difficulty of coursework
  • Course load
  • Quality of school
  • Graduate work
  • Academic record statement 

Health care experience

Minimum requirements

  • 1,000 hours direct patient care required at the time of application submission

Direct patient care is defined as the applicant having some degree of direct medical responsibility. Please see the patient care experience document (pdf) for additional information.

Considerations

  • Patient contact
  • Contact with PAs
  • Quality of experience
  • Quantity of experience
  • Timeline (recent/past)
  • Related health care experience

Community service

Although community service is a scored component of the application, it is not a requirement for admission. We will give consideration to applicants who demonstrate outstanding and an altruistic commitment to service and volunteerism.

Letters of recommendation

Minimum requirements

Three letters are required; up to five can be submitted through CASPA.

Considerations

  • At least one should come from someone whom you have worked with in a health care setting.
  • Letters should demonstrate a high level of personal and professional maturity, integrity, dedication, aptitude for the program and profession.

Equivalent course information

  • Mammalian biology with lab = Zoology 101 + 102 OR 151 + 152
  • Microbiology with lab = Microbiology 101 + 102 OR 303 + 304
  • Biochemistry = Biomolecular Chemistry 314 or 501 or 503 or 507 + 508
  • Human anatomy = Kinesiology 337
  • Human physiology = Physiology 335 or 435, or Biocore 485
  • Statistics (one semester) = Any emphasis
  • Intro/general/abnormal or developmental psychology (one semester) = Psychology 202 or 509, or HDFS 362 or 363

Notes

  • The GRE is not required.
  • Biology majors are exempt from the mammalian biology prerequisite requirement.
  • 100-level courses from community and/or technical colleges are not accepted for some courses.
  • Organic/biochemistry combined courses are not considered equivalent to our biochemistry prerequisite.
  • Two-semester combined anatomy and physiology sequences must be completed at the same institution.

Transcript review request

Note: We are not able to review transcripts or conduct advising appointments once your application has been submitted. At this time we are only able to accept transcript review requests for application cycles 2018 and beyond.

Prospective applicants may send an unofficial copy of transcripts to paprogram@mailplus.wisc.edu or fax to (608) 265-4973 ATTN: Erin.  We will respond shortly thereafter letting you know which prerequisites you’ve completed and which, if any, you still need to complete. From there, we are happy to help you determine how it may work best for you to complete any outstanding prerequisites in/around your home community or online.

Annual security and fire safety report

The 2017 Annual Security Report and Annual Fire Safety Report (pdf) contains current campus safety and disciplinary policies, crime statistics for the previous three calendar years, and on-campus student housing fire safety policies and fire statistics for the previous three calendar years. UW-Madison will provide a paper copy upon request; please contact the University of Wisconsin Police Department at uwpolice@mhub.uwpd.wisc.edu or 1429 Monroe St., Madison, WI.