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Admission Requirements

As a candidate for admission to the physician assistant program you must meet the following requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution within the United States is required and
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale is required in order to be considered for the physician assistant program. All prerequisite courses must be taken at regionally accredited institutions (or foreign equivalents). No grade lower than a C will be accepted for prerequisite coursework. CLEP credits, AP credits and P/F credits will not be considered for prerequisites.

Required Courses

Biology* – 16 Semester Hours

  • A semester each of human anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and genetics.
  • Physical education and exercise science courses are not acceptable.
  • Labs are required, when available, for all biology courses.

Chemistry* –  16 Semester Hours

  • A semester each of inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry.
  • Labs are required, when available, for all chemistry courses.

English – 6 Semester Hours

  • Including one course of English Composition and one course of speech.

Psychology – 9 Semester Hours

  • Including one course of abnormal psychology.

Statistics or Biostatistics – One course

Medical Terminology – One course

* Chemistry and biology prerequisite courses must be completed within five years of matriculation.

Practical Experience Requirements

As an applicant, you must have completed at least 750 hours of direct patient care experience as an employee or volunteer in a medical office, hospital, or extended-care facility. Shadowing a physician assistant is required. Your experiences may be combined, but all acceptable clinical experiences must involve hands-on care of patients. Patient care experiences obtained through the military (combat medic, field medical tech, etc.) are especially competitive. You may apply to the PA program prior to completing the patient care experience hours but must indicate a plan for completion on your application.


All applicants must complete the GRE and send their scores to Des Moines University via CASPA before they will be considered for an interview. DMU’s CASPA GRE code is 0447. You can find more information about the GRE here.

Technical Standards

Please see technical standards section of the catalog for more information. Further information about accommodations can be found in the Accommodations in Education Policy.

Background Checks

Accepted students will be required to pay for and complete a criminal background check prior to matriculation.  All students must complete a criminal background check by the DMU selected vendor prior to enrollment. If you have a pending misdemeanor or felony which results in a conviction, it is your responsibility to immediately inform the university. You are required to inform the university of any charges or convictions which occur following completion of the initial criminal background check. Incoming students will then be required to participate in annual background checks through the Dean’s office and/or Clinical Affairs.

Permanent Residents

Applicants who are legal permanent residents of the U.S. will be required to provide a copy of their permanent resident card (“green card”) prior to admission.
Note: Permanent residency status “pending,” is not eligible for admission.

Non-U.S. Citizens

Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents should review the information for international students.

*We do not allow for advanced standing, regardless of previous graduate work in healthcare. All incoming students must complete the entire PA curriculum.