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. 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* -  15 Semester Hours

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

Psychology - 9 Semester Hours

  • Including one course of abnormal psychology.

Statistics or Biostatistics - One course

Medical Terminology - One course

* Completion of chemistry and biology prerequisites within five years of matriculation is highly recommended. 

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. Please note, completion of PA shadowing hours prior to application is typically expected for favorable consideration. Additional information regarding the patient care experience requirement is available here.

Due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19, virtual shadowing experiences are accepted. Resources for virtual shadowing include, but are not limited to, the following:


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.

While the GRE is required, MCAT results will also be considered.

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 must complete a criminal background check, which may include a drug screen, through the DMU preferred vendor. Results must be released to DMU prior to matriculation, and the cost of this process will be paid by the student. Students are required to disclose all past or present charges, convictions, dismissals, deferred judgments and expunged records as related to a misdemeanor or felony. They are also obligated to disclose any additional charges and convictions which occur following completion of the initial criminal background check.  Admission to the program may be revoked if misrepresentations or omissions from the application are noted in the background check.  DMU students are required to complete annual criminal background checks,  which may include drug screening, while enrolled at DMU.

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.

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