How Do I Contact Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA)?

You can contact CASPA via phone at 617-612-2080, by email at or visit

I Don’t Have the Prerequisite Courses Completed Yet. Can I Still Apply?

Yes! As long as you have a plan to complete the prerequisite courses by the time classes start, you are eligible to apply right away. Remember that it is important to apply early in the cycle because of our rolling admissions policy.

Why Is the GPA Calculated by the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) Different From the One on My University Transcript? Which GPA Will DMU Use?

Oftentimes, the difference in GPAs between what CASPA calculates and what appears on a university transcript has to do with re-taken courses. If a student re-takes a course for a better grade, many universities will only count the higher grade in its GPA calculation. CASPA, however, counts both the original grade and the re-taken grade when it calculates a GPA. DMU only uses the GPAs provided by CASPA.

More information on CASPA grade calculations

What Types of Health Care Experience Are Acceptable To Fulfill Your Prerequisite?

Any experience in which you participate in the hands-on care of patients will count toward our requirement. Some students have backgrounds in such areas as nursing, nursing assistant, medical assistant, EMT, paramedic, and volunteer experiences.

Where Are the Clinical Sites During the Second Year?

The program has established clinical sites in Des Moines, rural Iowa and throughout the surrounding states. Students should expect to be assigned to sites in any of these areas. Past availability of sites is not a guarantee that these sites will be available for consideration of scheduling for their clinical rotations.

Will I Have Input to Where My Clinical Rotations Will Be?

Students are not required to solicit clinical sites or preceptors. The program allows students to suggest clinical sites and/or preceptors. The program will then comprehensively evaluate suggested sites and/or preceptors and approve based on educational suitability.

Is Housing Provided for Students at All Clinical Sites?

Housing is available at some sites and cost is location dependent. Students are responsible to secure their own housing for rotations. If past housing information is available it will be provided to the student. Students must include the cost of housing in their budget for the clinical year.

Can I Work While I Am in the PA Program?

Our faculty recommend students do not work during the PA program. The curriculum is very demanding in the first year and does not allow extra time for employment. In the second year, you will be completing Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences (rotations) in various locations, making employment impractical. It is also important to note that students are not required to work for the program, nor may students substitute for or function as instructional faculty or clinical or administrative staff.

Do You Accept Transfer Credits or Allow Advanced Standing?

No. We do not accept transfer credits or experiential learning credits for the physician assistant program. CLEP credit, AP credit and Pass/Fail credit cannot be counted toward prerequisite coursework either. 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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