Physician Assistant M.S. How to apply

Expected start May 2020 | Program length 27 months | Credits 116 | Format In-person, full time

Applicants for Northwestern College's PA program must complete the following steps to be eligible for admission:

Step 1

Review prerequisites 
Applicants must meet the prerequisites to be eligible for the PA program. For a complete list, including courses, review the prerequisite page.

  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution or internationally recognized equivalent
  • Overall and science GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Minimum of 500 hours of healthcare experience
  • Meet the PA Program Technical Standards
  • Completion of prerequisite courses with a B- or better in each course
    • These courses must be completed at a regionally accredited institution
    • Five of the eight required courses must be completed by the time of application

Step 2

Apply - Applications open
Complete the CASPA online application 
Applications will be evaluated by the PA Program Admissions Committee by assessing each applicant's:

  • Academic record (overall and science GPAs)
  • Personal narrative
  • Supplemental application responses
  • Professional recommendations
  • Healthcare experience

Submit application fee 
Following submission of the CASPA application and program specific questions on CASPA, applicants need to pay the application fee of $50 to Northwestern College. 

Click here to pay the fee or contact the PA program’s enrollment counselor with any questions. 

All application materials must be submitted by the program’s September 1 application deadline.

Step 3

After review of all applications, select candidates will be invited to interview with program faculty and staff.

Candidates invited to interview will be provided with detailed guidance regarding interview day activities as part of the interview invitations.  Interviews will be held in the fall, and exact dates will be communicated with an offer to interview. During individual and group interviews, applicants will be assessed on the following:

  • Understanding of the PA profession
  • Understanding of the Northwestern College PA Program
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Commitment to learning
  • Self-Awareness
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Cultural competency

Step 4

Post-acceptance requirements  
Interviewees will be notified of admissions decisions within six weeks of the interview. Applicants who are accepted to the program will be required to reserve their seat within ten days of this communication through a $500 non-refundable tuition deposit. Details regarding this payment will be provided with the acceptance letter.

Initial acceptance to the program is conditional on successful completion of the following post-acceptance requirements, which must be completed by May 1 of the year of enrollment:

  • Technical Standard Attestation Form
  • Immunization and Health Information documentation
  • CastleBranch Background Check and Drug Screen
  • Health insurance documentation
  • Official transcripts submitted to Northwestern College for all undergraduate coursework
  • Applicant acceptance documentation

Admitted candidates will be notified in late fall 2019 of their status. Northwestern College expects to know the results of our accreditation application to the ARC-PA by this time.

Step 5

Begin orientation  
An in-person orientation will be held on May 28-29, 2020 for the first cohort of enrolled students. 

Preferred application process for Northwestern College graduates

Admission to PA programs is competitive, and the Northwestern College PA program plans to accept only 32 students per year. Preference in the application process will be given to graduates of Northwestern College, provided they meet all of the program admissions requirements. Any Northwestern College graduate who completes all application materials and meets all admissions criteria will be granted an admission interview.

International students

Northwestern College welcomes applications from international students. In addition to the specific admissions criteria for the program of interest, students whose native language is not English must demonstrate language proficiency using an English proficiency test. Northwestern will accept scores from the TOEFL and IELTS. TOEIC scores may be considered. A minimum TOEFL score of 79, or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, is required for admission. Students applying to programs that require specialized licensure as an admissions requirement will require proof of comparable licensure in their country of origin. Some programs with specialized licensure requirements may not be open to international students. Read more detailed information for international students


Northwestern College has applied for Accreditation–Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Northwestern College anticipates matriculating its first class in May 2020, pending achieving Accreditation–Provisional status at the September 2019 ARC-PA meeting. 

Accreditation–Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation–Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. Should Northwestern College not receive Accreditation–Provisional, the program will not be permitted to start in May 2020.