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The Physician Assistant Program at Mayo School of Health Sciences in Minnesota requires that applicants have completed these courses by the Sept. 1 application deadline.

  • Biology. At least 14 semester hours of biology, including at least two laboratory courses, in these areas:
    • Anatomy and physiology. One semester of human anatomy and one semester of human physiology, or a two-semester sequence of combined human anatomy at the 200 (sophomore) level or above. Human anatomy and physiology is strongly preferred, though vertebrate and mammalian anatomy and physiology are acceptable.
    • Microbiology. One semester of microbiology at the 200 (sophomore) level or above.
    • Health-related upper-division biological science. One semester at the 300 (junior) level or above of any of these courses: genetics, immunology, vertebrate or mammalian embryology, endocrinology, histology, pathophysiology, neuroscience, parasitology, mycology, or biology of cancer.
  • Chemistry. A minimum of 11 semester hours of chemistry, including the following courses, at least two of which must include a laboratory component:
    • General chemistry. One semester of general or introductory chemistry.
    • Organic chemistry. One semester of organic chemistry at the 200 (sophomore) level or above.
    • Biochemistry. One semester of biochemistry at the 300 (junior) level or above. Molecular or cellular biology at the 300 level or above is an acceptable alternative.
  • Mathematics. A minimum of two semesters of mathematics, including:
    • Pre-calculus or calculus. One semester of pre-calculus or calculus, or one semester of college algebra with trigonometry.
    • Statistics. One semester of statistics.
  • Psychology. A minimum of one semester of general, introductory, developmental or abnormal psychology.

In addition to completing the above prerequisite courses, applicants must have the following:

  • Academic aptitude. A minimum cumulative GPA on all post-high school courses of 3.00 calculated on a four-point scale, as well as a minimum science — as defined by the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) — GPA of 3.00.

    Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores is required. GRE scores are used as another measure of academic aptitude along with GPA. There is a minimum score requirement of 1,100.

  • Degree. A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.
  • Health care experience. Prior direct patient care experience is expected. Such experience provides evidence of a career commitment to health care as a physician assistant. In the program's competitive admission process, the length and depth of health care experience is a selection factor.

Applicants are selected based on grades, work and volunteer experiences, leadership qualities, representation of personal qualities and skills in a personal letter, and a personal interview.

International applicants

International applicants whose primary language is not English must submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based test (TOEFL iBT). Scores from the speaking portion of the exam are given particular consideration in admission decisions. Learn more about the exam and register online at the Educational Testing Service.

The Mayo School of Health Sciences school code for the TOEFL iBT is 5784.

Applicants from outside the U.S. must have their educational transcripts translated (if they are not already in English) and evaluated for U.S. equivalency by an accredited credential evaluation service company prior to submission. Please refer to the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services for a list of qualified companies. The applicant pays for the examination and credential-evaluation services.

Admissions policy

Today's allied health education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of essential skills and professional attitudes and behavior. The goal of Mayo School of Health Sciences programs is to graduate the best health care practitioners. Further, Mayo School of Health Sciences must also ensure that patients are not placed in jeopardy by students with impaired intellectual, physical or emotional functions.

Therefore, admission to educational programs is offered only to those applicants who meet qualifications for education and training in the art and science of the respective allied health profession. Applicants should possess the following general qualities at all times:

  • Critical thinking
  • Sound judgment
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Emotional stability and maturity
  • Professional and ethical conduct
  • Empathy
  • Physical and mental stamina
  • Ability to learn and function in a wide variety of didactic and clinical settings

You must be able to perform the essential functions of the profession and meet the standards of the curriculum. Students seeking exceptions to these standards or reasonable accommodations should initiate their request with the program director.

Fluency in written and spoken English is essential for success in the program and to ensure patient safety. Applicants must demonstrate objective competency in English through the admission interview and may be required to submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or equivalent examination.

Applicants are judged not only on scholastic accomplishments but also on physical and emotional capacities to meet the requirements of the program's curriculum and to graduate as skilled and effective practitioners, with reasonable accommodations, if applicable. To preserve the welfare of students and patients, each Mayo School of Health Sciences program will establish minimum standards deemed essential for safety in practicing that respective profession. Applicants seeking accommodations should initiate their request with the program director.

Admissions committees for each program may require additional specific admission standards. Documentation of these program-specific standards is available from the program director.

In addition to the qualities described above, you will be assessed for:

  • Observation, communication and motor function
  • Intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities
  • Behavioral and social attributes
  • Tactical and somatic sensation
  • Functional use of vision and hearing

Diagnostic equipment and tools may provide technological compensation for some disabilities, but the candidate should be able to perform in an independent manner.

Although physician assistants usually work in comfortable, well-lit environments, those in surgery often stand for long periods, and others do considerable walking. Schedules vary according to practice setting and often depend on the hours of the supervising physician. The workweek of physician assistants in physicians' offices may include weekends, night hours or early-morning hospital rounds to visit patients, and physician assistants also may be on call. PAs in clinics often work a 40-hour week.

You must be able to perform the essential functions of the profession and meet the standards of the curriculum. Students seeking exceptions to these standards or reasonable accommodations should initiate their request with the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Additional admission requirements

Applicants offered admission to Mayo School of Health Sciences programs must comply with prevailing institutional policies and procedures regarding:

  • Immunization
  • Occupational health review, a physical exam or both
  • Background study and immediate disclosure of any criminal convictions
  • Drug screen
  • Health insurance
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), confidentiality, and other training deemed necessary by Mayo Clinic or the Mayo School of Health Sciences program

Questions about these requirements can be directed to the school. Failure to comply or to provide requested documentation is grounds for rescinding an admission offer or terminating admission.

Student responsibilities

Students are required to exhibit professional and ethical conduct at all times.

Equal opportunity

Mayo School of Health Sciences upholds all federal and state laws that preclude discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities or veteran status.

  • Jan 15, 2013
  • ART800509