PA Admission Requirements

How to Apply

Applications to the M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies Program will be submitted through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). The application cycle begins at the end of April each year. The application deadline is August 1.

The Westfield State Physician Assistant Program requires official transcripts to be verified by CASPA prior to matriculation. The Westfield State Physician Assistant Program is a "Verified Only" program. Applications received by CASPA receive this status after CASPA has received all required documents and reviewed all transcripts for accuracy. At that time, CASPA designates the applications as "Verified" and the Westfield State Physician Assistant Program is able to begin review of the applications. Applications are not considered completed and ready for review if they do not have the "Verified" designation by CASPA by the deadline, August 1.

The Westfield State PA Admissions Committee understands the incredibly unique situation that students have experienced mid-semester as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and will accept Pass/Fail courses taken during 2020. We will continue to utilize our holistic admissions process to evaluate the entirety of every applicant.

A Supplemental Application is required in addition to the application submitted through CASPA. Students must submit both the CASPA application and Westfield State University's supplemental application in order to be considered for the program. The supplemental application is only available during the same time period as the CASPA application, April 30 - August 1. During that time, you can click on the Supplemental Application link below to access and complete it. When you complete the supplemental application, there will be a prompt asking, “Why Westfield?” In 500 words or less, tell us why you chose to apply to our program.

Supplemental Application

All applicants will be holistically evaluated including priority for academic performance, patient care hours, references, leadership, community involvement, and application essays.

Admissions Criteria:

General Admission Standards for the Physician Assistant Studies Program

Minimum admissions requirements for the M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies program include:

  • A baccalaureate or graduate degree from an accredited institution with an overall GPA of 3.0.
  • A personal statement of interest and intent is required at the time of application.
  • The WSU-PA Program will not allow advanced standing for any professional courses or clinical experiences.
  • A minimum of 500 hours of patient contact hours are required. Examples of patient contact hours can include but are not limited to EMT, Scribe, Paramedic, Lab Tech, Volunteer, and Nurse’s Aide as long as direct patient contact has occurred.
  • Three academic and/or professional letters of recommendation.
  • Special admissions consideration for veterans and military service members and Massachusetts public university graduates with outstanding applications.

All prerequisite courses listed below must be completed with a grade of “C” or better and an overall and prerequisite GPA of 3.0.

  • 30 semester hours of biological, chemical, and physical sciences
  • Required: Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II with lab, Microbiology, Genetics, and Biochemistry.
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Genetics must have been completed within the past 10 years.
  • One University-level statistics course
  • One University-level ethics course+
  • One University level General Psychology Course

Applications will be scored and admissions decisions will be made by:

  • overall GPA
  • prerequisite GPA
  • overall coursework
  • reference letters
  • quantity of healthcare experience

Program gives preference to candidates that have:

  • Additional preparatory Courses
  • Average Course Load
  • Last 3 Full-Time semesters
  • Pass/Fail Courses
  • Prerequisite courses complete
  • In Personal Statement
    • Understanding of PA Role and Profession
    • Match to mission/goals of a program
    • Other special qualities or experiences
    • Spelling/grammar
  • Other Qualities
    • Leadership/Service
    • Extracurricular activities
    • Military Service


+ substitution may be permitted with approval from the PA Program Director or Admissions Committee Chair

+ Applicants may have up to 2 outstanding prerequisite courses at the time of application. Final transcripts are due prior to matriculation

The WSU-PAS Program will not allow advanced placement for any professional courses or clinical experiences.

Technical Standards for Admission and Graduation

View the technical standards for admission and graduation of the Westfield State University Physician Assistant Studies Program here. Westfield State University and the Physician Assistant Program are committed to meeting the special needs of students within established legal and institutional guidelines as well as sustain the integrity of the medical curriculum and the required mental and physical capabilities to fulfill the obligation of that education.

Admissions Protocol for Graduates of Massachusetts Public Four-Year Institutions:

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Westfield State University is the only public physician assistant program in Massachusetts and all of New England. The Westfield State University Physician Assistant Program intends to educate a diverse student body of highly skilled and culturally aware healthcare providers who will utilize a patient-centered care approach and be committed to serving the public, either in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or beyond. To help achieve this goal, the program will grant an interview for all students who have graduated from a Massachusetts public four-year institution, if the following criteria are met.

  • Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree from a Massachusetts public institution.
  • Overall GPA of all college coursework of greater than or equal to 3.5.
  • Cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 3.5 in all PA Program prerequisite courses.
  • A recommendation from a Physician Assistant or Physician indicating support for consideration of the applicant.
  • Successful completion of a minimum of 500 hours of patient contact prior to application.
  • Successful completion of all general admissions requirements and standards prior to application.

An applicant with a baccalaureate degree from a Massachusetts public institution who does not meet these requirements, but meets the general admission requirements of the program may apply and will be considered with all other applicants.

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