Admission information and pre-requisites

A nurse and her assistant look at xrays 


Admission into the program will be highly competitive:  A class 50 students will be admitted each August.

Application process 

All application cycles will open in mid-April and will be via the CASPA system. The application can be accessed at: and must be submitted before September 1, 2016. In addition to the CASPA application the NAU Graduate College application is also required and must be submitted before September 1 as well. This application can be accessed at: Evaluation by CASPA could take up to 6 weeks. Interviews will be offered to applicants based upon evaluation by the faculty.  An in-person interview is required to be considered for admission to the program. In most cases, the program offers multiple interview dates to candidates to enable them to make reasonable travel arrangements.  The program will likely admit some candidates early in the evaluation process and others not until December or January.

The most qualified candidates will be invited for an on-site interview. The on-site interview is required for assessment of each candidate’s interpersonal and communication skills, one of the six major physician assistant competencies. One-day interviews will be scheduled approximately every three weeks beginning in September through early January. The program will work with those individuals invited for an interview to help minimize their travel expenses.

Admission requirements – Read about pre-requisites, recommended coursework, and preference factors.

Technical standards – These are the abilities and expectations you should possess coming into this program.


CASPA application 

The following must be completed before application.  If these are not included in the application materials, the application will not be considered.

  1. GRE scores
  2. Overall and science course GPAs of 3.0 or higher (calculated by CASPA)
  3. A minimum of 40 credits of science courses (calculated by CASPA: listing of acceptable science courses)
  4. A minimum of nine credits of science in the past five years
  5. Email addresses for three references
  6. The following prerequisite courses completed at a US regionally accredited college or university
  7. Two courses in chemistry (e.g. general, inorganic, biochemistry)
  8. One course in anatomy and one course in physiology OR two sequential courses in anatomy and physiology (assuming all body systems have been covered)
  9. One course in statistics (e.g. biostatistics, educational statistics, general statistics, financial statistics)
  10. One course in microbiology
  11. One hands-on lab course (NOT an online lab)
  12. Four upper division science courses (level 300 or above)
  13. A minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care experience, paid or volunteer

Once all requirements have been met, the applicant must complete and submit the CASPA application including:

  1.  Official transcripts
  2. GRE scores must be submitted directly to CASPA (no longer to the NAU Graduate College)
  3. Email addresses of three references
  4. Required fees

Following completion and submission of the CASPA application, you will receive an email notification that the application has been successfully submitted. If you do not receive this email, contact CASPA, not NAU.  If you do receive this email, please do not contact NAU to verify that we have received it.  We will not be able to access it until it is evaluated by CASPA.

NAU Graduate College application 

Following completion and submission of the CASPA application, you must complete the NAU Graduate College application including:

  1. Request for official GRE score report to be sent to CASPA
  2. Application fee

Following submission of the application, you will receive an email notification that your application has been successfully submitted.  If you do not receive this notice, please contact the Graduate College.  Please do not contact the PA Program office to verify that we have received it.  The email notification is adequate assurance.

No additional documents or updates (transcripts, letters of reference, documentation of additional work experience) will be accepted by NAU after the applications are submitted. The only exception is the official transcript documenting degree completion per NAU Graduate College admission requirements.

However, CASPA does accept updates initiated by the applicant.

For admission into the university and the PA program, applicants must be U.S. citizens or have permanent resident status and must have earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution OR equivalent prior to matriculation.  The degree does not need to be complete at the time of application.

If a degree was earned outside of the U.S., applicants must:

  1. Submit official transcripts in the language of instruction and an official English translation for evaluation by either WES or ECE to the NAU Graduate College no later than the deadline for the CASPA and NAU applications.
  2. Complete all prerequisite courses from an U.S. regionally accredited institution prior to submission of the applications.
  3. Demonstrate English proficiency by submitting TOEFL scores with a minimum score of 100 on the iBT (internet Based Testing) and a minimum of 26 on the speaking component prior to submission of the CASPA and NAU applications.