Physician Assistant Studies Admissions Requirements


Application Process

  1. CASPA Application.  Complete and submit your CASPA application. It must be verified by September 1 (11:59 pm EST). Check the CASPA website for information regarding your application status. Report your GRE scores directly to CASPA. Note: Your application will be considered incomplete if there is missing information, including GRE scores, and/or documentation by the published deadlines, and will not be processed due to the volume of applications received.
    • CASPA designations:
      1. Submitted: You will receive a confirmation e-mail that your  menu reads as "Complete/Not Verified".
      2. Verified: It may take four (4) weeks for your application to be reviewed from the date it becomes complete
      3. Mailed: UTMB Enrollment Services has your application for processing.


  2. Altus Suite - Admissions Assessments of Non-Cognitive Skills

    All applicants applying to the Physician Assistant Studies program, at University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston are required to complete an online suite of assessments (Altus Suite), to assist with our selection process.

    Altus Suite consists of a two-part online assessment of non-cognitive skills, interpersonal characteristics, and personal values and priorities that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program. Altus Suite will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening. In implementing Altus Suite, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process.

    Altus Suite consists of:

    • CASPer: a 60-90 minute online situational judgment test (SJT)
    • Snapshot: a 10-minute one-way interview with standardized questions

    You will register for Altus Suite for the US Professional Health Sciences test (CSP-10101). Access www.TakeAltus.com to create an account and for more information on important dates and requirements, and the Altus Suite assessments.

    How to Complete Altus Suite

    In order to take Altus Suite, you will be responsible for securing access to a laptop or desktop computer with webcam and audio capabilities. You will require the following for both account creation and completing Altus Suite:
    • Government-issued photo ID
    • Valid email address (the same one you will use to submit your application)
    • Working webcam
    • Working microphone
    • Reliable high-speed internet connection

    • Please go to www.TakeAltus.com to sign up for Altus Suite for Physician Assistant (CSP-10101 - U.S. Professional Health Sciences), under your specific country, and register using your CASPA ID and a piece of government-issued photo ID.
    • Select a CASPer test date. You will be provided with a limited number of testing dates and times. Please note that these are the only testing dates available for your CASPer test. There will be no additional tests scheduled. Please use an email address that you check regularly and that you have used for your application; there may be updates to the test schedule. Important: To account for identity verification and payment processing timeline, ensure that you register for your test at least three days before your preferred test date and time. Last-minute bookings are not recommended.
    • Ensure you have selected University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston for distribution before the posted Distribution Deadline. Likely, there will be no additional tests scheduled, but the most up to date information can be found by browsing the Test Dates and Times on TakeAltus.com.
    • You may complete Snapshot any time after you have registered for your CASPer test at www.TakeAltus.com and up to ten days after completing your CASPer test. After 10 days, you will no longer have access to Snapshot and your Altus Suite will be deemed incomplete.
    • Please direct any inquiries on Altus Suite to support@altus.as. Alternatively, you may use the chat bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen on the takeAltus.com website.

    Accommodations: If you require testing accommodations for Altus Suite you will need to submit the Accommodations Request Form signed by you and your qualified professional 3 weeks in advance of your desired test date. More information regarding accommodations can be found here.

  3. PA-CAT (Recommended).  All applicants to The University of Texas Medical Branch Physician Assistant Program are encouraged to complete the Physician Assistant College Admissions Test (PA-CAT).  The PA-CAT assesses the foundational science knowledge of applicants to measure the preparedness for the rigorous PA curriculum.  The subjects covered on the PA-CAT include anatomy, physiology, general biology, biochemistry, general and organic chemistry, microbiology, behavioral sciences, genetics, and statistics. Please go to www.pa-cat.com/register-and-schedule/ to register and schedule your exam at a Prometric Test Center.  Candidates must register at least 30 days prior to their desired test date.  It may take up to six weeks to receive scores so take the exam early in the application process.  Please direct any inquiries on the test to support@pa-cat.com. For more information regarding what is covered on the PA-CAT, please see the official PA-CAT website:  www.pa-cat.com/about-the-pa-cat.  A study guide as well as sample questions and a practice exam are available.  Special accommodations are available upon request. 
  4. Supplemental Application.  Complete and submit your supplemental application once UTMB Enrollment Services receives and processes your CASPA application. Applicants will also need to send payment. Once both are received, applicants will be given a UTMB ID number for access to MyStar.
  5. The UTMB PAS Department will notify all applicants via email when their applications have been received and when the admissions decision has been made. Please allow several weeks for processing.
  6. UTMB has a rolling admissions process; therefore, your application is open until you hear from us with a final decision. If you do not hear from us by December 15, please contact us (409) 772-3048 or email addonnel@utmb.edu to inquire about the status of your application.
  7. Visiting the campus is often times the best way for a prospective student to get a complete picture of a university and its program. We invite you to visit our campus during one of our upcoming Open House dates. For more information and to RSVP, visit https://som.utmb.edu/physician-assistant/open-house. Unfortunately due to teaching and other program commitments, we are unable to offer individual counseling. If you are accepted for an interview; however, we will meet with you individually to review missing prerequisite courses. Our interviews are scheduled early enough that you have the opportunity to register for any missing courses in the spring semester. We are excited that you are considering UTMB for your higher education goals.
  8. Preference given to Texas residents, however, all applicants are considered.
  9. If you are accepted, you will be required to pay a deposit of $1,000 for a position in the class, which is payable at the time you accept admission. This deposit is non-refundable. Instructions for this process will be included in the acceptance letter.


Applications must be marked VERIFIED by September 1. It may take up to four or more weeks from your complete date for your application to be verified.

To be considered for admission to the Physician Assistant Studies (PAS) program, applicants must present official documentation of the following student competencies:

    • GPA
      • Overall GPA Minimum: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
      • Science GPA Minimum: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. (Biological sciences, microbiology/bacteriology, immunology/virology, anatomy, physiology, genetics, chemistry, organic chemistry/biochemistry for undergraduate and graduate courses)

    • GRE (required), CASPer (required), and PA-CAT (recommended)
      • All GRE scores must be sent to CASPA using code 0437, even if you are a re-applicant or have already sent the score directly to UTMB. Your name must match exactly on both the GRE and CASPA application.
      • UTMB has no minimum score for GRE. Official GRE scores from ETS deadline is September 1.
      • CASPer assessment is required.  You may register for a CASPer test date after you receive your CASPA ID. 
      • PA-CAT scores must be sent to the University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston using code TX4309.

    • PREREQUISITES (see specific courses below)
      • All completed prerequisite courses must be passed with grades of "C" or better.
      • All prerequisite credits and receipt of the bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university must be completed no later than the end of the spring semester of the year of matriculation.
      • The UTMB PA Program does not accept prior learning experience to fulfill prerequisites and/or professional coursework credit.
      • All completed prerequisite courses must be passed with letter grades of "C" or better and recorded on the official transcript.
      • Prerequisite coursework must be completed within the last ten years from the September 1 deadline date.
      • Prior learning experiences (courses at another PA program or health care program), continuing education, CME, and/or workforce credits are not counted to fulfill prerequisite courses
      • All science courses must be designated for "science majors." Distance learning or online courses are accepted to meet the prerequisite requirements
      • The CASPA application, official transcripts, and supporting documents must be completed and submitted on or before the published deadline.
      • Graduation Record Examination (GRE) scores must be submitted to CASPA.
      • Appropriate fees must be paid to CASPA and UTMB.

All completed prerequisite courses must be passed with letter grades of "C" or better and recorded on the official transcript.

Prior learning experiences (courses at another PA program or health care program), continuing education, CME, and/or workforce credits are not counted to fulfill prerequisite courses

Total Credit Hours: 47 (50)

These are the prerequisites required of Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) applicants:

Prerequisite CourseworkCredits
Biological Sciences with Lab8
Microbiology/Bacteriology with Lab3-4*
Immunology/Virology3
Genetics without Lab3
Human Anatomy with Lab4
Human Physiology with Lab4
Chemistry with Lab8
Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry with Lab3-4*
Behavioral Sciences6
Statistics3
Medical Terminology2-3

* Note: Only if your institution does not offer a lab with these courses will you be exempt from the lab requirement.

For equivalency info, visit the Texas General Education Core Web Center http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/apps/tcc/.

Please note the Texas Legislature enacted a "six course withdrawals" limit effective Fall 2007. For more information, see Senate Bill 1231 Drop Policy: www.legis.state.tx.us.

International Students: International Course Credit (pdf)


Other Information

PAS-Admissions and Application-Other Information

  • Characteristics of Accepted Students
    Applicants
        
    Year201820192020
    2021
    Completed2173177817191480
    Interviewed228232257213
    Enrolled88929090
         
    Demographics
        
    Topics201820192020
    2021
    Male19%18%10%10%
    Texas Resident98%98%97%94%
    Mean Age25252423
    Under-represented48%46%43%37%
      Asian28%29%21%20%
      Black3%4%4%2%
      Hispanic16%12%17%14%
      White54%54%57%63%
      Other1%1%1%1%
    Environmentally Disadvantaged28%32%35%52%
    Economically Disadvantaged22%26%30%20%
    Post Graduate Degrees9%5%11%1%
    First Generation College (Class)16%22%18%12%
    First Generation College (Applicant Pool)18%18%22%20%
         
    Academics
        
    GPA/GRE201820192020
    2021
    Cumulative GPA3.673.663.663.72
    Science GPA3.623.583.63.64
    GRE - Verbal153153154154
    GRE - Quantitative153152153154
    CASPer - Mean   0.259111
         
  • CASPA Supporting Statement
    Areas for your supporting statement on your application include but are not limited to: experiences (medical and otherwise), special and unique talents, honors and accomplishments, work history, community service, extracurricular activities, geographic representation, social and economic background, special personal circumstances (poor grades, etc.), and leadership potential. It is always helpful to include a one to two page resume that highlights your educational, work, and community service experiences with your application.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    Three (3) letters of recommendation are required and must be sent directly to CASPA. Please do not send any documents to the PA Department. Professors, college advisors, clinicians, and employers are recommended. Family members cannot provide letters of recommendation.
  • Background Check
    All entering students must undergo a security background check prior to matriculation. The security background check must be completed after you have been offered acceptance and no more than 60 days prior to your enrollment into the program. Admissions is conditional until a clear background check is received.
  • Basic Life Support
    BLS or BCLS Certification is required upon enrollment in the program and must be maintained throughout matriculation. Course must be AHA approved.