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. CASPer Requirement.  All applicants to The University of Texas Medical Branch Physician Assistant program are required to complete an online assessment (CASPer), to assist with our selection process. Successful completion of CASPer is mandatory in order to maintain admission eligibility. CASPer is an online test which assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program, and will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening. In implementing CASPer, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process.

    In order to take CASPer, you will be responsible for securing access to a computer with audio capabilities, a webcam, and a reliable internet connection on your selected test date. CASPer can be taken practically anywhere that you can satisfy the aforementioned requirements. No exceptions will be provided for applicants unable to take CASPer online due to being located at sites where internet is not dependable due to technical or political factors.

    Please go to www.takeCASPer.com to sign up and reserve a test using your CASPA ID number and a piece of government-issued photo ID. 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; there may be updates to the test schedule.

    Please direct any inquiries on the test to support@takecasper.com. Alternatively, you may use the chat bubble in the bottom right hand corner of your screen on the takecasper.com website.
    The CASPer test is comprised of 12 sections of video and written scenarios. Following each scenario, you will be required to answer a set of probing questions under a time contract. Each response is graded by a different rater, giving a very robust and reliable view of personal and professional characteristics important to our program. No studying is required for CASPer, although you may want to familiarize yourself with the test structure at takeCASPer.com, and ensure you have a quiet environment to take the test.

    CASPer test results are valid for one admissions cycle. Applicants who have already taken the test in previous years will therefore be expected to re-take it.

  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:  wwww.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.

Download: Admissions Self-Appraisal Checklist (PDF)

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

Applicants
           
Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Completed 913 955 913 950 1139 1778
Interviewed 249 334 242 369 228 232
Enrolled 89 89 89 89 88 92
             
Demographics
           
Topics 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Male 11% 22% 16% 16% 19% 18%
Texas Resident 89% 78% 87% 88% 98% 98%
Mean Age 23 24 24 25 25 25
Under-represented 21% 18% 28% 26% 48% 46%
Educationally Disadvantaged 13% 46% 14% 22% 28% 32%
Economically Disadvantaged 2% 7% 7% 1% 22% 26%
Post Graduate Degrees 2% 6% 4% 3% 9% 5%
             
Academics
           
GPA/GRE 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Cumulative GPA 3.53 3.65 3.6 3.65 3.67 3.66
Science GPA 3.53 3.58 3.55 3.57 3.62 3.58
GRE - Verbal 152 159 155 158 153 153
GRE - Quantitative 152 158 156 157 153 152
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.
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.
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.
BLS or BCLS Certification is required upon enrollment in the program and must be maintained throughout matriculation. Course must be AHA approved.
 PAS Academic Calendar

Download the 2019-20 calendar in PDF format .

Download the 2020-21 calendar in PDF format.