Physician Assistant Program


5-Year Physician Assistant Program Admission

The five-year BSHS/MSPA program is an accelerated program. The program consists of three years of undergraduate study and two years of graduate study.

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program (MSPA) is the graduate portion of the program and is a two-year professional program divided into a 12-month didactic phase followed by a 12-month clinical education phase in the form of supervised clinical practice experiences. This program is an extension of the 3-year Valparaiso University undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Health Science (BSHS) program and serves as the culminating phase of the 5-Year Physician Assistant Program (3 + 2) model.

Admission to the Physician Assistant program at the freshman level requires the following:

  • Successful completion of four years of lab science in high school (biology, chemistry, anatomy/physiology, and physics recommended)
  • Successful completion of pre-calculus
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher*

*Preference is given to students who demonstrate higher achievement in these areas and class rank.

It is highly recommended that students begin shadowing and observing a physician assistant while in high school to become more familiar with the profession. The local state physician assistant society or academy is the best way to connect to practicing PAs from the area.

The Valparaiso University PA Program does not participate in the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).

Students who submit results of AP examinations are eligible to receive credit for the undergraduate BSHS degree in accordance with the table published in the
General Catalog, “Advanced Placement Program” section.

The accredited, graduate phase of the 5-Year PA Program (MSPA) does not accept transfer students nor grant early entry.

Direct Admit Pathway. Qualified students entering as a first semester freshman will be admitted directly to the BSHS/MSPA 5-Year Program after meeting the following requirement:

  • Successfully complete the BSHS degree program requirements.

Non-Direct Admit Pathway. Students who were not admitted into the PA program via the direct admit pathway will be considered for admission to the PA program if they have met the BSHS degree program progression criteria and have successfully completed the BSHS degree pending available seats.

For the undergraduate BSHS progression criteria, please refer to the University General Catalog here.

Preference is given to students who demonstrate higher achievement in GPA (overall, science, & health science), maturity, leadership, quality of field experience courses, understanding of PA concept & program mission, commitment to a career in health care, and service to others.