How to Apply

PA Students in classroom

Application Process and Timeline

The information below applies to the Summer 2024 admission cycle.

The program has a rolling admissions process and accepts candidates until the class is selected for May enrollment annually*.  The deadline to complete the applications is November 1.  All materials must be submitted and verified by CASPA on or before the November 1 deadline. It is highly suggested that applicants submit their application no later than October 15 to give CASPA enough time to verify the application.

During admission review, first consideration may be given to Arkansas residents.  Highly qualified applicants from out-of-state are strongly encouraged to apply and may successfully compete for admission.  The Program is committed to admitting and graduating qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds.

Applicants must provide:

  1. Application for Admission: Applicants must apply through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) at  Through CASPA, applicants submit the following:
    • CASPA Application
    • CASPA Application Fee
    • Official Transcripts: Bachelor’s or higher degree completed prior to matriculation from a regionally accredited institution in the United States is required.  Transcripts from institutions outside the United States are not accepted, even after use of an evaluation service.  A minimum Cumulative Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, as calculated by CASPA, is required. A minimum Cumulative Natural Science GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, as calculated by CASPA, is required.
      NOTE:  Admissions is aware that due to COVID-19 and the impact on colleges and universities, some students are being issued pass/fail, credit/no credit prerequisite grades. We are acceptable of that grading system during the semesters/quarters impacted by COVID-19 as long as the college or university documents “pass/P or credit/CR” and the credit hours on the transcript.  We will continue to use the required 3.0 GPA for cumulative undergraduate and cumulative natural science GPA as calculated by CASPA.

Note: If you are admitted to the Physician Assistant program you will also need to provide official transcripts from all colleges where courses were still in-progress at the time of the CASPA verification deadline.

    • Letters of Recommendation. A letter of recommendation from a physician or physician assistant, a professor/ instructor or another MD/PA, and a work supervisor, for a total of three letters of recommendation.
    • Personal Narrative: The CASPA application requires one narrative and the PA Program requires two narratives.  Narrative questions may change annually.  Please refer to the application for the specific narrative questions.
    • Patient Care Experience: Clinical experience of at least 500 hours demonstrating direct patient care is required and is documented in the CASPA application.  This requirement must be completed prior to the start of the program.  The experience does not have to be paid or full-time experience.  Volunteer hours may count towards this requirement.  Some potential categories of experience may include:
      • Athletic Trainer
      • Certified Nursing Assistant
      • Chiropractic Assistant
      • Dental Hygienist
      • Dietician
      • Emergency Room Technician
      • Licensed Practical Nurse
      • Medical Assistant
      • Medical Corpsman
      • Nursing Assistant/Aide
      • Occupational Therapist
      • Ophthalmology Technician
      • Paramedic/ EMT
      • Patient Care Technician
      • Peace Corp Volunteer (medical)
      • Phlebotomist
      • Physical Therapist
      • Physical Therapist Assistant
      • Radiologist Technologist
      • Registered Nurse
      • Respiratory Therapist
      • Surgical Technology

Direct patient care is defined as actively working in a medical setting with patients and having a direct influence of care on a specific patient.  Example activities include eliciting histories, taking vital signs, drawing blood, performing procedures, etc.  While shadowing a PA/physician is highly recommended to gain a better understanding of the medical profession, they cannot count towards direct patient care.  Up to 250 hours of scribing or pharmacy technician will be accepted as direct patient care.  The remaining 250 hours must be from a different form of direct patient care.

  1. UAMS Online Admissions Application (OAA): An online application to the college is required and is available on the website.  A non-refundable application fee of $40.00 is required and must accompany the OAA application.  Both a CASPA application and a UAMS application are required by the deadline.  On the first page of the application, be sure to make the following selections to choose this program:
    -Academic Career: Physician Assistant
    -Campus: Main UAMS Campus
    -Term: Summer
    -Academic Program: College of Health Prof PHAS
    -Admit Type: Applicant
    -Full-Time or Part-Time: Full-Time
    -Academic Plan: Physician Assistant MPAS
    -Academic Sub-Plan: N/A
  2. Interview: The most qualified applicants will be contacted for an on-campus interview.

Admission to the program is a highly selective and competitive process.  Selection is based on a combination of academic performance, quality of direct patient care experience, letters of recommendation, personal narratives and performance during the interview.

During admission reviews, first consideration may be given to Arkansas residents.  Highly qualified applicants from out-of-state are strongly encouraged to apply and may successfully compete for admission.  The Program is committed to admitting and graduating qualified candidates from diverse groups.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible and then forward any updated information to the College of Health Professions Admissions Office as coursework becomes completed or additional direct patient care is obtained.

Applicants will be selected for interviews by the PA Program Admission Committee and will be invited for an on-campus interview beginning in the fall.

Candidates may be interviewed with outstanding prerequisites or direct patient care and can be contingently accepted with two outstanding pre-requisite courses remaining.  However, applicants cannot be officially accepted into the program until the outstanding pre-requisites and 500 hours of direct patient care have been obtained.

*The application cycle opens at the end of April

**All accepted applicants must consent to a criminal background check and drug screen prior to matriculation. Background checks and drug screens are required by most clinical sites during the didactic and clinical phase of the program. Matriculation into the program is contingent upon acceptable background check and drug screen results. Adverse results of a background check will be considered on an individual basis and may result in an inability to matriculate into the program. Enrolled students may be randomly drug tested throughout the curriculum and clinical sites may require updated background checks. More information about the requirement will be provided to accepted applicants.