The Physician Assistant (PA) Educational Program at Heritage considers all applicants for admission and financial aid without respect to age, gender, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, handicap, or national origin. PA program policies are nondiscriminatory. Applicants to the program are considered on their intellectual ability, scholastic achievement, commitment, and suitability to succeed in the physician assistant program.
We encourage qualified applicants interested in pursuing a career as a physician assistant. Admission preference is given to qualified applicants from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.
Admission Process Overview
After the initial assessment the Admission Committee reviews the completed applicant files, then the selected applicants are invited to visit the campus for a formal personal interview. After the interview, the Admission Committee will deliberate, and the chosen applicants are notified via phone when final admissions decision has been completed.
Our admission review is as follows:
- Completion and content of application
- Review of health care experience hours.
- The number and strength of Letters of Reference
- Academics including: GPA, Prerequisites, and Bachelor Degree
Applications are only accepted through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).
- The earned baccalaureate degree, or higher, must be from a regionally accredited college or university.
- Each prerequisite courses and labs must be completed with a grade of 3.0 (B) or higher.
- Cumulative academic GPA requirement is 2.75 ( 3.0 or higher is preferred).
- Cumulative science GPA requirement is 3.0 or higher.
Two terms of progressive Human A&P I&II or Human Anatomy course + Physiology course (6 semester credits)
Microbiology with lab - no substitutions (3 semester credits)
Two Human Science courses (6 semester credits)
Highly suggested: general or cell biology, general or inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, or genetics
One college level math course (3 semester credits)
Acceptable: Algebra, statistics, calculus, trigonometry, physics
All prerequisite courses are to be completed by January 1 of each year. Applicants with “In Progress” courses that have been chosen for the next incoming class must submit a letter of good standing from the head of the department indicating a grade of 3.0 or higher.
Medical Experience Requirements
A minimum of 1,000 hours of health care experience, with direct patient contact is required at time of application. Applicants must recognize that many competitive candidates will have many more patient contact hours than the minimum. Providing a job description with the 1,000 hours, clearly detailing the one on one patient care is helpful to determine the applicants qualifications. Include a Curriculum Vitae when submitting to CASPA.
This health care experience can include work as an EMT/paramedic, military corpsman, RN, LPN, nursing assistant, Peace Corps volunteer (if the service was medically related), radiology technician, laboratory technician, mental health worker, massage therapist, dental hygienist, medical scribe.
Not accepted for health care experience is time spent as a health care student, shadowing or observing PAs or physicians, medical secretary or ward clerks, CPR or ACLS instructors, patient transporters, veterinary technician, researcher/research assistant (non-medical or not directly clinically related).
Highly suggested examples of patient care experience:
- Patient history/assessment, implementing treatment plans: Patient intake, patient history, vital signs, patient information/education.
- Ordering/performing labs: Administering medications, lab draw, perform EKG and other diagnostic modalities.
Letters of Reference:
All references should be from a person who has known the applicant for a significant length of time (6 months or more). We highly recommend shadowing a PA-C to understand the working knowledge of the progression. No substitutions will be accepted.
Physician Assistant–Certified (PA-C)
There may be any of the following combination of three letters of reference: MD, PA, and Supervisor; MD, DO, and Supervisor; PA, DO, and Supervisor; two (2) MDs and a Supervisor; two (2) PA-Cs and a Supervisor.
Not accepted: Letters from academic professors, personal primary care provider, or relative.
The Admission Committee reviews the completed applicant files. We also take into consideration the major criteria for rating applicants are academic excellence is measured by academic performance, commitment to primary care, dedication to practice medicine in an under-served area through involvement, and personal characteristics (critical thinking skills, writing ability, and maturity level). The degree of difficulty of the program, which the applicant studied, is also considered. No interview is involved in this assessment.
The selected applicants are invited to visit the campus for a formal personal interview. After the interview, the Admission Committee will deliberate, and the chosen applicants are notified via phone when final admission decision has been completed.
An acceptance fee is required from successful applicants. A
non-refundable fee of $500 is payable after a student has been accepted to Physician Assistant Program at Heritage University. Payment is credited toward tuition upon matriculation. This deposit is required immediately upon receipt of verbal notification and if not received by Heritage University within two weeks of the date of the verbal notification, it will be assumed the position in the class is relinquished and the next applicant on the waiting list will be notified of an available position.
PA Program does not usually defer admission, but in unusual circumstances, it may be considered. Requests submitted to the Admission Committee will be reviewed and a recommendation made to the Program Director.
Foreign Medical Graduate Applicants
All international applicants are expected to understand and meet all other eligibility requirements for admission to the PA Program at Heritage University. Transcripts must be submitted for independent evaluation of equivalency by an acceptable credential evaluation agency. A course by course evaluation including the GPA is needed to meet our requirements: anatomy and physiology, microbiology, algebra or statistics, and two other science courses of your choice. The remaining can have a general evaluation which includes a cumulative GPA. All foreign graduate applicants must also demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
To clarify the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) requirements
If English is your second language and you did not complete your undergraduate degree in the United States. It is also required even if a master's degree was obtained in the U.S. The applicant must demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting scores from the TOEFL. Results should be less than 2 (two) years old at the time of application. Please note that achieving the minimal required TOEFL score does not guarantee selection.
Minimum acceptable TOEFL scores:
- Internet-based test: a score of 96, with at least a 24 in each section
- Computer-based test: a score of 240, with at least 24 on Section 1 (Listening Comprehension)
- Paper-based test: a score of 542, with at least 54 on Section 1 (Listening Comprehension)
Note: Intentional misrepresentation or omission of information relative to scholastic records or test records will subject the student to dismissal. The University reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant for any reason it deems sufficient.
Suggested transcript evaluation service websites.
Student Transfers and Waivers
Heritage University does not grant advanced standing based on experience or examination. The program does not accept transfers or credits from other physician assistant programs, or waive the requirements set forth in the admissions process. We are not granting advanced placement.
Heritage University has a student body with substantial diversity, which creates an effective learning community where each cultural group is valued. To develop community and concern for the common good, Heritage University seeks to provide leadership in supporting cultural pluralism within our own and other communities. Cultural pluralism creates a climate of respect and appreciation by fostering “learning about us” in an interdependent and connected world. Heritage University acts to make its curriculum, staffing, teaching, and other collegiate activities reflect this learning.
Notice of Non-Discrimination
The objectives of the Heritage University Equal Opportunity Program are to eliminate discrimination and, in conformity with state and federal law, and in keeping with the University’s mission, to develop and maintain a work force and a student body which reflect the communities of the regions that the university serves. Applications for employment and student admission are especially solicited from groups under-represented in various levels of the work force and/or in the region's higher education student bodies.