The Physician Assistant (PA) 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.
All pre-requisites courses are to be completed by January 1 of each year. Applicants must submit a letter of good standing from the head of the department indicating a grade of 3.0 or higher. Candidates must have an earned baccalaureate degree, or higher, from a regionally accredited college or university. In addition, the applicant must have:
- A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 (3.0 recommended) and science GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
- Human Anatomy and Physiology with labs, full sequence of 10 quarter (6 semester) credits with a grade of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
- Microbiology with lab: one course of 5 quarter (3 semester) credits with a grade of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (no substitutions);
- Two additional human science courses examples: general or cell biology with lab, general or inorganic/organic chemistry with lab, or biochemistry with lab, for 10 quarter (6 semester) credits with a grade of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- Statistics or Algebra: one course of 5 quarter (3 semester) credits with a grade of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
The ability to use a personal or network computer is an important skill that will assist students with PA Educational course work. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that each entering student have a good working knowledge of common computer use and applications. PA Program utilizes the latest in Microsoft Office® and Windows® applications.
Medical Experience Requirements
A minimum of 1,000 hours of health care experience, with direct, “hands-on” patient contact is required. Applicants must recognize that many competitive candidates will have many more patient contact hours than this minimum. Providing a job description with the 1,000 hours is helpful to determine qualifications.
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.
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, medical scribe, CPR or ACLS instructors, patient transporters, veterinary technician, researcher/research assistant (non-medical or not directly clinically related).
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:
- From a Physician (MD/DO) who has known the applicant for a significant length of time (6 months or more)
- From a PA who has known the applicant for a significant length of time.
- From a supervisor who knows of the PA profession and who has known the applicant for a significant length of time.
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.
Not accepted: Letters from academic professors.
The major criteria for rating applicants are academic excellence, commitment to primary care, commitment to practice medicine in an under-served area, and personal characteristics. Academic excellence is measured by academic performance. The degree of difficulty of the program, which the applicant studied, is also considered. No interview is involved in this assessment.
After the initial assessment, selected applicants are invited to visit the campus for a formal personal interview. After the interview, the Admissions Committee reviews the applicants’ files, and applicants are notified as soon as a final admissions decision has been made.
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 the acceptance letter and if not received by Heritage University within two weeks of the date of the letter was mailed, 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 encourages applications from qualified students who are interested in pursuing a career as a physician assistant. Qualified applicants from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington will be given preference for admission to the program.
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 US, you must demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting scores from the TOEFL.
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)
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.
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.