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Admissions

There are two routes of entry into the PA Program. The majority of applicants have earned a Bachelor’s prior to entry. These individuals apply directly through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).  We also offer articulated degree programs (also referred to as “3+3”) with several local universities which afford undergraduate students the opportunity to apply to the PA Program at the end of the Sophomore year. Please see Articulated Degree Programs for more information. It is highly advisable that all applicants thoroughly review the Admission Requirements (below) for either route prior to applying.

Admission Requirements for those with a 4-year degree prior to enrollment

General Information: Admission to the program is extremely competitive with over 1,400 applications for the class of 50. Our admissions committee thoroughly reviews each application and only the most competitive applicants are invited for an interview.

When initially screening applications, the committee looks for evidence of the following:

  • ability to handle a rigorous science courseload as demonstrated by the applicant's previous coursework and GPA
  • prior healthcare experience
  • familiarity with the PA profession as evidenced by exposure to PAs through programs such as PA shadowing
  • a commitment to community service

It is important to understand that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee an invitation for an interview.

Interviews are conducted from June through December. The interview will serve to identify qualities such as:

  • communication skills and general interpersonal skills
  • maturity and motivation
  • understanding of the PA role and how it fits into the applicant's career goals

Once the interview process is complete and the class is selected, some applicants may be offered a place on our waiting list, which we frequently utilize when applicants decline our offer of acceptance.

Applications: Applications, which are submitted via CASPA at www.CASPAonline.org, are available on April 22nd. The application cycle closes on September 1.

Please note: Rutgers University PA Program practices rolling admissions.  Preference is given to applicants who apply early; therefore, for best consideration, prospective students are encouraged to apply as early in the cycle as possible.

A complete application, including three letters of recommendation, all supporting materials, and a $25 supplemental fee, must be submitted to CASPA prior to September 1st to be considered.  It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all required materials are received and accepted by CASPA prior to the program's deadline.  Applicants are encouraged to not wait until the last minute to complete their applications.  Exceptions will NOT be made for applicants who miss the deadline.  Once the application is considered complete with CASPA, it may take up to 4 weeks for CASPA to process and submit the application to the PA Program.

GPA: Applicants must have an overall and science grade point average (GPA) of no less than 3.2 (on a scale where 4.0 equals A.)  In rare cases where individuals show high potential by recently improved performance, exceptions to this requirement may be considered.  Applicants who have below the required minimum GPA are encouraged to explain the circumstances surrounding their academic performance.

Prerequisites: If prerequisite courses were completed with a grade of "C" or better, applicant is not required to retake courses.  If the applicant has not taken any coursework within the previous 10 years, it is recommended that applicant consider taking refresher courses, specifically in the biological sciences.

Course Prerequisites:  (For a list of acceptable courses, click here)

General Psychology (3 credits)
English Composition (3 credits)
Statistics (Preferably Applied Statistics or Biostatistics from the Psychology, Biology or Math Depts.) (3-4 credits)
General Chemistry with lab (8 credits)
Organic Chemistry (3-4 credits)
Biological Sciences with lab (8 credits)

It is preferable that applicants complete all the required prerequisites prior to applying to the program, however, applicants with incomplete prerequisites may apply. Applicants with outstanding prerequisites must state how they will satisfy the prerequisites by the end of the Spring semester prior to the start of the program.

If any of the prerequisite courses have been satisfied by taking a CLEP exam, the scores should be submitted directly to the PA Program. The CLEP Designated Institution Code is 2145.


Essay:  A well written, grammatically correct essay is expected.  The personal narrative is the applicant's opportunity to share background information that is not readily evident in other sections of the CASPA application.  Individuals are encouraged to discuss:

  • Motivation to become a PA
  • Unique life challenges and/or life experiences
  • Positive attributes they bring to the PA program and ultimately the PA profession

Letters of Recommendation: Three Recommendation Forms must be completed through CASPA. Applicants should seek recommendations from individuals who are thoroughly familiar with the candidate's academic ability, their work ethic and professionalism, and their general characteristics.  Examples may be an instructor, a previous employer or volunteer supervisor, a community leader, etc.  Many of our more highly competitive applicants have recommendations by healthcare providers such as physicians and PAs.

Patient Contact Experience:   Patient contact is required. The Program has not established a minimum number of hours of healthcare experience, but the most competitive applicants will be able to document experience working directly with patients. Examples of the types of experiences that are recommended include, but are not limited to, medical assistants, nursing assistants/aides, nurses, EMTs, patient care technicians, physical therapy assistants, hospice volunteers, etc.   Applicants from NJ may consider the following healthcare opportunity [click here].

PA Shadowing:  It is important that applicants spend time with PAs to ensure a sufficient understanding of the PA role in the delivery of healthcare. Therefore, applicants to the PA Program must be able to demonstrate familiarity with the PA profession through direct experience. This can be accomplished by either shadowing PAs in practice or working alongside PAs.

International Students:  Applicants who received their degrees outside the USA are required to take the TOEFL exam, unless a Bachelor's degree or higher has been awarded in the U.S.  Please note:  If applicant has an Associate's degree in the U.S., TOEFL scores are required. TOEFL currently administers the internet-based test (iBT) and paper-based test* (PBT). A minimum score of 115 (IB) or 650 (PB) must be achieved. TOEFL scores should be submitted directly to CASPA. The TOEFL Designated Institution Code is 3709.

*Please note that the TOEFL PBT test is being phased out. More information can be found at the TOEFL website.

All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an evaluation agency and submitted to CASPA with your application. Two recommended agencies are: World Education Services, Inc. and International Education Evaluations, Inc.

 

 


 

Admission Requirements for those who are seeking admission from one of our 3+3 articulated institutions

General Information:  The accelerated option is only available to those students who are currently enrolled at one of our Articulated BS/MS or BA/MS Programs, also referred to as “3+3 Program”.  Please note that enrollment at one of these institutions does not guarantee admittance to the Physician Assistant Program nor does meeting the minimum requirements.

Our admissions committee thoroughly reviews each application and only the most competitive applicants are invited for an interview.

Applications:  Applications are submitted directly to the PA Program by June 1 of the calendar year prior to matriculation.  When initially screening applications, the committee looks for evidence of the following:

  • ability to handle a rigorous science courseload as demonstrated by the applicant's previous coursework and GPA
  • prior healthcare experience
  • familiarity with the PA profession as evidenced by exposure to PAs through programs such as PA shadowing
  • a commitment to community service

GPA: The applicant must have an overall and science grade point average of no less than 3.2 (on a scale where 4.0 equals A.)

SAT/GRE: SAT scores should be submitted directly to the PA Program. The SAT Designated Institution Code is 2765. GRE scores are not required.

Prerequisite coursework: If any of the prerequisite courses have been satisfied by taking a CLEP exam, the scores should be submitted directly to the PA Program. The CLEP Designated Institution Code is 2145. All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an evaluation agency. Two recommended agencies are: World Education Services, Inc. and International Education Evaluations, Inc.

Recommendations: Three completed Recommendation Forms (provided in Application package) are required. Applicants should seek recommendations from individuals who are thoroughly familiar with the candidate's academic ability, their work ethic and professionalism, and their general characteristics.  Examples may be an instructor, a previous employer or volunteer supervisor, a community leader, etc.  Many of our more highly competitive applicants have recomenndations by healthcare providers such as physicians and PAs.

Please note that the Waiver of Access statement on the recommendation form must be signed by the applicant.

Healthcare Experience:  Patient contact is required. The Program has not established a minimum number of hours of healthcare experience, but the most competitive applicants will be able to document experience working directly with patients. Examples of the types of experiences that are recommended include, but are not limited to, medical assistants, nursing assistants/aides, nurses, EMTs, patient care technicians, physical therapy assistants, hospice volunteers, etc.   Applicants from NJ may consider the following healthcare opportunity [click here].

PA Shadowing:  It is important that applicants spend time with PAs to ensure a sufficient understanding of the PA role in the delivery of healthcare. Therefore, applicants to the PA Program must be able to demonstrate familiarity with the PA profession through direct experience. This can be accomplished by either shadowing PAs in practice or working alongside PAs.

Interviews: Interviews will be conducted in June-July. Only the most competitive applicants will be interviewed. The determination is made following an initial screening by the Admissions Committee.  The interview will serve to identify qualities, such as communication skills, motivation, and general interpersonal skills. The applicant should demonstrate a clear understanding of the PA role and how it fits into the applicant's career goals. The applicant is reminded that competition is very keen for the available spaces.

Acceptances: Final notices of acceptance will be made by September 1st of the year prior to enrollment. Commencement of studies at the PA Program is contingent upon completion of all required coursework and maintaining a minimum overall GPA of 3.2.

Download Application

If you have difficulty downloading the application below, please call the PA Program Office at 732-235-4445 and request that an application packet be mailed out to you.

 


You need Adobe Acrobat Reader® to utilize these documents. The free Reader allows you to view, navigate, and print PDF files across all major computing platforms. It is a large file (3 MB) but is quite worthwhile, and is FREE.

acrobat

Complete Application Package:  (881kb) Includes the Application and all supporting documents, including Letter of Reference and Instructions.  Read our Disclaimer.

 

Letters of Reference (LORs):  (201kb)

 

Instructions:  (158kb)

 

Note:   We prefer to receive laser-printed documents; most print shops (Kinko's, et al) have PCs and laser printers.  If you do not have access to a laser printer, a high quality ink-jet document is acceptable.

 

 

 

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