Master of Health Science, Physician Assistant
The Charles R. Drew University PA program application cycle opens late April to September 1st every year.
The CASPA Application Process
Application materials must be submitted via the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) service. Applicants are strongly advised to submit their application early in the cycle. All application supporting materials (e.g., letters of recommendation, transcripts) must be received and verified by CASPA by September 1st. Please note that the CASPA verification process can take up to 6 weeks.
The admissions committee only reviews applications that are VERIFIED by CASPA for which all required documents have been submitted. It is the applicant’s responsibility to confirm completion of the application by viewing their online CASPA application. Please do not contact the PA program to determine completeness.
The CASPA application can be found at https://caspa.liaisoncas.com.
Online CASPA application:
- Be sure to send all academic transcripts to CASPA.
- Personal Statement/essay must be submitted through CASPA.
- Include three letters of reference submitted to CASPA. These are usually written by someone who is familiar with the applicant.
- At least one letter must be from a physician (MD or DO), a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner who has observed the applicant in either a volunteer or employment capacity.
- At least one letter must be from a professor or academic advisor who has evaluated the applicant academically.
- The third letter may be from another professional affiliate.
- If we do not receive three letters of reference by the application deadline, the application will be considered incomplete.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are NOT required for admission.
- We do NOT require a secondary supplemental application.
- Completion of all courses within 7 years preceding application to the program is highly recommended.
Required Prerequisite Coursework
- Bachelor’s degree must be completed before entrance into the PA program.
- Transcripts must be from a regionally accredited institution or a US equivalent bachelor’s degree based on a foreign credential evaluation.
- International students, please the visit the Office of Admissions page here.
- Proficiency in English is mandatory. All applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, http://www.toefl.org/). The TOEFL requirement may be waived for applicants with a post-secondary degree from an accredited US institution. The scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to the Office of Admissions. Only the IBT (Internet Based Test) form of the TOEFL will be accepted.
- A total score of 100 and a speaking score of 26 will be a prerequisite for entry into the program.
- There should be no more than 2 prerequisites pending or “in-progress” at the time of application.
- All academic prerequisites must be completed prior to May 30th of the matriculation year. For example, if you are applying to begin the program in August, your prerequisites must be completed by May 30th of that year.
- The PA program admissions committee requires proof of enrollment for “in progress” course work. Examples of proof of enrollment include: transcripts showing courses in progress, or proof of payment for the courses in progress. Send these documents to firstname.lastname@example.org after completing your CASPA application.
NOTE: CDU accepts semester units. Quarter units must be converted to equal semester units prior to application. This will ensure that you are meeting our unit requirements.
|Required Coursework||Semester Units||Quarter Units|
|General Biology with lab||8||12|
|Microbiology with lab||4||6|
|Human Anatomy with lab*||4||6|
|Human Physiology with lab*||4||6|
|General Chemistry with lab||8||12|
|Introduction to Statistics or Biostatistics||3||4.5|
|College Algebra or higher||3||4.5|
|Behavioral Sciences Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology||6||9|
*Combined Human Anatomy and Physiology courses are acceptable in place of separate Anatomy and Physiology courses but must include lab and equal a total of 8 semester units
- Prerequisite, Science and Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Direct patient care (DPC) experience of greater than 2,000 hours
- Organic chemistry with lab or biochemistry with lab
Direct Patient Care Experience
- Direct patient care experience (DPC) may be paid or volunteer. The admissions committee will review and evaluate each individual DPC experience
- DPC should provide exposure to patients and members of the healthcare team in a clinical capacity to allow for the understanding of medical terminology, interaction with a wide variety of patients and exposure to various clinical scenarios
- Examples of DPC include but are not limited to nursing (RN, CNA), Medical Scribe, Health Scholar, Behavioral Specialist, Nutrition (RD), Pharmacy (Pharmacist, Pharmacy tech), Medical Assistant, Patient Care Technician, Radiology Technician, Phlebotomist, Physical Therapy (PT, PT Aide), Athletic Training (AT), Dental Hygienist, Paramedic, EMT, Respiratory Therapist, Researcher (if performing direct patient care), Optometric Assistant
Please note that while not required, the PA Admissions Committee has identified the following value-added items which will be noticed and considered on an application:
- Evidence of commitment to social justice, community wellness and healthcare needs of underserved populations
- First generation college students
- Applicants that are Underrepresented Minorities in Medicine
- CDU PA program reapplicants
- CDU PA program reapplicants who were previously interviewed
- Applicants that are current students or alumni of CDU
- Personal interviews are required for admission and will be offered to the most qualified applicants
- Interviews are conducted between September and December
- If admitted, matriculation into the program will be contingent upon:
- Timely submission of intent to enroll and a deposit of $300.
- Successful completion of pending prerequisites by May 30th
- Pending prerequisite grade requirement of B or higher
- Completion of any special stipulations for transfer credits/advanced placement
- All candidates must be able to independently, with or without reasonable accommodation, meet our program-specific technical standards of general and specific abilities and behavioral and social attributes, and continue to meet these standards throughout the entirety of their program. The technical standards have been developed in consideration of the demands of didactic and clinical training in graduate health sciences and clinical practice as a physician assistant.
- Successful completion of background check, drug screen, health, and immunization records
- Current Health Insurance
- OSHA and HIPAA training
- Mandatory attendance of CDU and PA program orientation in August
Please visit our admissions FAQ page for more information.
For additional information, please contact CDU Office of Enrollment at (323) 563-4800 or you may contact the Graduate Admissions Office at email@example.com or call (323) 563-4839.
The Charles R. Drew University Physician Assistant program does not accept previous experience or medical training for advanced placement, except for transfer students from other US-based PA programs on a limited, case-by-case basis. Transfer students from other PA programs must have completed the entire pre-clinical didactic phase at their PA program and may be required to complete additional didactic courses at CDU. No credit will be awarded for any Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (SCPE) completed at other institutions. Students will be required to complete all assigned clinical courses through the CDU PA Program. Transfer students will also be required to complete the last didactic semester (Year 3, Semester 1) at CDU. Requests for transfer should be directed to the PA Program Director.
International Student Applicants
We do not require a separate application or additional fee for international applicants. Students applying to the Physician Assistant program should be prepared to meet all of the admissions requirements as outlined above.
Application Requirements for all applicants submitting coursework outside of the USA:
- Coursework completed outside the US must be evaluated for US course equivalency from one of the following services (course-by-course evaluation required):
- World Education Services (WES)
- Josef Silny & Associates (JSA)
- Global Credential Evaluators (GCE)
- International Education Research Foundation (IERF)
- Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI)
- American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, International Education Service (AACRAO IES)
If you need assistance with immigration (I-20 form, F-1 visa, SEVIS, etc.), our Office of International Affairs will be able to assist you. You can contact CDU’s Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) and Director, Office of International Affairs Dr. Lejeune Lockett firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 357-3458.
The Charles R. Drew University Physician Assistant program is committed to the principles of equal opportunity in education. In accordance with the Charles R. Drew University equal opportunity policy, the Physician Assistant program makes admission decisions based on merit. University policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, actual or perceived gender identity, national origin or ancestry, citizenship status, uniformed service member status, marital status, pregnancy, age, genetic information, medical condition (cancer or HIV/AIDS-related), handicap, disability, association with an individual in a protected category or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws. All students are expected to relate professionally and positively with persons of all backgrounds, cultures, races, ages, and genders.