Admissions Requirements

Updated April, 2021

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 onereference 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 paadmissions@cdrewu.edu 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

English Composition

6

9

Behavioral Sciences

  • Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology

6

9

Medical Terminology

3

4.5

*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

Preferred Prerequisites

  • Cumulative and Science GPA of 3.0 
  • Prerequisite grades of B or higher
  • Direct patient care (DPC) experience of greater than 2,000 hours 
  • Organic chemistry with lab or biochemistry with lab
  • Spanish

 

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

Value Added

  • 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.

Interviews

  • Personal interviews are required for admission and will be offered to the most qualified applicants
  • Interviews are conducted between September and December

 

Pre-Matriculation Contingency

  • If admitted, matriculation into the program will be contingent upon:

    • Timely submission of intent to enroll and deposit
    • 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 admissionsinfo@cdrewu.edu or call (323) 563-4839.