Top 10 Physician Assistant (PA) Schools That Accept Low GPA 2023

Last Updated on December 20, 2022

As a matter of fact, getting into a Physician Assistant (PA) school is not an easy task, and participation in the competitive process is really difficult. Also, a fear of how their low GPA would affect your acceptance into the PA school. But don’t worry; there are actually PA schools that accept low GPAs. In this article, we have listed PA schools with low GPA and their requirements.

PA Schools That Accept Low GPA

A low GPA is probably the hardest area to improve, and your GPA is often the limiting factor to whether or not you should apply to a PA school.

If you don’t have a high GPA but want to attend a PA school, then consider this list of Physician Assistant PA schools that accept low GPA.

So, relax and continue reading because this article will give you a full discourse on how you can get into PA School with a low GPA and their requirements.

What Is A GPA?

A GPA in full is grade point average, which is a number showing the average value of the accumulated final grades earned in courses. More commonly called a GPA.

However, a student’s grade point average is calculated by adding up all accumulated final grades and dividing that figure by the number of grades awarded.

When you’re enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s program, your GPA is easily one of the most important numbers to monitor because it shows how well or how high you scored in your courses.

Why Do Physician Assistant (PA) Schools Require GPA?

GPA is really the only metric or calculation showing how good a student is, and whether you’ve been doing well during the degree program.

This number is used to assess whether you meet the standards and expectations set by the degree program or university.

Furthermore, you maybe ask to provide your GPA in certain situations during your bachelor’s or master’s degree program in any PA school.

For example, when applying for a scholarship, joining an organization or club, doing extracurricular activities, and applying for graduate or post-graduate program (Master’s, PhD.)

NOTE: Whatever the case is, your GPA is not an absolute sign of your worth as a student or whether you are smart enough for college.

What Is A Low GPA For PA Schools?

Many PA schools have a limit for GPAs below 3.0. The average GPA at most pa schools is between 3.6 and 3.8.

But it is important to know where you stand and what you need to do to gain an interview to a PA program. The minimum GPA required for most schools is 3.0 (both overall and science), with some being slightly higher or lower.

In addition, the admission procedure for pa schools is extremely competitive. PA School students have to work hard and strive to achieve a good GPA score to be included in a top-notch program.

Can I Still Go To PA School With A Low GPA?

Admission to a pa school with a low GPA is more common than you think. However, this does not mean that you should feel bad because you are not going to a high school.

Admission into pa school with a low GPA requires persistence and determination to outperform the opportunities.

Like a lot of students who have been in your position before having a low GPA and still attend a pa school and they are successful in the industry.

Besides, if you can show the approval team during your interview that despite your low GPA levels, you have what it takes, then they are ready to consider you.

How to Go About a Low GPA When Applying To PA Schools?

Before you continue bothering yourself and give up, here are ways how to go about your low GPA when applying to a pa school.

Gain High Scores on GRE

While there are more PA programs that don’t require the GRE many programs look at your application holistically.

Therefore, scoring higher on the GRE, MCAT, or other standardized test scores can only improve your chances of being accepted.

Apply To Programs That Accept Low GPA Because They Look At Application

This means while your GPA should meet minimum requirements, having more direct patient care experience or scoring higher on standardized tests improve the possibility of you being accepted.

Direct Patient Experience

Many PA programs with low GPA requirements state that you have a minimum amount of direct patient care while the specific number may vary from 200 to 2,000.

 Therefore, having direct patient care experience is a great way to overcome low grades.

List of PA Schools with Low GPA Requirement

Every school is looking for something special for its applicants. Even if you’re below your medium GPA, it doesn’t mean you can’t get in. Something else in your application may spark your interest.

So, after thorough research, we came up with some of the best pa schools with low GPA requirements.

  1. Marquette University
  2. The George Washington University
  3. A.T. Still University of Health Sciences
  4. South University
  5. Barry University
  6. Midwestern University
  7. Missouri State University
  8. Loma Linda University
  9. University of Utah
  10. Western University of Health Sciences

1. Marquette University

Marquette University is a private Jesuit research university in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Established by the Society of Jesus as Marquette College on August 28, 1881.

The Physician Assistant Studies at Marquette combines the school’s Jesuit tradition of caring for the whole person with the ideals of concern for the spiritual, emotional, and physical development of the individual.

Also, Marquette takes into consideration the total and science GPAs, and the quantity and performance in science coursework. Other selection factors include a personal interview and a knowledge of the PA profession and its role in health care.

Each year, the PA program accepts roughly split 50/50 between Marquette undergraduate students and external candidates from 55 students. So, here are some admissions requirements:

  • Submission of the completed application to the CASPA
  • GRE scores
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • 3.0 GPA
  • Minimum of 200 hours of patient contact and other health care experience
  • In addition, the minimum GPA score as calculated by CASPA is 3.0

2. The George Washington University

George Washington University is a private research university in Washington, D.C. It was chartered in 1821 by an act of the United States Congress.

However, George Washington University teaches a superior academic foundation also offer an abundance of clinical experience.

The Physician Assistant Program has been nationally recognized as the #3 PA Program in the United States by U.S. News and World Report.

Also, it introduces students to health care and social services through an innovative curriculum and a different community service component.

The admission requirement at GWU is a GRE score, 3.0 GPA (Cumulative and Science), 1,000 hours of direct patient care experience, two letters of recommendation, and official transcripts.

In addition, the school requires prerequisite coursework in the last ten years in Anatomy and Physiology, chemistry, psychology, and statistics. Also, the minimum GPA is 3.0.

3. A.T. Still University of Health Sciences

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) is a private medical school based in Kirksville, Missouri, founded in 1892. It was the world’s first osteopathic medical school.

The courses and curriculum of the Advanced Masters in Physician Assistant Studies are designed to broaden the clinical knowledge and skill level of practising physician assistants.

However, the key topics include ethical issues, health care delivery systems, and evidence-based medicine, and clinical research design.

ATSU states that applicants must be a licensed or certified physician assistant before applying for the Advanced Physician Assistant Studies program.

The requirement is you must graduate from ARC-PA accredited PA program, official transcripts, and a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

The minimum GPA for A.T. Still University of Health Sciences is 2.50 (Overall and PA Program).

4. South University

Founded in 1899, South University is a private university with its main campus in Savannah, Georgia, United States. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Accreditation of Colleges and Universities.

However, The Physician Assistant (MS) at South University offers courses that concentrate on the fundamental medical concepts and theories in the key functions of physician assistants, which are evaluation, monitoring, diagnostics, counseling, Therapeutics, and referral.

Also, the PA program admission requirement for the south university include:

  • 3.0 GPA (overall and Biology-Chemistry-Physics)
  • GRE scores (preference will be given to those with GRE scores at the 50th percentile or above)
  • One reference from a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner whom you have worked with or shadowed
  • The minimum GPA for south university is 3.0 (Overall and Science).

5. Barry University

Barry University is a private Catholic university in Miami Shores, Florida. Founded in 1940 by the Adrian Dominican Sisters.

It is one of the largest Catholic universities in the Southeast and is within the territory of the Archdiocese of Miami.

However, the Physician Assistant Program at Barry educates students in the practice of collaborative medicine and encourages lifelong learning and professional development.

Also, it promotes a technology-rich environment and clinical training experiences to help different patient populations.

In addition, the admission requirements of Barry university require you to complete this General/ Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Microbiology.

Also, submit these: 3.0 GPA (cumulative and science), GRE scores, official transcripts, and evidence of experience in health care is highly recommended, and the minimum GPA for Barry university is 3.0 (Overall and science).

6. Midwestern University

Founded in 1900, Midwestern University (MWU) is a private graduate medical and professional school with a main campus in Downers Grove, Illinois, and an additional campus in Glendale, Arizona.

Furthermore, Midwestern university teaches the skills you need in becoming a vital member of the health care team.

The Physician Assistant Program is taught by caring faculty experts who will prepare you to apply evidence-based medicine and compassionate decision making to benefit a diverse community of patients.

Also, The student-centered curriculum and clinical experiences teach you how you can become a competent, caring physician assistant and the minimum GPA is 3.0.

The admission requirement of Midwestern University is:

  • 3.0 GPA (cumulative and science)
  • GRE scores
  • Completion of prerequisite courses.

7. Missouri State University

Missouri State University, formerly Southwest Missouri State University, is a public university in Springfield, Missouri. Founded in 1905.

However, Missouri State University designed the physician assistant studies for full-time students to complete in as little as two years, also strives to fully prepare you for success on the national certification exam through:

  • Clinical experiences at every stage of the program
  • Small student-faculty ratio
  • Individualized attention
  • State-of-the-art facilities

The program teaches the intellectual and interpersonal skills needed by physician assistants, through the rigorous curriculum and mentorship with experienced faculty.

In addition, the PA program admission requirement at Missouri state which is through the CASPA include 3.0 GPA, three letters of recommendation, and GRE / MCAT scores.

You can also read this 25 Top Medical School that accept Low GPAs

8. Loma Linda University

Loma Linda University is a Seventh-day Adventist health sciences university in Loma Linda, California. Established in 1905.

However, the Physician Assistant Program teaches primary care physician assistants to provide health care in collaboration with physicians as active members of a health care team.

Also, this program is designed specifically to teach compassion for the whole person and to provide quality health care for under-served communities locally and globally.

Furthermore, While all bachelor’s degrees are acceptable, a strong science background is encouraged. Also, the pa program admissions requirements at Loma Linda university includes:

  • 3.0 GPA (cumulative and science)
  • Prerequisite courses in science and general education (C- grades are not accepted)
  • 2,000 hours of hands-on patient care experience prior to enrollment
  • Three letters of recommendation

9. University of Utah

Established February 28, 1850. The University of Utah is a public research university in Salt Lake City, Utah. As the state’s public flagship institution and top-tier research university.

The Physician Assistant Program at Utah is committed to train PAs who will be prepared to meet the challenges of providing high-quality care to patients in medically underserved and rural communities. Also, one of the pa programs in the country.

In addition, the program has refined its curriculum and format to give a blend of didactic and clinical training to provide hands-on experience in the field.

The admissions requirements for the PA program at Utah include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • 3.0 GPA (though 2.7 GPAs are considered)
  • 2,000 hours of health care experience, with at least one year of full-time equivalent
  • Prerequisite courses (such as Human Anatomy and Human Physiology)

10. Western University of Health Sciences

Established in 1977, Western University of Health Sciences is a private non-profit university with its main campus in Pomona, California.

Basically, the Physician Assistant Studies meets the increasing need for PAs as valued and vital members of the health care team.

The two-year program prepares students to show:

  • Competency in established and developing medical and clinical sciences
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Effective, patient-centred, and compassionate care
  • Critical analysis, evaluation, and improved patient care to a diverse patient population

In addition, as with the other PA programs that admit a low GPA, the admissions requirements for the PA program at Western include the fact that you need to have got a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.


Carefully reading through this article, you can see that there are schools that can admit you regardless of how low your GPA is. So, all that you need to do is to show them how you possess impressive skills that qualify you to be a student of the PA schools listed above.

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