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The admission process is highly selective. Applicants are considered for an interview if they meet the minimum GPA requirements, they have observed/shadowed a physician assistant (no minimum hours required) AND if they demonstrate at least two of the following program admission preferences listed below. The listed preferences are weighted equally in no particular order:

  • Direct patient care experience characterized as moderate or high level
  • Direct patient care experience >500 hours
  • Work experience hours >500 hours
  • Community service/mission work >250 hours
  • Intercollegiate or extracurricular leadership activities 1 year
  • Graduate degree earned in any discipline
  • Military or veteran service
  • Graduate from The University of Tampa

The tabs below discuss each of the preferences in more detail when applicable. Applicants who meet the criteria above as determined by graduate admissions will have their file forwarded to the program for review. The program faculty will select those to interview from the forwarded pool of files based on a holistic review of the applicant's CASPA application. The PA program strongly encourages applicants to learn more about the program by signing up for a live virtual information session.

Sign Up for a Virtual Information Session

The University of Tampa has applied for provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). UT anticipates matriculating its first class in August 2019, pending achieving Accreditation – Provisional status at the March 2019 ARC-PA meeting.

Accreditation – Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA standards or when a program holding Accreditation – Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

If UT’s program fails to receive provisional accreditation at the March 2019 ARC-PA meeting, it will not matriculate a class in August 2019 and any deposit paid by accepted students will be refunded. For more information, visit ARC-PA Accreditation.

Timeline and Application

Submit an application to CASPA May-October the year prior to enrollment...
  • Timeline
    • Submit application to CASPA May-October the year prior to enrollment.
    • Interviews are held October through November the year prior to enrollment.
    • Admission occurs the following August.
  • Application
    • Apply through CASPA (Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants) by Oct. 1. (CASPA opens in May.) See CASPA FAQs for details on how to ensure application is complete.
    • A supplemental application is not required.
    • Pay CASPA application fee.
    • Personal interviews are offered to the most qualified applicants and are required for admission; meeting minimum qualifications will not guarantee selection for an interview.
    • The urine drug screen and level 2 criminal background check are a requirement for all admitted students into the PA program. Any student admitted into the program is on the condition that the student can provide evidence of a successful screening. Any positive result on the drug screen or felony conviction will be reviewed by the PA program director. Applicants with felony convictions will not be accepted for admission due to the inability to place them into clinical rotation experiences equivalent to their peers.

Letters of Reference

Submit three letters of recommendations from faculty, coaches, employers...
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from faculty, coaches, employers, patients or health care providers with whom the student has shadowed/worked.
  • No letters from immediate family members will be accepted.

Minimum GPA

Minimum undergraduate and prerequisite GPA...
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA: 3.0
  • Minimum prerequisite GPA: 3.2
  • Graduate GPA will replace undergraduate GPA for applicants who have earned a graduate degree.


The GRE is not required for application or admission...
  • The GRE is not required for application or admission.
  • The MCAT is not required for application or admission.

Bachelor's Degree Requirements

A completed degree from a regionally accredited institution or an...
  • A completed degree from a regionally accredited institution, or an equivalent institution as determined by UT is required.
  • Applicants educated outside the U.S. and Canada must have their transcript reviewed by the UT admissions team. In certain instances, the admissions team may require an independent certification of the degree by a transcript evaluation service. Applicants may apply before they have completed their bachelor’s degree; however, the degree must be earned by July 1 of the entering year, and the cumulative undergraduate GPA must reflect the required minimum 3.0 or better.

Prerequisite Courses

Coursework must be completed...

Prerequisite Courses

Applicants must earn a "C" or better in prerequisite courses, which must be completed through a regionally accredited institution. In general, AP and CLEP courses are not accepted; however AP general biology and general chemistry will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Generally, an additional biology or chemistry course grade will be substituted for the AP/CLEP course in the prerequisite GPA calculations. Science courses greater than five years old from the date of graduation will not be accepted, unless the applicant has been employed or has participated in a health care/science position during the last five years. Applicants may have no more than two outstanding prerequisites as of October of the year of application (2018) and must complete outstanding prerequisites by the end of the spring term of the admission year (2019), earning at least a “C” or grade necessary to maintain or exceed a prerequisite GPA of 3.2 or greater.

Prerequisite science courses:

  • Two general biology with lab
  • One microbiology with lab
  • Two human anatomy and physiology with lab (can be one semester anatomy and one semester physiology or combined anatomy and physiology courses)
  • Two general chemistry with lab
  • One statistics (not a lab science)

Recommended additional courses (prefer lab courses when applicable):

  • Medical terminology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Organic chemistry
  • Educational/psychology or biostatistics
  • The following table indicates which UT courses meet these prerequisites. Applicants are NOT required to take the prerequisite courses at UT.
  • UT utilizes CollegeTransfer.Net to provide students information about how their courses might compare to the current UT courses.
  • Prerequisite

    UT Course

    General biology with lab: two courses

    BIO 198, BIO 198L, BIO 199, BIO 199L

    Microbiology with lab: one course

    BIO 307, BIO 307L

    Anatomy and physiology with lab: two courses

    HSC 230, HSC 234, HSC 231, HSC 235

    General chemistry with lab: two courses

    CHE 152, CHE 153L, CHE 154, CHE 155L

    Statistics: one course

    Any one of the following:

    HSC 350, SOC 355, MAT 201, CRM 240, PSY 211, BIO 230

    Direct Patient Care Experience

    Competitive applicants will...
    • Direct patient care is not required; however, competitive applicants will have a minimum of 500 hours of hands-on patient care experience.
    • Preference will be given to applicants having experience that required a period of training and resulted in direct (hands-on) patient care, such as work as an EMT, paramedic, nurse, respiratory therapy, ER technician, physical therapy aide, clinical psychologist, corpsman (Navy), medic (Army), medical assistant, certified nurse assistant, occupational therapy assistant, scribe or X-ray technician.
    • The following categories can serve as a guide when gauging the quality of an applicant's health care experience. This is not an exhaustive list; there are other forms of direct patient care experience.

      Slight patient care experience: medical interpreter, medical volunteer, neonatal intensive care unit volunteer, patient transport, patient coordinator, pharmacy technician, personal/fitness trainer, shadowing, veterinarian technician.

      Minimal patient care experience: chiropractic assistant, dental assistant, dietician, health professions student (practicum), ICU technician, lab technician, lactation specialist, living assistant/home health aide, medical mission work, mental health counselor, phlebotomist, physical therapist assistant, polysomnographic technician, telemetry technician.

      Moderate patient care experience: anesthesia technician, athletic trainer, dental hygienist, EMT with paid and volunteer experience, licensed practical nurse (LPN), medical assistant (CMA), nursing assistant (CNA), ophthalmic technician, optometrist technician, orthopedic surgeon assistant, oncology technician, patient care technician, pulmonary technologist, radiology technician, respiratory technician, scribe.

      High level patient care experience: chiropractor, physician (M.D./D.O.), paid foreign medical graduate, paid registered nurse (RN), paramedic, pharmacist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, veteran with medical experience

    Physician Assistant Observation/Shadowing

    Observation of a PA...
    • Physician assistant observation is required. There are no minimum hours required; however, competitive applicants will have observed a PA for as many hours as necessary to demonstrate that they are knowledgeable of the role of the PA.
    • Observation of a PA does not count as direct patient care experience.

    Life Experiences Indicating Maturity

    Examples of life experiences...

    Competitive applicants will demonstrate life experience(s) that indicate maturity, such as:

    • Service in the military/veteran status
    • Full time employment while completing higher education
    • Graduate degree
    • Intercollegiate athletics/dance/band and/or other extracurricular leadership activities such as fraternity/sorority leadership positions, student government leadership/committee chair or other club leadership
    • Multiple community service or mission trips
    • Direct patient care, with higher preference given to those who have been a licensed health care professional

    Advanced Placement

    The PA program does not...
    • The PA program does not offer advanced placement for students with prior graduate or doctoral work.
    • The program does not accept transfer students or provide credit for experiential learning.
    • The program does not give credit for prior student experience working in the health care field.
    • All incoming students will take all the courses outlined in the program curriculum.

    Foreign Medical Graduates

    Per Florida statute...
    • Per Florida statute 458.347 section 6 a, b and c, a physician assistant program may admit unlicensed physicians, as authorized in subsection 7, who are graduates of foreign medical schools listed with the World Health Organization.
    • The unlicensed physician must have been a resident of this state (Florida) for a minimum of 12 months immediately prior to admission to the program.
    • Advanced academic credit/transfer credit will not be granted to foreign medical graduates.
    • Transcripts will be evaluated to determine if prerequisite coursework requirements have been met. In some instances, the applicant may be required to complete additional prerequisites.
    • Foreign medical graduates must complete the same application process as any other applicant to be considered for interview or admission.


    Official scores...
    • Official TOEFL/IELTS scores will be required of all applicants who have not earned a baccalaureate degree or graduate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university.
    • TOEFL/IELTS scores will not be required if the official language of the country in which the education took place or the predominant language of the degree-granting institution is English.
    • Official and valid TOEFL/IELTS scores must be submitted and received by the Oct. 1 application deadline. PDF score report copies received at the time of testing or in the mail are not considered an official score report.
    • TOEFL/IELTS scores are valid for two years prior to the intended August enrollment.
    • The minimum scores for all graduate programs is a 90 on the TOEFL and a 6.5 on the IELTS.

    Admission Interview

    Applicants are considered for an interview...
    • Interviews are required for admission.
    • Applicants are considered for an interview based on the strength of their CASPA application, including a review of their academic preparation, health care experience and life experience indicating maturity.
    • During the interview process, the applicant will be provided with and asked to acknowledge their agreement to follow the AAPA Code of Ethics and the PA Program Social Media and Professionalism policies.
    • Applicants will be provided with the technical standards of admission at the time of interview and are expected to meet these standards upon admission.
    • The PA program has adopted the multiple mini interview (MMI) process in addition to the traditional interview. The MMI consists of a series of short, carefully timed interview scenario/questions. Scenarios aim to draw multiple samples of applicants' ability to think on their feet, critically appraise information, communicate ideas and explore professional reasoning. Applicants will complete a circuit of 10, 10-minute mini interview stations, rotating from station to station. At each station, candidates will have two minutes to read a scenario or question. Candidates then have eight minutes to respond to the scenario, discussing it with a trained rater. For more information about the MMI, follow these links:
    • Interview dates are tentatively scheduled for the following (Mondays): Oct. 8, Oct. 15, Nov. 5, Nov. 12, Nov. 19 and Dec. 3, 2018.
    • Professional dress is expected during interview day.

    Acceptance Process

    After the interview...
    • After the interview, the selection committee will review all applicant materials and interview performance to choose the final cohort as well as alternates for admission.
    • An offer of acceptance will be sent to the applicant once approved by the PA program director and dean.
    • Applicants will be given three weeks to accept the offer of admission to the program and must remit a non-refundable fee of $300 applied toward tuition.
    • Acceptance is conditional upon completing the following:
      1. Completion of any outstanding prerequisites with a grade of “C” or better (or grade required to maintain a minimum of 3.2 prerequisite GPA).
      2. Passing the criminal background check. Criminal convictions of any nature may create difficulty placing the student in clinical rotations, as well as potentially resulting in ineligibility for the national board examination and licensing in many states. It is the student’s responsibility to address any such issues and determine the continued viability of their program candidacy. Refer to NCCPA and Florida Board of Medicine for further information. Applicants with felony convictions will not be admitted due to the inability to place them into clinical rotation experiences equivalent to their peers.
      3. Passing the urine drug screen. Positive drug screens may create difficulty placing the student in clinical rotations, as well as potentially resulting in ineligibility for the national board examination and licensing in many states. It is the student’s responsibility to address any such issues and determine the continued viability of their program candidacy. Please refer to NCCPA and Florida Board of Medicine for further information.
      4. Completion of all required immunizations. Required immunizations will be published annually and updated based on the CDC recommendations for health care workers and the individual requirements of the clinical sites the program uses for site placement.
      5. Completion of AHA BLS Certification.
      6. Completion of physical examination that includes an acknowledgement that the candidate meets the technical standards for admission.
      7. Completion of any outstanding paperwork/transcripts required by UT's Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

    Technical Standards

    The technical standards set forth by...

    The technical standards set forth by UT’s PA program establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students to achieve the knowledge, skills and competencies of an entry-level physician assistant. The following essential function requirements must be met by all students after acceptance in order to enroll in or complete the PA program. Following their acceptance into the PA program, students are required to verify that they understand and meet these technical standards or that they believe that, with certain accommodations, they can meet the standards.

    1. Observation: Students must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments required by the PA curriculum and be able to participate in such with adequate vision and other sensory modalities, including the senses of hearing and smell. A student must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand.
    2. Communication: Students must be able to speak intelligibly and to hear sufficiently to affect an adequate exchange of information with patients, family members and other health professionals. A student must be able to read and write English effectively in order to fulfill academic requirements and to maintain accurate clinical records on patient care.
    3. Motor: Students are required to possess motor skills sufficient to elicit independently information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other manually based diagnostic procedures. Students should be able to conduct laboratory tests (urinalysis, CBC, etc.), carry out diagnostic procedures (paracentesis, etc.) and provide basic medical care (clearing the airway, placing catheters, controlling bleeding, simple obstetrical maneuvers, etc.) in the general care environment, and coordinate fine and gross muscular movements to treat patients in emergency situations. Emergency situations include any circumstance in which a patient experiences either a physical or a mental medical event requiring immediate remedy.
    4. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include an aptitude for rapid problem solving, the capability to access and interpret medical files independently, evaluate physical examinations, and formulate a logical diagnosis and effective medical treatment plan. Students must possess good judgment in patient assessment and the abilities to incorporate new information, comprehend three-dimensional relationships and retain and recall pertinent information in a timely fashion.
    5. Behavioral and Social Attributes: Students must possess the physical and emotional health required for the application of his/her intellectual abilities and the employment of sound judgment in an appropriate and prompt manner. Students must be able to function effectively under physically taxing workloads, and in times of physical and mental stress. Students must display compassion, sensitivity and concern for others, and maintain professional integrity at all times.

    These five areas of enumerated skills and abilities are the minimum attributes required of applicants for admission to the PA program and of students who are candidates for graduation. The PA program is committed to meeting the special needs of students within established legal and institutional guidelines. However, the integrity of the PA curriculum, and the required mental and physical capabilities to fulfill the obligation of that education, must be sustained. Therefore, the program has set the following as disqualifying for admission: the inability to complete the skills required for certification in BLS, ACLS and/or PALS, and the inability to complete the five skills listed above required to perform a head-to-toe physical examination within the allotted time. We encourage applicants to consider these requirements when applying to our program. For questions concerning the technical standards or requesting accommodations, contact disability services at