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Admission Requirements

UT Southwestern offers an educational experience of the highest quality. For the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program, we set the bar high for our applicants.

Below is a list of prerequisite courses you will need before starting our program. All required science classes must be for science majors and include a laboratory component.

  • General Chemistry* – 8 Credit Hours
  • Genetics – 3 Credit Hours
  • Human Anatomy* – 4 Credit Hours
  • Human Physiology* – 4 Credit Hours
  • Microbiology* – 4 Credit Hours
  • Organic Chemistry* – 4 Credit Hours
  • Psychology – 3 Credit Hours
  • Statistics – 3 Credit Hours

* indicates courses that need to be for science majors and must have a lab

Recommended Electives

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular Biology
  • Human Sexuality
  • Immunology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Pharmacology
  • Spanish

Special Notes About Prerequisites

Here are some important points to remember about prerequisite courses.

  • Time limits: All prerequisite courses must have been completed within the past 10 years from the date of anticipated matriculation.
  • Advanced placement: Except for courses that meet the University of Texas credit-transfer criteria, such as advanced placement or international baccalaureate credit awarded for undergraduate courses, we do not offer advanced student placement or waive required or department courses for applicants to the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program.
  • You must complete all required courses, even if you have taken related courses in another setting or hold a medical degree from another country.
  • Transcript review: Due to the number of applications received, we are unable to review transcript content for prospective applicants. All course requirements and prerequisites are as stated on the web page.
  • All prerequisite courses must be completed by the date the application is submitted.
  • Pass/Fail will not be accepted for prerequisite courses; all prerequisites will require a letter grade.

Pre-Admission Clinical Experience

Clinical experience that includes direct hands-on patient care is strongly recommended. Applicants should demonstrate evidence of completion of patient care experience prior to submitting the CASPA application. We do not require a minimum number of hours.

Examples of acceptable patient care experience include, but are not limited to: EMT, paramedic, nurse, scribe, medical assistant, CNA, ER tech, physical therapy aide, phlebotomist, pharmacy tech, clinical research assistant, etc. Student training experiences such as student nurse, student EMT, student athletic trainer, or other health care student training may be considered as clinical hours. Experiences such as student training, “shadowing,” laboratory testing with no patient contact, nonclinical research, lifeguard, or clerical work are not as valuable as hands-on clinical hours.

We encourage applicants to “shadow” a physician assistant to gain insight into the PA’s role, although this experience is not required. Evidence of community service in a health care setting (such as in a hospital or hospice, a clinic for underserved populations, or in the medical mission field) is highly valued.

Essential Functions

All individuals, including people with disabilities, who apply for admission to UT Southwestern School of Health Professions, much be able to perform specific essential functions, which differ depending upon the academic program.  Essential functions are the basic activities that a student must be able to perform to complete the program’s curriculum.  No applicant to programs in the UT Southwestern School of Health Professions who can perform the essential functions of the program for which he or she is applying – either with or without reasonable accommodations – will be denied consideration for admission.

Each UT Southwestern School of Health Professions degree candidate must be able to:

  1. Attend scheduled classes and laboratory sessions and be present for examination and testing.
  2. Travel to practicum sites and have mobility within and around the sites.
  3. Assimilate information presented via lecture, handouts, videos, discussions, computer, and/or other educational modalities.
  4. Complete assignments such as written assignments, oral presentations, class participation, examinations, and computer-based activities.
  5. Apply the assimilated information to appropriate clinical situations.
  6. Effectively communicate with patients/clients, their families, faculty, and other professionals using oral, telephonic, written, and computer modalities in private and group settings.
  7. Make effective use of learning resources at UT Southwestern and affiliated facilities.

In addition to essential functions for all degree candidates, each degree candidate in the Physician Assistant Studies Graduate Program must be able to:

  1. Participate in supervised clinical activities for extended periods of time, including rotations which require overnight call.
  2. Demonstrate sufficient vision to perform tasks such as (but not limited) wound care and skin lesion identification.
  3. Demonstrate sufficient hearing to perform auscultation of the heart and vessels, breath sounds, and abdominal sounds.
  4. Demonstrate sufficient upper and lower body strength, coordination, dexterity, and sensation to perform such activities as (but not limited to) prolonged standing, complete physical examination, and surgical and clinical procedures such as suturing, casting, venipuncture, emergency procedures, and Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support.
  5. Demonstrate sufficient problem solving skills to learn to make a differential diagnosis, establish appropriate treatment plans, determine effectiveness of those plans, and make appropriate modifications.
  6. Demonstrate professional demeanor and behavior; perform in an ethical manner in all dealings with peers, faculty, staff, and patients.