Applying to the MS in Physician Assistant Studies Program

2021 Incoming Students Profile


Mean Cumulative GPA


Mean Prerequisite GPA


Mean Patient Care Hours


In-State/Out-of-State Students

What makes a competitive applicant?

The program takes a holistic approach to admissions. That means during the student selection process we consider a combination of GPA, relevant work experience, volunteerism, etc., in addition to the interview (if offered). Admissions and enrollment practices do not favor specified individuals or groups.

Factors that the admission committee values in their selection process:

  • Your previous accomplishments
  • Diverse life experiences, for example, participation in Peace Corps, Teach for America, or similar post-graduate experience
  • Volunteer work
  • International medical outreach
  • Licensed or certified in a health-related field 
  • Unique leadership positions
  • Research experience
  • Applicants with cultural diversity and humility as an individual displayed via application
  • Science and cumulative GPA

To further evaluate these traits, we consider:

  • If you grew up in an underserved community (rural or small town).
  • Whether you are a first-generation college student.
  • If you grew up in a single-family household in the first 12 years of life.
  • If you aim to practice in rural South Carolina upon graduation.
  • The total number of direct patient care hours you have completed.
  • Your military service or if you are a veteran.
  • Whether a language other than English is/was spoken in your home.
  • If you are fluent in a second language. Whether you have significant life experience.
  • Whether you are a non-traditional student.
  • Any significant athletic, artistic, leadership achievement or community involvement after completion of high school (demonstrating your ability to manage many demanding roles at once).
  • If you have a post-baccalaureate degree (master’s degree, doctoral degree, or similar).
  • If you worked more than 20 hours weekly while in school.

Admission Requirements

Beginning the 2022 admission cycle, the program will no longer require any standardized test for admission, including the GRE and PA-CAT.

  • Completion of a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university by the time of matriculation. A minimum cumulative GPA* and prerequisite course GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required for consideration. *Note: this program calculates cumulative GPA without forgiveness. All courses will be counted. If you took a course more than once, all grades would be counted.
  • Complete 34 hours of prerequisite coursework at a regionally accredited college or university. A minimum of 30 hours must be completed by the application deadline. The remaining four (4) hours must be completed by matriculation. In-person and online courses are accepted. (See course list below).

  • Three references from individuals who know you and your abilities. Ideally, the references should come from a healthcare provider, science professor and/or someone who has seen the applicant interact with patients.

  • Complete an application through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).

  • Complete the MUSC application.

  • Submit a resume and personal statement explaining why you are interested in being a physician assistant via CASPA

  • Patient care hours are not required but recommended. Competitive applicants have 1000 hours or more. View our FAQs for what qualifies as patient care hours.

  • Meet the Technical Standards required for enrollment. The MUSC Division of Physician Assistant Studies will consider for admission and/or continuation any applicant who meets its academic and nonacademic criteria and who demonstrates the ability to perform skills and meet the Technical Standards listed below, with or without reasonable accommodations, consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. If you have any questions about this document or whether you meet the standards as described above, please contact the MUSC Office of EEO and University Accessibility Services.

Note: There will be no waivers or exceptions to any admissions requirements or prerequisite courses.

Prerequisite Courses

  Semester Hours
Statistics or Biostatistics 3
Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry 3
General Chemistry - includes lab 8
Biology - includes lab 4
Human Anatomy - includes lab* 4
Human Physiology - includes lab* 4
Microbiology - includes lab 4
Medical Terminology + 
Psychology +

Total 34
  • *Combined Anatomy and Physiology courses are accepted; however, you MUST take Anatomy and Physiology I and II to fulfill the separate Anatomy and Physiology requirements, including labs.

  • + Medical Terminology course cannot be a continuing education course (ex. certificate courses, Continuing Education Units (CEUs). You must receive a letter grade of C or higher for this course. 

  • + The Psychology prerequisite can be met by Introduction to Psychology or a higher-level psychology course.

  • View Frequently Approved Prerequisites. To speak with an admissions specialist about your coursework or request an unofficial transcript evaluation, please call 843-792-2536 or email MUSC Office of Enrollment Management (OEM) offers unofficial transcript evaluations from March 1st to June 30th.
  • Courses can only be applied towards the prerequisite requirement if a grade of "C" or higher was earned. A prerequisite course may be retaken, and the highest grade will be used to calculate the prerequisite GPA. Note: both grades will be reflected in the cumulative GPA.

  • Prerequisite courses must be fulfilled by separate individual courses. 
  • Survey courses or courses for which a letter or number grade is not awarded (e.g., Pass/Fail, CLEP credit, AP credit, Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory, etc.) will not meet prerequisite requirements. Note: If your institution awarded ONLY P/F grading between January 1, 2020, and September 1, 2020, please contact for more information.
  • All prerequisite coursework MUST be completed within the 10 years prior to the application deadline. See our FAQs for more information.
  • We do not accept advanced placement, transfer of credit or credit for experiential learning. Applicants do not receive credit for previous coursework and/or experience.
  • Dual enrollment courses are accepted for prerequisite courses so long as the course appears on your college transcripts.

Application Process

  1. Complete the Centralized Application Service Physician Assistant (CASPA). Opens April 28, 2022. The following application items are submitted via CAPSA.
    • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended for all college credit courses.
    • Resume
    • Three References
    • Personal Statement
  2. Complete the MUSC application. Opens July 1.

Note: All above information must be received and verified on or before September 1 to be considered for admission to the program. Without all materials, applications will be incomplete. It is the applicant's responsibility to review the progress of his/her application by viewing the Application Progress Portal and ensure that all application materials (including official reference forms, and all official transcripts are received by the application deadline). Applicants are responsible for reviewing the progress of their CASPA application on the CASPA website.

Important Application Dates

April 28 CASPA Application Opens

July 1 MUSC Application Opens

Sep 1 Applications & Materials Due (CASPA must be verified)

September - November Interviews take place

November - December Admissions Offers Made

Late May Orientation & Classes Start

Interview Process and Program Acceptance

Only completed applications will be reviewed for consideration for an interview. Interviews are typically held between September and November of each year. The program aims to provide acceptance decisions (acceptance, waitlist or denial letters) by the beginning of November.

Due to the nature of our interview process, no alternate interview dates will be offered. Interviews may be conducted in-person on the MUSC campus or virtually.

If selected for an interview the applicant will be notified of the interview process as the dates approach.

International Students

MUSC’s PAS degree program only accepts applications from U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or those holding other valid nonimmigrant visa classifications that allow participation in lawful study while in the United States. We are unable to accept international students that require I-20 issuance.

*Review PA licensure requirements for your state here

Use of Marijuana and/or CBD Products

Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug and is illegal to purchase in South Carolina. Apart from a narrow and limited scope of codified/documented medical exceptions, it is illegal for individuals to use marijuana/tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in South Carolina. Although cannabidiol (CBD) products may be purchased and used in South Carolina, please be aware that CBD products may contain higher levels of THC than represented on packaging and use of CBD products can result in a positive drug screen for THC/marijuana. Be aware that current drug testing methods cannot accurately ascertain the origins of THC metabolites (i.e., whether from marijuana or CBD products). Your academic program has the authority to conduct random and/or scheduled drug testing; if your test result is reported as positive for THC metabolites (even if you only used a CBD product), your ability to be accepted into the program, progress in the program, and/or successfully complete the program may be negatively impacted.

Scholarship Eligibility

MUSC offers scholarships for which you may be eligible. Some are awarded based on academic achievement; others are awarded based on community service, for example. However, the majority of scholarships awarded at MUSC are based on financial need. This means those scholarships are only awarded to students who need some financial assistance to cover the cost of tuition and fees. If you would like to be considered for a financial need-based scholarship, you must have an up-to-date Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. Make sure you list Medical University of South Carolina on your FAFSA form, along with MUSC’s code: 003438. We encourage you to submit the FAFSA as early as possible. It is recommended to submit the FAFSA in January if you plan to enroll in the Fall.


Important Application Dates

Start Term Application Type Available Deadline
Summer 2024 CASPA Application April 28, 2023 September 1, 2023
(including transcript verification)
Summer 2024 MUSC Application July 1, 2023 September 1, 2023