Physician Assistant Program Admission Requirements

Graduate Competencies

Upon completion of the University of St. Francis Physician Assistant Program, graduates will be able to:

  • Perform an accurate and comprehensive history and physical examination for any patients of any age, in any health care setting
  • Describe the etiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestation, differential diagnoses, management and appropriate interventions of medical and surgical conditions
  • Apply evidence-based principles of medicine to accurately diagnose and manage acute and chronic diseases or emergent conditions
  • Plan and administer care that is effective, age-appropriate, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of wellness
  • Function effectively as a member of the healthcare team
  • Demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills for effective information exchange with patients, their patients’ families, physicians, professional associates, and the health care system
  • Possess interpersonal and communication skills that encompasses verbal, nonverbal and written exchange of information
  • Demonstrate cultural understanding and sensitivity in interactions with patients of diverse socioeconomic, ethnic, and alternative backgrounds
  • Facilitate patient referrals to appropriate specialty practices and community agencies
  • Use critical analysis skills to evaluate the medical literature and individual practice experiences in order to improve patient care practices
  • Recognize professional and personal limitations and exhibit a commitment to on-going professional development

Technical Standards

The University of St. Francis Physician Assistant program requires certain skills and professional behaviors that are essential for admission, promotion, graduation, and entry into the profession.  Candidates must have skills in the areas of observation, communication, motor, intellectual/critical thinking, interpersonal and behavior/social attributes.  Reasonable accommodation for persons with documented disabilities will be considered on an individual basis.  Students wishing to request accommodations for disabilities should contact the Office of Disability Services Administrator at 815-740-3204.

  1. Observation Skills:  The candidate/student must possess sufficient visual, auditory and tactile sensation to perceive appropriate information presented in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings (ie., observe patients accurately at a distance and close at hand).
  2. Communication Skills:  The candidate/student should be able to speak, to hear, and to observe patients in order to elicit information, describe mood, activity, posture, and to perceive nonverbal communications. The candidate/student must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written forms.
  3. Motor Skills:  The candidate/student should be able to perform inspection, auscultation and palpation techniques during physical exam. The candidate/student should be able to execute movements reasonably required to move from area to area, maneuver in small places, calibrate and use large and small equipment, position and move patients, and provide patients with general care and emergency treatment.
  4. Intellectual/Critical Thinking Skills:  The candidate/student must possess the ability to problem solve, which requires the intellectual abilities of measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis. The candidate/student must be able to read and understand medical literature.
  5. Interpersonal, Behavioral/Social Attributes:  The candidate/student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgement, the prompt completion of all academic and patient responsibilities, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients, their families, and members of the healthcare team.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Physician Assistant Studies program is extremely competitive, with approximately 34-40 students admitted to a cohort class. Our admission procedure considers a holistic view of each applicant. We look for applicants with demonstrated intellectual capacity, personal maturity, communication and interpersonal skills, as well as a desire to serve others and the profession.

Click here to review USF’s PA Program Admission Requirements

Please note: we now require that candidates must have CASPA science (BCP) GPA of 3.0 to apply.

Students are required to submit to a criminal background check and a urine drug testing in order to matriculate. The fees associated with the background check and drug testing are the responsibility of the student. Refusal to submit to the background check or drug screen will result in dismissal from the program.


The program’s admissions committee carefully reviews all applications. Selected candidates are invited to the program for personal interviews. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission, nor does it guarantee an interview. Candidates are evaluated based on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, academic achievement, references, personal interview, motivation and quality of health care experience. Our program accepts candidates on a rolling basis.

Apply For Admission

Applications for admission to the P.A. program must be made through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). To begin your application process, you should visit their website at USF application deadline is October 1. If you have any questions or need assistance with your application, call CASPA at 240-497-1895 to speak with CASPA’s customer service representatives.