How to Apply
Our application cycle for the class which will begin in May 2021 will open on April 30, 2020. You will not be able to start the application process until that date.
The application process consists of two parts. Carefully note the instructions below:
Sept. 1, 2020
UND Graduate School Application
Dec. 31, 2020
Degree Requirements Completed (Bachelor's degree or higher)*
Oct. 6, 8, 13, 15, 2020
Interview dates (subject to change)
Due to the nature of COVID-19, interviews will be virtual to support the health and safety of the campus.
Admission to the Physician Assistant Program within the School of Medicine & Health Sciences at the University of North Dakota is a competitive selection process. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee progression in the application process. Each applicant is reviewed individually and evaluated on his/her own merits. The Admission Committee considers the entire application without regard to gender, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital status or disability. Each candidate is evaluated based on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, academic strength and prior academic performance, completion of prerequisite coursework, quality of past health care experience, written personal statement, references, character, communication skills, demonstrated concern for others, and motivation for a career in medicine. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee progression in the application process.
Note: The University of North Dakota Physician Assistant Program does not accept transfer students from other PA programs. Advanced placement and transfer of credits is not allowed. CLEP (College Level Examination Programs) or "test out" courses are not accepted.
Part I: Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) - Deadline is September 1, 2020.
All applications are submitted online through CASPA. This will include:
- All transcripts from any academic or professional coursework, including coursework
that may be in-progress. All prerequisite coursework must be completed and published
to an official transcript by the application deadline of September 1. If your coursework
does not meet the published standards, please plan on applying when the requirements
are met in a future application cycle. In-progress coursework must be indicated on
transcripts sent to CASPA. CASPA will not reevaluate transcripts once the prerequisite
is completed. Consequently, applicants will need to send updated transcript(s) verifying
the completion of previously in-progress prerequisite coursework (postmarked by September
1) to the UND Graduate School.
- The UND DPAS recognizes that some applicants may be taking courses this semester which may be affected by COVID-19 pandemic. We strongly encourage a letter grade for all courses. However, given this unprecedented event, we will accept S/U courses in prerequisites taken in the spring/summer ’20 semesters if that grade was mandated by the school without student choice. Our admission process is a holistic review of your application including previous academic performance to determine success. Please provide rationale of S/U courses in your CASPA application under the custom questions section.
- Three strong professional letters of reference which should support a broad variety of combined past experiences. Examples of recommended experiences may include educational (academic advisor and/or faculty member), clinical (physician, PA and/or clinical supervisor), and personal attributes. Applicant may not use relatives or their proposed preceptor as references.
- Personal statement addressing the applicant’s aptitude, ability, dedication and commitment to meet the program’s mission to “prepare selected students to become competent physician assistants working collaboratively with physicians, emphasizing primary care in rural and/or underserved areas.”
- Provide a copy of their current health care license/certification (if applicable). Additional health care certifications and licenses may also be added.
- Documentation (i.e. letter from supervisor) verifying experience and total hours.
- Residence, Rural and Underserved History Form. This form will be uploaded to the UND Program-specific "Document" portion of the CASPA application. Word version of form: Residence, Rural and Underserved History Form. (In order to save your changes, it is recommended that you save the blank form to your computer BEFORE you begin completing it, rather than editing it within your browser).
- It is encouraged for you to apply with a primary care preceptor or clinical site.
Preference is given to applicants who apply with a sponsored clinical site or as a
team with a licensed physician (MD or DO) or physician assistant who is willing to serve
as the primary clinical preceptor to the student during the clinical portion of the
program. Medical practice must be in primary care/family medicine in a clinical setting
preferably in rural (<25,000 population) and/or underserved populations.
- Preceptor Profile . This form is completed by the primary care physician or physician assistant who will serve as preceptor during the clinical phases of your enrollment. Refer to Preceptor Information for specific preceptor criteria. This form may be filled out electronically or manually, then printed and signed by the preceptor. The preceptor then returns the form and their CV to the applicant. The applicant will upload the completed and signed preceptor profile to the UND Program-specific "Documents" portion of the CASPA application. Preceptor profiles should NOT be emailed or mailed. (In order to save your changes, it is recommended that you save the blank form to your computer BEFORE you begin completing it, rather than editing it within your browser).
- Clinical Site Profile. This form is completed by the facility willing to place you during your clinical phases of your enrollment. Refer to Preceptor Information for specific preceptor criteria. This form may be filled out electronically or manually, then printed and signed by the facility representative. The applicant will upload the completed and signed preceptor profile to the UND Program-specific "Documents" portion of the CASPA application. Clinical site profiles should NOT be emailed or mailed. (In order to save your changes, it is recommended that you save the blank form to your computer BEFORE you begin completing it, rather than editing it within your browser.)
- For students applying during or after the 2020 application cycle: Primary Preceptor Overview. This document provides further information for the potential preceptor/clinical site regarding program expectations and preceptor responsibilities.
Part II: Online application to the UND Graduate School. Deadline is September 1, 2020. There is a $35 application fee. References, transcripts, and your personal statement are NOT required with this application since they are submitted to CASPA. However, any transcript(s) verifying the completion of previously in-progress prerequisite coursework is required to be sent and postmarked by the September 1 deadline to the UND Graduate School.
*If your qualifying bachelor's degree (or higher) has not been conferred on your transcript sent to CASPA by September 1st, please note your degree MUST be completed by December 31. Once you have graduated, an official transcript showing the conferral of the degree must be sent and postmarked by February 1 to the UND School of Graduate Studies. Once it arrives, it will be scanned and attached to your UND Graduate School application. Do not send transcripts directly to the UND PA Program.
If you have questions about whether you need to send transcripts for recently completed in-progress coursework to the UND Graduate School, please review this Transcript FAQ.
- Completion of a successful interview.
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score submission required of all non-native speakers of English. Only the Internet Based Test (IBT) form of the TOEFL will be accepted. A total score of 93 and a speaking score of 26 are a prerequisite for entry into the program.
- The Physician Assistant Program of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences (UND SMHS) has a responsibility to society to graduate the best possible future Physician Assistants. All graduates of the Program must have knowledge, skills, and capacities to function in a wide variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. All applicants must be able to meet the program’s academic and technical standards as indicated on the program website. Please review Academic and Technical Standards for matriculation, promotion, and graduation.
Prior to Matriculation
- Students will be required to complete a Mandatory Immunizations and TB Screening Form through Student Health Services.
A Criminal Background Check is required of each student after acceptance into the program. The UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences has an agreement with Verified Credentials, Inc. to perform this check. The student is responsible for the cost of this service. (At present, the cost is $45). Upon acceptance into the program, the student will be given information on completing this requirement. Some health care institutions require this within one year of beginning the learning experience. If so, the student may be required to complete a second background check at their expense.
If a student declines to undergo criminal background check and health screening or if findings of a grievous nature are revealed, the offer of admission may be revoked. SMHS Criminal History Background Check Policy
Preference is given to applicants who apply with a sponsored clinical site or as a team with a licensed physician (MD or DO) or physician assistant who is willing to serve as the primary clinical preceptor to the student during the clinical portion of the program.
Preference is given to candidates whose core science coursework has been competed within 7 years of the application deadline. In addition, it is strongly encouraged that candidates update prerequisite science coursework older than 7 years.
North Dakota residents, as well as residents from the bordering states of Montana, Minnesota, and South Dakota, are given admission preference.
Applicants from rural (<25,000 population) or underserved populations are also awarded preference.
Please note that decisions of the Admission Committee are not appealable and acceptance into the UND PA Program and successful completion of the program does not imply or guarantee that the student will be able to pass the national certification exam or obtain state licensure upon graduation.