How to Apply
Our application cycle for the class starting in May 2022 opened April 29, 2021.
The application process consists of two parts. The GRE is currently not required. Carefully note the instructions below.
|Sept. 1, 2021||
UND Graduate School Application
|Dec. 31, 2021||
Degree Requirements Completed (Bachelor's degree or higher)*
|Oct. 5, 7, 19, 21, 2021||
Interview dates (subject to change)
Competitive Admissions Process
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
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 1: Complete the CASPA
The Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) deadline is September 1, 2021. Applications submitted close to the deadline may not give CASPA sufficient time to verify the application before interview decisions are made. Verification of an application can take up to 4 weeks. Please submit your application to CASPA as soon as you have met all prerequisites.
We accept applications through the September 1 deadline and may review applications as they come in. However, admission decisions are made after the September 1 deadline regarding all applications and no preference is given to applications that are submitted early.
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 or planned. All prerequisite coursework must be completed
and published to an official transcript by the application deadline of September 1.
You may update your in-progress course grades by September 1 by manually entering the results of a course in a process called Academic Update.
For additional information about Academic Update, please contact CASPA or review the
information found at CASPA's website. 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. Do not send updated transcripts
to CASPA after your application is submitted.
- The UND DPAS recognizes that some applicants may be taking courses 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 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.
- 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.
Rural and Underserved Information
Underserved is determined using the Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) and/or Medically Underserved Area (MUA) score at Find Shortage Areas.
Population of your home city and state as rural (population less than 10,000), micropolitan (population 10,000-49,999) or metropolitan (population greater than 50,000) area.
- Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) and/or Medically Underserved Area (MUA) score(s) as applicable to your home city and state. Obtain this information at Find Shortage Areas. If your home city/state does not report a Primary Care HPSA or MUA, mark “N/A.”
Verification is the process used to ensure all of an applicant's coursework was entered correctly and consistently in CASPA. Once verification is completed, the applicant's application status will move from Complete to Verified. If significant mistakes are found in the applicant's coursework during the verification process, their application will be undelivered.
Invitation to Interview
Many aspects of the application are reviewed to determine the most qualified applicants in each application cycle. Once that process is complete, applicants will be notified regarding their status in the application cycle. An invitation for interview is sent to those selected to move forward in the application process.
The interview process may vary from one-on-one interviews to panel interviews depending upon the application year. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information at that time.
Part II: Submit Application to UND Graduate School
Complete the online application to the UND Graduate School by September 1, 2021. 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. For questions regarding where to send your transcripts, consult the UND School of Graduate Studies.
If your qualifying bachelor's degree (or higher) has not been conferred on your transcript sent to CASPA by September 1, 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.
- 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. An overall score of 76 is required.
- 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.
Preference is given to those applicants who demonstrate the following:
- Completion of upper level science prerequisite courses within the past 7 years. The most competitive applicants are those who demonstrate recent proficiency in progressively rigorous prerequisite core science coursework.
- Residents of North Dakota are given highest preference followed by those in surrounding states and the region.
- Work experience or resident of rural or underserved communities.
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.