Admission Requirements

All students must be able to meet the Essential Function Requirements of Physician Assistant Studies at Elon University.

A satisfactory national background check, at the student’s expense, is required prior to matriculation.

All students must complete the entire Elon PA curriculum. No advanced placement or advanced standing is granted, nor is transfer credit or credit for experiential learning accepted in lieu of the outlined curriculum.

The requirements listed below are for the 2023-24 admissions cycle. We are a competitive program and evaluate each application on its own merits. Prospective applicants are encouraged to review our Class Profile to gain an understanding of our average criteria for matriculated students.

Undergraduate Degree

Evidence of an earned baccalaureate degree or date when degree is expected.

  • A minimum GPA of 3.2 for undergraduate work
  • A minimum Overall Science GPA of 3.0 for undergraduate work

Each applicant must complete a bachelor’s degree in the United States from a regionally accredited college or university. International degrees that have been evaluated as United States regionally accredited equivalent may fulfill this requirement. All prerequisites must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university.

Those with an in-progress baccalaureate degree are eligible to apply, provided they will receive the degree prior to the January start term.

Prerequisite Courses

Elon requires 6 science courses and one non-science course. Grades of ‘C’ or better are required in each prerequisite course. No prerequisite course may be taken on a “pass/no pass” or “credit/no credit” basis*. All prerequisites must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university. Coursework from a community college or online institutions can be accepted.

*The admissions committee will accept Pass/Fail coursework taken during the years 2020 and 2021. No additional documentation is required.

Five of the six science courses must be completed at the time of application. All science prerequisite courses must be completed within 10 years of enrolling in the program (2015 or later for the 2023-24 admissions cycle). Advanced Placement courses or placement exams cannot be used to satisfy prerequisites.

  • Human Anatomy & Human Physiology: one full academic year (a minimum of seven semester hours). This requirement may be met by taking either: one semester of Anatomy (with lab) and one semester of Physiology (lab preferred but not required), or two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology combined.
  • General Chemistry with Lab (4 semester hours)
  • Additional Chemistry with Lab (4 semester hours): Examples include, but are not limited to chemistry 2, biochemistry, organic chemistry.
  • Microbiology (3 semester hours)
  • 1 Upper-Level Science (3 semester hours): Examples include, but are not limited, to biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, exercise physiology, genetics, immunology and organic chemistry 2.

The non-science course does not have a time limit.

  • 1 Psychology Course (3 semester hours): It is preferred that this course is from the psychology department, but an upper-level course from another department may be acceptable.

Volunteer or Work Experience in a Health Care Setting

A minimum of 1,000 hours of volunteer or work experience in a health care setting with at least 20 of these hours spent observing a physician assistant is required.

Note: the 20 hours of observing a physician assistant must be complete at the time of application. Please include this in CASPA, Experiences-Shadowing section.

Preference will be given to candidates who have direct patient care experiences that require a prior period of training based on the length/rigor of the required training. In addition, preference will be given to candidates who have completed greater numbers of healthcare experience hours.

Please review the CASPA experience definitions here. Note: Enter only current and in-progress experiences (not planned experiences or hours). Do not repeat hours between experience types; if position duties encompass more than one section, enter the position in both sections and divide the hours and duties accordingly.

Letters of Recommendation

Three recommendation letters are required, including one from a Physician Assistant or other healthcare provider; and two others. The admission committee has no preference for the two “other” recommendation letters and will accept two from the same category (such as 2 professors). Acceptable references include, but are not limited to, any combination of the following list:

  • Physician Assistant or Healthcare provider (required)
  • Other (choose 2): PA, health care provider (physician, NP, PT, ATC, etc.), supervisor during healthcare hours, professional supervisor, a professor from any subject, academic or research adviser, coach

Letters of recommendation should be submitted from the reference’s professional email address (not personal), be written on letterhead, and include the reference’s signature.


You may review a list of Frequently Asked Questions here. Please direct all questions regarding the admissions requirements or process to the Graduate Admissions team at or 336.278.7600.