Due to COVID-19 precautions at hospitals across the country, the shadowing experience requirement has been waived for the 2021 PA Cycle. However, please note that shadowing experience with a physician assistant, as outlined below, is highly recommended.
Notes regarding coursework and test requirements are outlined below. We are dedicated to ensuring flexibility in our response to the challenges our applicants are facing during this pandemic. The Office of Admissions will continue to monitor the situation, should changes need to be made to our process. Please contact us if you run into difficulties meeting admissions requirements or with additional questions you may have.
The requirements for admission are governed by the Physician Assistant program and the School of Medicine Graduate Council. An admissions committee within the Physician Assistant program is composed of faculty and administrators who screen applications, determine which candidates will be offered an interview and make all final admission decisions. Admission decisions are based on an individualized and holistic review of applications.
Applicants offered admission to the Physician Assistant program begin coursework in January.
- Applicants for admission to the MMSPA program must have earned, or will soon earn, a baccalaureate, masters or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited college or university located in the United States or Canada.
- Applicants must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
- Applicants must complete the following pre-requisite coursework (science major level courses) prior to matriculation, with a pre-requisite GPA of 3.0 or higher. It is required that applicants earn a grade of C (see note) or better in all coursework:
- One semester of general biology with lab
- One semester of anatomy with lab (human anatomy preferred)
- One semester of physiology with lab
- One semester of anatomy and physiology with lab (4+ credit hour course) may be accepted for one semester of anatomy with lab and one semester of physiology with lab
- One semester of microbiology with lab
- Two semesters of general chemistry (or equivalent) with lab
- One semester of organic chemistry with lab
- One semester of biochemistry (upper level course)
- One semester of statistics
- One medical terminology course
- Pre-requisite coursework must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university located in the United States or Canada.
- It is preferred that all pre-requisite courses be completed within seven years of the application deadline.
- An applicant may have no more than two pre-requisite courses remaining incomplete after the application deadline. Any offers of admission will be contingent upon completion of the required courses. Once enrolled in the course(s), a student must submit a transcript to the School of Medicine Office of Admissions showing the course(s) in progress. A final transcript with a final grade in the course(s) must be submitted upon completion of the course.
- Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate credit will be accepted for the following pre-requisite courses, but will not be used when calculating the pre-requisite GPA:
- One semester of general biology with lab
- Two semesters of general chemistry with lab
- One semester of statistics
- Note: we strongly advise taking pre-requisite courses for a grade if possible, however, we will not penalize applicants for circumstances outside of their control for classes taken during the Spring 2020 or Summer 2020 semesters as pass/fail. Additionally, on the CASPA application, there will be a section where you can address how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted you and your candidacy for admission. We encourage applicants to utilize this space for the Admissions Committee to review, specifically outlining circumstances and providing justification or documentation, when possible.
MCAT Score or GRE Score
- The MCAT or GRE exam is required.
- MCAT or GRE scores must have been earned within five years of the application deadline.
- The MCAT or GRE score must be received by August 1. It is recommended that students sit for the GRE or MCAT no later than the June test date.
- Currently, there is no minimum score required for admission.
- Scores must be submitted directly from AAMC (for the MCAT) or ETS (for the GRE). MCAT and GRE scores must be submitted thru CASPA.
- For the MCAT: Applicants must submit official MCAT scores to CASPA after self-reporting their MCAT scores and entering their AAMC ID number into the CASPA application. Applicants should contact AAMC to request their official scores to be released to CASPA following the self-reporting of their score and identification information.
- For the GRE: Applicants must submit official GRE scores to the UMKC CASPA code: 8831.
- Note: Official MCAT and GRE scores must be released thru CASPA, and an applicant may not submit scores to the UMKC institutional codes in lieu of the CASPA process.
- For the 2021 cycle only: the shadowing requirement has been waived; however, shadowing a PA is highly encouraged when possible.
- Experience shadowing a physician assistant is required prior to the application deadline. Click here to download the form.
- A minimum of eight hours of shadowing experience is required. The required shadowing hours may not be fulfilled within employment or internship experiences.
** Note: the required PA shadowing hours may not be fulfilled within employment, internship, or class experiences.
To successfully verify shadowing experience, applicants must either have their shadowing experiences verified electronically by the shadowing provider or use the electronic Shadowing Experience Verification Form provided through the PA Student Portal (after the CASPA application has been verified).
Applicants can verify shadowing experiences one of two ways:
- To verify a shadowing experience electronically, an applicant will need to list the name(s) and email address(es) of those providing a shadowing experience verification form in the PA Student Portal. After entering the information for each person electronically verifying the experience, an applicant will need to click “Send Email Request” in order for the person providing the verification to receive instructions for completing the online PA Program Shadowing Experience Verification Form.
- To verify a shadowing experience with the Shadowing Experience Verification Form, applicants must download, print, and complete the information at the bottom of the form. After completing the information, ask the provider who supervised your experience to sign and date the verification form. An applicant will need to list the name(s) and email address(es) of those providing a shadowing experience verification form in the PA Student Portal (after the CASPA application has been verified). The PDF form should then be submitted directly to the PA Student Portal. Once the PA Student Portal has been submitted, no changes or additions to the PA Student Portal, including the shadowing experience section, may be made.
- Although preference will be given to applicants with previous or ongoing direct patient-care experience (professional or volunteer), such experience is not required for admission.
Letters of Recommendation
The School of Medicine participates in the CASPA letter of recommendation program, and all letters of recommendation must be submitted through the CASPA letter of recommendation service by the application deadline. Letters of recommendation sent directly to the School of Medicine will not be accepted or used in the admission process. It is recommended that letters come from those who can speak to your academic ability and other personal characteristics as they relate to your pursuit of the Physician Assistant profession. Family members and/or friends of the family should not provide letters of recommendation. Three professional or academic letters of recommendation are required.
References are considered confidential material at the UMKC School of Medicine; information provided on reference forms or in letters of recommendation will not be shared with the applicant.
Holistic Review of Applications
Admission to the Physician Assistant program is based on a combination of academic performance and an evaluation of non-cognitive characteristics such as professionalism, maturity, compassion, respect, passion for lifelong learning, leadership and motivation for providing health care. The admissions committee will review a candidate’s personal characteristics and experiences, in addition to academic information. The admissions committee will review transcripts, test scores, essays, co-curricular and health-related activities, letters of recommendation, and results of the interview to determine which candidates should be offered admission. There is no one component of the application that will guarantee a candidate an interview or an offer of admission.
In order to be considered for admission to the PA program, applicants for admission must meet the following requirement:
- Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. (International applicants are not eligible for admission.)
Permanent resident status must be achieved by August 1 of the year before the spring term for which you are applying. A copy of the permanent resident card must accompany the UMKC General Application for Admission.
While out-of-state students are welcome to apply to UMKC’s PA Program, preference and priority consideration is given to in-state students from the state of Missouri, followed by students from the state of Kansas.*
*Out of state tuition, costs, and fees still apply.