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health sciences admissions requirements

Admission Requirements

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant (M.S.P.A.) program welcomes your application and questions about the admissions process. The M.S.P.A. program is rigorous, and the admissions process is extremely selective.

COVID-19 Statement

COVID-19 has impacted and continues to impact the ability of healthcare facilities to accommodate prospective PA students for completion of experience hours. In response, Seton Hall University's Master of Science in Physician Assistant Program will accept hours completed virtually or through telemedicine. These remote experiences that introduce students to various medical specialties can be accepted as long as the applicant can provide the necessary certificate of completion or documentation of hours signed by the healthcare professional. This documentation should also include contact information for the provider. Also note that hours shadowing a PA are recommended, not required. Applications without these will still be considered.

For students who are unable to complete the 250 hours through virtual or in-person experiences please contact to discuss additional alternatives.

Finally, the program will continue to accept applications through January 30, 2021, to allow students additional time to submit.


  • December 15 is the deadline for application to the M.S.P.A. program.
  • Applications are accepted online beginning June 15.

How to Apply:

Admission Considerations:

Academic Performance:
Application to the program is open to those who:

*Individuals who have not received a baccalaureate (bachelor's) degree may wish to consider applying to the undergraduate-to-graduate dual degree program in Biology and Physician Assistant (B.S. + M.S.P.A.). Please consult the Undergraduate Catalogue for more information about this program, which originates in the Department of Biological Sciences. Applicants with a cumulative or prerequisite GPA of less than 3.2 will not be considered for admission.

Prerequisite Coursework:

  • Each prerequisite course must be completed at a regionally or nationally accredited institution of higher learning in the US with a letter grade of “C” or higher.
  • Online courses from regionally accredited institutions of higher learning in the US are acceptable.
  • Prerequisite courses must have been completed no later than 10 years prior to matriculation into the program.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) credit, Pass/ Fail courses, and international baccalaureate credits do NOT fulfill the prerequisite course requirements.
  • Students with incomplete prerequisites- may apply, but they must state how they will satisfy the prerequisites by June 1st prior to the start of the program. Applicants may be asked to provide proof of enrollment in any outstanding prerequisite courses. Please click here for a full list of the prerequisite coursework.

Healthcare Experience
A minimum of 250 hours of healthcare experience is required (25 of these 250 hours should include shadowing a Physician Assistant). The healthcare experience hours must be completed for an application to be considered complete. View the Healthcare Experience Verification Form »

A variety of healthcare experiences (see the Healthcare Experience Verification Form) are considered toward the minimum requirement. The health care experience can be a paid or volunteer experience. Priority consideration is given to experiences where the applicant has assumed direct patient care responsibility.

Letters of Recommendation
Applicants are required to submit three (3) letters of recommendation from sources able to attest to the applicant's academic ability and character. It is recommended that letters be obtained from course instructors and clinical supervisors. One letter of reference from a healthcare professional is preferred. Letters from family members and acquaintances are not acceptable.

Test Scores
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required of all applicants and must be taken within the past five years. While the program does not use a strict cutoff score, most competitive applicants will have scores at or above the 50th percentile in each test area. The GRE is not waived for any candidate.

Non-native English speakers who have not completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in the United States, must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), taken within the past two years, documenting a paper-based score of 550 or above, a computer-based score of 213 or above, or an internet-based score of 79 or above. All international transcripts must be evaluated by a member agency of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

Additional Information Regarding Admissions and Acceptance

Applicants being considered for admission may be invited to campus for an interview. Meeting the minimum standards for admission does not guarantee that an applicant will be invited for an interview. The interview is used to assess an applicant's knowledge of the physician assistant profession, his or her motivation for becoming a physician assistant and his or her communication and interpersonal skills.

Advanced Standing and Transfer Students
Regardless of previous educational or work experience, all students are required to complete the entire M.S.P.A. curriculum. No advanced placement, transfer credit or credit for experiential learning will be granted.

Employment During the Academic Year
Training to become a physician assistant demands a full-time commitment. Due to the rigorous nature of the curriculum, it is recommended that students not engage in outside employment. If a student chooses to work during the academic year, the work schedule must not interfere with class performance or clinical rotation schedules.

Standards of Essential Functions of the M.S.P.A. Program

All students must read, sign, understand and meet the Standards of Essential Functions of the School of Health and Medical Sciences and the M.S.P.A. program. Candidates will have the option to electronically sign the Essential Functions on the application. Submitting a physical copy is not necessary.

M.S.P.A. Admissions Questions:
Patrick McDermott
Assistant Dean of Graduate Enrollment and Student Affairs
School of Health and Medical Sciences
(973) 275-2062

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions webpage »

Qualified students are admitted without regard to race, color, religion, age, disability, natural origin, sexual orientation, ancestry or gender.