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Physician Assistant

School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Master of Science in Health Sciences (M.S.H.S.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

The physician assistant degree is a 24 or 36-month, full-time educational program divided into an academic and a clinical phase.

Master’s Degree

The academic, or didactic phase, of the program is 42 weeks and consists of four components: basic sciences, behavioral sciences, clinical medicine and pre-clinical skills. The academic phase also includes a clinical patient experience. The educational setting is an interdisciplinary environment with courses taken with medical students, nurse practitioner students and other health sciences students. The dual M.P.H./M.S.H.S. plan requires one additional semester of academic courses specific to public health.

The clinical phase consists of a series of rotations in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. Students participate in the care of patients under physician supervision. Required experiences include inpatient medicine, outpatient medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, emergency medicine, psychiatry, long-term care and a final preceptorship that integrates all previous academic and clinical training.

The curriculum also includes an innovative and nationally recognized community service component that introduces students to health care and social services in underserved areas of the Washington metropolitan area. It enables students to learn what services are available to the community, how individuals access these services and how to make appropriate referrals, while promoting an understanding of community factors that have an impact on the population’s health status.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – October 1

The application and all supporting documentation (fees, statement of purpose, resume, letters of recommendation, professional licenses, transcripts, test scores) must be received by the deadline in order for the application to be reviewed.

The Physician Assistant Program uses the online application system CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants). Please go to the CASPA Web site to begin the application process. The fee for using CASPA is based on the number of programs the applicant designates. A limited number of application fee waivers are available. Meeting CASPA’s eligibility criterion for a fee waiver does not guarantee a waiver will be granted for supplemental program fees.

In addition to the CASPA application, all applicants must submit a GW Supplemental Application to the Health Sciences Office of Admissions.

Standardized test scores:

The GRE general test is required of all applicants. The GRE must be less than five years old and must be received by GW no later than October 1. The GRE institution code for GW is 5246. (DO NOT use code 5268.)

Recommendations required:

Two (2) recommendations must be submitted with your CASPA application.

Prior academic records:

Transcripts required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript.  Transcripts must be forwarded in their original sealed envelopes.

If academic records are in a language other than English, a certified English language translation must be provided in addition to the original transcripts; translations alone will not be accepted.

Official transcripts from institutions outside the U.S. must be accompanied by an official transcript evaluation from an accredited independent evaluating agency. Please be sure you request a detailed evaluation that includes all course titles, credit hours, grades, U.S. degree equivalency, grade-point averages (GPA), and date of degree conferral. For a list of acceptable foreign credential evaluation services, please click here.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250 to 500 words, describe your reasons for undertaking study in the Health Sciences at The George Washington University. You should state your academic objectives, career plans, and related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, as well as any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application form.

Additional Requirements:

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum science and cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 and complete the following minimum prerequisites from an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States:

  • Two semesters of biological sciences (human anatomy and physiology strongly recommended, botany not acceptable)
  • Two semesters of chemistry for science majors (one semester should either be organic or biochemistry)
  • Two semesters of psychology (general psychology required, abnormal psychology strongly recommended)

All prerequisites must be completed with a grade of B- or better. Each course must be at least three (3) credit hours. Applicants may apply to the program with one outstanding prerequisite but prerequisites must be completed prior to the beginning of the program. College seniors are eligible to apply provided that they will have fulfilled all the baccalaureate requirements before matriculating.

All applicants must be in good academic standing.

1,000 hours of direct patient care experience is required. These hours must be completed at the time the application is submitted. An additional six months of health-related experience is highly recommended.

Applicants must review the Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening Policy.

Note: Accepted applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable tuition deposit.

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents and English language requirements.

PLEASE NOTE that the Health Sciences programs require the following minimum English language test scores for admission:

  • Academic IETLS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0; or
  • TOEFL: 600 on paper-based or 100 on Internet-based; or
  • PTE Academic: 68

Supporting Documents not Submitted Online should be Mailed to:
Office of Admissions
Health Sciences Programs
The George Washington University
2100-W Pennsylvania Avenue, NW - Suite 5077
Washington, DC 20037

Contact for Questions:
hsphora@gwu.edu ~ (202) 994-8528
202-994-0870 (fax)
9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday through Friday