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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 12 months in duration and consists of four components: basic sciences, behavioral sciences, clinical medicine and pre-clinical skills. The academic phase also includes patient experiences designed to enhance the student’s familiarity with the clinical environment. The dual M.P.H./M.S.H.S. plan requires one additional year of academic coursework 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 the supervision of a licensed health care provider. Required experiences include inpatient medicine, surgery, pediatrics, emergency medicine, behavioral medicine and an elective rotation.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – October 1

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

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:

Arrange for CASPA to receive an official transcript from every college and university (domestic and international) you attended, whether or not a degree was earned.

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. Please see the list of acceptable foreign credential evaluation services.

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 complete a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university prior to matriculation into the program. All applicants must have a minimum science and cumulative grade point average of 3.0. The following are 6 required prerequisite courses that must be from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning in the United States within the last 10 years from date of application submission:

  • Anatomy & Physiology: one semester of Anatomy and one semester of Physiology are required. This requirement may be met by taking two semesters of a combined Anatomy & Physiology course.
  • Chemistry: two semesters of Chemistry for science majors. One semester must be either Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry.
  • Psychology: one semester of Psychology. Abnormal Psychology or Developmental Psychology is strongly recommended.
  • Statistics: one semester of Statistics. Business Statistics does not fulfill this requirement and will not be accepted.

All prerequisites must be completed with a grade of B- or better and must be either undergraduate or post-baccalaureate coursework. Each course must be at least three semester credit hours or 5 quarter credit hours. Applicants may apply to the program with no more than two outstanding prerequisites (including any in progress at the time of application), 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 (including degree conferment) 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.

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.

Academic preparation:

  • All prerequisite coursework must be completed at a regionally accredited US institution regardless of whether the applicant has already completed the coursework in another country. International coursework will not be acceptable for prerequisite requirements. There are no exceptions to this policy.
  • Advanced standing or transfer of credits earned at a non-US institution will not be offered.

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 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20037

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