Admissions and Prerequisites

Please click on each question heading below to learn more about admissions and prerequisite requirements for the Boston University Physician Assistant Program.


What is the deadline for application to the PA program?

All materials submitted for consideration must be postmarked by September 1 of the preceding year for which you are applying.  So, if you are applying for admission in April of 2016, all materials must be postmarked by September 1, 2015.  The supplemental application due date is September 8, 2015.

Is there a supplemental application?

Yes. The supplemental application due date is September 8, 2015. Please see our How to Apply page for more information.

Supplemental Application

When I open the Pre-Registration link in my web browser, the page is blank. How do I access the registration page?

For Mac users opening the pre-registration link in Safari, in some cases the link is not working and the page is blank. We recommend using the most up to date version of Safari or using a different web browser, such as Firefox. If you are still unable to open the link, please contact our office and we can assist you.

Why am I unable to successfully submit the Pre-Registration form?

Please ensure that you are entering your personal information exactly as it was entered into CASPA. For example, if you included your state’s two-letter postal abbreviation with your City of Birth in CASPA, you must also enter it into the Pre-Registration form (e.g. “Boston, MA” as opposed to “Boston”). If you unsuccessfully submit your Pre-Registration form 3 times, please email paoffice@bu.edu and we will re-open the form for you.

I completed the Pre-Registration form, but still have not received a Web Login email with instruction on choosing a password for my BU web account. What should I do?

Please check your email account’s Spam/Junk folders for a message from web-account-mgr@bu.edu. If you are certain you have not received a message from that address, please email paoffice@bu.edu and we will re-send the message.

What is the Supplemental Application deadline?

The Supplemental Application deadline for the 2015-2016 CASPA application cycle is September 8th.

Prerequisite Coursework

Can you tell me more about the prerequisites for admission?

We have chosen a slate of prerequisite courses that we have found to be foundational to matriculating PA students at Boston University.  In order to ensure that each applicant is adequately prepared for our curriculum, we do not accept substitutions for the prerequisite courses listed on our admissions page.  We do not mandate that prerequisites be taken solely at a 4-year college or university.

Can any of my prerequisites be “In Progress” at the time of application to the PA program?

Yes and No.

At the time you submit your application to CASPA you may have courses that are listed as “in progress.”  However, in order to be considered as an applicant, one must have completed all prerequisite courses prior to the September 1st deadline. In the event that you have prerequisite course in progress at the time you submit your application, you should send updated transcripts directly to the PA office upon completion of the coursework, prior to our application deadline.

Can any of the prerequisites be taken online instead of in class?

No.  All courses listed on our academic prerequisite requirement page must be completed in traditional classroom and laboratory settings.  Given the complexity and nature of PA education, we want to ensure that all applicants accepted to the program have sufficient academic preparation for success. We believe this is best achieved by taking your science class prerequisites in a classroom setting.

We recognize that many courses now utilize online components. If a course uses both online and in class work and it listed on a transcript as a traditional course, that is acceptable. If your college or university classifies your course as an online course on your transcript, we are unable to accept it to fulfill a prerequisite course requirement.

If I send my transcript, will you tell me which prerequisites I am missing or have fulfilled?

At this time, our office is unable to provide full transcript reviews to prospective applicants. However, if you are unsure whether you have satisfied a particular academic requisite with previously-completed or tentative coursework, please email us 1) the name and number of the course 2) the institution at which it was taken and 3) a syllabus or brief course description.

The institution where I took my courses has a different numbering system than 100, 200, 300, etc. How can I determine if my coursework meets the upper level requirements?

Our Admissions Team understands that not all colleges and universities implement the same numbering system for courses. If you are unsure about a particular course, please contact our office by email with the following information

  • The course name and number
  • Where you took the course
  • A brief course description, such as the description from a course bulletin
  • Which prerequisite you would like to apply that course to

We will respond as soon as possible, after reviewing that course.

Is there a time limit for prerequisite courses? Do courses expire?

We have not placed a specific time limit or expiration on the prerequisites.  

I took a 300 level Biochemistry course. Does this count towards both the Biochemistry and upper-level Biology course requirements?

No. All specific prerequisite courses listed on our website are required in addition to three upper level biology courses at the 300, 400 level or above. Typically, students choose upper level courses offered in their school’s biology department.

I already have an advanced degree. Do I still need to complete all prerequisite courses?

All prerequisite courses are required of all applicants to be considered, regardless of your previous academic work.

Degree Requirements

Do I need to have a Bachelor’s degree prior to applying?

No, however all applicants must have completed their bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation into the program. If you have completed the prerequisites and are in the process of finishing your bachelor’s degree you may be eligible for conditional acceptance. Proof of your degree will be required prior to matriculation.

Is a Bachelor's degree in a science related major required?

No. The program does not prefer one Bachelor’s degree over another. We welcome applicants from diverse academic, career, and personal backgrounds.

GPA and Test Requirements

What is the GPA requirement for admissions?

We require at minimum, a 3.0 GPA in science coursework only. This number is calculated by CASPA and includes all science courses. We do not have an overall minimum GPA requirement.

Can I use MCAT scores instead of GRE scores?

No. The program requires GRE scores from all applicants.

How do I submit my TOEFL scores?

Please report your TOEFL scores directly to CASPA by sending them to code #3709. You may read more about score reporting through CASPA here.

Letters of Recommendation

Can I send additional letters of recommendation to your office?

The Admissions Committee will review only the three letters of recommendation specified in its admissions prerequisites. Any additional letters of recommendation will not be submitted for review. If you are unable to upload both the three letters required by the Program and those required by other programs to which you are applying within CASPA’s five-letter limit, please contact us at paoffice@bu.edu.

Admissions Policies

Does the BU PA program endorse any groups or engage in affirmative action policies?

The BU PA program does not have any admission or enrollment practices that favor specified individuals or groups. We however seek to draw students from all backgrounds and cultures in an effort to create a diverse program.

Does the BU PA Program have rolling admissions?

No. The program does not make any admissions decisions prior to our application deadline.

Does the BU PA Program offer advanced placement?

No. The program does not grant advanced placement for similar academic work or previous health care experience.



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