Physician Assistant, M.M.S.

Admission Information

The Physician Assistant program at Marshall University is a non-thesis, 28-month graduate-level program awarding the Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant (MMS PA) degree upon completion.

Applicants will be evaluated using the applicant’s academic record, recommendations, entrance exam, CASPer exam, essay, and interview. Consistent with our mission, applicants who are West Virginia residents will be given additional points in the admission rubric.

Marshall University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, marital or family status, pregnancy, veteran status, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or gender expression in the administration of any of its educational programs, activities, or with respect to admission or employment.

Rolling Admission

Admission is selective and operates on a rolling admission cycle. Therefore, it will benefit applicants to complete their applications early. Applications verified by CASPA by the October 1st deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications that are not verified by CASPA by Marshall’s Physician Assistant program admission deadline will NOT be considered.

Advanced Placement

No advanced placement is granted in the program. All courses must be taken in the Marshall University Physician Assistant program.

Application Deadline: October 1, 2023

Applicants who wish to join the cohort in January 2024 must have their CASPA application verified by October 1, 2023.

Baccalaureate degree from an accepted, accredited U.S .institution: no specific major is required so long as prerequisites are successfully completed.

Required minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) overall, as calculated by CASPA
Required minimum prerequisite coursework GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale), as calculated by Marshall University’s PA program
Required minimum science GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale), as calculated by CASPA

Prerequisite coursework. All prerequisite coursework should have been taken within the last 10 years. No Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) coursework will be accepted in lieu of taking the courses themselves. All courses must be taken for a letter grade and be passed at the or better level; a C minus is not acceptable. Applicants who are currently enrolled in required undergraduate prerequisite courses, or obtaining their bachelor’s degree, may apply for preliminary admission. Once all required courses are successfully completed, prior to the designated start term of the application and as evidenced by an official transcript from the sending institution, those applicants may be regularly admitted to the program.

The credit hours (cr) of the following prerequisites are considered equivalent to semester hours. Please take this into consideration if you are taking courses using a different system. Quarter hour system prerequisite courses must equal the listed semester hour requirements. To calculate semester credit hours, multiply the number of quarter hour credits by 0.67.

In addition to the minimum requirements above, applicants must meet the following:

  1. Prerequisite classes – all prerequisites should have been taken within the last 10 years.
    • General Chemistry with associated lab -- 8 cr.
    • Statistics --- 3 cr.
    • Human Anatomy with lab -- 4 cr.
    • Human Physiology - 3 cr.
    • Organic Chemistry I with lab – 4 cr. (or Biochemistry – 3 cr.)
    • Microbiology with lab -- 3 cr.
    • Medical Terminology -- one semester (1 cr. - 3 cr.)
    • Psychology – 3 cr..
    • College Algebra -- 3 cr.. (May be replaced with Pre-Calculus or Calculus)

Prerequisite coursework notes:

  • Combined Human Anatomy and Physiology courses are accepted in lieu of separate Human Anatomy with lab and Human Physiology courses. However, applicants must take two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology with associated labs (totaling 8 cr.).
  • No Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credit will be accepted for any prerequisite courses.
  • All prerequisite courses must have an assigned letter grade and not Pass/Fail or CR/NC.
  • While the program encourages in-person labs, both in-person and virtual labs will be accepted.

Recommendations. Three recommendations are required. They must be submitted through CASPA and be from recommenders who can attest to the applicant’s abilities to succeed, such as the capacity to learn, work ethic, and/or educational or professional goals. Recommendations should NOT be from family members or friends.

Entrance exam – Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The MCAT may be substituted for the GRE. GRE/MCAT scores must be less than five years old at the time of application. There is no minimum score required. Official scores must be submitted electronically to CASPA directly from ETS using a special CASPA code. Visit the CASPA Official GRE Scores webpage to learn how to submit your official GRE scores. Visit the CASPA Official MCAT Scores webpage to learn how to submit your official MCAT scores.

Essay. The essay, or commonly referred to as personal statement, must be submitted through CASPA.

CASPA and supplemental application. Complete both the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) application and Marshall’s PA program’s supplemental application; this includes the non-refundable supplemental application fee ($40 for domestic applicants and $150 for international). The supplemental application will be completed only by applicants who are invited for and accept an interview. Interviewees will be expected to complete and submit their supplemental application at the time of their interview.

CASPer Exam. All applicants applying to the Marshall University Physician Assistant Program are required to complete the Altus Suite (Casper test only) for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle.

Altus Suite is a standardized, multi-part online assessment that measures different competencies and attributes that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program. Altus Suite will complement the other tools that we use for applicant review and evaluation. In implementing Altus Suite, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process.

Altus Suite consists of:

  • Casper: 100-120 minute online, open-response situational judgment test
  • Snapshot: 15-minute one-way video interview with standardized questions
  • Duet: 15-minute value-alignment assessment

You will register for Altus Suite for the Casper test U.S. Professional Health Sciences using the code CSP-10101. Access to create an account and for more information on important dates and requirements and the Altus Suite assessments.

NOTE: Snapshot and Duet are not required to apply to our program.

The program strongly encourages applicants to take the exam early as there is a limited number of slots for each day the exam is offered, and their application cannot be considered complete until the exam is taken and scores are received. An applicant does not need to wait until their CASPA application is completed and/or verified to take the CASPer test. Since our program utilizes a rolling admissions cycle, it is advantageous to complete your application as early as possible.

CASPer exam results are only valid for a single admissions cycle and must be taken again if an applicant is reapplying. Since there is a cost associated with CASPer, if there is a financial hardship that would otherwise prevent an applicant from taking the test, please contact the program director at

PA shadowing. Shadowing a current physician assistant in the field is encouraged, but not required. Shadowing can help an applicant better understand the role of a physician assistant. If invited for an interview, the applicant will be expected to discuss briefly the role of a physician assistant.

Basic computer skills. Skills must include the use of email and web-based and electronic searches.

Patient care experience. Not required

Applicants who are WV residents will be given additional points in the admission rubric.

Applicants who have obtained or will obtain by matriculation an undergraduate degree from Marshall University will be granted an interview as long as they meet basic admission requirements and have their applications verified by CASPA by September 1st, 2023.

Students must have health insurance coverage by the time of matriculation.

Applicants may apply prior to obtaining all prerequisite courses or obtaining their baccalaureate degree. Applicants who have not completed all prerequisites, the baccalaureate degree, or both may be temporarily admitted pending completion of admission requirements. Temporary admission status will be rescinded if all admission requirements are not met prior to matriculation.


  1. Make sure you meet the admission requirements.
  2. Submit an application through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA), which must be verified by October 1, 2023. Applications that are not verified by Marshall’s PA application deadline will not be reviewed for admission. Note: CASPA recommends that applicants monitor their applications for at least four to six weeks until verification status is achieved.

    Questions regarding your application in CASPA should be directed to CASPA (

    Marshall requires the following materials to be submitted via CASPA:
    1. CASPA application and non-refundable application fee
    2. Official transcripts of all institutions of higher learning attended
    3. Three recommendations – CASPA only requires two, but Marshall requires three
    4. Official GRE or MCAT scores – GRE code is 4752
    5. Essay/Personal Statement – CASPA sets a limit of characters so be sure to follow the guidelines
  3. All applications verified by October 1, 2022, will be reviewed, and a decision will be made to reject or offer an interview to the applicant. Decisions will be made using a rubric designed to be objective and based on the following content:
    1. Grade Point Averages (overall, prerequisite, science)
    2. Recommendations
    3. Personal Statement
    4. GRE or MCAT Score
    5. CASPer Assessment Results
    6. Residency – WV residents will receive additional points in this rubric.
    7. Marshall University Graduates – Applicants who have obtained, or will obtain by matriculation, an undergraduate degree from Marshall University and who meet the minimum admission requirements will be offered an interview.
      • Marshall University Graduates – Applicants who have obtained, or will obtain by matriculation, an undergraduate degree from Marshall University, who meet the minimum admission requirements, and who have their applications submitted and verified on or by September 1st will be offered an interview.
  4. Due to COVID-19 concerns and precautions, the interview process will be performed virtually. The applicant will be interviewed virtually by the PA Program faculty, Admissions Committee members, and/or other designated interviewers. Once the interview has been accepted, additional information about the virtual interview process will be provided to the applicant.
  5. Applicants who are offered an interview will receive notice via email to the email address listed on the CASPA application. Interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis. Rejection notices will be sent via mail to the current address listed on the CASPA application. Invited applicants will be given an interview date, provided a Marshall University supplemental application and questionnaire to be completed as well as a technical standards document to review and sign.
  6. If any applicant would like to visit our campus, we would be glad to arrange an individual tour utilizing Marshall University’s COVID-19 safety precautions
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
SpringCredit Hours
PAS 500 Foundations of Medicine 7
PAS 520 Gross Anatomy for the PA 4
PAS 530 Pharmacology Principles 3
PAS 550 History and Physical Exam 3
 Credit Hours17
PAS 600 Clinical Medicine I 6
PAS 601 Pharmacology for the PA I 2
PAS 602 Clinical Concepts I 2
PAS 603 Clinical Assessment I 2
PAS 604 Testing and Procedures I 2
PAS 605 PA's in Health Care 2
PAS 606 PA Evidence Based Practice 2
 Credit Hours18
Second Year
PAS 610 Clinical Medicine II 6
PAS 611 Pharmacology for the PA II 2
PAS 612 Clinical Concepts II 2
PAS 613 Clinical Assessment II 2
PAS 614 Testing and Procedures II 2
PAS 615 Health Policy for the PA 2
PAS 616 Clinical Specialties I 3
 Credit Hours19
PAS 620 Clinical Medicine III 6
PAS 621 Pharmacology for the PA III 2
PAS 622 Clinical Concepts III 2
PAS 623 Clinical Assessment III 2
PAS 624 Testing and Procedures III 2
PAS 625 PA Professional Practice 2
PAS 626 Clinical Specialties II 3
PAS 627 Psychiatry for the PA 2
 Credit Hours21
Third Year
Clinical Year
PAS 650 PA Primary Care I 4
PAS 651 PA Primary Care II 4
PAS 652 PA Psychiatry I 4
PAS 653 PA Internal Medicine I 4
PAS 654 PA Internal Medicine Sub 4
PAS 655 PA Women's Health 4
PAS 656 PA Pediatrics 4
PAS 657 PA General Surgery 4
PAS 658 PA Emergency Medicine 4
PAS 659 Orthopaedics 4
PAS 660 PA Clinical Elective 4
PAS 690 Senior Seminar 3
 Credit Hours47
 Total Credit Hours122