Admissions Requirements

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Application Requirements for the Cohort starting in Fall of 2024

Applicants for the CCPA program are required to:

  • Complete an application through CASPA prior to March 2024. Please note applications will be reviewed in the order they are received. We recommend applicants apply early in the application cycle and complete the secondary application as soon as it is sent out to applicants.
  • Complete the secondary application provided by email once the CASPA application has been received and minimum requirements have been met.
  • Complete the prerequisite courses and complete all application submission requirements by August 1, 2024
  • Submit proof of completed baccalaureate (or higher) degree from regionally accredited institution** by no later than 2 weeks prior matriculation
  • Demonstrate a minimum 2.5 cumulative overall grade point average*
  • Demonstrate a minimum 2.5 cumulative science grade point average*
  • Successfully complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of “C” or higher**
    • Human Anatomy & Physiology with or without lab – 6 semester credits
    • Microbiology with or without lab – 3 semester credits
    • Chemistry with or without lab (chemistry sequence designated for health professions) – 6 semester credits
    • Statistics – 3 semester credits
    • Medical Terminology – 1 semester credits or equivalent training (as evidenced by allied health/ medical training)
  • Submit a completed application through ATSU application service which includes two references who are able to provide letters of recommendation:
    • References will be notified automatically upon submission of the completed application
    • All letters of recommendation must be received prior to entering the interview phase
    • It is strongly recommended that the references include:
      • A physician assistant who you have shadowed or worked with in the past
      • Another healthcare practitioner (DO, MD, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner, etc) who can attest to your potential as a healthcare professional based on direct observation OR a faculty member, employer, or supervisor
    • Letters of recommendation should reflect your:
      • Timing and duration of relationship (when and how long)
      • Relationship with the reference
      • Experience with the reference
      • Interpersonal skills
      • Experience in healthcare delivery setting
      • Work ethic
      • Preparation for graduate study
      • Commitment / dedication to the CCPA Mission

* Grade point average calculated and reported on a 4.00 scale

** All prerequisite coursework and degree must be completed from a United States regionally accredited institution. Prerequisite courses completed at institutions that are not regionally accredited in the United States will not be accepted.

Course and transcript evaluations of equivalency are not accepted. The Central Coast Physician Assistant (CCPA) Program supports all educational experiences from either U.S. regionally accredited colleges and universities, by residential, hybrid, online instruction, or credit by examination.

Applicants must be a US citizen/Permanent Resident.

Applicant recommendations

In addition to the requirements stated above, the CCPA program highly recommends applicants meet the following:


  • We recommend applicants complete prerequisite coursework within the last 5 years


  • Patient care experience
    • Experience in healthcare delivery sufficient to be able to recognize the physical and psychological demands of dealing with patients and to appreciate the challenges and rewards of being a healthcare professional
  • Volunteering and/or community service
    • Providing social services to underserved or disadvantaged communities and/or persons
  • Medical mission experience
    • Providing medical services to underserved or disadvantaged communities and/or persons

Program mission

The CCPA program educates culturally-humble, diverse physician assistants (PAs) to serve the primary care needs of medically underserved communities. The program prefers applications from those who are:

  • First generation college student
  • Hometown Scholar
  • Historically Underrepresented Groups
  • Economically disadvantaged student
  • Residents of or have origins in the Central Coast region

Advanced standing

This program does not offer advanced standing.

Summary of program admissions process


Admissions to the CCPA program is a multi-step process. Applicants are required to apply through CASPA.  Applications which meet the application requirements will qualify an applicant to interview. Interviews are conducted in three parts (see below for step 2a, b, c information) After an applicant completes the interview process, a meeting of the CCPA Admissions Committee will review application materials and information gathered during interviews and award a seat in the program or decline to award a seat in the program.

It is advantageous for applicants to complete the admissions process in a timely manner, as seats in the program are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Step 1: Application

Applicants will submit an application through CASPA prior to the application deadline, April 1, 2024 and will need to complete a secondary application provided by email from ATSU admissions. Upon receipt of a completed application, the University admissions department will verify the application demonstrates fulfillment of the application requirements. Applications which meet the program’s requirements will be forwarded to the program for interviews.

Step 2: Interviews

Interviews will be conducted online; no travel is required. Applicants living or travelling near an ATSU campus will not be able to interview in person. Interviews will proceed linearly through three parts.

Step 2a: Asynchronous Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs)

Applicants receive an invitation from the program by email to participate in self-paced MMIs using Canvas, the University’s learning management system. Applicants may be able to complete Step 2a in one day, or may take multiple days or weeks to complete all MMIs. Timeliness is advantageous to applicants.

Step 2b: Synchronous MMIs

Applicants who complete Step 2a will be invited in an email from the program to participate in Step 2b. Applicants sign up for one interview day and time and attend the interview in Zoom using a computer with a webcam and microphone. (Applicants do not need a Zoom account to attend.) This interview day will consist of multiple short interviews between an applicant and faculty person(s). Step 2b usually requires less than 2 hours to complete.

Step 2c: Directors Interview

Applicants who complete Step 2b will be invited in an email from the program to participate in Step 2c. Applicants sign up for one interview day and time and attend the interview in Zoom using a computer with a webcam and microphone. (Applicants do not need a Zoom account to attend.) This interview day will consist of an interview between the applicant and the program director and (when available) the medical director. Step 2c usually requires 1 hour or less to complete.

Step 3: Admissions Committee

Applicants who complete Step 2 (a, b, & c) will be advanced to Step 3 as considered applicants. The program faculty convene as the Admissions Committee and review information from each considered applicant’s submitted application, information from Step 2 interviews, and then recommends or declines awarding seats in the program based on this review of information.

Committee decisions will be communicated to applicants promptly. The program will establish a waitlist once all the seats for a cohort are filled.

Required immunizations and physical exam

PA students are required to have a completed physical exam as well as proof of immunization (based on the current Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for health professionals) prior to matriculation and for clinical experiences. Additionally, students are expected to submit updated immunizations each year as required by the program.

Accepted students will be required to submit required immunization details prior to matriculation. See current CDC required vaccinations. PA students will be required to have evidence of vaccination status and/or serum titers to check immune status for:

  • Influenza
  • COVID-19 (including boosters)
  • Hepatitis B (or titers)
  • MMR- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (or Titers)
  • Tdap- Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis
  • TB- Tuberculosis (or titer)
  • Varicella (or titer)

Computer literacy

Applicants and students are expected to be able to complete assignments, presentations, exams, and communication on a computer. Students will be expected to be experienced in word processing and other office-based software. All coursework requires extensive computer usage. Accepted applicants are required to have a laptop computer prior to the first day of class. Devices with a mobile operating system (e.g. iOS, Android, ChromeOS) will not be acceptable to fulfill this requirement. See the Minimum Technology Specifications.