Entrance Requirements

1.  Applicants must have received an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited US college or university by July 15th of the year of matriculation.  No specific discipline or major is prescribed.   Please be advised that prospective applicants without a qualifying degree will unfortunately be ineligible to apply.

2.  The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the MCAT is required.  Please note that scores are only valid for five years.  Our ETS GRE code for CASPA is 4510.  Please be advised that we do not issue GRE waivers.

(3.) Prior healthcare experience (>500 hours) through either prior employment or volunteer work is strongly recommended.  In addition, prior leadership or service work in a medically underserved area is desirable.  Please report only the experience you will have at the time of application.  Please do not extrapolate anticipated hours.

(4.) Preparatory coursework is strongly recommended; please see below for details.

5.  Applicants who are invited by the Program to take the CASPer test must submit test results by the deadline specified in their invitation letter in order to be considered for an interview.

Applicants will be required to submit two personal statements (limited to 2,000 characters), self-reported GRE scores, and three letters of reference as part of their CASPA application.  These reference letters should reflect the applicant's ability to perform graduate‐level work and address the individual's professionalism, integrity, and motivation.  Prior employers, professional colleagues, and academic advisors are acceptable references. 

Applicants must also answer a few additional questions in CASPA specifically pertaining to the Stanford School of Medicine MS in PA Studies program.  The questions relate to future PA practice, leadership potential, most likely area of scholarly concentration and contributions to diversity. 

A Note on Completeness and the Deadline:
Please be advised that applications must meet all of the following criteria by the application deadline in order to be considered in this cycle:


Minimums, Majors, and Advanced Placement:

  • The MSPA program does not have require applicants to meet minimum GPAs or a minimum GRE score in order to be considered.
  • No specific major is prescribed.
  • A note on advanced placement: the program does not grant advanced placement.  A co-terminal degree program for Stanford University undergraduate students will be considered in the future but is not available at this time.

Please note:

Submitted Documents

Application materials, once submitted as part of your application, become the property of Stanford University. Materials will not be returned and copies will not be provided for applicants nor released to other institutions. Please keep a copy for your records.

Stanford's Right of Verification

Stanford reserves the right to investigate the authenticity, accuracy, and authorship of materials submitted, information provided, and assertions made in connection with the application.

Stanford reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission if:

  1. You show a significant drop in academic performance or fail to graduate; or,
  2. There has been a misrepresentation in or breach of the terms of your application; or,
  3. Stanford learns that you have engaged in behavior prior to the first day of enrolled attendance that indicates a serious lack of judgment or integrity.

Stanford further reserves the right to require that you provide additional information and/or authorization for the release of information about such matters, or about any matter relating to your application for admission.


“The selection of students admitted to the MS Physician Assistant Studies program is based on an individualized, holistic review of each application, including (but not limited to) the applicant’s academic record, the letters of recommendation, the scores on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), the personal statement, personal qualities and characteristics, and past accomplishments.”

Recommended Preparatory Courses

Desirable applicants are academically ready to succeed in the program.  The following courses are strongly recommended to have been completed prior to application to the program, within the last ten years.  They must be completed at a postsecondary level (i.e. we do not consider AP credit or coursework taken in high school).  They can have been completed at an undergraduate or post‐baccalaureate level, or through graduate work.                                                                                   

  • - Anatomy (4 semester units or 5 quarter units)
  • - Physiology (4 semester units or 5 quarter units; animal, human, or exercise physiology acceptable)
  •         Two semesters/quarters of a combined Anatomy and Physiology course is also acceptable
  •  - Chemistry (4 semester units or 5 quarter units; Organic Chemistry is acceptable)
  •  - General Statistics or Biostatistics
  •             Specialized statistics courses, such as "Statistics for Psychology" are not acceptable
  •  - Psychology
  • In addition to the courses above, we recommend 3 additional upper-division-level science courses.  Ideally these courses should have been completed at an undergraduate or post‐baccalaureate level, or through graduate work, and within the last ten years and completed by the time of matriculation.  Some examples of acceptable courses are listed below; this is not an exhaustive list.
  •       Cell Biology                                                    Embryology                                                  Endocrinology
  •       Genetics                                                           Histology                                                       Human Biology
  •       Immunology                                                  Microbiology                                                Molecular Biology
  •       Neuroscience                                                Pharmacology
  • Please note: Some institutions offer lower-division-level courses in the above areas.  To ensure consideration, please verify that your desired course is upper-division-level, i.e. only available at a 4-year institution to advanced students.


We also suggest that applicants, especially those without strong prior healthcare experience, consider taking a course in Medical Terminology prior to matriculation (no specific course type or units/credits recommended).