How to Apply
The following steps are included in the application process. Review each step carefully as you prepare and submit your application. For more detailed information about dates and notifications, refer to our Admission Timeline page. If you have questions about your application materials, refer to our admission FAQ.
Complete recommended preparatory coursework and recommended preparatory experience. Review our entrance requirements and recommendations carefully as you decide what courses to take and explore options for clinical, research, and volunteer experience. Review our Applicant Self-Assessment Checklist, and consider how to best align your coursework and experience with our program's mission and goals.
Complete CASPA Application
We use the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) to receive all applications. The application window for the 2021-2022 admission cycle will open on April 30, 2021 and close on August 1, 2021 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.
Please note that applications must be in "Received" CASPA status by August 1, 2021 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time in order to be eligible for review. Because there may be processing delays, we strongly encourage applicants to submit several days ahead of the deadline. Deadline extensions for processing delays will not be granted. Learn more about CASPA statuses.
There is a fee to submit the CASPA application. Learn more about CASPA fees, including the CASPA Fee Assistance Program.
Complete GRE, MCAT, or PA-CAT
Completion of the GRE, MCAT, or PA-CAT is not required in order for applications to be eligible for review. We recommend that applicants complete either the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), the Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT) examination, or the Physician Assistant College Admission Test (PA-CAT), but we will review all eligible applications regardless of standardized test completion.
Applicants with GRE scores should submit official scores for all sections (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical) in the CASPA application using the Stanford MSPA Program CASPA code 4510. Applicants with MCAT scores should provide their Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) verification code in the CASPA application using the Stanford MSPA Program CASPA code 4510. Applicants taking the PA-CAT should designate Stanford as one of the schools to send their scores to, and then PA-CAT will send official scores directly to us. Official GRE, MCAT, and/or PA-CAT scores should be verified either in CASPA (for GRE and MCAT) or received by our admission office (for PA-CAT) by August 1 in order to be included in our review.
Complete CASPer Assessment
All applicants are required to take the Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (CASPer). CASPer is an online test that assesses non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program. Please note that CASPer test results are only valid for one (1) admissions cycle; applicants who have completed CASPer in previous cycles must retake it for the current cycle. Applicants should go to www.takeCASPer.com to sign up for the American Professional Health Sciences test (CSP10101) and select the Stanford MSPA program to receive their official scores. Please be sure to select the current admissions cycle and to review available test dates carefully. For applicants in the 2021-2022 admission cycle, CASPer must be completed by August 1, 2021.
Please make sure to register for CASPer at least three days before your preferred test date and time. CASPer dates are limited, and last-minute bookings are not recommended and not guaranteed.
There is a fee to take CASPer. If the fee is a financial burden and may prohibit you from taking the test, please reach out to our admission team.
Request Letters of Reference
A minimum of three (3) letters of reference are recommended with a maximum of five (5) letters allowed through the CASPA application. Letters of reference from a physician assistant, a physician, and a person who can speak to the applicant's academic potential, such as a science professor or academic advisor, are strongly preferred. Letters from prior employers, professional colleagues, and mentors are also acceptable. Letters of reference should speak directly to the applicant's alignment with the mission and goals of our program. In order to be considered in our review, letters of reference must be received in CASPA by August 1, 2021.
After our application review is complete, approximately 10% of applicants will be invited to interview. The first round of interviews will be held virtually in October 2021. Some applicants will be invited for a second round interview, to be held on the Stanford School of Medicine campus in November 2021. All interviews will be panel-style (each applicant will be interviewed by a current MSPA faculty member and student) and "open" (interviewers will have access to the applicant file prior to the interview).
After the conclusion of our interviews, our admission committee selects candidates for admission. Accepted and waitlisted candidates will be notified via email on a semi-rolling basis. A non-refundable seat deposit of $1,000, which will be applied toward the applicant's first-quarter tuition, is required at the time an applicant accepts a position in the incoming class.