Admission Requirements

The Wake Forest PA Program accepts applications from U.S. citizens and permanent residents as long as the undergraduate, prerequisite course work has been done in the United States or Canada and the GRE has been or will be taken. Applicants educated outside the U.S. and Canada must utilize a transcript evaluation service to document their training. The academic record must show credits and grades equivalent to those given by U.S. institutions of higher learning. In addition, the applicant must receive a degree from an institution in the United States or Canada, complete all prerequisite coursework at an institution in the United States or Canada, and meet all other requirements for admission.

Students are required to attend the PA Program full time. All courses within the curriculum are required, no transfer credit is accepted, no credit is granted for pre-admission experiential learning, and no advanced placement is awarded. Advanced placement is defined as a waiver of required coursework within the PA curriculum for applicants to the program and/or a waiver of required coursework within the PA curriculum for currently enrolled students in the program which results in the student advancing in the curriculum without completing required curriculum components).

Degree prerequisite

Applicants must obtain a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution or an equivalent institution as determined by the Wake Forest School of Medicine (WFSM) prior to matriculation into the program. A baccalaureate degree is a minimum requirement. Therefore, a masters or doctorate level degree awarded in lieu of a baccalaureate degree will meet this requirement.

Course prerequisites

All of the following prerequisite courses must be completed with grades of “C” or above. A “C-“ will not be accepted. All prerequisite courses should be completed by the end of the Fall Semester in which application is made. Please note: Beginning with the 2017-2018 application cycle, all prerequisite courses MUST be completed by the end of the Fall Semester in which the application is made.

  • Genetics: one semester (a minimum of three semester hours or four quarter hours) of a molecular-based genetics course. A social-based genetics course will not meet this requirement.
  • General Chemistry: one semester (a minimum of three semester hours or four quarter hours). One semester of Organic Chemistry will also fulfill this requirement.
  • Biochemistry: one semester (a minimum of three semester hours or four quarter hours). A survey or combined course will not meet this requirement.
  • Anatomy & Physiology: one full academic year (a minimum of six semester hours or eight quarter hours). This requirement may be met by taking either one semester of Anatomy and one semester of Physiology, or two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology combined.
  • Microbiology: one semester (a minimum of three semester hours or four quarter hours) with lab preferred.
  • Statistics: one semester (a minimum of two semester hours or three quarter hours).
  • Medical Terminology: one course in medical terminology. Before enrolling in an online course that does not result in a course grade on a college transcript, please contact our Admissions Office for approval.

 Computer literacy is strongly encouraged, including knowledge of email, word processing, and Internet navigation.

 Letters of reference

WFSM PA Program requests three letters of reference. One reference should be from a health care professional. Additional references received by the WFSM PA Program admissions office are placed in the applicant's file.

Test scores

Official scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) - General Test taken within the past five years are required. GRE scores MUST be submitted through CASPA using the WFSM PA Program code 5923.

Pre-admission healthcare experience

Healthcare experience that includes interaction with patients (patient contact, not necessarily hands-on) is required. The following criteria make an applicant most competitive:

  • A minimum of 1,000 hours of healthcare employment or patient contact experience completed prior to matriculation
  • Patient contact experience that requires a period of training and results in direct (hands-on) patient care
  • Evidence of community service in a health care setting (eg, healthcare for underserved populations, medical mission work, etc.)

Applicants accepted in the last admission cycle had patient contact experience ranging from 1,000 hours to 25,000 hours. In addition, we encourage applicants to “shadow” a PA to become informed of the role of the PA, although shadowing does not count as patient contact experience.

Non-cognitive variables

In addition to the above criteria, applicants will also be assessed on the following non-cognitive factors:

  • Leadership
  • Military service
  • Volunteerism
  • Diversity of life experience
  • Success in overcoming adversity
  • Aptitude for inquiry-based learning

Background check and health assessment policy

All students who enter the WFSM PA Program will be required to have a criminal background check and a health assessment completed prior to matriculation. The offer of admission is conditional upon results of the background check and health assessment, to include a drug screen. During enrollment, repeat background checks, health and drug screens may be required. If a prospective student declines to undergo the background check or health assessment, including a drug screen, or if findings of a grievous nature are revealed, the offer of admission will be revoked. If a student declines to undergo a background check, health assessment, or drug screen while enrolled in the program or if findings of a grievous nature are revealed, this will be grounds for dismissal from the program. 

A copy of the Background Check will be given to the student during Orientation. Other copies will be distributed on a need to know basis for educational purposes (such as to clinical education sites).

Acceptance into and successful completion of the WFSM PA Program does not imply or guarantee that the student will be able to obtain state licensure upon graduation.

Student employment policy

Employment by or in the WFSM PA Program during the period of matriculation is strictly prohibited. Due to the rigorous nature of the curriculum, employment outside of the WFSM PA Program during the period of matriculation is highly discouraged. Students must not work, substitute, or function as instructional faculty in the PA program.

Technical standards

A candidate for the MMS degree must satisfy the technical standards. Technological compensation can be made for some disabilities in certain areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.

Quick Reference

PA Studies Admissions

Phone: 336-716-4356
Fax 336-716-4432

Mailing Address:
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Department of PA Studies
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1006

525 Vine Street, Suite 540
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

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