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Admission Requirements

The application cycle for the class of 2021 has opened April 26, 2018 and will close on September 1, 2018. Read the Application Process section for more details.

Applicants must satisfy criteria in the following areas: 

  • US citizenship/residency
  • Educational (degree and course) requirements
  • Letters of reference
  • GRE – general test
  • Health care experience
  • Non-cognitive factors
  • Military service documentation, if applicable
  • Background check and health assessment
  • Technical standards

US Citizenship/Residency

The Wake Forest PA Program accepts applications from U.S. citizens and permanent residents. 

Degree prerequisite

Applicants must have obtained a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution or an equivalent institution as determined by WFSM, before starting classes. 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.

Applicants educated outside the U.S. or Canada must utilize a transcript evaluation service to document academic equivalency. The academic record must show credits and grades equivalent to those given by U.S. institutions of higher learning.

Please note: Starting with the admission cycle for class of 2023, the degree prerequisite requirement must be met by the end of the fall semester of the current application cycle. This requirement will be instituted in the application cycle running 2020-2021.

Course prerequisites

Applicants must complete the following prerequisite courses:

  • 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).
  • 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 the Wake Forest PA Program admissions office.

All prerequisite courses must be completed by December 31, 2018 for those who would enroll in the program in 2019.

Prerequisite courses must be completed with grades of “C” or above. A “C-“ will not be accepted.

Prerequisite courses must be completed in the United States or Canada.

We strongly recommend that applicants repeat any prerequisite course that was completed before 2013. We also strongly recommend that prerequisite courses be completed with a lab, if applicable. 

Letters of Reference

The WFSM PA Program requires three letters of reference that must be submitted through the CASPA application. One reference must be from a health care professional. 

GRE test scores

Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) - General Test within five years of the application deadline. (For example, those applying in 2018 for entry in 2019 must have completed the GRE no earlier than October 1, 2013.) 

GRE scores MUST be submitted through CASPA using the WFSM PA Program code 5923.

Applicants who have completed a Masters or a PhD degree in a health- or science-related field in the past ten years and cannot obtain GRE scores from ETS may submit GRE scores from the institution granting their graduate level degree.

Pre-admission healthcare experience

Healthcare experience involves direct interaction with patients. The WFSM PA Program requires a minimum of 1,000 hours of healthcare employment or other direct patient contact experience. Applicants during the 2018-2019 admission cycle must have completed these hours before October 1, 2018. 

To be most competitive, applicants should have experience in the following situations:

  • Patient contact experience in a position that requires a period of training and results in direct (hands-on) patient care
  • Evidence of community service in a health care setting (e.g., healthcare for underserved populations, medical mission work)

Applicants accepted in previous admission cycles had patient contact experience ranging from 1,050 hours to 25,750 hours. 

We encourage applicants to “shadow” PAs in order to become informed about the profession, although shadowing does not count toward the required patient contact experience hours.

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 self-directed, adult learning 

Military Applicants

Applicants who have separated from military service are required to upload an official copy of their DD214 form with their supplemental application.

Background check and health assessment policy

All applicants who are invited to enter the WFSM PA Program will be required to have a criminal background check and a health assessment completed before the first day of classes. The offer of admission is conditional upon results of the background check and health assessment. If a prospective student declines to undergo the background check or health assessment, including a drug screen if applicable, 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, dismissal from the program may result. 

A copy of the Background Check will be provided to the student upon request. 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. 

Technical standards

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

Advanced Placement

Note: All courses within the Wake Forest PA curriculum are required, no transfer credit is accepted, 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).

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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