Technically, all course prerequisites need to be completed prior to applying in order to be competitive. Depending upon the completeness and competitiveness of your entire application, the Admissions Committee will consider an applicant who is completing one and only one course prerequisite during the fall semester. If you are completing one final course during the fall, be sure it is listed under “Courses in Progress” on the CASPA application. It is your responsibility to send an official transcript directly to the PA Program as soon as the final grade is available so we can include it in the review of your application.
Be sure to list all “in progress” and “planned” courses on the CASPA application. As soon as final grades are available, it is your responsibility to notify the program and promptly send an official transcript directly to the program office so we can update your file. We do not have early decision or rolling admissions, so there is no advantage to submitting your application early. If you are still taking courses in the spring and summer semesters, you might consider waiting to submit your CASPA application so that the grades appear on your application. Otherwise, it is your responsibility to send official transcripts directly to the program once the final grades are available. All applications will be considered as long as they are complete and are submitted prior to the August 1 deadline and verified by CASPA by August 31.
All sections of the CASPA application must be completed in full.
The only additional material that needs to be mailed directly the PA Program is:
Please refer to How to Apply for additional information.
If your Anatomy and Physiology coursework is over 10 years old, you will need to re-take it. There are no substitute courses for A&P. The Admissions Committee will accept re-taking A&P courses either online or in-class at either a regionally accredited 2-year or 4-year institution. A one-semester Anatomy and Physiology course is generally not adequate. Human, vertebrate, or animal A&P are all acceptable.
An Anatomy and Physiology lab is not required. The Admissions Committee does not evaluate the Anatomy and Physiology prerequisite based upon course credits. Rather it is the course content that is important. Anatomy and Physiology must cover the entire body from head to toe, including all body systems. Courses must cover BOTH anatomy and physiology of all body systems. Either a one semester or two semester course is appropriate, as long as all systems have been included. Taking only one semester of a two-semester sequence is not sufficient.
All biology and chemistry lecture and lab courses must be the “hard core” science courses that are considered “pre-med” or “science major” courses by the regionally accredited school offering them. Biology and chemistry lecture courses and labs may be taken in class or online. Biology and chemistry courses intended for non-science majors are not adequate.
Yes, as long as these courses are considered equivalent courses by the school offering them and they adhere to our guidelines regarding the type and content of the course and where they are taken.
Yes. You need to have a minimum of 2 biology lectures plus 1 biology lab with grades of solid B or better in order to satisfy the biology prerequisite. For example, if you took 5 biology lecture courses and earned grades below solid B in only 2 of them, you would still have 3 biology lectures with grades of solid B or better. Any combination of biology courses (basic and upper level) taken at a regionally-accredited institution is fine.
Yes. You need to have a minimum of 2 chemistry lectures plus 1 chemistry lab with grades of solid B or better in order to satisfy the chemistry prerequisite. For example, if you took 5 chemistry lecture courses and earned grades below solid B in only 2 of them, you would still have 3 chemistry lectures with grades of solid B or better. Any combination of chemistry courses (basic and upper level) taken at a regionally-accredited institution is fine.
The Admissions Committee defines hands-on patient care experience as working one-on-one with patients. Examples of hands-on skills include, but are not limited to: taking vital signs, doing ECGs, drawing blood, changing bandages and dressings, splinting, casting, removing sutures, bathing and toileting. Jobs that involve counseling patients on medical procedures, protocols, or treatment plans may be acceptable but may be considered less competitive than positions that require direct physical patient contact. The job title of the position is not as important as the specific duties performed.
Because of liability concerns, volunteers are usually unable to provide the type of hands-on patient care we require. However, there may be some circumstances in which volunteer situations may provide an opportunity for hands-on patient care, most notably that of a volunteer EMT. Volunteer experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
While you may be performing hands-on patient care procedures, caring for a relative will not fulfill the hands-on patient care prerequisite. The Admissions Committee considers full-time paid employment in a medical care setting to be the most appropriate type of experience.
The Admissions Committee will consider fewer hours depending upon the type and intensity of your experience. For example, having 900 hours of hands-on patient care experience as an EMT doing only patient transfer would not be as competitive as an applicant who has 800 hours of hands-on patient care experience working as an ER tech. The latter provides a greater opportunity for a variety and intensity of patient care experience.
No. All applications will be given full consideration as long as they are complete and are submitted by the August 1 deadline and we receive the verified CASPA application by August 31. Applying early does not necessarily mean that your application will be reviewed earlier. Notification about interviews is generally sent out via email starting in August and continues through the fall. Final decisions regarding interviews and acceptance are usually finalized by mid-January.
The Admissions Committee will consider an application from a college senior as long as he/she has successfully completed all of the course prerequisites and has significant hands-on patient care experience prior to the August 1 deadline.
As long as your CASPA application is submitted to CASPA by August 1, it will still be reviewed as long as it has been verified and sent to us by CASPA by August 31. However, your CASPA application will not be reviewed if your Northeastern application fee of $75 (if applicable) is not received by the program by the August 1 deadline. Complete applications are necessary for further consideration. Remember that around the August 1 CASPA submission deadline, it can take over 4 weeks for CASPA to verify and forward the material to us.
The evaluation of applications has two phases. Applications are initially screened to ensure that an applicant has satisfied the basic prerequisites (bachelor’s degree, minimum 3.0 overall and science GPAs, specific coursework with minimum grades of solid B or better, and approximately 1000 hours of hands-on patient care experience). All components of the application are equally important. The next phase of evaluation involves comparing all applicants who meet the basic prerequisites with one another.
There is none. We look at the entire application to get a sense of the whole individual. Students accepted into the program have a wide array of personal, educational, experiential, and employment backgrounds. The diversity of our classes creates an exciting and stimulating learning environment for both students and instructors. The application pool varies from year to year making it difficult to predict what types of things an applicant can do, above and beyond satisfying the basic prerequisites, to stand out.
Last year, the program received close to 1000 CASPA applications.
Focusing on an average GPA can be misleading. Students who are accepted to the program need to have at least a 3.0 overall GPA. Applicants with the highest overall GPAs are not necessarily always more competitive. Many factors besides overall undergrad GPAs are taken into consideration: science GPAs, specific prerequisites courses and grades, type and amount of hands-on patient care experience, clinically-related personal references, the application essays, and the personal interview. All of these criteria are important, and one does not take the place of another.
Application to the program is extremely competitive. Eligible applicants must have both overall and science GPAs of greater than or equal to 3.0 in order to be considered for admission.
We use the GPAs as calculated by CASPA. Please refer to the Academics heading of our Prerequisites section of the website for more information.
No, we do not offer deferments. If an applicant is accepted but does not matriculate, he/she would have to reapply with no guarantee of future acceptance.
Applicants who have been interviewed but who have not been accepted or wait-listed may appeal the decision directly to the Program Director.
The program is a full-time day program. There is no part-time option. During the first year, students will have classes Monday through Friday, generally from 8:00 a.m. to at least 5:00 p.m. Occasionally, there may be a special evening lab or demonstration which students are made aware of well in advance. While on rotation during the second year, students will go to a new rotation site every five weeks and are expected to fulfill the hours required at different sites, including evenings, weekends, and on-call coverage.
Working while enrolled in the program is not feasible. The full-time didactic year curriculum is rigorous including mandatory class attendance as well as required reading and other course preparation outside of classroom time. During the second year while doing clinical rotations, in addition to the hours you need to spend at the rotation site, you will be expected to do outside reading and may be given written assignments by some clinical preceptors. Some rotations require weekend, evening, or on-call coverage, thereby making it unfeasible to plan on having a regular schedule throughout the clinical year.
No additional courses are required if you have completed all prerequisite courses with a U.S. equivalent grade of solid B or better. These courses must still have been taken within 10 years of applying. No exceptions are made.
No. All students accepted into the program must go through the entire 2-year curriculum regardless of previous coursework or training. Advanced placement will not be awarded to any applicant to the Physician Assistant Program, regardless of prior education or experience.
While the Admissions Committee may consider experience gained in another country, hands-on patient care experience in the United States is also recommended.
No. For either Dual Degree Program, you must first be accepted to the PA Program. Your application will then be forwarded to the MPH or HI Admissions Committee for consideration. If you are not accepted into the PA program but are still interested in either the MPH or HI Programs, you would need to apply to that program separately at:
Yes. You can still matriculate in the PA Program only.
No. If accepted into a Dual Degree Program, you must matriculate in both programs during the same calendar year. The MPH and HI Programs begin in January each year, and the PA Program begins in August of the same year.