COVID-19: Keeping Campus Safe.

Prospective Students

The application cycle for the PA class beginning in January 2023 is closed. The next cycle will open in spring 2023.


Physician assistants (PAs) are vital members of a patient’s health care team and are in demand nationwide. 

In response to this national demand for physician assistants (PAs), the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine has developed a physician assistant program with 28 months of rigorous academic courses and challenging clinical rotations as set forth for Provisional Accreditation, per ARC-PA. Physician assistants are in high demand because they are integrated into all health care disciplines and settings, are cost-effective for the health care industry, and because of the shortage of physicians. As a matter of fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 28 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations."

Marshall University’s PA graduates will earn a Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant degree (MMS PA), and will be prepared to evaluate, diagnose, and manage patients in primary and specialty care across all stages of life as well as patients in culturally diverse and rural settings. Additionally, the program will provide its students with the competencies and skills to support lifelong learning, to apply evidence-based medicine in practice, and to work in interprofessional teams. When this team approach of health care professionals is used, a wider range of services can be offered, and more patients will benefit at the regional, state, and national levels.

April 2023 – CASPA cycle opens
May 2023 – First test date for CASPer assessment
June 2023 – Interview sessions begin
September 1, 2023 – Special application deadline for Marshall University graduates to receive a guaranteed interview
October 1, 2023 – Deadline for application to be verified by CASPA
Within 30 days of interview – Admission offers disseminated to applicants
January 2-5, 2024 – Orientation week (students are required to attend)
January 8, 2024 – First day of class

The Physician Assistant program at Marshall University is a non-thesis, 28-month graduate-level program awarding the Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant (MMS PA) degree upon completion.

Applicants will be evaluated using the applicant’s academic record, CASPer exam, recommendations, entrance exam, essay and interview. Consistent with our mission, applicants who are West Virginia residents will be given additional points in the admission rubrics.

Marshall University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, marital or family status, pregnancy, veteran status, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or gender expression in the administration of any of its educational programs, activities or with respect to admission or employment.

Rolling Admission

Admission is selective and operates on a rolling admission cycle. Therefore, it will benefit applicants to complete their applications early. Applications verified (by CASPA) prior to the October 1 deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications that are not verified (by CASPA) by Marshall’s Physician Assistant program admission deadline will NOT be considered.

Advanced Placement

No advanced placement is granted in the program. All courses must be taken in the Marshall University Physician Assistant Program.

Application Deadline – October 1, 2023

Applicants who wish to join the cohort in January 2024 must have their CASPA application verified by October 1, 2023.

Baccalaureate degree from an accepted accredited US institution: no specific major is required so long as prerequisites are successfully completed.

Required minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) overall, as calculated by CASPA
Required minimum prerequisite coursework GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale), as calculated by Marshall University’s PA Program
Required minimum science GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale), as calculated by CASPA

Prerequisite coursework. All prerequisite coursework should have been taken within the last 10 years. No Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) coursework will be accepted in lieu of taking the courses themselves. All courses must be taken for a letter grade and be passed at the C or better level; a C minus is not acceptable. Applicants who are currently enrolled in required undergraduate prerequisite courses, or obtaining their bachelor’s degree, may apply for preliminary admission. Once all required courses are successfully completed, prior to the designated start term of the application and as evidenced by an official transcript from the sending institution, those applicants may be regularly admitted to the program.

The credit hours (cr) of the following prerequisites are considered equivalent to semester hours. Please take this into consideration if you are taking courses using a different system. Quarter hour system prerequisite courses must equal the listed semester hour requirements. To calculate semester credit hours, multiply the number of quarter hour credits by 0.667.

General Chemistry with associated lab 8 cr
Statistics 3 cr
Human Anatomy with lab 4 cr
Human Physiology 3 cr
Organic Chemistry I with lab – 4 cr (or Biochemistry – 3 cr) 4 cr OR 3 cr
Microbiology with lab 3 cr
Medical Terminology One semester (1 - 3 cr)
Psychology 3 cr
College Algebra – May be replaced with college-level pre-calculus or calculus 3 cr

Prerequisite coursework notes:

  • Combined Human Anatomy and Physiology courses are accepted in lieu of separate Human Anatomy with lab and Human Physiology courses. However, applicants must take two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology with associated labs (totaling 8 cr).
  • No Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credit will be accepted for any prerequisite courses.
  • All prerequisite courses must have an assigned letter grade and not Pass/Fail or CR/NC.
  • While the program encourages in-person labs, both in-person and virtual labs will be accepted.

Recommendations. Three recommendations are required. They must be submitted through CASPA and be from recommenders who can attest to the applicant’s abilities to succeed, such as the capacity to learn, work ethic, and/or educational or professional goals. Recommendations should NOT be from family members or friends.

Entrance exam – Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The MCAT may be substituted for the GRE. GRE/MCAT scores must be less than five years old at the time of application. There is no minimum score required. Official scores must be submitted electronically to CASPA directly from ETS using a special CASPA code. Visit the CASPA Official GRE Scores webpage to learn how to submit your official GRE scores. Visit the CASPA Official MCAT Scores webpage to learn how to submit your official MCAT scores.

Essay. The essay, or commonly referred to as personal statement, must be submitted through CASPA.

CASPA and supplemental application. Complete both the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) application and Marshall’s PA program’s supplemental application; this includes the non-refundable supplemental application fee ($40 for domestic applicants and $150 for international). The supplemental application will be completed only by applicants who are invited for and accept an interview. Interviewees will be expected to complete and submit their supplemental application at the time of their interview.

Casper Exam. All applicants applying to the Marshall University Physician Assistant Program are required to complete the Acuity Insights (Casper test only) for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle.

Casper, through Acuity Insights, is a standardized, multi-part online assessment that measures different competencies and attributes that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program. Casper will complement the other tools that we use for applicant review and evaluation. By implementing Casper, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process.
Acuity Insights consists of:

  • Casper: 90-110 minute online, open-response situational judgment test
  • Snapshot: 15-minute one-way video interview with standardized questions

You will register for the Casper test using code CSP-10101-U.S. Professional Health Sciences. Visit to create an account, access the Acuity Insights assessments, and for test dates and requirements.

NOTE: Snapshot is not required to apply to our program.

Marshall University’s PA program strongly encourages applicants to take the exam early as there is a limited number of slots for each day the exam is offered, and their application cannot be considered complete until the exam is taken and scores are received.

An applicant does not need to wait until their CASPA application is completed and/or verified to take the Casper test. Since our program utilizes a rolling admissions cycle, it is advantageous to complete your application as early as possible.

Casper exam results are only valid for a single admissions cycle and must be taken again if an applicant is reapplying. Since there is a cost associated with Casper, if there is a financial hardship that would otherwise prevent an applicant from taking the test, please contact the program director at

PA shadowing. Shadowing a current physician assistant in the field is encouraged, but not required. Shadowing can help an applicant better understand the role of a physician assistant. If invited for an interview, the applicant will be expected to discuss briefly the role of a physician assistant.

Basic computer skills. Skills must include the use of email and web-based and electronic searches.

Patient care experience. Not required.

April 2023 – CASPA cycle opens
May 2023 – First test date for CASPer assessment
June 2023 – Interview sessions begin
September 1, 2023 – Special application deadline for Marshall University graduates to receive a guaranteed interview
October 1, 2023 – Deadline for application to be verified by CASPA
Within 30 days of interview – Admission offers disseminated to applicants
January 2-5, 2024 – Orientation week (students are required to attend)
January 8, 2024 – First day of class

    1. Make sure you meet the admission requirements.

    2. Submit an application through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA), which must be verified by October 1, 2023. Applications that are not verified by Marshall’s PA application deadline will not be reviewed for admission. Note: CASPA recommends that applicants monitor their applications for at least four to six weeks until verification status is achieved.

      Questions regarding your application in CASPA should be directed to CASPA (

      Marshall requires the following materials to be submitted via CASPA:
      1. CASPA application and non-refundable application fee
      2. Official transcripts of all institutions of higher learning attended
      3. Three recommendations – CASPA only requires two, but Marshall requires three
      4. Official GRE or MCAT scores – GRE code is 4752
      5. Essay/Personal Statement – CASPA sets a limit of characters so be sure to follow the guidelines

    3. All applications verified by October 1, 2023, will be reviewed, and a decision will be made to reject or offer an interview to the applicant. Decisions will be made using a rubric designed to be objective and based on the following content:
      • Grade Point Averages (overall, prerequisite, science)
      • Recommendations
      • Personal Statement
      • GRE or MCAT Score
      • Casper Assessment Results
      • Residency – WV residents will receive additional points in the admission rubrics.
      • Marshall University Graduates – Applicants who have obtained, or will obtain by matriculation, an undergraduate degree from Marshall University, who meet the minimum admission requirements, and who have their applications submitted and verified on or by September 1 will be offered an interview.

    4. Applicants who are offered an interview will receive notice via email to the email address listed on the CASPA application. Interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis. Rejection notices will be sent via mail to the current address listed on the CASPA application. Invited applicants will be given an interview date, provided a Marshall University supplemental application and questionnaire to be completed as well as a technical standards document to review and sign.

    5. If any applicant would like to visit our campus, we would be glad to arrange an individual tour utilizing Marshall University’s COVID-19 safety precautions.
    First Semester
    Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
    PAS 500 Foundations of Medicine 7
    PAS 520 Gross Anatomy for the PA  4 (with lab)
    PAS 530 Pharmacology Principles 3
    PAS 550 History and Physical Exam 3 (with lab)
    Second Semester
    PAS 600 Clinical Medicine I 6
    PAS 601 Pharmacology for the PA I 2
    PAS 602 Clinical Concepts I 2
    PAS 603 Clinical Assessment I 2
    PAS 604 Testing and Procedures I 2
    PAS 605 PAs in Health Care 2
    PAS 606 PA Evidence Based Prac 2
    Third Semester
    PAS 610 Clinical Medicine II 6
    PAS 611 Pharmacology for the PA II 2
    PAS 612 Clinical Concepts II 2
    PAS 613 Clinical Assessment II 2
    PAS 614 Testing and Procedures II 2
    PAS 615 Health Policy for the PA 2
    PAS 616 Clinical Specialties I 3
    Fourth Semester
    PAS 620 Clinical Medicine III 6
    PAS 621 Pharmacology for the PA III 2
    PAS 622 Clinical Concepts III 2
    PAS 623  Clinical Assessment III 2
    PAS 624 Testing and Procedures III 2
    PAS 625 PA Professional Practice 2
    PAS 626 Clinical Specialties II 3
    PAS 627 Psychiatry for the PA 2
    Clinical Year
    PAS 650 PA Primary Care I 4
    PAS 651 PA Primary Care II 4
    PAS 652 PA Psychiatry I 4
    PAS 653 PA Internal Medicine I 4
    PAS 654 PA Internal Med Sub 4
    PAS 655 PA Women’s Health 4
    PAS 656 PA Pediatrics 4
    PAS 657 PA General Surgery 4
    PAS 658 PA Emergency Medicine 4
    PAS 659 PA Orthopedics 4
    PAS 660 PA Clinical Elective 4
    PAS 690 Senior Seminar 3

    Applicants who have obtained, or will obtain by matriculation, an undergraduate degree from Marshall University, who meet the minimum admissions requirements, and who have their applications submitted and verified (by CASPA) by September 1st will be offered an interview. Note: The application requirement, process, and other deadlines still apply to all Marshall students.

    Applicants who are West Virginia residents will receive additional points in the admission rubrics.

    These technical standards for admission are set forth by the Marshall University Physician Assistant (PA) Program to establish the expectations and requisite abilities considered essential for students admitted to its educational and training programs. These standards are intended to achieve the levels of competency stipulated by the PA Program, its accrediting agency (the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant – ARC-PA), and the Higher Educational Policy Commission of the State of West Virginia. 

    A practicing physician assistant must possess the physical, mental, behavioral, and social competencies to function in a variety of clinical situations and to render a broad spectrum of patient care in multiple and varied settings. 

    Accepted students must be able to perform the academic and clinical competencies to meet the full requirements of the school’s curriculum. 

    The academic and clinical competencies of the school’s curriculum include the capacity to observe and communicate and demonstrate sufficient motor ability to perform physical examinations and basic laboratory and diagnostic procedures. Students must demonstrate emotional stability, exercise sound judgment, work effectively in stressful situations, and have the intellectual ability to synthesize data and solve problems. 

    Applicants for admission to the PA Program at Marshall University who are invited for an interview are required to certify prior to their interview that they understand and can meet the Technical Standards described herein with or without reasonable accommodations. A description of the actual disability and the need for accommodations should not be disclosed at this time. 

    Reasonable accommodations can be made for accepted students with appropriately documented disabilities. An accommodation is not reasonable if it poses a direct threat to the health or safety of self and/or others, if making it requires a substantial modification in an essential element of the curriculum, if it lowers academic standards, or poses an undue administrative or financial burden. Except in rare circumstances, the use by the candidate of a third party (e.g., an intermediary) to perform any of the functions described in the Technical Standards set forth would constitute an unacceptable modification. 

    An accepted student who has a disability and needs accommodations should initiate the appropriate steps to register with the Marshall University Office of Disability Services. The Office of Disability Services will notify the PA Program Director as soon as the accepted student is to receive services. Once the accepted student is approved for disability services, the student should contact the PA Program Director regarding the approved accommodations. Accepted students with disabilities which may compromise their educational process and their ability to practice medicine or which might compromise the educational process of their classmates may be required to undergo appropriate evaluation to assess their ability to meet the school’s competencies and/or continue in the program. 

    Candidates for admission to the Marshall University Physician Assistant Program must meet the following Technical Standards: 

    1. Must be able to obtain information presented in classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences, including but not limited to lecture, anatomical dissection, and simulated and real treatment situations;

    2. Must be able to process information presented in classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences, including but not limited to lecture, anatomical dissection, and simulated and real treatment situations;

    3. Must be able to learn information presented in classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences, including but not limited to lecture, anatomical dissection, and simulated and real treatment situations;

    4. Must be able to acquire information from a variety of sources, including but not limited to texts, journals, written documentation, videotapes, films, slides, and advanced media resources;

    5. Must have the mental capacity to, in a timely manner, assimilate, learn, and communicate large volumes of complex, technically detailed information, to perform clinical problem-solving, and synthesize and apply concepts and information from different disciplines to formulate evaluative and therapeutic judgments;

    6. Must be able to measure, calculate, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information;

    7. Must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand spatial relationships of structures;

    8. Must be able to process information in a timely manner;

    9. Must be able to solve clinical problems in a timely manner;

    10. Must be able to observe simulated and real patients accurately close at hand and at a distance;

    11. Must be able to assess verbal and non-verbal communication from others;

    12. Must be able to demonstrate effective, efficient, and sensitive verbal, non-verbal, and written communication skills with faculty, peers, patients, and other members of the health care team from different cultural and social backgrounds;

    13. Must be able to consistently perform a complete history and physical exam on any patient regardless of the patient’s race, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, age, or sexual orientation;

    14. Must be able to tolerate long periods of sitting as well as long periods of physical activity;

    15. Must be able to manipulate parts of, or whole bodies of, simulated and real patients;

    16. Must be able to tolerate close physical contact with patients for instructional purposes while maintaining professional deportment;

    17. Must possess the emotional health necessary for the full use of intellectual abilities, the exercise of sound judgment, and the effective completion of all responsibilities attendant to the educational expectations, assessment and treatment of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, family members, colleagues, and others;

    18. Must be able to endure physically and mentally stressful workloads and function effectively and professionally under stress;

    19. Must be able to adapt to changing environments and expectations;

    20. Must be able to prioritize activities effectively;

    21. Must possess adequate sensory function to fulfill the minimum competency objectives for auscultation, percussion, and other physical assessment and treatment procedures commonly used in the medical practice;

    22. Must have the capacity to learn, model and abide by the professional competencies of the profession;

    23. Must have the ability to record examination and diagnostic results clearly, accurately and efficiently, and communicate them effectively to the patient and colleagues.

    Approved by Marshall University Associate General Counsel April 3, 2019
    Approved by Curriculum Committee PA Program Marshall University April 4, 2019

    Applicants who are accepted to the Marshall University Physician Assistant Program will receive a packet of information to complete by a specified date prior to matriculation. The packet will provide the date and outline the following requirements:

      • Acceptance of seat in Class of 2026
      • Payment of seat deposit with supplemental application fee
      • Official transcript showing bachelor’s degree has been conferred
      • Have health insurance before matriculation
      • Background check and drug screen
      • History and physical examination to include required immunizations

    Tuition and Fees

    Academic Year 2022-2023


    Tuition Per Semester

    Fees Per Semester

    Total Per Semester

    WV Resident









    WV Resident – for total of seven (7) semesters


    Non-resident – for total of seven (7) semesters


    Required Expenses – Not Tuition Related

    Unless indicated below, students will be given specific order/purchase instructions for required items.

    Lab Coat and Scrubs

    $45.00 lab coat
    Two sets of program-required scrubs, $35.00 each
    In addition, students must have one pair of scrubs (their preference) for anatomy lab – these will be disposed of after anatomy lab course – estimated cost is $20.00

    Books and equipment (includes stethoscope)

    $1,400.00 (program estimate) **

    Physical Examination

    Prior to matriculation, cost will vary depending on student insurance and area.


    Prior to matriculation, cost will vary depending on previous student immunizations.

    Background Check

    $139.60 – this will be performed two times at $69.80 each – once prior to matriculation and once prior to beginning clinical rotations. Various healthcare sites may require additional testing.

    Drug Screen

    $45.00 prior to matriculation (if done locally at Huntington site, if not done in Huntington, then $60.00)/ $45.00 prior to going on rotations (random drug screens are paid by the program)

    AAPA Dues

    $75.00 (one-time fee)

    WVAPA Dues

    $10.00 (one-time fee)

    Marshall PA Student Society Dues

    $10.00 (one-time fee)

    Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam


    Health Insurance

    $6,382.00 per year ***

    Computer (student’s preference of laptop or desktop)


    BLS/ACLS Trainings


    Graduation Fees

    $50.00 to be paid in last semester

    **Cost for books and equipment above reflects the purchase of texts not available via our online database. Many of our required texts are available as e-texts at no additional cost to students resulting in significant savings.

    ***All students are permitted to waive health insurance as long as they have one of the following means of credible Insurance:

    1. Medicare/Medicaid: must provide full coverage in the state of West Virginia.
    2. VA or Tri-Care
    3. Valid health insurance (individual coverage, from parents or from employer) including emergency services, local urgent care facilities, diagnostic x-rays, laboratory services, mental health coverage, prescription drugs, and inpatient and outpatient hospitalization. 

    Living Expenses Estimate

    Living Expenses Estimate (per month)
    Rent/Mortgage $650

    • Electric @ $95
    • Gas @ $75
    • Water @ $50
    • Telephone @ $75
    • Internet @ $50
    • Food @ $400

    $16,740.00 per year


    $3,480.00 per year

    Loan Fees

    Graduate plus fee $829.00 per year
    Loan fee $380.00 per year