Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Health Professions
Department of Physician Assistant Studies


Center City Campus

Our department partners with CASPA, the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants, to collect and manage applications to the MS Physician Assistant Studies - Center City Campus program.

We communicate with applicants via email, so please provide a valid email address and adjust your email settings to allow mail from

Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) Integration

On September 9, 2016, leadership from Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University signed an agreement approved by both Boards of Trustees to combine the two institutions.  On July 1, 2017, the integration was made official with the announcement of the combined institution, Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University).

Applicants who are interested in the learning more about the integrated University can do so by visiting our Frequently Asked Questions Page.

Application Deadlines

Application Open Date: April 25, 2019
Application Deadline: November 1, 2019

To be considered complete and eligible for review, a CASPA application must be verified with required letters of recommendation, transcripts, and personal statement and all applicable documents must be submitted in the directed manner and received by the Office of Admissions by the program deadline date.

Please note that the CASPA verification process can take 4-6 weeks. It is important to keep this information in mind when determining if you will meet the deadline.

Decisions are granted on a rolling basis throughout the cycle until the class is filled. We may contact academically eligible applicants via e-mail to schedule an interview (provided space is still available). Decisions include: Offer of Admission, Denied Admission, Hold for Grades and Waitlist.


Applicants do not need to complete all prerequisite courses before applying; however, seven of the nine required classes must be completed before an admissions decision can be made. The program has a Pre-Fall start (late May). 

Printable Prerequisite Course Worksheet

Transfer Equivalency Guides

Degree & GPA

Students must complete their Bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited institution unless approved by the Admissions Committee before the start date of the program. A cumulative, science and prerequisite GPA of a 3.25 is required; a 3.4 or higher is more competitive.

Courses & Credits

Course Subject Credits
General Biology I with Lab*
General Biology II with Lab* 4
General Chemistry I with Lab** 4
General Chemistry II with Lab** 4
Anatomy with Lab***
Physiology with Lab*** 4
General Microbiology with Lab 4
Statistics 3
Psychology 3
Total 34

* Other acceptable Biology courses include Cell Biology, Genetics, Organismal Biology, and Developmental Biology

** Other acceptable Chemistry courses include Organic Chemistry I and II, and Physical Chemistry I and II

*** Courses must be human-based. Anatomy and Physiology I and Anatomy and Physiology II sequence can also be used to fill the pre-requisite requirement.

All prerequisite courses can be completed in an on-campus, hybrid or online format before entering the program. All labs must be completed in an on-campus format.

All prerequisite courses must be completed within 10 years of matriculation to Jefferson. Courses must be completed with a grade of a “B” or above to meet the prerequisite requirement. A grade of “B-“ or below will not meet the prerequisite requirement. Credits are calculated on a semester scale; if courses are taken on a quarter scale, the credit hours will be converted to the semester credit scale. AP and CLEP credit are not accepted.

Additional Coursework Strongly Recommended: Biochemistry, College Writing, Genetics, Introduction to Pharmacology, Medical Terminology, Organic Chemistry, and Physics.

Medical Terminology  (1 credit) and College Writing (3 credits) will be required for students applying for the 2021 start term.

In addition to GPA and prerequisite coursework, the Admissions Committee also takes into account the academic rigor of all applicants’ academic schedules (i.e.- number of math/sciences courses taken per semester).

Performance Requirements/Technical Standards

Technical standards are the fundamental abilities a student needs to complete every activity his/her degree requires. These standards are determined by the competency, proficiency and/or skill standards set forth by accrediting and professional organizations appropriate to each program and apply to classroom, laboratory and clinical/fieldwork environments. Students are allowed reasonable accommodation.

Technical Standards of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies (PDF).

Application Requirements

See below for instructions on how and where to submit your application materials.

CASPA Application

Complete an online application for admission through CASPA. Pay attention to the instructions for application and requirements.

Official Transcripts

Submit official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended to CASPA.

If your coursework was completed outside of the United States, you must submit a course-by-course evaluation from one of the following international evaluation agencies:

CV/Resume & Required Experiences

Jefferson does not have a specific form required to log observation hours. Applicants should submit documentation of volunteer or work experience to CASPA and complete the "Health Related Experience" and “Employment and Volunteer Experience” sections on the CASPA application.

PA/Healthcare Shadowing: Jefferson highly recommends shadowing healthcare and PA professionals to support your exposure, understanding and commitment to the PA field and healthcare in general.

Direct Patient Care Experience: At the time of application, applicants should have direct patient care experience documented.  A minimum of 200 hours is preferred. This paid or volunteer experience should be hands-on patient care in health care or human service.  Experiences where applicants participate in the hands-on care of patients will count toward the requirement. Applicants often have backgrounds in such areas as nursing, nursing assistant, medical assistant, EMT, paramedic, and patient-related volunteer experiences.

A minimum of 200 hours will be required for students applying for the 2021 start term.

Please be sure to list any community service, research, and leadership experiences within the corresponding tabs in your CASPA application. 

Examples of positions to gain Direct Patient Care/Patient Contact are as follows:

  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Paramedic
  • Nurse’s Aide
  • Patient Care Assistant
  • Medical Assistant

Personal Statement/Essay

Complete the essay found on the CASPA application.

Recommendation Letters

Three letters of recommendation are required. Jefferson highly suggests one academic, one patient care and one additional academic or patient care.

Test Scores

GRE and MCAT scores are not required for admission to the Physician Assistant Studies program at Jefferson's Center City Campus.

International Students

Please see our additional information for applying as an International Student.

English Language Proficiency

TOEFL Requirements

Send official TOEFL scores (if applicable) to:

Thomas Jefferson University
130 South 9th Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19107
TOEFL code = 2903

Drug, Criminal Background & Child Abuse Clearances

All students who are offered admission are required to have a criminal background check and child abuse clearance. In addition, PA students who are offered admission are required to be fingerprinted and undergo a drug test. Some clinical sites may require health professions and pharmacy students to be fingerprinted and/or undergo a drug test. The Office of Admissions will provide you with the appropriate information to complete these requirements, as needed.

Clinical rotation and fieldwork sites that require a criminal background check, child abuse clearance and/or fingerprinting may deny a student’s participation in the clinical experience, rotation or fieldwork because of a felony or misdemeanor conviction or a record of child abuse. Clinical sites may also deny participation in clinical experiences for other reasons, such as failure of a required drug test, or inability to produce an appropriate health clearance. As participation in clinical experiences, rotations or fieldwork is a required part of the curriculum and a requirement for graduation, denial of participation by a clinical site may result in delay of graduation or the inability to graduate from the Program.

Regardless of whether or not a student graduates from Thomas Jefferson University, individuals who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor may be denied certification or licensure as a health professional. Information regarding individual eligibility may be obtained from the appropriate credentialing bodies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

Thomas Jefferson University
Office of Admissions
Phone: 215-503-8890