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Admission Requirements

When can I apply?

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program will accept applications for its first class from November 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016All decisions concerning admission to the program are contingent upon a successful ARC-PA provisional accreditation outcome in March 2016.

Admissions Requirements:

  • Application for the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies - Graduate Program Application
  • Application Fee*: Non-refundable $45 application-processing fee.
  • Bachelor's Degree from a regionally accredited institution or the evaluated equivalency.
  • Official Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  • Three (3) Recommendations: The online application includes a place to add the names and email addresses of your recommenders. Recommendations from family members or friends are not acceptable.
  • Essay/Personal Statement: Minimum 500 words, maximum 1000 words.
    • Purpose for entering the program
    • Background and/or experiences in medicine, healthcare or related areas
    • Short and long-term professional goals
    • Reasons for choosing to study at CBU
    • Motivation to become a PA and understanding of the profession
    Send essay to graduateadmissions@calbaptist.edu
  • Prerequisite Self-Evaluation: Prerequisite Self-Evaluation Form is to be completed and submitted to Graduate Admissions.
  • Volunteer/Healthcare Experience: Volunteer/Healthcare Experience Form is to be completed and submitted to Graduate Admissions.
  • English Language Proficiency: An applicant whose first language is not English and/or does not have a degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction is required to demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting a minimum score of 80 IBT on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).  US Equivalency for degrees completed outside of the United States.
  • Photo Identification: Submit a recent passport-sized picture with your application.
  • International Students: Evidence of financial responsibility, student visa and other institutional requirements.
  • Technical Standards: Applicants must be able to meet the technical standards. (See Technical Standards section below.)

Submit all items by fax, email or mail to:

Graduate Admissions
California Baptist University
8432 Magnolia Ave
Riverside, CA 92504
FAX: 951.552.8700

Physician Assistant Program Prerequisites

  • Bachelor's Degree (B.S., B.A., B.HSc., etc.)
  • Overall GPA 3.0 minimum
  • Science GPA 3.0 minimum
  • 3 Letters of Reference from any of the following: professor, medical colleague, supervisor, clergy. References from friends and family members are not acceptable.

 Prerequisite Courses

  1. Anatomy Physiology (Human) with Lab (AP-I AP-II); OR a combination of courses covering all human systems. 8 SH (1 yr.)
  2. General Chemistry with Lab (Gen. Chem-I Gen. Chem-II); OR a combination of Organic + Inorganic + Biochemistry. 8 SH (1 yr.)
  3. Microbiology with Lab. 3-4 SH
  4. Psychology (General, Developmental, or Abnormal) 1 course. 3-4 SH
  5. Mathematics (College Algebra, Calculus, Pre-Calculus) 1 course. 3 SH
  6. English/Writing 6-8 SH (1 yr.)
  7. Social Sciences/Humanities (e.g. Sociology, Anthropology, etc) 3 courses. 9 SH
  • All courses must have a grade of C or better.
  • Science courses taken within the past 5-7 years are preferred.
  • Sciences courses taken online are NOT acceptable for fulfillment of prerequisites. Students will be required to sign a statement acknowledging that all science courses were not completed online. 
  • Advanced Placement (AP) courses taken during high school may be used to fulfill the Math and English requirements only. Proof of satisfactory completion is required. A minimum score of 3 out of 5 on AP tests is required. Documentation of satisfactory completion is required.
  • All prerequisite courses must be taken in U.S. institutions that are regionally accredited and must be transferrable to CBU.
  • US Equivalency for degrees completed outside of the United States.

Recommended But Not Required Courses

  1. Biochemistry
  2. Genetics/Molecular Biology
  3. Statistics
  4. Medical Terminology

Advanced Academic Standing

No advanced standing is given for previously completed PA program-related didactic coursework or clinical experience. All students start as a cohort and graduate as a cohort.

Entrance Screening

  • Basic Math (during interview)
  • English Comprehension (during interview)
  • English Composition (during interview)
  • Medical Terminology (during interview
  • Drug Test (upon acceptance)
  • Background Check (upon acceptance)
  • Application
  • Interview


  • California Baptist University graduates
  • Students with an interest in serving in the Inland Empire and shortage areas in California
  • US citizens and legal permanent residents
  • Applicants with prior health care experience
  • Applicants with a history of volunteer community service
  • Applicants from underrepresented/underserved populations
  • Applicants with an interest in global health engagement (providing service to medically disadvantaged populations)
  • Applicants with PA/MD/DO shadowing experience

Technical Standards

In order to successfully complete the requirements of the Physician Assistant curriculum, each student admitted to the program must be able to perform certain cognitive and technical skills. This necessitates the use of the senses (sight, smell, audition and touch); the ability to effectively communicate, and the use of coordination, balance and motor strength. In addition, candidates must also have the ability to develop the intellectual capacity, bedside manners, and technical skills that are required to successfully perform the functions of a competent physician assistant. Candidates who are accepted as students in the Physician Assistant program must meet the following standards.


  • The student must have sufficient vision to be able to observe demonstrations, experiments, laboratory exercises, visual presentations and computer-facilitated instruction.
  • The student must be able to differentiate between normal and pathological states and distinguish between colors.
  • The student must be able to observe patients closely and at a distance.
  • The student must be able to utilize the complimentary use of smell, touch and hearing.


  • The student must be able to speak, hear, read and write in order to elicit and exchange information with patients, family members, and other health care providers.
  • The student must be able to perceive verbal and non-verbal cues as they pertain to patients' conditions.
  • The student must be able to facilitate the flow of information with respect and sensitivity towards faculty, patients, families, and other members of the health care team.


  • The student must have the motor control and coordination to perform physical examinations through inspection, palpation, auscultation and percussion in order to elicit information.
  • The student must be able to perform laboratory procedures, clinical skills and diagnostic maneuvers, with and without the use of equipment.
  • The student must be able to bend, manipulate, lift lightly and assist patients.

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative

  • The student must have the ability to comprehend, memorize, interpret, analyze and synthesize information presented in the classroom, laboratory and clinical settings.
  • The student must also be able to measure, calculate, formulate, reason and make diagnostic and therapeutic decisions.
  • The student must be able to assimilate and integrate information through a variety of modalities such as classroom instruction, group interaction, research, individual study, and presentations.
  • The student must be able to integrate the use of computer programs and web-based resources into learning.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

  • The student should have the deportment to facilitate sensitive, empathetic, mature and effective relationships with patients, their families, peers and other members of the health care team.
  • The student must have the emotional health for full utilization of his or her intellectual capabilities, to exercise good judgment, to promptly complete all responsibilities and assignments attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients.
  • The student should be able to recognize limitations of his or her education and training and be willing to seek consultation when appropriate.
  • The student should be able to recognize, handle and/or assist in life-threatening situations.
  • The student must have the humility to accept constructive critique and the perseverance to complete an arduous course of study.

As part of the educational program, all students will be required to interact and perform physical examinations on patients of all genders, simulated and real. Pelvic and breast examinations will be performed on anatomic models during the first year and on real patients during the second year. Students admitted to the program who are unable to meet this requirement, must inform the program upon acceptance so that reasonable arrangements can be made, if possible.

Applicant Selection

Candidates for the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program will be selected from the most qualified applicants. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee an interview invitation or admission to the program. The MSPAS Admissions Committee will select candidates based on the following.

  • The completeness of the application
  • Academic performance based on transcript review
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statement
  • Interview Performance
  • Performance on local screening exams
  • Preference items
  • Ability to meet the Technical Requirements
  • Submission of fees ($45 Application and $500 Seat Deposit if admitted to the program)
  • Successfully passing a drug screening and background check
  • Completion of all immunization and health screening requirements

In summary, the program will admit candidates it considers to have the traits that will enable them to become competent practitioners. Such traits include the ability to handle an arduous course of study; the ability to demonstrate empathy; maturity; the ability to be team players, and the willingness to accept constructive critique.

The university and program are committed to equal opportunity for men and women, and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis race, gender, religion or national origin. Reasonable accommodations will be made for applicants with handicaps, however, as part of the admission process, all applicants must meet the technical standards.

For the entering class of 2016, applications will be taken directly by the University. The cycle runs from November 01, 2015 to March 31, 2016.

Step 1:  Access and complete the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Application online. Pay a non-refundable $45 application fee.

Step 2:  Submit supplemental application documents, as well as a current passport-sized picture. Supplemental application documents include: official transcripts, essay/personal statement, prerequisite self-evaluation form (form provided), and a list of community service and healthcare experience (form provided). Official transcripts may be sent to: 

CBU Graduate Admissions
8432 Magnolia Ave
Riverside CA 92504

Step 3:  Selected applicants will receive an interview invitation

Step 4:  Selected applicants will attend and participate in the interview process. This will be an all-day activity which includes a face-to-face interview, screening tests in basic Math (70% passing score required); English Comprehension and English Composition (7.5/10 combined score required), and Medical Terminology (not considered in the selection process, but used to give the applicant feedback on the level of medical terminology understanding).

Step 5:  Once the PA Admission Committee has made its selection decision, successful candidates will be contacted by the PA program via phone. An official letter of acceptance from CBU's Admissions Office will follow. Admission is contingent upon verification of transcripts and successful completion of all administrative requirements (see step 7).

Step 6:  Candidates who accept a seat in the program must submit a non-refundable $500 deposit within 2 weeks of the notification of acceptance. This deposit will be applied towards tuition once the program starts.

Step 7:  As a condition of acceptance, students must undergo and successfully pass a drug test, background check, and immunization and health screening requirements. All requirements must be completed prior to matriculation.

Step 8:  Students begin classes in September 2016.