Application Deadline Fall
Standard January 15

To apply, go to Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Questions about completing the online application should be addressed to CASPA. Please send all official transcripts directly to CASPA. There is supplemental information required.

  • Bachelors degree from an accredited college or university which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or the evaluated equivalency completed by December 31.*
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Transcripts should be submitted through CASPA. Upon acceptance, official transcripts must also be submitted to California Baptist University.
  • Overall GPA of 3.2 minimum
  • Science GPA of 3.0 minimum
  • Prerequisite GPA of 3.0 minimum
  • Three letters of recommendations from any of the following: professor, medical colleague (PA/MD/DO preferred), supervisor, clergy. References from friends and family members are not acceptable. Submit through CASPA
  • Personal statement: 250 words. Why do you wish to attend CBU? Submit through CASPA.
  • 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). 
  • International students: Evidence of financial responsibility, student visa and other institutional requirements may be required. US Equivalency for degrees completed outside of the United States is required.
  • Technical standards: Applicants must be able to meet the technical standards.
  • Patient care hours: Minimum of 1,000 hours paid, volunteer, or a combination of both.  Hours must be verifiable through the contact information listed with the experience in CASPA. 
  • Shadowing a medical professional (PA/MD/DO) for at least 20 hours is highly recommended.
  • A supplemental application is not required.
  • A successful interview 

Examples of what CBU counts as patient care experience:

  • Athletic Trainer – ATR
  • Certified Nursing assistant – CNA
  • Clinical Care Extender – CCE
  • COPE or other Health Scholar
  • Dental Assistant (taking vitals, helping in surgery, etc.)
  • Dietitian (working directly with patients)
  • Emergency Department Technician – ED Tech
  • Emergency Medical Technician – EMT
  • Licensed Vocational Nurse – LVN
  • Medical Assistant – MA (back office, taking vitals)
  • Military Corpsman/Medic
  • Non-US physician
  • Ophthalmic Assistant (taking vitals, helping in surgery, etc.)
  • Phlebotomist (okay, but not preferred)
  • Physical Therapy Aide – PT Aide
  • Radiology Tech – Rad Tech
  • Registered Nurse – RN
  • Respiratory Tech – Resp Tech
  • Scribe (Live, in room with patient and provider, real time documentation of encounter, hearing symptoms, labs ordered, developing bedside manner, etc. NOT transcribing dictation separate from patient/provider).
  • Taking vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, temperature, height, weight, etc.)
  • Administering medications (orally, intravenously)
  • Specimen collection
  • Suturing, wound debridement/lavage/dressing, abscess drainage, catheter placement/removal, EKG, EEG, other clinical procedures
  • Helping MDs or PAs with procedures/exams
  • Visiting/talking, distributing blankets/ice/magazines/meals to patients
  • Transporting patients by wheelchair/gurney, cleaning equipment, restocking rooms
  • MA - front office only: billing, insurance, scheduling appointments
  • Wellness program coordinator
  • Personal Trainer
  • Pharmacy Tech
  • Lifeguard
  • Product Sales Reps in the Operating Room
  1. Human Anatomy & Physiology with Lab (I & II); OR a combination of courses covering all human systems—8 units (1 year)
  2. General Chemistry with Lab (I & II)—8 units (1 year); OR a combination of three separate courses in Organic, Inorganic, Biochemistry—12 units
  3. Microbiology with Lab—3–4 units
  4. Genetics—2–3 units
  5. Psychology (General, Developmental, or Abnormal)—3–4 units (1 course)
  6. Mathematics (College Algebra, Calculus, Pre-Calculus, Statistics)—3 units (1 course)
  7. English/Writing—6–8 units (1 year)
  8. Social Sciences/Humanities —9 units (3 courses)
    • Anthropology
    • Art/Film/Theater/Music
    • Philosophy/Ethics
    • Foreign Language
    • Government/Political Science
    • Humanities
    • History
    • Literature (if you did not use the same course for the English requirement)
    • Ethnic/Gender Studies
    • Religion
    • Sociology
  • All prerequisite courses must have a grade of B- or better.
  • Science courses taken within the past 5 years are recommended.
  • Sciences courses taken online are NOT acceptable for fulfillment of prerequisites. Hybrid courses which include a face-to-face component, including face-to-face labs, will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) courses taken during high school may be used to fulfill the Math and English requirements only. 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.
  • U.S. equivalency is required for degrees completed outside of the United States.
  • Prerequisites are not to be substituted for more advanced applied content within the professional component or any part of the program.
  • All admissions requirements including transcripts, must be reviewed and verified prior to matriculation.
  • Deferments are not allowed for application or matriculation.
  • All prerequisite courses must be completed by December 31st of the year applying.
COVID-19 Considerations

In light of the COVID-19 impact on classes, the following policy applies concerning courses for Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022 and Summer 2022. Returning to the requirement for in person labs in completing prerequisites is anticipated for classes taken after Summer 2022.

For a course that required a lab, if the course was switched to an online format during the pandemic, that course will be accepted for the above listed semesters/quarters. If social distancing requires that a student not return to campus and the class was conducted online during the above listed semesters/quarters, that class will be accepted. All published GPA requirements must be met. If letter grades were replaced with Pass/No Pass grades during this period, those grades will also be accepted. The student's overall performance will be considered when determining invitations for interviews and acceptance to the program.

Recommended Courses
  1. Biochemistry
  2. Molecular Biology
  3. Statistics
  4. Medical Terminology
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 standards
Upon Acceptance
  • 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 all applicants, and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion or national origin. Reasonable accommodations will be made for applicants with disabilities, however, as part of the admission process, all applicants must meet the technical standards.

Selected candidates will be offered seats in the program at several points in the interview cycle. 

Step 1: Access and complete the application through CASPA.

Step 2: Selected applicants will receive an interview invitation

Step 3: 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 and English composition (70% passing score required for both).

Step 4: 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.

Step 5: Candidates who accept a seat in the program must submit a nonrefundable $1,000 deposit within 10 days of the notification of acceptance. This deposit will be applied towards tuition once the program starts.

Step 6: 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 7: Students begin classes in September.

    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

    • During Interview: Basic Math, English Composition.

    Qualified Applicant Preferences

    • Veterans
    • California Baptist University graduates
    • Students with an interest in serving the Inland Empire and shortage areas in California
    • U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents
    • Applicants with a history of volunteer community service
    • Applicants from underrepresented/underserved/rural health populations
    • Applicants with an interest in global health engagement (providing service to medically disadvantaged populations)

    Class Profile

    Incoming Class Average Overall GPA Science GPA Prerequisite GPA Patient Care Experience Hours Age
    2018 3.57 3.49 3.64 4126.50 25.03
    2019 3.77 3.70 3.82 4030.13 24.47
    2020 3.74 3.67 3.81 4289.43 24.40
    2021 3.76 3.74 3.81 3294.57 24.9
    2022 3.67 3.62 3.79 2604.46 24.26
    2023 3.71 3.66 3.78 4007.70 24.5

    Contact the Department of Physician Assistant Studies

    Chair: Heather Ontiveros
    Department Secretary: Daphne Paramo
    Graduate Admissions Counselor: Raymond Lopez
    Email: (for admissions and application questions)
    Phone: (951) 552-8138

    Mailing Address:
    8432 Magnolia Avenue
    Riverside, CA 92504

    Physical Address:
    Health Science Campus
    3532 Monroe Street
    Riverside, CA 92504