About the Program

Is housing available on campus for graduate students?
Yes. Housing is available in the school's vicinity. Contact Residence Life for a listing.

When do classes begin?
Classes begin every September.

What is the program's accreditation status?
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the California Baptist University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by California Baptist University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be September 2030. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at https://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-california-baptist-university/.

How long is the course of study?
The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) is an intensive 2-year program consisting of 1 year of didactic, followed by 1 year of clinical education. 

Can I work while I am enrolled in the program?
Because of the fast pace and attendance requirements, it is recommended that students not work while enrolled in the program.

Application Process

What are the requirements to apply to the program?
The requirements to apply to the program can be found here.

When can I apply to the program?
Applications for the next class will be conducted through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). The application cycle runs from April to January.

How many classes are admitted each year?
One cohort of students will be admitted in September of each year.

What GPA must I have to apply to the program?
Applicants must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.2, a science GPA of 3.0 and a prerequisite GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale to apply to the program.

Is there a time limit on courses taken previously?
It is recommended that science courses be taken in the past 5 years.

Is the GRE or MCAT required to apply to the program?
The GRE or MCAT is not required. Local testing in basic math, English composition and medical terminology will be given during the time of the interview.

Is healthcare experience required?
Applicants must have 1,000 volunteer/paid patient care hours in order to apply. These hours must be verifiable.

Are there preferences in the selection process?
Yes, the following are preferences:

  • Veterans
  • 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 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)

How do I apply to the program?
Applications must be submitted through CASPA.

If I meet the minimum requirements, will I be invited for an interview?
Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee an invitation for an interview or acceptance to the program. Only the most qualified candidates will be invited.

When will interviews begin?
For the entering class, interviews will begin in September of the application cycle.

What are my chances of getting into the program?
The chances of getting into the program varies and depends on the characteristics of the applicant pool, such as the number of applicants, their GPA, backgrounds and the number of interviews.

Can I be admitted to the program while still completing prerequisites for my undergraduate degree?
As a general rule, all prerequisites must be completed and degree posted by December 31 of the year applying. In rare instances, an exceptional candidate may be invited for an interview while a course or two are in progress. The PA admissions committee is solely responsible for making this decision. Candidates in this category will have GPAs above 3.7, meet all or most of the preference items, and have provided exceptional service to CBU or the community. There is no guarantee that such candidates will be accepted to the program.

Can prerequisites be waived?
Prerequisites may not be waived.

When will I be notified if I am accepted into the program?
Notifications of acceptance to the program will be made at the end of April by phone, with a follow-up notification by mail. Please note that notifications are subject to change. 

Financial Aid

Does the institution provide assistance with financial aid?
Yes. To apply for financial aid, please contact CBU's Financial Aid Office.

Does the physician assistant program provide grants or scholarships?
The physician assistant program does not provide grants or scholarships at this time. However, four of our students/alum have won National Health Service Corps awards.


What degree will be given upon successful completion of the program?
Graduates who successfully complete the program will be given a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree.

After program completion, is job search assistance provided?
As part of the program, CBU will provide information and workshops in the job-seeking process. The program may also provide leads to potential jobs. However, job-seeking is an individual process and CBU cannot guarantee that an employer will hire you. The CBU Career Center is a wonderful resource for our current students and alumni. 

How do I begin clinical practice?
Upon completing an ARC-PA accredited program, graduates are eligible to sit for the professional board given by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Upon passing the exam, candidates are given the designation of Physician Assistant–Certified (PA-C). The candidate may then apply for state licensure and for a DEA certificate to prescribe controlled medication. The licensure process and requirements for each state vary and candidates must check with the Board of Physician Assistants in the state of planned practice for specific requirements.

Contact the Department of Physician Assistant Studies

Chair: Heather Ontiveros
Department Secretary: Daphne Paramo
Graduate Admissions Counselor: Raymond Lopez
Email: ralopez@calbaptist.edu (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