Admission Requirements

In addition to reviewing the information in this section, please read the policies at the bottom of this page and the PA Program Technical Standards (pdf). Please reference the How to Apply page for more information.

If you have questions regarding admission to the Wake Forest School of Medicine (WFSM) PA Program, please email the program at

Acceptance into and successful completion of the WFSM PA Program does not imply or guarantee that the student will be able to obtain state licensure upon graduation.

Applicants for admission to the WFSM PA Program must satisfy criteria in the following areas: 

  • US citizenship/residency
  • Educational requirements (degree and course) 
  • Letters of reference
  • GRE – general test
  • CASPer – situational judgment test
  • Health care experience
  • Non-cognitive factors
  • Military service documentation, if applicable
  • Background check and health assessment
  • Technical standards

U.S. Citizenship/Residency

The WFSM PA Program accepts applications from U.S. citizens and permanent residents. 

Educational Requirements

Applicants must have obtained a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution or an equivalent institution as determined by WFSM. A bachelor's degree is a minimum requirement. Therefore, a master’s or doctoral degree will meet this requirement. The degree prerequisite requirement must be complete by December 31, 2021.

Applicants educated outside the U.S. or Canada must utilize a transcript evaluation service to document academic equivalency. The academic record must show credits and grades equivalent to those given by U.S. institutions of higher learning.

Prerequisite courses must be completed in the United States or Canada.

Course Prerequisites

Applicants must complete the following prerequisite courses:

  • Genetics: one semester (a minimum of three semester hours or four quarter hours) of a molecular-based genetics course. A social-based genetics course will not meet this requirement. 
  • General Chemistry: one semester (a minimum of three semester hours or four quarter hours). One semester of Organic Chemistry will also fulfill this requirement. 
  • Biochemistry: one semester (a minimum of three semester hours or four quarter hours). A survey or combined course will not meet this requirement. 
  • Human Anatomy and Human Physiology: one full academic year (a minimum of six semester hours or eight quarter hours). This requirement may be met by taking either one semester of Human Anatomy and one semester of Human Physiology, or two semesters of Human Anatomy and Human Physiology combined. 
  • Microbiology: one semester (a minimum of three semester hours or four quarter hours).
  • Statistics: one semester (a minimum of three semester hours or four quarter hours).
  • Medical Terminology: one course in medical terminology. Before enrolling in an online course that does not result in a course grade on a college transcript, please contact the WFSM PA Program admissions office.

All prerequisite courses must be completed by December 31, 2021 for those who would enroll in the program in 2022.

Prerequisite courses must be completed with grades of “C” or above. A grade of “C-“ will not be accepted.

We strongly recommend that applicants repeat any prerequisite course that was completed before 2016. We also recommend that prerequisite courses be completed with a lab, if applicable. 

Computer literacy is encouraged, including knowledge of email, word processing, and internet navigation.

Due to COVID-19, we will consider pass/fail grades for prerequisite courses taken during the spring and summer 2020 terms on a case by case basis. We strongly recommend a graded option, especially for prerequisite courses.

During the fall 2020 term, a graded course is necessary in order to fulfill prerequisite requirements. If your institution did not offer a graded prerequisite course option for fall 2020, pass/fail grades may be considered on a case by case basis with required official documentation.

Letters of Reference

The WFSM PA Program requires at least three letters of reference that must be submitted through the CASPA application. One reference must be from a health care professional. 

GRE test scores

Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test within five years of the application deadline. (For example, those applying in 2021 for entry in 2022 must have completed the GRE no earlier than October 1, 2016.)

GRE scores MUST be submitted through CASPA using the WFSM PA Program code 5923.

Applicants who have completed a graduate-level degree in a health-related field in the past 10 years and cannot obtain GRE scores may submit GRE scores from the institution granting their graduate-level degree.


CASPer is an online evaluation which assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program.

Applicants during the 2021-2022 admission cycle must add WFSM PA Program to their CASPer score distribution list by October 6, 2021. CASPer tests must be taken during the current application year; all 2021 test dates for WFSM PA Program are available at the CASPer website.

The CASPer test costs $40 to complete and $12 to have the results distributed to each school of your choice. A limited number of CASPer fee waivers may be available to certain individuals with extenuating circumstances who are also eligible for the CASPA fee waiver. Candidates must contact the WFSM PA Program admissions office ( to request a CASPer fee waiver PRIOR to registering for their test date.

Pre-Admission Healthcare Experience

Healthcare experience involves direct interaction with patients. The WFSM PA Program requires a minimum of 1,000 hours of healthcare employment or other direct patient contact experience. Applicants during the 2021-2022 admission cycle must have completed these hours by October 1, 2021.

To be most competitive, applicants should have experience in the following situations:

  • Patient contact experience in a position that requires a period of training and results in direct (hands-on) patient care
  • Evidence of community service in a health care setting (e.g., healthcare for underserved populations, medical mission work)

Applicants accepted in previous admission cycles had patient contact experience ranging from 1,120 hours to 30,344 hours

We encourage applicants to “shadow” PAs in order to become informed about the profession, although shadowing does not count toward the required patient contact experience hours.

Noncognitive Factors

In keeping with the Wake Forest School of Medicine mission statement, applicants will be assessed and prioritized on the following non-cognitive factors:

  • Leadership
  • Military service
  • Volunteerism
  • Diversity of life experience
  • Success in overcoming adversity
  • Aptitude for self-directed, adult learning

To be most competitive, an applicant will demonstrate a mix of these non-cognitive factors.

Military Applicants

Applicants who have separated from military service are required to upload an official copy of their DD214 form with their Supplemental Application.