Admission Requirements

In addition to reviewing the information in this section, please read the policies at the bottom this page and the PA Program Technical Standards (pdf). If you have not already done so, also read How to Apply.

Applicants for admission to the Wake Forest School of Medicine (WFSM) PA Program must satisfy criteria in the following areas: 

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

U.S. Citizenship/Residency

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

Educational Requirements

Applicants must have obtained a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution or an equivalent institution as determined by WFSM before starting classes. A baccalaureate degree is a minimum requirement. Therefore, a master’s or doctoral degree will meet this requirement.

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.

Please note: Starting with the admission cycle for class of 2023, the degree prerequisite requirement must be met by the end of the fall semester of the current application cycle. This requirement will be instituted in the application cycle running 2020-2021.

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. 
  • Anatomy & 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 Anatomy and one semester of Physiology, or two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology combined. 
  • Microbiology: one semester (a minimum of three semester hours or four quarter hours).
  • Statistics: one semester (a minimum of two semester hours or three 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 Wake Forest PA Program admissions office.

All prerequisite courses must be completed by December 31, 2018 for those who would enroll in the program in 2019.

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

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

We strongly recommend that applicants repeat any prerequisite course that was completed before 2013. We also strongly recommend that prerequisite courses be completed with a lab, if applicable. 

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

Letters of Reference

The WFSM PA Program requires 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 2018 for entry in 2019 must have completed the GRE no earlier than October 1, 2013.) 

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.

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 2018-2019 admission cycle must have completed these hours before October 1, 2018. 

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 1,050 hours to 25,750 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

Applicants will be assessed on the following noncognitive factors: 

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

Military Applicants

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