St. Bonaventure University

Admission Criteria

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program at St. Bonaventure University admits 40 students every January.

The PA Studies program uses the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) for the application to the program.

Admission requirements

Admission to the Physician Assistant Studies program requires the following:
  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university within the United States or Canada
  • An overall GPA of 3.0 and a prerequisite GPA of 3.0 for admission. A “C” or better in all prerequisite courses is required (C- is not acceptable). Advanced placement credit is not acceptable for prerequisites.
    • GPAs will be recalculated for repeated courses by using the highest grade for the course rather than averaging the grades for repeated courses.
  • Anatomy & Physiology I and II or an anatomy course, such as Comparative Anatomy, and a separate physiology course, such as Mammalian Physiology, as long as they cover all body systems. (A minimum of 6 credit-hours.)
  • Chemistry (2 semesters)
  • One semester (minimum of 3 credit-hours) of the following:
    • microbiology (requires lab component)
    • genetics
    • biology (any bio course that is not otherwise listed)
    • humanities/social sciences
    • statistics
    • psychology
    • anatomy, physiology, and microbiology courses require lab component
    • There is no expiration for prerequisite courses although recent coursework is preferable to demonstrate ongoing learning 
  • Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). St. Bonaventure's code is 4745. There is no minimum accepted score for the GRE. Competitive applicants to our program earn scores as follows:
    • Verbal: 40th percentile or higher
    • Quantitative: 40th percentile or higher
    • Analytical Writing: 4 or higher

      NOTE: The MCAT cannot be used as a substitute for the GRE
  • 500 hours (minimum) of documented and verifiable patient care experience are to be completed by the time of matriculation. Applicants with compensated hours of direct patient care will have an advantage.
  • 3 letters of recommendation. One must be from a clinician (PA, MD/DO, or NP). 

Admission process

The PA Studies program uses a rolling admission process. The earlier you submit your application the earlier it is reviewed and considered for interview. The application deadline is Sept. 1.

Once your application has been verified by CASPA it will be reviewed by the Admissions team. If the application has met the criteria, you will be asked to submit a supplemental application (no cost). Once the supplemental has been returned the application will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee, which will determine if an invitation for interview should be extended. There will be 120 interview slots for this admission cycle.
Interview Dates for 2024
Friday & Saturday, July 19-20
Friday, Aug. 2
September dates TBD

PLEASE NOTE: Simply meeting the admission criteria and submitting an application will not guarantee an interview or acceptance into the program. The PA Admissions Committee will decide the applicants who will be granted interviews and the applicants selected for admission.

More points are awarded for higher cum GPA, prerequisite GPA, and GRE score.  Direct patient care is awarded points based on both quantity and quality.  Total points in the matrix is equivalent for academics (cGPA, pGPA, GRE) and direct patient care.

Additionally, 10 points are added to the admission matrix of any St. Bonaventure graduate, a U.S. military veteran, or any applicant from the Southern Tier region of New York state, which includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Steuben counties. (NOTE: 10 points is the maximum added even if the candidate meets more than one category for additional points.)

  • The Bona Advantage

    The Bona Advantage is an opportunity for St. Bonaventure undergraduate students to be assured of receiving an interview used to determine the students admitted to the PA Studies program each year.

    St. Bonaventure students must indicate their intent to apply to the PA program by March 1 of their junior year, and apply for admittance by the start of the fall semester of their senior year.

    To be eligible for the PA Bona Advantage program, students must:
    • Maintain a 3.25 GPA throughout their undergraduate education
    • Obtain a B or above on all 10 prerequisite courses
    • Take all science prerequisite courses at St. Bonaventure University:
      • Anatomy & Physiology prerequisite must be filled by taking BIO 331. Physiology and Anatomy of Human I (4 credits) and BIO 332. Physiology and Anatomy of Human II (4 credits)
      • Genetics prerequisite can be filled by taking BIO 291. Genetics (3 credits) or BIO 294. Genomics (3 credits)
    • Obtain 150 hours of acceptable health care experience prior to application to the program with evidence that the 500 hours will be attainable prior to matriculation
    • Have a student record free from any academic or disciplinary issues
    • Apply to the program through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA)  by the start of the fall semester of their senior year.
    Meeting the above requirements will ensure that the student is given an interview for admission to the program, which is very advantageous to the applicant. Admission to the PA Studies program will be granted if a student has a successful interview. 

    No Advanced Placement

    The program does not accept transfer credit or advanced standing. Students are expected to complete all didactic and clinical courses at St. Bonaventure University.

    Student employment

    Students are discouraged from working while in the PA program, due to its robust nature. If students choose to work, they are not permitted to miss or reschedule lectures, lab sessions, or any part of their didactic or clinical educational requirements. The program has the right to recommend termination of employment based on academics that fall below minimum university and program requirements.

    Additionally, PA students are not permitted to be employed by or perform clerical or administrative tasks for the PA program.