An update on COVID-19

At this time, there is no impact to the 2021 admissions process from the COVID-19 situation. All application requirements must be met to apply. We’ll continue to update this page should this information change.

For additional information about applying to the physician assistant program, including admission requirements and an overview of the application process, please view the video. 


Online applications for summer incoming classes in the Master of Health Services — Physician Assistant Studies Degree Program are available through Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applications open each year in late April and close at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern time) Aug. 1.

  • A bachelor's degree*
  • A minimum bachelor's-degree GPA of 3.0
  • A minimum 2.7 GPA in all science prerequisite coursework is required (expected to increase to a 3.0 minimum in the near future)
  • A minimum of 1,000 hours of paid or volunteer experience in a clinical environment with direct patient exposure. Hands-on, paid, patient-care clinical experience is preferred.
  • Statement of purpose submitted through CASPA, additional essays required for the UC Davis Graduate Studies Application
  • The application process may require an interview
  • The GRE is not required
  • TOEFL or IELTS (international graduates only)
  • Three letters of recommendation - refer to CASPA website - for more information
  • Official transcripts from each institution attended (submitted online through CASPA website)
  • International graduate requirements
  • FAQs

*You may apply to the P.A. program with an in-progress degree as long as your degree is completed by spring quarter or semester during the year you submit an application. For example, an applicant who applies to the summer 2023 P.A. cohort must graduate no later than June 2022 for admission consideration. Applicants are welcome to apply in spring 2022 while they complete their last quarter or semester and while they await degree conferral on their transcript. Spring graduates who do not have a verified degree listed on their CASPA application by the Aug. 1 deadline should work with their degree-granting institutions to send an updated transcript to CASPA as soon as their degrees are conferred. A transcript with a conferred bachelor’s degree must be received by CASPA no later than Sep. 30 in order to continue to be considered for admission.

Students applying for the physician assistant program must complete a Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) application and meet selection criteria. Following that process, a select pool of qualified applicants will receive an invitation to apply to the UC Davis Graduate Studies application. All invited applicants must meet UC Davis graduate admissions requirements.

Admissions decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. Meeting some or all of these criteria does not guarantee admission, but merely eligibility. Admission is competitive.

As described in the school’s Admissions Statement, the admissions committee is dedicated to a holistic admission process to consider the experiences, attributes and academic metrics of each applicant and to recognize their unique potential as a future clinician, leader or researcher. The ultimate goal is to admit a culturally and cognitively diverse cohort of students for each program, whose interests are compatible with the vision of the school in order to leverage the university’s strengths in interdisciplinary learning, innovative technology, state-of-the-art, evidence-based practice and transformative leadership. 

The most competitive applicants possess unique backgrounds and attributes that align with the school’s values and experiences that help advance our mission and vision. This includes those who

  • are the first in their family to attend college
  • speak more than one language
  • are from a health shortage area
  • graduated from a high school with low graduation rates
  • come from a military background (including veterans, active duty or reserves)

Because a key target is to graduate highly qualified students that reflect the rich, diverse population of California, additional consideration is given to those who received childhood federal or state assistance, whose childhood was in an isolated county or rural area, and finally, those from Northern and Central California.

All prerequisites are required at the college level from an accredited school and must be included on the submitted transcript as part of the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) application process. Prerequisites may not be in progress at the time of application submission. Each prerequisite is expected to be one full course, either a quarter or a semester, and a minimum of three units, depending on the location where it was completed. Completion of prerequisite coursework from an accredited, online academic institution is acceptable. Advanced Placement scores awarded in high school do NOT fulfill prerequisites. All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of C or better:

  • One course in human anatomy with lab*
  • One course in human physiology with lab*
  • Or human anatomy and physiology series: Part I and Part II with lab  
    (NOTE: Mammalian, vertebrate or animal anatomy or physiology do not fulfill this requirement.)
  • One course in chemistry with lab (we anticipate changing this requirement to one semester or quarter of organic chemistry or biochemistry with lab in the near future)
  • One course in microbiology or bacteriology with lab
  • One course in English composition
  • Two courses in social sciences. Ideal courses provide exposure to human or organizational behavior — such as psychology, sociology, ethnic studies, women's studies or cultural anthropology. 
    (NOTE: Social science courses may be completed in two different subject areas or within the same subject area.)

*Currently, it is recommended the human anatomy and human physiology prerequisite courses are completed within the past five years of the date of application. Competitive applicants should self-assess their strengths. If it has been a number of years since courses were completed, applicants may want to consider retaking them. This is expected as a mandatory requirement in the near future.

*Physician assistant program applicants may complete a combined Human Anatomy and Human Physiology series course: Part I and Part II with labs. Series courses are offered in two parts and are completed over the course of two quarters or two semesters. Series courses must be completed in full and must include a lab component. If an applicant only completes one part of the series course, the student must additionally complete a course in either Human Anatomy or Human Physiology to fulfill the requirement. Mammalian or animal does not fulfill this requirement.

Visit the P.A. FAQ page for additional details about the physician assistant program requirements and prerequisites. 

View sample P.A. prerequisites.

Each student admitted to the physician assistant program at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing receives financial support from generous donors to offset a portion of tuition and fees.

Graduate school is challenging, especially for the many students who juggle family, school and financial responsibilities. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing seeks students with diverse life experiences along with the potential and determination to make an impact. Scholarships and other financial support ensure the most qualified, diverse and driven students may enter graduate degree programs – a principle upon which the school was founded with its founding grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Specific details about financial support are provided to individuals as part of the admission offer.

All Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership students are encouraged to seek a variety of forms of financial support and it is essential for students to apply as early as possible. Please review the general financial aid resource section below for additional details and links about financial aid resources available.

Tuition and fees

Tuition and fees for the Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Degree Program are set by the Regents of the University of California and can change without notice. Tuition is based on residency as well as degree type (i.e. academic or professional). The Master of Health Services – Physician Assistant Studies Program is a Self-Supporting Degree Program (SSDP). For more information, visit the Office of Budget and Institutional Analysis, professional degrees.

UC Davis internal fellowships

There are a variety of fellowships available for students with varying backgrounds, research interests and undergraduate majors. These fellowships are competitive funds for graduate students across the entire UC Davis campus. Please check if you qualify for any of the current funding opportunities. For more information, visit UC Davis Graduate Studies, Internal Fellowship.

General financial aid resources

Information about various financial aid resources available for clinical education (grants, scholarships, fellowships, loan programs and short-term loans) is provided through the UC Davis Health Financial Aid Office. There are different procedures for applying for each type of financial assistance and they are not program-specific to the School of Nursing.

Both federal and state resources provide a range of flexible repayment options, including, but not limited to, income-based and income-contingent repayment plans, as well as loan-forgiveness benefits. Other forms of assistance, such as short-term and interest-free loans, are also available to enrolled students. A member of the UC Davis Health Financial Aid Office can answer questions regarding these programs and discuss how to best meet your financial aid needs.

Students are encouraged to seek private scholarships and external funding. For more information, visit the UC Davis Graduate Studies External Support Resources page. There are also several online scholarship databases. One example is

The physician assistant program is a self-supporting degree program. Students are not eligible for California-state-supported fellowships such as the College Tuition Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents. Students are eligible for all other types of scholarships, fellowships and financial aid opportunities.

For UC Davis information regarding cancelation of registration, withdrawal from a program and fee refunds, please refer to the UC Davis policy.

Financial aid tips

  • Credit-based loans are a part of most financial aid packages.
  • Check your credit through free credit score checks from Transunion, Experian, and Equifax.
  • To increase your credit score and your ability to qualify for loans, pay off credit card debt before beginning graduate school. Plan ahead as credit scores take time to update.
  • Interest rates are affected by your credit ratings.
  • Financial aid is not to be used for paying credit card debt; it is only for school tuition and fees.
  • To apply for federal student loans, scholarships and grants, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application early.

PA application timeline Online applications for summer incoming classes in the Master of Health Services — Physician Assistant Studies Degree Program are available through Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applications open each year in late April and close at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern time) Aug. 1.

Students applying for the physician assistant studies program must complete an application at Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) and meet selection criteria. Following that process, a select pool of qualified applicants will receive an invitation to apply through the UC Davis Graduate Studies application. All invited applicants must meet UC Davis graduate admissions requirements.

An application and materials must have a ”complete” (all materials received and pending verification) or ”verified” application status by the deadline. For those who purchased CASPA’s Professional Transcript Entry Service (PTE), coursework entry must also be completed by CASPA and approved by the applicant prior to the deadline. It is the applicants' responsibility to monitor the status of their applications and application materials on a regular basis. CASPA does NOT notify applicants if applications are incomplete or documents are missing.

Apply now!

For additional application information, visit our P.A. FAQ page and the CASPA Applicant Help Center.