Selection Information

The admissions process for the PA program is highly selective and is based on a variety of criteria including the applicant’s overall strength relative to the applicant pool. The Selections Committee, comprised of full-time PA program faculty, evaluates applicants based on their academic background, type and extent of prior clinical experience, community service involvement, understanding of the physician assistant’s role in healthcare, and personal and professional attributes. This includes applicants’ knowledge of and sensitivity to multicultural issues pertinent to the delivery of medical services. The most qualified applicants who meet the prerequisites and requirements will be selected based upon a thorough review of all written statements and points earned from the following categories:

  • Interview
  • Mission (disadvantaged background, veteran, humanitarian service, underserved experience, non-healthcare community/volunteer service & commitment)
  • CASPA cumulative GPA
  • CASPA science GPA
  • Clinical experience (paid or volunteer)
  • Related healthcare experience (clinical or laboratory research)

Transfer Students
The program does not accept transfer students. Each applicant who is admitted is required to complete the full Master of Physician Assistant Practice curriculum in residence at USC. No waivers, substitutions, or advanced standing are permitted.

The following information shows the selection template used, and where applicable, the average profile of interviewees from the 2022-2023 application cycle:


  • Knowledge of the PA profession
  • Communication/interpersonal skills
  • Professionalism
  • Leadership potential
  • Personal attributes
  • Program fit

Interviewees averaged 1371 hours of non-healthcare related community or volunteer experience and/or underserved community service

CASPA cumulative GPA
Interviewees averaged a 3.50 GPA

CASPA science GPA
Interviewees averaged a 3.41 GPA

Clinical Experience
Interviewees averaged 4,119 hours of paid/unpaid (2,000 hrs = 1 year of experience)

Related Health Care Experience

PA shadowing is strongly preferred. There are no minimum required hours.

Application Process for 2024-2025 Application Cycle

  1. The CASPA application should be submitted directly to CASPA, no later than November 1st (**please note that the CASPA portal closes at 11:59PM (EST) or 8:59PM (PST)). CASPA notifies the USC PA program regarding the date the application and supporting documents are received.
  2. The USC PA Supplemental Application must be submitted within the CASPA application. A non-refundable supplemental application fee must be paid online to the USC PA program no later than November 1st. Applications are reviewed in the order received, so we highly recommend submitting your application earlier in the application cycle.

  3. After a careful review of each application, a select portion of applicants are invited to interview with PA program faculty, alumni, and current students. Interviewees are required to submit a non-returnable passport-sized photo of themselves.
  4. The Selections Committee reviews the files of all interviewed applicants and selects the incoming class.
    • The USC PA Program does not utilize the USC Online Graduate School Application. Please complete only the CASPA application and the USC Supplemental Application.
  5. Applicants will be notified by email a few weeks after their complete application package has been received. A complete package will include the (1) verified CASPA application, (2) USC Supplemental Application, and (3) USC supplemental fee. Travel costs related to in-person interviews are the responsibility of the candidates. Applicants will be selected and admitted into the program from September to March. Because the USC PA program utilizes rolling admissions, later Interview Days may be subject to cancellation, and the interview process will conclude after the cohort is fully seated.

  6. Final notifications of acceptance, placement on the alternate list, or denial will be communicated via email.

Accepted applicants must secure their seat by submitting specified documentation and a deposit, typically within 1-2 weeks of receiving the offer. Those who accept a seat will need to submit official transcripts, if requested, to the program before enrollment. Classes begin in mid-to-late August for those who accept the program’s offer.

Due to the high volume of applicants and the need to focus on current students, the program faculty and Selections Committee members are unable to answer emails or phone calls from prospective applicants. All correspondence should be sent to

All admitted students are required to have a background check completed prior to admission to the Master of Physician Assistant Practice (MPAP) Program.

What are my next steps if I’m invited to be on the alternate list?

  1. Confirm if you want to be on the alternate list. Applicants on the alternate list can potentially be admitted into the program until August.
  2. Continue with your current experiences, and complete your prerequisite courses.
  3. Start the process of reapplying for the next admissions cycle.

Please do not call and submit any additional materials or letters of recommendation. Additional materials will not be considered for admissions after your CASPA application has been submitted.

Admission is a holistic review process, and hours exceeding the average applicant does not guarantee admittance into the program.