Pre-Physician Assistant Direct Entry

A fast track designed to allow high-achieving incoming freshman enter the Pre-PA (Physician Assistant) program prior to receiving a bachelor's degree.

The undergraduate pre-PA Studies direct entry admission opportunity allows for academically talented and mature incoming freshman students to gain direct entry admission into the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program after successful completion of the approved plan of study for the pre-PA Biology major and fulfilling admissions requirements. Unfilled direct entry seats may be filled through articulation agreements and/or through the general graduate admissions (CASPA) process.

Projected seats reserved by entering cohort

  • May 2022 (Class of 2024) 4 seats
  • May 2023 (Class of 2025) 5 seats

The MPAS Program reserves the right to amend the number of seats, adjusting for ARC-PA approved cohort size.

High school minimum 3.50 GPA on 4.0 unweighted scale

Standardized College Entry Exam minimum scores: ACT Composite 26 or SAT (R+M) 1220

ACT minimum writing score of 5 or SAT minimum writing score 6.

Select Pre PA Pre PA Biology as a major

Once accepted to Mercy College, a candidate will complete an
Application for PA Direct Entry (deadline: January 15)

  • Essay- describing how extra-curricular or work-related experiences have prepared
    you for a PA career
  • Interview

Complete Technical Standards form

Must Receive a formal acceptance letter

Letter of Intent, which must be signed, dated, and returned to the Office of Admission by May 1st.

Direct Entry Undergraduate seat deposit of $250

  • All requested information and documents must be returned by deadline or the student will forfeit the opportunity for direct admit and the next direct entry applicant will be considered

Follow the four-year pre-PA Biology Plan of Study Pre PA Biology Program prescribed sequence and pacing (i.e. no curriculum

Maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA in all undergraduate course work

Maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA in all undergraduate prerequisite course work

  • A one-time, one semester Academic Probation grace period may enable a student to bring their GPA back up to 3.5 before MPAS Direct Entry dismissal
  • Academically dismissed students may still be eligible to apply through the competitive graduate application process if meet the graduate admissions criteria

Demonstration of ongoing professional behaviors in accordance with expectations of all students. Entrants dismissed for professionalism violations may be in jeopardy for competitive graduate application process.

Meet the graduate program admissions criteria including:

  • Bachelor’s degree with completion of a relevant health care related internship,health care/clinical experience, or equivalent (approved by PA program and program of study).
  • CASPA Application
  • Take GRE (timed for CASPA application)
  • Altus Suite (Casper/Snapshot) Situational Judgement Test
  • Technical Standards
  • Clinical Requirements
  • Participate in graduate interview process
  • Payment of non-refundable PA graduate tuition deposits

Direct entrants must complete the CASPA application by July 1 of the respective CASPA cycle to indicate formal intent of enrollment.

Important Notes

  • Deadline dates refer to calendar year of undergraduate matriculation
  • Undergraduate financial aid does not carry into the graduate-level PA Professional Program.
  • The PA Program does not accept transfer students/credits into the Direct Entry or Graduate Program or credit by examination for prerequisite courses. The PA Program does not award advanced placement.
  • Students who attend Mercy College of Ohio for their undergraduate degree and meet admission criteria are guaranteed an interview for the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program.
The physician assistant profession is ranked nationally and locally as one of the fastest-growing health occupations. Employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 31 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for physician assistants was $115,390 in May 2020. Source:

Articulation Agreements for Direct Entrants

With consideration of cohort size and number of Mercy College’s Direct Entry Admit students, the MPAS Program may selectively pursue new articulation agreements or renewal of agreements for these potentially reserved seats. Articulating students must meet the criteria specific to the articulation agreements which reflect the admission requirements for the Mercy College Direct Entry Admits. Articulating students go through the same CASPA processes and interviews as do the Mercy College Direct Entry Admits. During these early cohorts, the seats reserved for Mercy College’s Direct Entry Admits are the seats reserved for the articulating students.

Transfer of Credit Policy for Direct Entrants

The PA Program does not accept transfer credits into the MPAS Direct Entry or MPAS Graduate Program or credit by examination for prerequisite courses. The PA Program does not award advanced placement.

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Interested in direct entry admission? Contact admissions today.

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Pre-PA Direct Entry FAQs

How competitive is the direct entry PA program?

Since admission into Physician Assistant (PA) programs is highly sought after and competitive, the selection process for Direct Entry students for the undergraduate program leading into Mercy College’s PA program is competitive. Direct Entry students are identified in high school and are required to apply for the Direct Entry seats. Successful applicants are strong students academically, especially in the sciences. Healthcare experience is not required but a benefit. The student should consider how their extra-curricular or work experience in high school prepare them for a career as a Physician Assistant. An understanding of the role of the Physician Assistant is expected.

Once a student is accepted into a Direct Entry seat within the Pre-PA Biology major, they must follow the prescribed pacing and sequence of advised courses. Transfer classes from other institutions are not accepted. The student must maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA in their undergraduate Pre-PA Biology curriculum to maintain their seat.

Is direct entry PA right for me?

In choosing a career path, it is important to research everything you can. Have you read things on the internet about what a PA does? Have you shadowed PAs in different fields? Do you like working with people and helping those in need? Finding these things out early helps you devote the time and energy you need to be successful in a challenging program. It is important that you are dedicated to the PA career path to meet the demands of the opportunities that you will encounter in your undergraduate and graduate education.

What should I expect in the interviews?

The interview is a time for you to express why you want to be a PA. What experiences have led you to believe that this is the path for you. What strengths do you have that would lend themselves to this career pathway? What kind of teamwork have you been involved in that would demonstrate that you can work well within a group of individuals, such as a healthcare team. This is a time for you to share any questions that you may have about the pre-PA pathway at Mercy College of Ohio.

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