The following guidelines are designed to help the student determine what is appropriate to wear to class, as not all casual clothing is suitable for the PA Program classroom. Clothing that works well for the beach, yard work, dance clubs, exercise sessions, and sports contests is not appropriate for a professional appearance in the classroom. Please reference the link below for additional information. Further clarification about professional business attire should be directed to a member of the faculty or Program Director.

General Guidelines

  • Clothing should not be wrinkled.
  • Torn, dirty, or frayed clothing is unacceptable.
  • All seams must be finished.
  • Any clothing that has words, terms, or pictures that may be offensive and/or create a hostile environment for other students is unacceptable.
  • Dress and skirt length should be at or below the knee.
  • Hair must be kept clean and styled neatly.
  • Hair color should resemble a color that is natural in appearance. • Long hair must be pulled back and secured in all clinical exercises, SCPEs, and any sterile environment.
  • Leggings are permitted IF worn with a long dress.
  • NOTE: GWU PA Studies Program scrubs/sweatshirts are appropriate attire for the classroom and are mandatory for all skills labs unless directed otherwise by the course director or module coordinator. When necessary, students will be directed to wear attire appropriate for physical exam practice (e.g., required shorts/tshirts/sports bras).

Inappropriate Attire for the PA Classroom Includes, But is not Limited to:

  • Pants: cargo pants, jeans, sweatpants, exercise pants, bib overalls, shorts, biking clothing, or others that are form-fitting.
  • Dresses/Skirts: short, tight mini-skirts, skorts, sundresses, beach dresses, spaghetti-strap dresses.
  • Tops: tank tops, midriffs, halter-tops, or any top that reveals excessive cleavage, back, chest, stomach, or undergarments; tops with potentially offensive words, terms, logos, pictures, cartoons, or slogans.
  • Headwear: ball caps or hats of any kind.
  • Footwear: flip-flops, slippers.

Other Guidelines

  • Absolutely NO open-toed shoes are allowed for Skills/Labs/OSCEs.
  • Fragrances, colognes, or perfumes are prohibited out of respect of others in the classroom and patients in the clinical year.
  • Piercings and tattoos: as students move into the clinical environment, visible body piercing other than pierced ears and visible tattoos are generally not considered appropriate. Students must comply with clinical site policies for body piercings and tattoos

Casual Friday Attire

The following casual attire is permitted only on Fridays unless directed otherwise by a member of the faculty.

  • Jeans
  • GWU spirit sweatshirts
  • T-shirts – GWU Spirit wear is encouraged

GWU PA Studies faculty reserve the right to ask a student who is inappropriately dressed to:

  • Leave the classroom or clinical site, earning a zero or unexcused absence.
  • Meet with the instructor, course-director, didactic director, or APD/PD to further discuss dress policy adherence.

Dress Code Policy specific to the clinical year is found in the Physician Assistant Student Clinical section.