Application Requirements

Gardner-Webb University will begin accepting applications for its January 2020 cohort in late April. CASPA submitted applications will be evaluated with particular focus in the following areas: Overall Academic Strength, Science Aptitude, Letters of Recommendation, Health Care Experience and/or Physician Assistant Shadowing, and Potential to Match Program Goals.

The application deadline is September 1, 2019. Applications must be CASPA complete and must contain all required application materials including the supplemental application and $100 supplemental fee by this date. Instructions will be sent to each applicant concerning the supplemental application and fee once the applicant has submitted his or her application to Gardner-Webb through CASPA.

Academic Strength

Evaluation of academic strength is largely based upon transcripts including course selection, semester load, and cumulative GPA. A Bachelor's Degree from a US regionally accredited institution is required and the minimum acceptable overall GPA is 3.0.

Applicants should be aware that acceptance into a PA program is an extremely competitive process. A GPA 3.0 is the minimum and does not guarantee an interview or acceptance.

Science Aptitude

Each applicant must have completed the following required courses in:

  • Human anatomy and physiology with lab (two semesters or three quarters),
  • General biology with lab (one semester or two quarters)
  • Additional biology with lab (one semester or two quarters)
  • Microbiology with lab (one semester or two quarters)
  • General chemistry with lab (one semester or two quarters)
  • Additional chemistry with lab (one semester or two quarters)
  • Organic chemistry with lab (one semester or two quarters)
  • Statistics (one course)
  • Psychology (one course) and
  • Medical terminology

The cumulative prerequisite GPA requirement is 3.0. Courses with a grade below a B- will not be accepted.

Coursework Note:

  • Bachelor's degree must come from a US regionally accredited institution and have an overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Prerequisites must be taken at a US regionally accredited institution and each course grade must be at least a B- (a grade of C+ or lower will not be accepted). A cumulative prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or higher is required.
  • Should a course be taken more than once, all grades are utilized in the overall cumulative GPA calculation, but only the highest grade for each course will be factored in the prerequisite GPA requirement and individual prerequisite course grade requirement of a B-.
  • We prefer that all prerequisite courses are taken within the last seven years. If your courses are older than that, know that we recommend refreshing them.
  • We encourage students to have taken anatomy and physiology within two years of the program application date; however, this is not a requirement.
  • All prerequisite work for an earned bachelor’s degree must come from US regionally accredited institutions. However, in addition, Gardner-Webb University requires students to submit a foreign transcript evaluation for any coursework completed through non-US institutions. This does not apply for study abroad credits earned through US institutions.
  • Applicants with up to two remaining prerequisites may apply provided they complete each - with at least a B- or higher - before the first day of September (official transcripts must be received at Gardner-Webb University by October 1 or a selected candidate will relinquish their seat).
  • Survey courses (usually 100 or 101) will not meet the prerequisite course requirements.
  • We do not accept Animal, Mammalian, or Comparative Anatomy and Physiology courses. Additionally, either Anatomy and Physiology I and II OR separate Anatomy and Physiology courses will fulfill the 2 semester Anatomy and Physiology requirement. However, these two tracks cannot be combined (Anatomy cannot be paired with Anatomy and Physiology II). The admissions committee can review the content of a syllabus is the course title does not accurately reflect the course content.
  • Prerequisites can be met via Advanced Placement credit (college equivalent courses taken in high school), provided the official score report reflects a 4 or 5.
  • Courses can be taken at any regionally accredited institution, including community colleges. We prefer that all prerequisite courses be taken at a four-year institution.
  • The PA program does not accept College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credit or credit by examination for any prerequisite requirements.

Letters of Recommendation

Each applicant will be required to provide three professional or academic letters of recommendation. At least one letter must come from an advanced care practitioner or physician (PA, NP, MD, DO).

Health Care Experience

Although no minimum hours are required, the program places importance on health care familiarity and evaluates the quality and quantity of an applicant’s experience with direct "hands on" patient health care. Health care experience will be evaluated based on the type of experience and the number of hours specifically related to working with more acutely ill or injured patients in a hospital or clinical setting.

Applicants are encouraged to be very detailed in their description of health care positions in their CASPA application.

U.S. Citizenship/Residency

The Gardner-Webb University PA Studies Program accepts applications from U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

TOEFL Requirement

An applicant whose native language is not English and who does not have a full year (two semesters) of composition or its equivalent in English studies with a grade of B- or better must demonstrate skills in English understanding and use. Recent scores on the Test of English and Foreign Language (TOEFL) normally suffice. TOEFL scores should be submitted with the CASPA application or directly to GWU Graduate Admissions. Satisfactory scores are based on the testing format and include:

  • Internet-based TOEFL: Score of 100 with a minimum score of 20 on each section.
  • A total score of 600 on the paper TOEFL, with a score of 55 on the Listening Comprehension.
  • A total score of 250 on the computer-based TOEFL.
  • A level 112 from the ELS Language Centers or other recognized evidence may be considered satisfactory, pending the Admissions Committee approval.

For selected candidates, invitations to interview in August will go out as early as June. Seats will be offered using a rolling admissions process.