Classes begin for each cohort once a year in January.

The application cycle will begin in mid-April and run through September 1 via CASPA.  GWU will not accept any applications outside of CASPA.  The program will start interviewing applicants in June.  Students will be accepted using a rolling admissions process.

The program will run for seven consecutive semesters spanning 28 months. This includes 16 months of didactic work followed by 12 months of clinical learning experiences.

Upon successful completion of the Physician Assistant Program, students will be awarded a Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS).

Advanced placement will not be granted under any circumstances. All students who enter the program must fulfill all program requirements.

Prior to matriculation, all seated students must complete a drug test and background check. Additional screening (at additional cost) may be required prior to the onset of clinical learning experiences and as required by the preceptor clinic.

The Gardner-Webb PA Studies program accepts 36 students to each cohort.

Due to the intensity and high standards of the program, it is advisable that students remain prepared and focused as they progress through the curriculum. Students are strongly discouraged from seeking or maintaining employment while enrolled in the program.

Applicants may be “conditionally” accepted with up to two prerequisites pending; however, all the coursework must be completed and official transcripts received by GWU no later than September 15 just prior to the matriculation date. Furthermore, all coursework must meet grade requirements listed under application requirements.

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Gardner-Webb University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Gardner-Webb University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2028. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Invitation to interview will go out as early as June and continue until the class is full. Therefore, it is to your advantage to submit a completed application as early in the process as possible. With submission later in the process (even though prior to the deadline), you run the risk that no class seats will be available, or that only a few will remain. Once the class is full, remaining applications will be evaluated for an alternates list.

Clinical learning experience sites require background investigations for employees and students.

The “ideal” candidate will be well-rounded demonstrating excellent grades, hands-on patient care experience, outstanding and altruistic commitment to service and volunteerism, have a passion for medicine and the PA profession, and desire to serve as a primary care practitioner in a medically underserved area.

No. We value admitting a class with students who have a variety of different types of Bachelor’s degrees.

Applicants should apply through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). CASPA opens in mid-April of every year and continues until our September 1 deadline when all materials must be to CASPA. When you apply through CASPA, you are applying for the cohort that starts the following January (three months after the September 1 application deadline). We strongly recommend that you apply as soon as possible because many interviews and admission decisions are made throughout the Summer months.

Applicants must adhere to all admission requirements. Unfortunately we cannot consider an applicant who does not meet our minimum pre-requisite GPA. In fact, that is a minimum GPA and does not in any way assure an interview. Applicants invited for interview tend to be the strongest applications so please judge accordingly. We publish our admission requirements and it would be unfair to make an exception to those minimum requirements.

All SCPEs are assigned by the program’s Director of Clinical Education in conjunction with the Clinical Scheduling Manager. The student is not permitted to schedule SCPEs. The Program must make all arrangements for scheduling and will instruct the student regarding contacting sites and preceptors prior to the start of a SCPE. The Program verifies preceptor and site eligibility, including ongoing site evaluations and eligibility, according to ARC-PA standards.