All prerequisite coursework must be obtained from a four-year university, or a majors course that transfers to a four-year university with a grade of “C” or better. 

Prerequisite Coursework

Basic Sciences:
Human Anatomy with lab 4 semester units

Physiology with lab
Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab

4 semester units

8 semester units

General Chemistry with lab I 4 semester units
General Chemistry with lab II 4 semester units
General Biology with lab 4 semester units
Microbiology with lab  4 semester units
*Human anatomy and physiology, chemistry, biology and microbiology may not
be taken by an online or correspondence format.
English Composition  3 semester units
General Psychology 3 semester units
Intro to Sociology 3 semester units
Intro to Statistics 3 semester units
Pre-Calculus or Calculus 3 semester units
Strongly Recommended Courses
Medical Ethics
Medical Terminology
Medical Spanish
Foreign Language

Unit conversion reference

+-Requirements and Criteria

Admission to the MMS Physician Assistant Studies program is competitive and multifaceted.  Our selection process is based on a combination of your graduate application, academic performance (GPA & GRE or MCAT), letters of recommendation, shadowing hours, personal statement of intent and performance during an in person interview if invited.  Admission to the physician assistant studies program requires the applicant to complete the required prerequisite coursework and admission requirements listed below.

Persons who have been dismissed from another physician assistant studies program are not eligible for admission to Chapman University's Physician Assistant Studies Program.

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university or college prior to matriculation into the MMS Physician Assistant Studies Program;
  • Completion of all prerequisite coursework with a “C” or better prior to submitting application with no more than 2 courses remaining;
  • Overall cumulative GPA minimum 3.0;
  • Cumulative science pre-requisite GPA minimum 2.75;
  • The minimum scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE): Verbal 153; Quantitative 144; Writing 4.5 or Medical College Admission Test  (MCAT) score of 28.  The GRE and MCAT must be completed within the last 5 years from the application deadline.  A combination of the highest scores from separate sittings of the GRE exam will be accepted.  Chapman University’s institution code is 3681.  A department code is not needed.
  • TOEFL score must meet minimum standard requirement of 80 if English is not the first language.
  • Technical Standards: qualified applicants must have abilities and skills in the following areas:  observation, communication, motor, intellectual, conceptual, integrative, qualitative, and behavior/social.
  • Three recent (within 1 year of application date) letters of recommendation assessing the applicants’ ability to be a future health care provider (one must be from a practicing PA or physician);
  • 50 observational/shadowing experience hours completed and documented by a licensed and practicing physician assistant.  Observational experiences to be arranged by the student.  The PA Studies program will not arrange nor recommend observational sites.  Please check the following website for information on shadowing:  www.capanet.org/Students_Pre-PA/Information-on-Shadowing/  Clinical work experience as well as any formal health career training (EMT, CAN, LVN, RN, RT, PT, MT, etc) cannot be substituted for observational/shadowing hours.
  • Personal statement/Narrative: Please describe your motivation towards becoming a PA.  5000 characters limit = approximately 625 words.
  • Personal interview: After initial assessment and screening of applications, a portion of selected applicants will be invited to interview on campus in Irvine, CA.  Those invited will be required to bring a passport size photo on the day of the interview.
  • Background Check: successful completion
  • Applicants falling below the minimum criteria in any category will not be considered.
  • Due to new government regulations, we are unable to accept international students into this program at this time.  We hope to be able to accept students for the new academic year.  We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to receiving your application at that time.  If you have any questions, please contact intladmit@chapman.edu.

+-Technical Standards

Accreditation standards require that admission criteria into a PA program are established by the PA program faculty but must include Technical Standards for Admission developed by the accrediting agency, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). 

The MMS-PA Studies Program signifies that the graduate is prepared for entry into the practice of medicine. It shows that the graduate must have the skills and knowledge to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. It is essential for good patient care to require minimum standards for the education of the physician assistant.

In the admission process, the University must judge not only the scholastic accomplishments and potential of the applicant, but also consider the applicant's current physical and emotional status, cumulative and progressive disability, and drug-induced impairments that may pose obstacles to the safe application of the student's knowledge and skill or prevent effective interaction with patients and co-workers.

In accordance with University policy and as delineated by Federal and California law, the University does not discriminate in admission, educational programs or employment against any individual on the basis of that individual's handicap or disability and will make good faith efforts at providing reasonable accommodation as required.

Candidates for the physician assistant program must possess the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize data. They must have functional use of the senses of vision, hearing, equilibrium and taste. Their exteroceptor (touch, pain, and temperature) and proprioceptor (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis, and vibratory) senses must be sufficiently intact to enable them to carry out all the activities required to complete the activities described below. Candidates must have sufficient motor function capabilities to meet the demands of the PA program and the demands of total patient care. They must be able to complete the didactic and clinical curriculum in its entirety.

The candidate for the PA program must possess ability, aptitude and skills in five areas: observation, communication, motor, intellectual, behavioral and social.

  1. Observation: The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences, visual presentations in lectures and laboratories, laboratory evidence and microbiologic cultures, microscopic studies of microorganisms, and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A candidate should be able to observe a patient accurately and completely at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation and is enhanced by a sense of smell.
  2. Communication: A candidate should be able to speak, to hear, and to observe patients in order to elicit information, perceive non-verbal communication, describe changes in mood, activity and posture. A candidate should be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech but reading and writing. Communication in oral and written form with the health care team must be effective and efficient.
  3. Motor: Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate should be able to carry out basic laboratory tests (urinalysis, CBC, wet mount, gram stain, etc.), carry out diagnostic and therapeutic procedures (phlebotomy, venipuncture, placement of catheters and tubes), and read ECG's and X-rays. A candidate should have motor function sufficient to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment for patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of a physician assistant are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the administration of intravenous medications, the application of pressure to arrest bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, the suturing of simple wounds and the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers. Such skills require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
  4. Intellectual: Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of PA's requires all these abilities. The candidate must also be able to comprehend three dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.
  5. Behavioral and Social Attributes: A candidate should possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients. Candidates should be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads, and to function effectively under stress. They should be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainty inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the Admission and education processes.

+-Advanced Placement/Transfer Credit

  • No transfer credits are accepted from other physician assistant studies programs or other degree programs.
  • No courses will be waived.
  • Prerequisite coursework will be accepted for AP classes with exam scores of 4 or 5 in accordance with Chapman University undergraduate AP transfer credit equivalencies.
  • All courses in the proposed curriculum are designated as required and must be completed by every enrolled student.

No advanced placement of transfer credit may be applied toward fulfilling the MMS curriculum regardless of previous foreign, domestic, graduate or undergraduate coursework.  No didactic or clinical phase courses will be waived and no transfer credit for any previous coursework will be permitted even though it may be similar or identical to coursework in the PA program. 

Advanced Placement is defined as “A waiver of required coursework included in the PA curriculum for applicants to the program and/or a waiver of required coursework included in the PA curriculum for currently enrolled students in the program which results in the students advancing in the curriculum without completing required curriculum components at the sponsoring institution.” (ARC-PA Standards, Glossary, September 2012).


Application period is April 16 to October 1. 

Submit your application and supporting documents to the Centralized Application System for Physician Assistants (CASPA) on or before October 1, 2014. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications and supporting documents as early as possible.  Applicants are responsible for following up with CASPA to ensure all necessary documents are received. After CASPA confirms receipt of all necessary documents and completes the application, students must forward any updated transcripts for courses in progress at the time of application to the Office of Graduate Admission.

The supporting documents include:

  • All official transcripts; must include degrees posted
  • GRE or MCAT scores
  • TOEFL scores (if English is not first language)
  • Three letters of recommendation (one must be from a practicing PA or physician)
  • Observational/shadowing experience
  • Personal statement of intent

+-Centralized Application System for Physician Assistants (CASPA)

The CASPA application for the 2014-2015 admission cycle will be open April 2014.  All official application materials must be sent directly to CASPA. 

Apply Now

The application cycle is the time span in which CASPA is open and you are able to create and access your CASPA account.  Applicants may not create an account prior to the start date of the cycle.  Once the application cycle closes, you will NOT be able to create or access your CASPA account.  Please be sure you are eligible to apply and are creating an account for the correct cycle before creating a new account.


Application deadline for classes beginning January 2015 is October 1, 2014.  All applications must be e-submitted, verified, and all documents received by the October 1 deadline. 

Submitting your application materials early will ensure timely processing and help avoid delays. Once your application has a complete date, it can take 4 to 6 weeks to verify and mail to your designated programs. Your application is considered complete when CASPA has received all of the following: 1) electronic application; 2) all official transcripts; 3) three letters of recommendation; and 4) official GRE/MAT scores; and 5) CASPA processing fee. 

+-Admission Process

Only completed applications, with all supporting documents received prior to the application deadline, will be verified and sent electronically from CASPA to Chapman University’s Office of Graduate Admissions.
The Physician Assistant admission committee will review and evaluate applications that are submitted prior to the deadline and that meet its admission criteria and requirements. A select group of applicants will be invited for an on-campus interview.

+-Information Sessions

The proposed physician assistant studies program is planning to host monthly information sessions to provide information about the program and the application process. Please watch the website for dates, times, and locations.

Learn more about Graduate Information Sessions.

+-Tuition and Fees


Estimated Cost

Annual tuition 2015-2016

$45,000 per year

Medical equipment

$1200 total

Books and supplies

$5000 total

Lap top and iPad

$1850 total

Malpractice liability insurance

$185 per year

American Academy of Physician Assistants Membership

$75 for 2 years

California Academy of Physician Assistants Membership

$20 per year

Parking at the University


Vaccinations and Lab Titers

$1000 total

Criminal Background Check, Child Abuse Registry and drug testing


E-Value Student Logging Program

$150 per year

Items to Include in a 12 Month Budget

Apartment Rental based on solo or shared living

$500- $2000 per month

Utilities, Telephone, Electricity, Water

$75 - $400 per month

Clinical Year Distant Site Living/travel expenses

$1000-$2000 (2nd year only) may vary depending on locale

Automotive Expenses (Fuel, Insurance, and Maintenance)


The proposed Physician Assistant studies program charges and fees are as of January 2014 and are subject to change.

A certified background check, drug screening, and professional insurance is required of all accepted applicants prior to matriculation into the program. Additional certified background checks and drug screenings may be required by clinical sites.

Withdrawals & Refunds 

Tuition deposits are not refundable.
Students must officially withdraw by the posted deadlines.
The tuition refund schedule for graduate students is:

Withdrawal prior to the first day of classes:    100%
Withdrawal within the first week of classes:      90%
Withdrawal within the second week of classes: 70%
Withdrawal within the third week of classes:     50%

Students must follow the Chapman University’s Refund Policy and visit the Student Business Services Office to submit a request for refund.


The Office of the University Registrar provides information and training tools for students, faculty, and staff to facilitate student academic progress; specifically course registration.


            Textbooks will be listed on the course syllabus/outline and WebAdvisor
            Bathal Textbook Store  or email at chapman@bkstr.com

Financial Aid 

Click on the links below for more information about Financial Aid.

Chapman University’s Federal School Code for Financial Aid is 001164

Federal Student Aid Office

Chapman Financial Aid

+-Scholarships and Loans

PA students can receive scholarships for serving communities in need and primary care providers can pay off student loans while service in communities with limited access to health care.  For scholarship and loan information please visit the National Health Service Corps website

Physician Assistant Salary 
Specialty                                             Salary

Cardiovascular Surgery                       $115,000

Dermatology                                       $103,000

Emergency Medicine                            $101,000

Surgical Subspecialities                        $97,000

General Surgery                                  $92,000

Pediatric Subspecialties                        $88,000

Internal Medicine Subspecialties            $87,200

Primary Care                                       $85,000

Other Specialties                                 $90,000

Reference:  AAPA.org

In 2013, the average physician assistant working full-time earned $107,268 and the average part-time hourly rate is $54.05.  Source: American Academy of Physician Assistants National Physician Assistant Census Reports.

+-Chapman Course Equivalents

This is a guide for courses at Chapman University that can be used to satisfy the Masters of Medical Science Physician Assistant Studies Program prerequisites.  

PA Prerequisite Requirement

Chapman Course Equivalent

Semester Units

Basic Sciences:

Human Anatomy with Lab

HESC/BIOL 210 Human Anatomy/

HESC/BIOL 210L Human Anatomy Lab



Physiology with Lab

HESC/BIOL 365 Human Physiology Part A/

HESC/BIOL 365L Human Physiology Part A Lab

BIOL 366 Human Physiology Part B/

BIOL 366 Human Physiology Part B Lab



General Chemistry with Lab I

CHEM 140 General Chemistry I/

CHEM 140L General Chemistry I Laboratory


General Chemistry with Lab II

CHEM 150 General Chemistry II/

CHEM 150L General Chemistry II Laboratory


Microbiology with Lab

BIOL 417 Microbiology

BIOL 417L Microbiology Lab


*Human anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and microbiology may not be taken by an online or correspondence format.


English Composition

ENG 103 Writing in Academic Environment


General Psychology

PSY 101 Psychology


Intro to Sociology

SOC 101 Sociology


Intro to Statistics

MATH 203 Intro to Statistics


Pre-Calculus or Calculus 

MATH 104 Pre-Calculus Mathematics


Strongly Recommended Courses:

Medical Ethics

PHIL 314 Medical Ethics


Medical Terminology

SPAN 101 Elementary Spanish I


Medical Spanish



Other University’s Equivalents to Chapman Courses »

+-Foreign students and degree credentials

All Foreign Academic records must be translated to English and certified by University Language Services at www.universitylanguage.com and submitted to CASPA. If foreign transcripts are in English applicants still need to submit the foreign transcript to CASPA and also have them evaluated by World Education Services.

All foreign coursework and degrees must  be evaluated for North American equivalencies with calculated GPA’s on a 4.0 scale by the World Education Services. The website is: www.wes.org and submitted to CASPA. We will only recognize the degree, course credentials and GPA that WES has evaluated.

Depending on the circumstances, the applicant might have to begin with the language services because WES will not evaluate the credential or coursework or calculate GPA without an English translation. All of these services are the responsibility of the applicant. 

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