Admissions Process

The Tufts University School of Medicine Physician Assistant (TUSM PA) Program enrolls students in JANUARY of each year. Decisions are made on a rolling basis.

Please make sure to read through the requirements for our program here.

The CASPA Application Portal will open April 27, 2017, at which time applicants for January 2018 may begin an application and should fill in the academic history section as soon as you begin the application process to allow CASPA to match incoming materials with an application.

Please note that the TUSM PA Program is a Green Deadline (See CASPA's deadline definitions). Therefore there are two deadlines that applicants must meet in order to have their application reviewed by the PA Admissions Committee.

First Deadline: July 1, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST

Applications must meet CASPA requirements:

  • Application e-submitted in CASPA with application fee paid.
    • The Resume/CV and Patient Care Document are part of the application.
  • All official transcripts received by CASPA.
  • Minimum of two letters of recommendation received by CASPA. (Note: The PA Program requires three letters of recommendation be submitted by the second deadline.)

Once an application meets CASPA requirements, CASPA will verify transcripts and calculate GPA's. The PA Admissions Office will then begin screening applications.

Exception--May 2017 graduates MUST:
  • NOT send an official final transcript to CASPA until it has the degree conferral date NOR submit an application until the official undergraduate transcript with a degree conferral date is received by CASPA, even if it will be after July 1st. The final transcript with degree conferral must be received AND then application submitted no later than August 1st, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST.
  • Call the PA Admissions Office at 617-636-3630 notifying them of their status so that a note of the exception can be made in your CASPA record. If a transcript without a degree conferral date is received and application submitted, the applicant will risk being considered ineligible. No exceptions will be made on this.

Second Deadline: August 1, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST

The following needs to be received by CASPA to meet the Tufts application requirements:

  • 3rd letter of recommendation
  • Official GRE/MCAT Scores
  • TOEFL Scores (if required)

Once an application meets CASPA and Tufts application requirements AND has been confirmed as complete, then the application will be sent to the PA Admissions Committee for review.

 See below for more information about the application materials.

Official Transcripts.
Official Transcripts must reflect:
  • All undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate coursework taken,
  • All required prerequisite coursework with final grades, and
  • An official, final transcript indicating completion of the bachelor's degree (Applicants must request official transcripts from their Registrars' offices that include a date of graduation/degree conferral date)

Send ALL official, final transcripts from all undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate institutions attended (degree and non-degree) to:

                CASPA - P.O. Box 9108 - Watertown, MA 02471

It is strongly encouraged to use the Transcript Request Form provided by CASPA, which is available to applicants once they have listed their institutions attended. PDFs, unofficial and/or photocopied transcripts will not be accepted. DO NOT send any transcripts or evaluations directly to the PA Program.

Note that CASPA will not update transcripts after an application is submitted so DO NOT send:

  • Transcripts with in-progress coursework to CASPA. If we receive an application without all prerequisites complete or final grades, we may not be able to review the application for admission.
  • Updated transcripts to CASPA after verification. Any grades reported as part of Academic Update will NOT be verified and CASPA GPAs will NOT be updated.
International/Study Abroad

International transcripts (except English-speaking Canadian) will not be accepted, but CASPA will accept a foreign transcript evaluation report (Tufts requires WES evaluation). An applicant should report study abroad on CASPA if they:

  • Studied via an overseas U.S. institution
  • Studied via another U.S. institution
  • Studied via a study abroad company, directly via your undergrad institution or any other method

A WES evaluation of foreign transcripts is necessary ONLY if the applicant took a TUSM PA Program prerequisite course during their study abroad and if the CREDITS AND/OR GRADES for these courses DO NOT APPEAR on their undergraduate transcript. Send all WES evaluations to CASPA for verification of courses.

Please click here for directions on entering study abroad information properly in CASPA.

Evidence of a minimum of 1000 hours of direct patient care.

1000 hours of direct patient care experience must be completed and documented in the application. ALL direct patient care experience should be added in the "Experience" section of the application. Please request references to verify direct patient care performance and responsibilities. Applicants are NOT required to provide an official document stating completion of the experience.

Patient Care Document

The link to the Patient Care document can be found in the CASPA application (Qualtrics link). Candidates are required to complete and upload this document in the clinical/professional section in CASPA. The purpose of this document is to capture the types of hands-on patient care experiences candidates have performed in their clinical work. The committee does not expect candidates to have had the opportunity to perform all of the listed experiences.

Three letters of recommendation, including one from a supervisor verifying direct patient care experience.

The first two references MUST be received by July 1, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST, and the third recommendation (required by Tufts) MUST be received by CASPA no later than August 1, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST.

An electronic request from CASPA Messenger will be sent immediately to each reference once the applicant saves the references’ information into the CASPA system. Applicants will be able to check on the status of electronic letters via WebADMIT (CASPA applicant portal).

These references should reflect the applicant’s ability to perform graduate-level work, and address the individual’s professionalism, integrity, and motivation. Prior employers, professional colleagues, and academic advisors are acceptable references. For the 2017 Admission Cycle and moving forward, references from shadowing experiences will not be accepted as one of the three required recommendations.

At least one reference should be from a supervisor of a direct patient care experience to substantiate the applicant’s experience and performance in that capacity. Please note that all direct patient care experiences are subject to verification by the program.

CASPA does not accept paper Committee Letters of Reference. A Committee Letter of Reference may be submitted electronically (7500 characters of allowable space) and will be considered as one reference.    

If an applicant chooses to submit any additional references, they may upload them to the "Other" CASPA folder in the Documents section.

Official Test Scores (GRE or MCAT).

An applicant's official test score(s) must be received by CASPA no later than August 1, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST.


Scores should be sent to CASPA electronically using the Designated Institution Code 0438 (Tufts U Pub Hlth Prog Phys Asst CASPA). This code was specifically created for the TUSM PA Program, and will ensure that the TUSM PA program will then receive applicants' score(s). Applicants should not have scores sent directly to Tufts as they will not then be matched up with their application. (Review GRE FAQs from CASPA here.)


Scores are sent to CASPA electronically from AAMC. PAPER COPIES ARE NOT ACCEPTED. Applicants must contact AAMC to have MCAT scores released to CASPA, and then can self-report the MCAT score in the “Standardized Tests” section along with the individual AAMC ID#.

An applicant's name, date of birth, and AAMC ID# are used to match the information on the MCAT exam.  If the NAME or DATE OF BIRTH appears differently on the MCAT than it does on CASPA, the scores will NOT post automatically to the applicant's account. If the name is different on the test/ contains punctuation or the applicant made an error entering their date of birth information, they must wait the 10-12 day processing time and call CASPA customer service – they can look up the name and manually connect the test score to the desired application.

TOEFL SCORES (if required).

All TOEFL scores must be RECEIVED by CASPA by August 1, 2017 at 11:59PM EST.

Official TOEFL scores are now provided to CASPA directly from the ETS in electronic format. PAPER COPIES WILL NO LONGER BE ACCEPTED. Applicants must contact the ETS to have their TOEFL scores released to CASPA.

PLEASE NOTE: For the TUSM PA Program, the TOEFL requirement is waived for students who have attended a U.S. university/institution for two or more years. 

Resume (indicating where and how a minimum of 1000 hours of direct patient care has been earned).

Applicants are required to upload a resume to CASPA (under the Documents section > "CV/Resume" section).

IMPORTANT: The TUSM PA program reserves the right to verify any experiences listed in the application and/or resume, especially all direct patient care experiences listed.

PHPD Admissions

136 Harrison Avenue
Suite 142
Phone: 617.636.0935
Fax: 617.636.0898

Admissions Statistics

Characteristics of class entering in 2016:
Acceptance Rate  11%
Female  70%
Male  30%
Average Age  26
MA Residence  36%
Other Residence  64%
Mean Overall GPA  3.50
Mean Prerequisite GPA  3.52
Mean GRE (Q)  62.18%
Mean GRE (v)  68.17%