Before applying to the Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) Physician Assistant Program, an applicant must meet the following requirements for Academic Courses, Direct Patient Care Experience, Tests, and Technical Standards.

Academic Requirements

All academic coursework AND a bachelor's degree from an accredited university/college must be completed before submitting an application to the PA Program or it will be considered incomplete and therefore NOT eligible for review by the PA Admissions Committee.

These must be evidenced on official, final transcript(s) that are received by the first application deadline and completion of the bachelor's degree must be confirmed with an official, final transcript that includes a degree conferral date.

These are the requirements for the 2017 admissions cycle. Prerequisites are subject to change for future admissions cycles. 

Required Courses

Human Anatomy and Physiology (I & II)     
  • 2 semesters
  • 1 semester of anatomy and 1 semester of physiology for science majors will also be accepted 
General Biology
(I & II with lab)
  • 2 semesters
  • Each semester with lab
  • General or Human biology for science majors

General Chemistry
(I & II with lab)

  • 2 semesters
  • Each semester with lab
  • Organic chemistry will be accepted
Microbiology (with lab)            
  • 1 semester 
  • Course must be accompanied with a lab
  • 1 semester
  • Can be an introductory course


CASPA provides applicants the ability to view individual CASPA–calculated GPAs. GPAs are based on all credits reported on official transcripts. Tufts primarily focuses on the overall GPA, the science GPA, and the prerequisite GPA.

                                         Ideal Minimum GPA = 3.2

    Overall GPA =  all undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate courses taken, both science and non-science 
    Science GPA =  all courses with subject codes of Biology/Zoology, Chemistry (Inorganic, Organic, and Biochemistry), Physics, and other science
    Prerequisite GPA =  all courses and labs listed as a required course (Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, and Statistics)


  • All applicants must have completed a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college before submitting an application; no specific discipline or degree (ie. BA, BS, etc.) is necessary.
  • Individuals previously trained as physicians (M.D. or D.O.) WILL NOT be considered for this program. This includes all graduates of U.S. and foreign medical schools. 
  • All prerequisites must be completed with a grade of C or better.

Completing prerequisite courses

  • Courses can be taken at the undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate levels.

  • Accreditation can be regional or national--the TUSM PA Program accepts only degrees and courses from institutions accredited by agencies that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • All courses must be taken within 10 years of the admissions cycle year (e.g., If applying in the 2017 admissions cycle, then courses taken since January 2007 will be accepted).

  • If you have taken prerequisite courses over 10 years ago, you will need to take higher level courses to satisfy each prerequisite and at least ONE lab for each prerequisite that requires a lab. For example, if you completed BIO I+Lab and BIO II+Lab over 10 years ago, you must complete TWO higher level courses and at least ONE BIO lab, or repeat the BIO I and II courses. 

  • The rigor of the institution will be taken into consideration, and it is strongly recommended that all courses be taken at a 4-year accredited institution. However, courses from 2-year accredited institutions will be accepted.

  • While online courses are accepted (including online labs), it is recommended that courses be taken as traditional, face-to-face classroom courses. 

  • A strong science background is necessary to ensure that the applicant is prepared for the intensive first year curriculum. The science prerequisites need to have the breadth and depth to prepare a candidate for the rigor of PA education.  Courses that are available for non-science majors will be accepted, but are not viewed as competitive.

  • A course or lab cannot be used to meet more than one requirement.

Strongly Recommended Courses


Medical Terminology      

  • Must be a stand-alone course, but can be taken online
  • A certificate of completion will suffice



  • May only be applied to prerequisites when biology or chemistry was taken longer than 10 years ago or AP credit was received.
  • Will be considered a chemistry course unless categorized as a biology course by the granting institution on the transcript.

Other credits?

  • No advanced standing, transfer credit, or credit for experiential learning will be granted. 

  • International Baccalaureate (IB) program credits will be accepted for prerequisites.

  • CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) and DSST (Dantes) test scores are not accepted.

  • American Council on Education (ACE) courses are not accepted.

  • If Advanced Placement (AP) credit has been awarded by your educational institution for a Tufts PA program prerequisite course, you will then need to take higher level courses to satisfy the prerequisite for which you received AP credit. For example, if you received AP credit for part of a prerequisite (e.g. credit for BIO I, but not BIO II), you must take an upper level course+Lab that has BIO I as a prerequisite to the course, as well as taking BIO II+Lab, to fulfill the Biology requirement. If AP credit has been received for a full prerequisite (e.g. credit for BIO I and BIO II), two upper level courses must be taken, as well as at least ONE lab to fulfill the requirement.


                    Still have questions? Visit our FAQ pages.


Physician Assistant Information Session Slides

View slides from our information sessions to learn more about the Physician Assistant Program.

Information Sessions

Information Sessions

Thursday, October 5 (4pm-6pm)

Upcoming sessions: look for information in January 2018.

Apply Online:

Click here to be added to our contact list.

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