James Madison University
Admission Information > Time Line and Process

Selection Process

  1. The Graduate School evaluates applications for admission to the graduate college.
  2. The PA Program evaluates applications for admission to the PA Program. Candidates who have met the minimum requirements for acceptance compete for positions in the class. Because acceptance can be highly competitive, the program has established selection factors (see below) upon which selections will be made.
  3. Applications through CASPA become available in April. They may be submitted through CASPA from April until August 1st. Applications are reviewed by the program as they are received from CASPA. The review of the written application materials is used to determine which candidates will be invited for interviews.
  4. A select number of candidates will be invited for on-campus interviews. These will be held September - March. Only applicants who have completed both applications will be eligible for an invited interview.
  5. Any United States veteran who completes the admissions process is guaranteed an on-campus interview.
  6. Positions are offered on a rolling admission basis as interviews are conducted. Candidates will be ranked following their interview and top candidates are offered positions in the upcoming class. Well qualified applicants may also be placed on a “waitlist”. The size of the class admitted is limited to 30 students. So, it is wise to submit one's application early in the process.

Selection Factors:


  1. Academic Preparation
    Academic preparation is evaluated in terms of overall grade point average (GPA), science GPA, recent course work, performance in the prerequisite courses, and GRE scores. Prior academic work is also evaluated for the candidate's ability to successfully carry a full-time, science-based academic workload. Patterns of repeating and withdrawing from courses as well as consistency in achievement are considered.
  2. Communication Skills
    A high degree of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing in English is required. Proficiency in additional languages, though not required, is favorably considered.
  3. Professionalism
    Candidates must demonstrate professional characteristics such as judgment, motivation, ethical behavior, maturity of insight, problem solving, self-awareness, self-confidence, and team skills essential to PA practice and a realistic understanding and approach to the rigors of the PA curriculum.
  4. Health Care Experience
    Direct-patient-contact healthcare experience is evaluated in terms of both quantity and quality.  In other words, the total amount of experience, the level of responsibility held by the candidate, and how it may relate to work as a future PA are all considered.
  5. Fit with the Program Mission & Goals – Serving Society
    Evaluation includes determining that the candidate's concepts of the PA profession are realistic and contribute to the program meeting its mission and goals. In keeping with the program mission, candidates are evaluated for potential to serve in a wide variety of medical settings. Factors considered include the settings of prior healthcare and professional accomplishments, experience in urban, rural and other underserved areas, or in working with vulnerable populations.
  6. Waitlist Review
    The Admissions Committee admits the best applicants regardless of residency.  Once all applicant interviews are complete, the Admissions Committee will review the applicants who had been previously placed on the “waitlist”.  Then and only then, and with all of the above five selection factors being equal, the Admissions Committee may choose to admit the final few waitlist applicants so as to maintain an approximate  ratio of 2/3 Virginia residents and 1/3 out-of-state residents.

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