Admissions into Physician Assistant Program | Lake Erie College
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Admissions into Physician Assistant Program


Admissions Process

1. Apply directly to CASPA. Lake Erie College utilizes the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). This is a central application service. No secondary application is needed.

2. Prepare personal statement on CASPA. This is a 500-1000 word writing sample that is intended to give applicants an opportunity to introduce themselves.

3. Send transcripts directly to CASPA. Below is the address:

P.O. Box 9108
Watertown, MA 02471

4. Identify three people for recommendations. Obtain their e-mail addresses and input to CASPA.

5. Take and submit GRE to CASPA. Lake Erie College GRE code is 1391.

6. Document healthcare experience. Click here for shadowing form.

7. Take and submit TOEFL, if necessary. Go to the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website to register.

8. Submit and have verified all documents before the deadline, October 1st. It is strongly encouraged to submit all documentation before August 15th because CASPA must verify all documentation.

9. You will be contacted if you are selected for an interview.

10. Accepted applicants will be notified shortly after interviews. Upon notice, applicants must submit $1,000* deposit within two weeks to hold their position.

More details on the requirements are listed below and on the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page.
*Deposit, tuition, and fees subject to change without notice.

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the Lake Erie College PA Program is very competitive. Students must have completed all of the following requirements prior to matriculation to the program. These are the minimum requirements; however, given the competitiveness of the program, students are encouraged to complete courses above these requirements. Meeting minimum admission requirements for the program guarantees neither an interview nor admission to the program.

Degree Requirements Prior to Admission

A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale is required for admission. All required prerequisite courses must be "B” or better with the exception of Organic Chemistry which must be "C” or better. Students are able to list classes they intend to complete by the end of spring before the program begins.

No grade of "B-" or "C-" will be accepted.

Academic Course Prerequisites

  • Should be completed within last 7 years:
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab (2 courses)
    • Microbiology with lab (1 course)
    • Genetics (1 course, lab optional)
    • General Chemistry I and II with labs (1 course each)
    • Organic Chemistry with lab (1 course)
    • Biology I and II with labs (1 course each)
    • Statistics (1 course)
      • Note: Preference given to students with advanced statistics, biostatistics or health-related statistics courses
    • Psychology (1 course)
  • No Time Limit:
    • English, to include communication or speech (2 courses)
    • College Algebra (1 course)
  • Tested out during interviews:
    • Medical Terminology (course recommended)

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

  • GRE in last 5 years – no minimum score requirement

Students whose first language is not English must achieve:

  • TOEFL: The current LEC graduate degree minimum required is a paper score of 600, a computer score of 250, or an internet score of 100.

Healthcare Experience Requirement

Applicants are required to complete a minimum of 250 hours observing or participating in the delivery of healthcare in a clinical environment.

At least 50 of the 250 hours must be from direct shadowing of a licensed physician assistant. Here is the form for PA shadowing. Although this form does not need to be used exclusively, all prospective students will need to retain documentation. Documentation must be available for verification.

This requirement may be met through paid or volunteer experiences. While shadowing a physician assistant or physician will meet this requirement, priority consideration is given to applicants with prior experiences where the applicant has assumed direct responsibility for patient care.

Students may use the following items to meet this requirement and include but are not limited to: shadowing a PA or physician in an office or hospital; volunteering or working as an emergency medical technician; working as a nurse, nurse's aide, respiratory therapist, paramedic, athletic trainer or other healthcare provider; or volunteering in a healthcare facility.

The healthcare experience is intended to strengthen interpersonal skills and to develop an understanding of the role of healthcare provider. All shadowing and healthcare experience must be completed prior to matriculation.


Applicants are required to submit three references from sources who are familiar with the qualifications of the candidate. Each reference must comment on his belief that the candidate can successfully complete a rigorous didactic and clinical program such as the Physician Assistance sciences program. The reference is also expected to comment on other attributes he or she feels will ensure the success of the candidate in the medical profession. References from relatives, even if they are healthcare professionals, are highly discouraged.

One reference is required from EACH category:

    1. A person holding the PA-C, MD or DO designation and who also holds a current license to practice.
    2. A college or university professor holding a doctoral degree in any discipline where the candidate has been a student in one or more of the classes taught by the faculty member. References from persons holding doctoral level degrees in the sciences such as biology, chemistry or health sciences will be given higher priority.
    3. A reference of your choice of someone who has knowledge of your work ethic, academic record, volunteer work or other activities and can comment on your ability to succeed in the physician assistant program.


Following the initial review of applications, a limited number of applicants will be invited for a personal interview. Verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills will be assessed during the interview as well as the candidate’s qualifications overall. The interview score is an important component for determining admission to the program.

Advanced Placement

The program does not offer advanced placement.

Disclosure of Admission Practices

All Lake Erie College students and graduates who meet the minimum requirements will be granted an interview. Lake Erie College students and graduates will be given some preference in admission. The Lake Erie College Physician Assistant Program encourages all applicants with diverse life experiences to apply. Attributes beyond the minimum requirements will be considered during the interview process.

Criminal Record

All prospective students must be honest about their criminal record. Background checks will be performed including Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCII) report and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report. The Lake Erie College PA Program has the right to deny enrollment based on previous convictions or false information. Appeals to any information found during the background check or drug screen must be made directly through Certified Background according to their listed policies and procedures. All cases will be reviewed individually.

Technical Standards

The Lake Erie College Master of Physician Assistant Sciences (MPAS) degree signifies that the graduate is prepared for entry into the practice of medicine.

Therefore, the graduating student must possess the skills and knowledge to effectively function in a variety of clinical roles and have a wide range of responsibilities. Superior patient care is critical, and therefore physician assistants require standards to maintain the integrity of quality patient care.

As part of the admission process, Lake Erie College will evaluate the total student to evaluate his or her ability to function effectively as a physician assistant. Therefore, the College will evaluate the applicant’s academic standing, current physical state, emotional status disability status, and any other obstacles that may impair the student’s ability to safely and effectively interact and treat patients and to work effectively with co-workers.

In accordance with College policy and as delineated by Federal and state law, Lake Erie College 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 PA program must possess ability, aptitude and skills as outlined below:

Intellectual: Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of PAs, requires all these abilities.

The candidate must also be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.

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.

Communication: A candidate should be able to speak, hear and observe patients in order to elicit information, perceive non-verbal communication and 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.

Observational: 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.

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 ECGs 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. 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.

Physical Demands: The PA student must possess the physical ability to learn and implement the various technical skills required by the program. The PA student must possess an adequate range of body motion and mobility, with or without accommodation, to perform the following essential functions: prolonged periods of sitting, occasional bending and stooping, and the ability to lift and carry books and other items such as medical instruments weighing up to ten (10) pounds, with or without accommodation. They must be able to exert up to ten (10) pounds of force occasionally, and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push or pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time, but may involve walking or standing for brief periods of time.

Ability to Practice Medicine: The PA student must demonstrate the ability to practice medicine. The ability to practice medicine is to be construed to include all of the following:

  • The cognitive capacity to make appropriate clinical diagnoses and exercise reasonable medical judgments and to learn and keep abreast of medical developments;
  • The ability to communicate those judgments and medical information to patients and other healthcare providers, with or without the use of aids or devices, such as a voice amplifier; and
  • The physical capability to perform medical tasks such as physical examination and surgical procedures, with or without the use of aids or devices, such as corrective lenses or hearing aids.

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Lake Erie College Physician Assistant Program. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status. The status indicates that the plans and resource allocation for the proposed program appear to demonstrate the program's ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards, if fully implemented as planned. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. it is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class. The PA program at Lake Erie College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and Ohio Board of Regents.

For more information contact
Lake Erie College | 391 West Washington Street | Painesville, Ohio 44077 | 1.855.GO.STORM