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Admissions prerequisites must be completed prior to application. For more information, please see FAQ.

Prerequisites, Experience and Skills

Academic Prerequisites

The Yale Physician Associate Program, from which students graduate with a Masters of Medical Science degree, is a graduate-level program within the Yale School of Medicine. Each applicant must have completed a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation.

The Admissions Committee closely examines an applicant's record for evidence that the individual is capable of successfully completing graduate-level work. While a degree in a premedical science major is not required, due to the intense rigor of graduate study, a minimum cumulative science GPA of 3.0 is required. This calculation is derived automatically from the CASPA application.

Due to COVID-19 we recognize some applicants may have science coursework (including prerequisites) that are now pass/fail. Although we strongly encourage applicants to complete a course and earn a traditional grade, we will accept pass/fail coursework for classes completed from 2020 - 2022. This policy only applies to applicants studying at an institution requiring students to complete coursework as pass/fail. Please keep in mind pass/fail coursework does not factor into the science GPA or prerequisite GPA calculation.

For more information please email:

The following undergraduate/graduate math and science courses are required to be considered for admission to the Yale Program.

Statistics or Calculus

A statistics course that provides the student with foundational knowledge in the following areas:
  1. Probability;
  2. Variables/distribution;
  3. Confidence intervals;
  4. Group comparisons;
  5. Regression; and
  6. ANOVA and chi-square.
A calculus course that provides the student with foundational knowledge in the following areas:
  1. Limits and continuity;
  2. Differentiation;
  3. Applications of differentiation; and
  4. Integration.
This course can be met with a statistics course in psychology, biology, or mathematics departments.

Duration: one semester or 3-5 credits.

Human Anatomy*

A gross human anatomy course that provides students with a detailed examination of all structural aspects of the human body with a special emphasis on the anatomy and anatomical relationships. Clinical correlation is desired but not required. A laboratory is strongly recommended but not required. The course should cover all aspects of the human body including:
  1. Upper limb;
  2. Lower limb;
  3. Head & neck; and
  4. Thorax, abdomen & pelvis.
This requirement CANNOT be satisfied with a single neuroanatomy course, histology, or animal/mammalian anatomy.

Duration: One semester or 3-5 credits.

*Please note: Anatomy and Physiology requirements can also be met with a combined two-semester course (6-10 credits) in Anatomy & Physiology I & II.

Human or Animal Physiology*

A physiology course that provides student with an introduction to physiology that emphasizes the concepts that will be important for professional studies. The concepts covered should include homeostasis, cell structure, cardiac, respiratory, renal and endocrine physiology. Other areas to be covered include digestion and energy utilization and reproduction. This requirement can be met with a course in animal or mammalian physiology. A laboratory component is not required. This requirement CANNOT be satisfied with a course in pathophysiology or cell biology.

Duration: One semester or 3-5 credits.

*Please note: Anatomy and Physiology requirements can also be met with a combined two-semester course (6-10 credits) in Anatomy & Physiology I & II.

Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry

An organic chemistry course that provides the student with foundational knowledge in the following areas:
  1. Chemical bonding;
  2. Alcohols, esters, phenols, aldehydes, and ketones;
  3. Proteins;
  4. Enzymes;
  5. Carbohydrates and energy production; and
  6. Fats and lipids.
A biochemistry course that provides the student with foundational knowledge in the following areas:
  1. Enzymology;
  2. Cellular communication;
  3. DNA and RNA structure and synthesis;
  4. Energy and carbohydrate metabolism;
  5. Amino acid and protein synthesis; and
  6. Digestion and hormonal control of metabolism.

Duration: one semester of biochemistry or organic chemistry (3-5 credits) or a combined organic/biochemistry semester course (3-5 credits).


A microbiology course that provides the student with foundation needed for professional studies. Topics covered should include microbial morphology and physiology, bacterial metabolism, microbial genetics, and the classification of the microorganisms (bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic). A laboratory component is not required. This requirement CANNOT be satisfied by a single course in bacteriology.

Duration: One semester or 3-5 credits.

Undergraduate/graduate science coursework guidelines

  • A maximum of one prerequisite course may be "in progress" at the time the CASPA application is submitted. The "in progress" course must be completed by December 31st with a grade of "B" or better. Once the course is completed, applicants must request an official transcript be sent directly to the Yale PA Admissions Office.
  • Prerequisite coursework may be completed at multiple accredited institutions, including community/junior colleges and institutions from which the applicant has not received a degree.
  • The program does not accept audited courses as prerequisites.
  • Courses that may have been taken at any period of time in the past are considered and do not "expire."
  • On-line courses from regionally accredited institutions are acceptable.

Healthcare Experience

Competitive applicants are recommended (but not required) to have a minimum of six months full-time healthcare employment, or 1,000 total hours of hands-on patient care experience and/or community service in a healthcare setting. Preference is given to applicants having experience that requires a period of training and results in direct (hands-on) patient care.

  • Examples include: EMT, Paramedic, Registered Nurse, Medical Assistant, CNA, ER Tech, Physical Therapy Aide, Medical Scribe, Personal Care Provider
  • Hours associated with the completion of academic degrees, certifications, or training will not count

Evidence of community service (i.e., healthcare for under-served populations, medical mission trips) is highly valued.

PA Shadowing

Applicants are encouraged to "shadow" a PA to become knowledgeable of the role of the physician assistant; this experience does not count as patient care experience. Due to legal considerations, the Yale University PA Program is not able to assist PA Program applicants with obtaining PA shadowing experiences. Applicants may consider contacting local physician assistant organizations for assistance and networking opportunities.

CASPA Application Tip

For the class entering in the fall 2024, hours of experience ranged from 1000 to 10,888 total hours. When submitting an application through CASPA, applicants are asked to categorize their experiences as either Patient Care Experience or Healthcare Experience, and should follow the instructions provided by CASPA at that time in order to assess the distinctions and select the appropriate category.

Yale PA Program Technical Standards

Technical Standards

The Technical Standards are the Program expectations for certain knowledge, skills, abilities, professional attitudes and behaviors. Students must verify that they meet the Technical Standards prior to matriculation and maintain them during the entirety of their PA education in the Program. Students are obligated to alert the Program immediately of any change to their status. Students are subject to dismissal if, with reasonable accommodation, they are not able to demonstrate that they can meet the Technical Standards.

Reasonable Accommodation

The Physician Associate Program is committed to creating a respectful, accessible and inclusive learning environment, and recognizes that students with varied types of disabilities can become successful medical professionals. Students who have a disability and need accommodation should initiate discussions with Student Accessibility Services (203.432.2324) as soon as the offer of admission is received and accepted. It is the responsibility of the student to provide the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) with adequate information documenting the general nature and extent of the disability as well as the functional limitation in need of accommodation. Evaluation and implementation of an accommodation request is a collaborative effort between the student, the SAS, and the Physician Associate Program.

Should a student have or develop a condition that might place patients, the student, or others at risk, or that may affect their need for accommodation, an evaluation with the SAS may be necessary. An accommodation is not reasonable if providing the accommodation:

  1. poses a direct threat to the health or safety of the student and/or others,
  2. if providing the accommodation requires a substantial modification of an essential element of the curriculum as determined by the Physician Associate Program,
  3. if providing the accommodation lowers academic standards, or
  4. if providing the accommodation poses an undue financial burden on the University.

I. Observation

Students must have sufficient sensory capacity, with or without reasonable accommodation, to observe in the lecture hall, the laboratory, in various patient settings. Sensory skills adequate to perform a physical examination are required, including functional vision, hearing, smell, and tactile sensation. All senses must be adequate to observe a patient’s condition and to elicit information through procedures regularly required in taking a history and performing a physical examination.

II. Communication

Students must be able, with or without reasonable accommodation, to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and others in academic and healthcare settings. Students must be able to listen attentively and speak clearly, including communications with patients from different social and cultural backgrounds. Additionally, they must be able to effectively communicate in spoken, written, and electronic formats. Students must be able to identify and describe changes in mood, activity, and posture, and perceive non-verbal communication. Students must be able to record examination and diagnostic results clearly, accurately and efficiently using various formats, including electronic platforms.

III. Motor

Students must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients through interview, physical exam, and other diagnostic maneuvers, with or without reasonable accommodation. Students must have sufficient motor function to execute movements reasonably required to provide general and emergency care to patients, including but not limited to cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, the suturing of simple wounds, the handling of surgical instruments, and the performance of basic obstetrical maneuvers.

Students must be able, with or without reasonable accommodation, to negotiate patient care environments and must be able to move between settings, such as clinic, classroom building and hospital. Physical stamina sufficient to complete the rigorous course of didactic and clinical study is required. Long periods of sitting, standing, or moving are required in classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences. Because clinical placements use electronic medical records and because the national certifying exam does not provide a paper test accommodation at this time, students must also be able to use computers and other electronic devices, and must be able to take computer-based examinations.

IV. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities

Students must be able, with or without reasonable accommodation, to learn large amounts of complex, technical, and detailed information for independent problem solving and decision making. They must be able to learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, classroom instruction, clinical settings and simulated environments; small group, team and collaborative activities; individual self-directed study; preparation and presentation of reports; and use of technology. Students must be able to memorize, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize and report clinical data. In addition, students must be able to recognize and draw conclusions about three-dimensional spatial relationships and logical sequential relationships. Students must be able to read, understand and critically evaluate the medical literature. Students must be able to demonstrate mastery of these skills and the ability to use them together in a timely fashion to formulate accurate diagnosis and management plans.

V. Professional Behavior and Social Attributes

Students must maintain the highest level of professional behavior. Students must possess and demonstrate the emotional maturity needed to participate fully in all aspects of PA training. Students must be able to exercise good judgment in all academic and patient care settings. The student must be capable of responsive, empathetic listening and must possess sufficient interpersonal skill to develop mature, compassionate, respectful relationships with peers, patients, patient families, and all members of the academic and healthcare communities. Students must demonstrate the ability to function effectively and with composure when under stress and in situations that are uncertain, unpredictable, and physically and/or emotionally challenging. Students must be able to take responsibility for their own learning, recognize limitations in their knowledge, skills and abilities, and seek appropriate assistance when limitations are identified. Students must be able to contribute to collaborative learning, accept constructive feedback from others, and always strive towards excellence. Students must be capable of regular, reliable and punctual attendance at all learning events and clinical assignments, understanding that this may require their presence during day, evening, or overnight hours, and any day of the week, often with very early morning reporting times.

VI. Ethics and Compliance with Applicable Law and Policies

Students must be able to understand the basis and content of both general and medical ethics. Students whose performance or judgment is impaired by prescribed or illicit medications, abuse of alcohol or other substances and who cannot meet the technical standards are not suitable candidates for admission, promotion, or graduation. In addition, should a student be charged or convicted of any misdemeanor or felony offense while in the Program, the student agrees to immediately notify the Program as to the nature of the legal issues. Failure to disclose prior or new offenses can lead to disciplinary action that may include dismissal. It is expected that students will maintain a high level of personal integrity, acting ethically and lawfully in their professional and personal lives.

Interpersonal Skills

Compassionate health care is a basic tenet of the PA profession. The program values the applicant's ability to work skillfully, thoughtfully, responsibly and constructively with people. Individuals who demonstrate flexibility and the ability to adapt to new situations are well suited to become physician assistants.

The Admissions Committee also assesses applicants on their commitment to a PA career and their awareness of the PA role as a member of the healthcare team.