Application Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled prior to application to the Central Coast Physician Assistant (CCPA) program:

  • Demonstrate a minimum 2.5 cumulative overall grade point average*
  • Demonstrate a minimum 2.5 cumulative science grade point average*
  • Successfully complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of “C” or higher**
    • Human Anatomy & Physiology with or without lab – 6 semester credits
    • Microbiology with or without lab – 3 semester credits
    • General Chemistry with or without lab – 6 semester credits
    • College Statistics – 3 semester credits
    • Medical Terminology – 1 semester credits
  • Complete an application through ATSU application service
  • Provide three letters of recommendation through ATSU application service
    • One letter should be from a physician assistant who you have shadowed
    • One letter should be from another healthcare practitioner (DO, MD, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner) who can attest to your potential as a healthcare professional based on direct observation
    • One letter should come from a faculty member, employer, or supervisor

The following requirement(s) must be fulfilled prior to matriculation to the CCPA program:

  • Complete a baccalaureate degree from regionally accredited institution** with a minimum 2.5 cumulative overall grade point average*

* Grade point average calculated and reported on a 4.00 scale

** All prerequisite coursework and degree must be completed from a United States regionally accredited institution. Prerequisite courses completed at foreign or other institutions that are not regionally accredited in the United States are not accepted. Course and transcript evaluations of equivalency are not accepted. The Central Coast Physician Assistant Program (CCPAP) supports all educational experiences from either U.S. regionally accredited colleges and universities, by residential, hybrid, online instruction, or credit by examination.

Applicant Recommendations

In addition to the requirements stated above, the CCPAP program highly recommends applicants meet the following:


  • Patient care experience
    • Experience in healthcare delivery sufficient to be able to recognize the physical and psychological demands of dealing with patients and to appreciate the challenges and rewards of being a healthcare professional
  • Volunteering and/or community service
    • Providing social services to underserved or disadvantaged communities and/or persons
  • Medical mission experience
    • Providing medical services to underserved or disadvantaged communities and/or persons

Program mission

The CCPA program educates culturally-humble, diverse physician assistants (PAs) to serve the primary care needs of medically underserved communities. The program prefers applications from those who are:

  • First generation college student
  • Hometown Scholar
  • Underrepresented minority student
  • Economically disadvantaged student

Advanced standing

This program does not offer advanced standing.

Required immunizations and physical exam

PA students are required to have a completed physical exam as well as proof of immunization (based on the current Center for Disease Control Recommendations for health professionals) prior to matriculation. Additionally, students are expected to submit updated immunizations each year as required by the program.

Students may submit completed immunization records to the PA program office. See current required vaccinations.

Additional immunizations for the clinical component

PA students will be required to have either a two-step TB skin test or a QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT-G) blood test prior to clinical rotations, followed by annual screening. Students will be required to maintain annual influenza vaccinations throughout the program. Students may be required to have a serum titer to check immune status for Varicella, Rubella, Rubeola, Mumps, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C antibodies prior to clinical rotations.

Computer literacy

Applicants and students are expected to be able to complete assignments, presentations, exams, and communication on a computer. Students will be expected to be experienced in word processing and other office-based software. All coursework requires extensive computer usage. Accepted applicants are required to have a laptop computer prior to the first day of class. Devices with a mobile operating system (e.g. iOS, Android, ChromeOS) will not be acceptable to fulfill this requirement. See the Minimum Technology Specifications.