Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Loma Linda Department of Physician Assistant Sciences has approved the following temporary updates to the admissions requirements for the 2020-2021 CASPA Application Cycle ONLY. These updates include the following:
(1) We recognize the challenges that an applicant may face in meeting the in-person laboratory requirement. For this reason, we have modified our pending/outstanding course requirements. For the 2020-2021 CASPA Application Cycle ONLY, Loma Linda University PA Sciences will allow for three total outstanding prerequisite courses at the time of application, with only 2 science/1 non-science prerequisites outstanding. An outstanding course is defined as any course listed as being in progress when the CASPA application is submitted by the applicant, even if the course will be completed prior to the applicant submitting his or her supplemental application. Transcripts demonstrating completion of outstanding coursework must be received by the department no later than August 31, 2021 at 12:00 PM.
Science courses must be for science majors and include an on-campus laboratory component. Online science courses will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but must have an on-campus laboratory component in order to be considered. It is required that all prerequisite science courses have been taken within the last 10 years.
An alternative option for those who are facing difficulty in registration of online laboratory components are to register for the lecture component of the course online for the Spring quarter/semester, and complete the laboratory component of the course at a later date. Please note, both courses must carry an institutional registration (i.e. two separate registered courses - lecture and lab, ex. ANAT1 - Anatomy Lecture, ANAT1A - Anatomy Laboratory) and the syllabus may be requested to ensure that the laboratory component occurred in the on-campus setting. Additionally, the applicant must have received a passing grade in both components of the course to be considered. The PA Admissions requirements will return to their original status following closure of the 2020-2021 CASPA cycle.
(2) If you are an international applicant, please note that WES has temporarily suspended all in-office operations due to COVID-19. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an AERC Detailed Evaluation Report will be accepted as both evaluation and transcript for a given institution for the duration of this outbreak. Be sure to pay for your original documents to be mailed back to you. All application deadlines will remain the same. Please visit the AERC website or contact them to learn about their processing time, requirements, and pricing. http://aerc-eval.com / 626-339-4404 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
(3) We will not be accepting prerequisite courses which were changed to Pass/Fail (P/F) due to closure of their academic institution during the COVID-19 pandemic. All pre-requisite courses must contain a letter grade to be accepted for our admissions process. Please note that a passing grade is considered a C or better, and C- grades or below are not accepted for prerequisite courses. Our requirement is as follows: "Pass/fail or credit/no-credit grades are not accepted for prerequisite courses. Grades of “pass” or “credit” for non-prerequisite courses will not be included in GPA calculations.”
(4) We will still require that you complete a minimum of 2000 hours of Patient Care Experience (PCE) by matriculation. These hours must be paid, and you will be required to submit a document from your payroll or human resources indicating that these hours were completed prior to beginning the program. Our requirement is as follows: "2,000 hours of hands-on patient care experience must be completed prior to enrollment. Preferred experiences include accredited, credentialed professions that provide patient assessment, treatment, patient care plans, and diagnostic testing. Preferred applicants will have direct patient care experience working in clinical settings that involve a range of patient responsibility and involve a high level of critical thinking. Only paid hours are acceptable.”
(5) Shadowing hours do not meet the direct patient care requirement. This is not a required element of your application, but are strongly recommended.
(6) If invited to interview, you will be required to travel to campus and meet with our interview panel as in previous cycles. At this time, the Loma Linda Department of PA Sciences will not be performing virtual or telecommunications style interviews. This is subject to change based on University and/or governmental regulations.
(7) All other requirements and preferences remain in place at this time. For any additional questions, please visit our website at https://alliedhealth.llu.edu/academics/physician-assistant/admissions-physician-assistant/physician-assistant-requirements or email email@example.com.
All prerequisite course work must be from a regionally accredited institution in the United States.
Any bachelor's degree is acceptable but a strong science background is encouraged.
Degree must be received by December 31 of the application year, for example, December 31, 2020 for the class beginning September 2021.
Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)
Overall GPA 3.0 on a 4.0 scale AND Science GPA 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
- Both the overall and science GPA as calculated by CASPA must meet the minimum requirement at the time of application.
- Pending coursework is not calculated into the minimum GPA requirements prior to interviews.
- You must maintain the minimum required GPA with any outstanding coursework through admission into the program.
- Pass/fail or credit/no-credit grades are not accepted for prerequisite courses. Grades of “pass” or “credit” for non-prerequisite courses will not be included in GPA calculations.
- Grades received for courses taken at non- U.S. institutions are not calculated by CASPA but will be included in the evaluation of the GPA. Please see International Applicants page for more information.
Prerequisite Courses* (All prerequisite courses must be taken at a regionally accredited institution by all applicants)
PLEASE NOTE – THE REQUIRED PREREQUISITE COURSES LISTED BELOW HAVE CHANGED AND ARE IN EFFECT FOR THE 2020/2021 APPLICATION CYCLE.
- Human Anatomy and Physiology with an on-campus laboratory component, complete sequence OR separate courses in Human Anatomy with an on-campus laboratory component and Human Physiology with an on-campus laboratory component. Must cover all organ systems. (Introductory, X or XL courses are not accepted)
- General Chemistry, one-year sequence with an on-campus laboratory component OR a sequence in Inorganic, Organic AND Biochemistry with an on-campus laboratory component (three quarters or two semesters; Inorganic can be Introduction to Chemistry or General Chemistry I only. Organic and Biochemistry cannot be Introductory; X or XL courses are not accepted)
- General Microbiology with an on-campus laboratory component. Must cover the four medically important areas: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. (Introductory, X or XL courses are not accepted)
- Please note: "C- minus grades" are not accepted for prerequisite courses
General Education Courses
- General Psychology (General Psychology, Introduction to Psychology, Human Growth and Development, or Developmental Psychology)
- General Sociology or Cultural Anthropology (General Sociology, Introduction to Sociology, Principles of Sociology, Medical Sociology, Cultural Anthropology or Introduction to Cultural Anthropology)
- College-level Algebra (College Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Trigonometry, Calculus or AP Calculus)
- English, one year sequence (language courses not accepted. International students must complete English writing sequence requirement from an accredited US institution)
- Medical Terminology
- Conversational Spanish
*A maximum of 2 total prerequisite courses may be outstanding at the time of application, with only 1 science / 1 non science prerequisite outstanding. An outstanding course is defined as any course listed as being in progress when the CASPA application is submitted by the applicant, even if the course will be completed prior to the applicant submitting his or her supplemental application. All outstanding prerequisites must be completed by the end of Spring Quarter of the year of matriculation.
**Science courses must be for science majors and include an on campus laboratory component. Online courses will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis but must have an on-campus laboratory component in order to be considered. It is strongly recommended that all prerequisite science courses have been taken within the last 10 years, especially for those applicants who have only been in clinical practice for a short time.
Patient Care Experience
2,000 hours of hands-on patient care experience must be completed prior to enrollment
Preferred experiences include accredited, credentialed professions that provide patient assessment, treatment, patient care plans, and diagnostic testing.
Preferred applicants will have direct patient care experience working in clinical settings that involve a range of patient responsibility and involve a high level of critical thinking. Only paid hours are acceptable.
Examples of preferred clinical experiences
- Military medic or corpsman
- Paramedic/EMT (waiting/transportation time not included )
- Nurse (LVN or RN)
- Radiology Technologist
- Physical Therapist
- Respiratory Therapist
- Occupational Therapist
- Medical Technologist
- Medical assistant (certified; back office hours only)
- Scribe (in active participation in ongoing patient care)
Other professions not listed above (e.g.. phlebotomy, etc.) will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are dependent upon the quality of patient interaction.
Examples of clinical experiences not preferred
- Volunteer Service
- Administrative duties
- Massage Therapy
- Personal Trainer
- Home Care Aide
- Home Health Aide
- Pharmacy Technician
- Certified Nurse’s Aide (except with documented high-quality patient interaction)
- Shadowing a Physician or PA
- Research with no patient contact
- Hours received during training programs (e.g. medical school, internship)
Letters of Reference
Three letters of reference, one of which must be from a practicing physician (MD or DO) or physician assistant that you have worked under in a paid position.
- MD/DO/PA letter cannot be from a friend or relative
- MD/DO/PA letter cannot be from a shadowing experience
- All applicants must be able to meet all Admission and Technical standards, and Graduation Standards with or without reasonable accommodations.
Health Screening and Immunizations
Students must meet specific health requirements prior to enrolling in classes. A physical exam is not necessary for enrollment in the Physician Assistant program. All vaccination policies are developed in accordance with current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). For more information regarding pre-admission health requirements including a list of required vaccinations, please visit our Student Health Services for more information.
Standards for Students
Loma Linda University has certain policies and standards for all students who attend the University. We encourage all prospective applicants to review these standards as printed in the student handbook.