COVID-19 Updates

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Loma Linda Department of Physician Assistant Sciences has approved temporary updates to the admissions requirements for the 2021-2022 CASPA Application Cycle. Please note that following closure of the 2021-2022 CASPA cycle, the prerequisite course requirement will be reassessed and may return to the original status of a maximum of 1 science and 1 non-science outstanding at the time of application for future application cycles.

(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 2021-2022 CASPA Application Cycle, Loma Linda University PA Sciences will allow for three total outstanding prerequisite courses at the time of application, with a maximum of 2 science courses outstanding at the time of application.  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 or hybrid laboratory component (at least 50% of the lab on campus). It is required that all prerequisite science courses have been taken within the last 10 years.  Introductory courses are not accepted as meeting our science pre-requisite course criteria.

An alternative option for those who are facing difficulty in registration of on campus or hybrid laboratory components are to register for the lecture component of the course online, 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 and/or hybrid setting.  Additionally, the applicant must have received a passing grade in both components of the course to be considered.

(2) We will not be accepting prerequisite courses which were changed to Pass/Fail (P/F) due to closure of an 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.”

(3) We will still require that you complete a minimum of 2000 hours of hands-on Patient Care Experience (PCE) prior to matriculation.  These hours must be paid.  If invited to matriculate, you will be required to submit a document from your payroll or human resources department 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.”

(4) Shadowing hours do not meet the direct patient care requirement.  These hours are not a required element of your application, but are strongly recommended.

(5) If invited to interview, you will be contacted by a member of our department.  Interviews will be completed using the Zoom platform for the 2021-2022 CASPA Cycle.

(6) All other requirements and preferences remain in place at this time.  For any additional questions, please visit our website or email pa@llu.edu.

Bachelor’s Degree

  • 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, 2021 for the class beginning September 2022.

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 are calculated by CASPA and must meet the minimum requirement at the time of application.
  • Outstanding and/or unverified coursework is not calculated into the minimum GPA by CASPA.
  • In completion of any outstanding coursework, applicants must maintain the minimum required overall and science GPA in order to matriculate.
  • 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 into initial GPA by CASPA.  A secondary evaluation service will be required in the evaluation of an International Applicant’s GPA.  Please see International Applicants (link to page: https://alliedhealth.llu.edu/academics/physician-assistant/admissions-physician-assistant/international-applicant) for more information.

PRE-REQUISITE COURSEWORK

  • Acceptable Prerequisite Course Listing (Link to Document PDF)
  • Allied Health Transfer Patterns (Link to SAHP Website: https://alliedhealth.llu.edu/admissions/transfer-patterns)
  • For the 2021-2022 CASPA Application Cycle, Loma Linda University PA Sciences will allow for three total outstanding prerequisite courses at the time of application, with a maximum of 2 science courses outstanding at the time of application.  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

  • 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.  (See Acceptable Prerequisite Course Listing (link this to document) for more information).
  • 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 (See Acceptable Prerequisite Course Listing (link this to document) for more information).
  • General Microbiology with an on-campus laboratory component.  Must cover the four medically important areas: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa (See Acceptable Prerequisite Course Listing (link this to document) for more information).
  • Please note:  "C- minus grades" are not accepted for prerequisite courses
  • Science courses must be for science majors and include an on-campus or hybrid laboratory component (at least 50% of the lab on campus).
  • It is required that all prerequisite science courses have been taken within the last 10 years.

GENERAL EDUCATION COURSES

  • General Psychology (See Acceptable Prerequisite Course Listing (link this to document) for more information).
  • General Sociology or Cultural Anthropology (See Acceptable Prerequisite Course Listing (link this to document) for more information).
  • College-level Algebra (See Acceptable Prerequisite Course Listing (link this to document) for more information).
  • English, one-year sequence (language courses are not accepted as meeting this requirement. International students must complete the English writing sequence requirement from an accredited US institution)

RECOMMENDED COURSES

  • Statistics
  • Medical Terminology
  • Conversational Spanish

PATIENT CARE EXPERIENCE

  • 2,000 hours of direct, hands-on, paid patient care experience must be completed by August 31 prior to matriculation
  • Accepted clinical experiences include accredited, credentialed professions that provide patient assessment, treatment, patient care plans, and diagnostic testing.
  • Applicants must have direct patient care experience working in a clinical setting which requires a high level of critical thinking and responsibility to the patient. Only paid hours are acceptable.

EXAMPLES OF ACCEPTED 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 Assistant
    • Administrative hours (e.g., front office) are not accepted
  • Scribe
  • Chiropractor

EXAMPLES OF CLINICAL EXPERIENCES NOT ACCEPTED

  • Volunteer Service
  • Medical Assistant
    • Administrative duties (e.g., front office)
    • Billing and Coding
  • Massage Therapy
  • Personal Trainer
  • In-Home Services
    • Home Care Aide
    • Home Health Aide
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Shadowing a Medical Professional
  • Research without direct patient contact
  • Hours received during training programs
    •  Medical Programs (e.g., nursing school, medical school, internship)
  • Hours received outside of the United States

LETTERS OF REFERENCE

  • Three letters of reference, including one from a practicing MD/DO/PA who you have worked under in a direct, hands-on, paid patient care experience. 
  • Letter of Recommendation from MD/DO/PA must be typed on official letterhead.  
  • This letter cannot be from a friend or relative, and cannot be from a shadowing experience.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

All applicants must be able to meet Admission, Technical, and Graduation Standards while enrolled at Loma Linda University.  If you are an individual with a disability and need reasonable accommodations to fully participate meet these standards, you will need to submit a request to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs within the School of Allied Health Professions.  Only through a student’s voluntary disclosure of disability and request for accommodation will LLU support disability-related needs.

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 the Student Health Services website 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.