Admissions Requirements & Technical Standards: PA Program

Application Process

Application to the program can only be made through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Please visit the CASPA website for more information. In addition, students must complete the PLNU Supplemental Application. In order for a candidate to be considered, both the verified CASPA and the PLNU Supplemental applications must be received by the October 1, 2024 deadline. 

CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants)

Telephone: (617) 612-2080

CASPA Application Login

Your application will be reviewed when the CASPA application has been verified and your PLNU PA Program Supplemental Application received. Applications must be verified by CASPA by the October 1, 2024 deadline. We strongly recommend that your application be completed by September 15th in order to be verified by CASPA and meet our deadline of October 1st. Prerequisite courses must be completed by December 31, 2024. You will need to submit, at minimum, three letters of recommendation that will be requested through CASPA. Interviews will be conducted in the fall and winter either virtually or in person as safety dictates. All applicants will be notified of their admission status no later than March 1, 2025. Starting in the 2025-2026 application cycle, applications with any outstanding prerequisite courses will not be considered for admission.  All prerequisites will need to be completed at the time of application submission.

PLNU Supplemental Application

To begin your supplemental application please create an account on the Point Loma Nazarene Online Application Portal. Please make sure to create your account using the same email address as your CASPA application and follow the following steps below to locate the Physician Assistant Supplemental Application:

  1. Click here to login and create an account using your CASPA email address
  2. Select Graduate 
  3. Please select "Physician Assistant" for the initial questions of "I want to study"
    • From there you will be able to select the Physician Assistant, MSM major as well as the appropriate term.
  4. To finalize click "Start Application"

Please be sure to have your CASPA ID number ready as it is required for this supplemental application.

The PLNU Supplemental Application fee is $35. If you are experiencing a financial hardship that renders you unable to pay the PLNU Supplemental Application fee, please contact the program at to inquire regarding a fee waiver.

PLNU Supplemental App Login

Application Criteria

Undergraduate Degree

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited US or Canadian post-secondary college or university. College seniors are eligible to apply providing they will receive their degree prior to the August start of the program.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 
  • A minimum science GPA of 3.0


A minimum of one thousand hours of direct (hands on) patient care experience is required and must be completed at time of application. Hours must be paid, professional experience providing face-to-face patient care. Volunteering and shadowing, while helpful, do not count toward these hours. Hours accrued as a student as part of an educational program are not accepted.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), taken within the last 2 years, is required for any applicant who attended a foreign and/or non-English speaking high school.  To review your application, we must receive official scores from ETS for the TOEFL by the application deadline.  It is highly suggested to take the exam as early as possible in order for the scores to be posted within the application timeframe.  Only the IBT (Internet Based Test) form of the TOEFL will be accepted. We require a total score of 93 and a speaking score of 26 for entry into the program. 

Prerequisite Courses

  • Anatomy: 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours
  • Physiology: 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours
  • Combined Anatomy and Physiology courses are acceptable if they meet a minimum of 6 semester hours or 8 quarter hours. Labs are preferred but not required. If the combined course is a two-semester sequence (e.g. A & P I and A & P II) then both courses must be taken.
  • Microbiology: 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours
  • General Chemistry with labs: 6 semester hours or 8 quarter hours 
  • Organic Chemistry with lab: 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours; the two-semester sequence for science majors is strongly recommended
  • Biochemistry: 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours
  • Statistics: 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours

All prerequisites must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university and must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better. A C minus is not acceptable. Courses for which credit was awarded by examination, such as AP courses, will not meet the criteria for any prerequisite courses. 

Applicants may apply to the program with no more than two outstanding prerequisites (including any in progress at the time of application), but prerequisites must be completed by December 31, 2023. Documentation of official grades received must be submitted to the program by January 31, 2024.

*Students looking to fulfill their anatomy prerequisite have the option to complete it through PLNU's Anatomy Learning Institute

Technical Standards and Matriculation Requirements

All applicants must meet the program’s technical standards.

Upon receiving an offer of admission, the provisionally accepted student will be required to submit a background check, drug screen, as well as various vaccinations in order to matriculate.  To review in further detail, please reach out to the Program Coordinator, at

Student Selection

Point Loma Nazarene University’s PA program is mission-driven and strives to recruit students who are committed to serving their communities by increasing healthcare access to underserved and underrepresented populations. We seek students from diverse backgrounds who can create a vibrant learning environment rich in opportunities for collaboration, exploration of shared values, and respect for differing perspectives. We seek those who have demonstrated their commitment to their community through service and volunteer activities. We seek students who have demonstrated their strength academically.

In general, the guidelines used for weighting these criteria are as follows: 

  • Prior academic performance: 45%
  • Prior health care experience: 22%
  • Volunteer and Service activities: 22%
  • Miscellaneous items such as references and the CASPA narrative: 11%
  • Applicants from the following groups may receive additional consideration: 
    • PLNU graduate 
    • Grant-funded scholarship and pipeline programs 
    • applicants who speak languages common in San Diego County in addition to English

Below are the application averages of our current accepted students:

Class of 2023

  • Overall GPA: 3.7
  • Science GPA: 3.7
  • Patient Care Experience Hours: 3332
  • Community Service Hours: 349

Class of 2024

  • Overall GPA: 3.77
  • Science GPA: 3.78
  • Patient Care Experience Hours: 3603
  • Community Service Hours: 580

Class of 2025

  • Overall GPA: 3.83
  • Science GPA: 3.83
  • Patient Care Experience Hours: 2818
  • Community Service Hours: 707

Advanced Placement

The PLNU PA Program values rigorous academic preparation and previous healthcare experience in the evaluation of applicants. However, it is not the policy of the program to award advanced placement or, to accept for credit, any previous academic or other experiential learning toward completion of the MSM degree. All matriculated students are required to participate in and complete the entire curriculum of the program to meet the requirements of graduation.

Return to the PA Program Page