Frequently Asked Questions

Approximately 3100 CASPA applications were submitted for the Class of 2023, while 2,200 supplemental applications were completed. Approximately 250 of the most qualified applicants will be invited for a personal interview . From this group, a class of 90 will be selected. Evidence of academic potential, knowledge of the health care system, motivation, personal maturity, self-assurance, and good interpersonal skills will weigh strongly in the admission decision.  The most competitive applicants strongly align to our program mission and values of academic excellence, diversity, leadership, life experience, and service.

Due to our large applicant pool, we are unable to offer transcript review. However, we are happy to answer specific questions about courses.

Admission to the Duke PA Program is very competitive. The following information describing recent candidates will allow prospective applicants to realistically assess their chances of admission, and to plan accordingly.

For the 2021 incoming PA class, approximately 4,191 CASPA applications were opened, and 2975 were verified and went on to receive supplemental applications. Two hundred and fifty applicants were interviewed. Ninety applicants accepted the offer of admission for the Fall 2021 entering class. PA class size is typically 90 students per year.

The ranges of academic and experiential qualifications for the middle 50 percent of matriculating applicants for Fall 2021 are as follows:

  • Overall GPA: 3.53-3.82

  • Natural science GPA: 3.42- 3.8

  • Total natural science hours: 65-91

  • GRE General Test scores:

    • Verbal: 152-160

    • Quantitative: 153-157

    • Analytical Writing: 4.0- 5

  • Hours of full-time patient care experience: 2908 -7006

While our program does not have any set minimum academic requirements, we want our candidates to have realistic expectations about admission.  The minimum academic and experiential qualifications earned by our Fall 2021 cohort are as follows: 

  • Overall GPA: 2.98
     
  • Natural science GPA: 2.84
     
  • Total natural science hours: 31
     
  • GRE General Test scores: 
     
    • Verbal: 144
       
    • Quantitative: 144
       
    • Analytical Writing: 3 
       
  • Hours of full-time patient care experience: 1560

Although this represents the range of qualifications among accepted candidates, each application is evaluated on its individual merits. Evidence of academic potential, knowledge of the health care system, motivation, personal maturity, self-assurance, and good interpersonal skills will weigh strongly in the admission decision.  The most competitive applicants strongly align to our program mission and values of academic excellence, diversity, leadership, life experience, and service.  

Compare your scores and patient care with the ranges listed above. Target areas where you fall below the listed range. Demonstrate a passion for the profession and a clear understanding of the PA role.  The most competitive applicants strongly align to our program mission and values of academic excellence, diversity, leadership, life experience, and service.  While we do not have a minimum, GPA or GRE, if your academic performance falls significantly below our lowest range, you will need to work to improve those scores to be a competitive applicant. 

The Duke PA Program is 24 months split between the pre-clinical and clinical phases of the program.

There is a $60 fee for submitting the supplemental application. This fee is waived for active military or veteran applicants, as well as those who qualify for the CASPA fee waiver (proof of CASPA fee waiver eligibility must be submitted before supplemental application).

Note: PAEA and CASPA have recently expanded the fee waiver program. For more information click here.

The Duke Physician Assistant Program does require applicants to have completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.  Degrees in progress are considered as long as the completion date is prior to matriculation.

No, we do not require a specific major. A science degree may result in a higher number of natural science credit hours, but is not required.  Applications with just the minimum prerequesite science courses are less competitive, so be sure to look at our class statistics and compare where you are with your total science credits to assess your own application. 

Yes. We accept prerequisite courses and labs from any regionally accredited university or college, online or in person, including community colleges.

Please see our Prerequisites page for more information, including a school comparison worksheet provided for your convenience.

Biochemistry courses can count as either biology or chemistry (though 1 course cannot count as both).

Combined anatomy and physiology courses can count as either anatomy or physiology. Taking Anatomy & Physiology I and Anatomy & Physiology II would satisfy both requirements. Taking only one accelerated Anatomy & Physiology course will NOT meet the requirement.

You may submit an application with no more than TWO courses in progress. However, all courses must be completed with a satisfactory grade by December 31 of the application year (Eg. All prerequisite courses must be completed by December 31, 2022, for the class entering August 2023.)

No, we do not accept Advanced Placement credits.

Yes, we accept pass/fail courses that have a grade of Pass.

All prerequisite courses must be completed with grades of Pass or C or better (not C minus).

Either is acceptable, however it may better show your capabilities to take, and do well in, a more rigorous course.

Yes, all prerequisite courses must have been completed no earlier than 10 years prior to application. More recent prerequisite coursework is valuable as it may demonstrate readiness for entry into a rigorous academic environment. All prerequisite courses must be completed by December 31 of the application year.

GRE must have been taken within four years of January 1 of the admissions year. For example, to apply during the 2022-23 cycle you must have taken the GREs no earlier than January 1, 2018. (Note: ETS keeps scores for five years, so please be aware of your test date). The test must be completed no later than September 1st of the application cycle.

To meet the needs of students who are unable to take the GRE General Test at a test center due to public health concerns, ETS is offering a GRE General Test at home option in selected areas. To see if you qualify, please visit https://www.ets.org/s/cv/gre/at-home/.

We suggest waiting to apply until your new scores are available to submit. If you submit with old scores we will not hold the application, and it may be processed before your new scores are sent to us.

Please send GRE scores to the CASPA’s Duke code: 0422.  We suggest that you follow up with CASPA to assure that your scores are linked to your application.  We will not accept scores sent directly to Duke.

Our deadline for patient care hours is July 1 of the admissions year.   Please note that having minimal patient care hours is not extremely competitive.

The Duke PA Program values direct patient interaction and experiences. Please see the pre-requisites page for further guidance.

If you have any questions about your patient care experience, please contact us for clarification.

No, while we highly recommend and value shadowing, we do not require that you shadow a PA.

No, we do not make exceptions. If you are unable to complete any of our minimum requirements you should wait for a future admissions cycle to apply as we are unable to make individual exceptions to our requirements. 

You must have your transcript verified by a credentialing service such as World Education Service. You must complete all prerequisite requirements.
You must take a MINIMUM of 30 semester hours of coursework in a regionally accredited US college.

If you are not a US citizen or Permanent Resident you will be required to show evidence of financial support in order for Duke Visa Services to secure your visa.  Please note that your visa must be secured BEFORE you are allowed to matriculate, so allow ample processing time.

Duke accepts DACA and TPS students.  Upon acceptance, you will be required to alert us of your status and fill out a webform from our visa services office to register.  You will not have any additional contingencies. 

Yes.

NOTE: Deadlines are earlier than they were in the past. Please plan accordingly when applying.

Deadline for minimum patient care hours completion - July 1
CASPA Deadline – September 1
Deadline for GRE completion – September 1
Supplemental Deadline – September 15
Pre-Requisite Course Completion Deadline – December 31

Yes, we do have a rolling admissions process; however, we continue to accept applicants until all final decisions are e-mailed.

Yes. As a mission-based program in North Carolina, we are committed to attracting students from our state to help meet the healthcare workforce needs locally.

Official transcripts are only required should you be invited to interview.

CASPA accepts up to five recommendation letters. We require three recommendation letters, and at least one must be from a healthcare professional who can speak to your patient care qualifications.

During the interview experience, candidates can expect to participate in two individual interviews with a faculty, PA alum, or other Duke health professional, as well as a group exercise with other applicants. Candidates have an opportunity to interact with current PA students to ask questions and learn about their experiences at Duke.

All of our information can be found electronically via website; as such we do not mail information. If you have extenuating circumstances, please contact us directly.

Only full-time students are admitted to the PA program. Due to the rigors of the curriculum, the majority of students find it difficult or impossible to work. In efforts to promote satisfactory academic progression, the program strongly discourages students from working. Student employment may jeopardize one’s ability to remain in satisfactory academic standing and to successfully complete the program. Part-time employment over breaks and holidays is at the discretion of the student, however students may not perform any medical tasks or procedures under the auspices of their role as Duke PA students.

The PA program does not offer deferments.  If an incoming student is unable to start with their cohort in August they will forfeit their seat and deposit and will need to reapply.