Admissions Policy

As the state’s only public health science center, UTHSC aims to improve human health through education, research, clinical care and public service. A variety of professional programs are offered through the six colleges that comprise the health science center: Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. These programs prepare skilled and ethical health care professionals to meet the health care needs of the state of Tennessee and surrounding communities. To this end, the campus welcomes applications from women and men of all races, creeds, and cultures, who can pursue their studies in an environment that values intellectual curiosity, the pursuit of knowledge, excellence, compassion and integrity. Admission committees select highly qualified applicants, with preference to Tennessee residents, seeking to enroll students from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, so as to provide access to a broad range of students and to serve the needs of the state’s diverse communities for skilled health care providers.

Admission criteria for professional programs continue to emphasize academic excellence. However, in order to serve the needs of the state for health care professionals in rural, urban and suburban environments, additional factors are also considered, including applications from qualified individuals who are underrepresented in the health care professions, from non-traditional students and from students who represent the first in their families to pursue higher education.

The Physician Assistant Program Admissions Committee will make a holistic review of the application and may give consideration to the following as well as other factors when granting an interview: academic history and success, co-curricular activities, health care experience, military experience, Tennessee residency, applicants from groups currently underrepresented in the PA profession, non-traditional students, and those who represent the first in their family to pursue higher education.

Each application is evaluated on its individual merits. Evidence of academic potential, knowledge of the health care system, motivation, personal maturity, self-assurance, good interpersonal skills as well as Tennessee residency, UT alumni, military experience, under-represented minority status and a willingness to provide care to the underserved will weigh strongly in the admission decision. 

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for consideration for admission, applicants must fulfill the requirements listed below. Application and admission into the PA Program is very competitive: meeting the minimum requirements does NOT assure an interview for admission to the Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant (MMS-PA) program.

  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Minimum overall CASPA GPA 2.75; Minimum Pre-Requisite Science GPA 2.75
  • Completion of all pre-requisites prior to enrollment
  • GRE less than 5 years old; combined score of 300 is considered competitive
  • 100 hours of prior health care experience and/or shadowing is required; the program considers 300 hours competitive

General Applicant Information/Deadlines

  • The MMS-PA Program utilizes the Centralized Admissions for Physician Assistants (CASPA) service: (
  • The MMS-PA Program participates in a rolling admissions process and accepts one cohort per year.
  • The application window opens May 1st and closes November 1st for the cohort that will matriculate the following January.
  • Because we utilize a rolling admissions process applicants are STRONGLY encouraged to apply early as the cohort may fill long before the November deadline.
  • A telephone or personal interview is granted to an applicant by invitation only.

Deferment Policy

If you are accepted for admission, you may be able to defer program enrollment for one (1) year, with a guaranteed position in the program for the next academic year. You must provide an acceptable reason to the Program such as: inability to pay, medical concerns, military obligation, personal and/or family obligations. To be considered for a deferment you must submit, in writing, a formal request to the Department Chair on of before November 15 of the application year.

Deferment decisions will be made on a case by case basis and the applicant will be notified within one week of request.

If the deferment is granted, then a seat will be held in the next cohort. The tuition deposit will not be refunded. All requirements for admission into the next cohort must be met (tuition deposit, current background check, current immunizations, etc.)

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Contact Us

Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant Program

66 North Pauline, Ste. 116
Memphis TN 38163
Phone: 901-448-8000