As the population of the United States becomes increasingly diverse, cultural diversity within the physician assistant profession is critical. The PA Program is committed to recruiting and matriculating a wide range of students including but not limited to those who are underrepresented in the PA profession because PAs interact with patients, families and communities from diverse backgrounds. We strive to create an educational environment conducive to collaborative learning through shared experiences and skills from each member of the class. The heterogeneity of the class provides a valuable platform for introducing students to the complex and diverse nature of health care. Applicants are reviewed holistically for their unique experiences, leadership potential and commitment to education.

The Duke PA Program is a mission driven program that recruits caring individuals who are dedicated to providing competent health care. We value applicants who demonstrate a heart for service and a commitment to increasing access to health care. We give preference to applicants who demonstrate a strong match to our mission.

Applicants who have served their communities or their countries through volunteer activities, military service, employment opportunities or service oriented programs greatly enhance the cultural perspective of the class. The PA Program is committed to attracting students from geographically underserved regions such as Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) in North Carolina, as well as students from different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The PA program also values diversity in other forms, such as age, gender, gender identity, disability and years of experience in the health care field.

The Duke Physician Assistant Program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The ARC-PA collaborates and coordinates with the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the American College of Physicians, the American College of Physicians, the American College of Surgeons, the American Medical Association, and the Physician Assistant Education Association.

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Competitive Admissions

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 2018 incoming PA class, 2,861 CASPA applications were received. Two hundred and fifty applicants were interviewed. Ninety applicants accepted the offer of admission for the Fall 2018 entering class. PA class size is typically 90 students per year.

The ranges of academic and experiential qualifications for the middle 50 percent of accepted applicants for Fall 2018 are as follows:

  • Overall GPA: 3.5-3.8
  • Natural science GPA: 3.4- 3.8
  • Total natural science hours: 53- 80
  • GRE General Test scores:
    • Verbal: 154-161
    • Quantitative: 153-161
    • Analytical Writing: 4.0- 4.5
  • Hours of full-time patient care experience: 2800-4950

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.

Applicants to the Duke PA Program should be aware that all courses within the curriculum are required, no transfer credit is accepted, no AP credit is accepted, and no credit is granted for pre-admission experiential learning. Only full-time students are admitted to the curriculum. It is very difficult to maintain even part-time employment while enrolled in the PA Program. Students must comply with the program’s academic schedule. Most PA students are NOT employed while enrolled in the PA Program.

Duke PANCE Pass Rate Summary Report 2017