Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
Physician Associate Program

Medical College of Wisconsin Physician Associate Program Admissions Information

The MCW Physician Associate (PA) Program will begin accepting applications in Spring 2024, with the inaugural cohort of students beginning in May 2025. The program will focus on training academically-minded PAs whose personal experience and attributes will enrich service to patients throughout the diverse communities we serve. The MCW PA program welcomes all applicants and seeks individuals with strong critical thinking and professionalism skills who are committed to working as part of a health care team in a range of settings in Wisconsin’s communities and beyond.

CASPA Application
All applicants must submit a completed application to the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). A secondary application may be required. Applications will open in the Spring of 2024.

The program is in the planning phase and will be applying for provisional accreditation with ARC-PA in Spring 2024. The program is currently not accredited.
Bachelor's Degree
Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in the United States is required.
Recommended minimum cumulative GPA is 3.0 as calculated in CASPA.

If an applicant’s GPA is lower than 3.0, it’s recommended they contact the MCW PA program prior to applying.
Required and Recommended Pre-Requisite Courses

Required Pre-Requisite Courses

  • Anatomy- 1 semester with lab is required. If Anatomy & Physiology are combined, 2 semesters with lab are required.
  • Physiology- 1 semester with lab is required. If Anatomy & Physiology are combined, 2 semesters with lab are required.
  • Biology- 2 semesters are required; at least one with lab.
  • Chemistry- 2 semesters with lab are required. Chemistry for Science majors is preferred. Chemistry lab is required, even with AP credits.
  • Organic Chemistry- 1 semester is required; with lab recommended.
  • Biochemistry- 1 semester of upper-level Biochemistry is required.
  • Statistics- 1 semester is required.
  • Microbiology- 1 semester with lab is required.
  • Psychology- 1 semester is required; AP credit accepted.
  • English- 2 semesters of English composition or literature are required.
  • Medical Terminology- 1 course (at least 1 credit) is required.

Recommended Pre-Requisite Courses

  • Advanced Biology- 2 semesters of biological sciences are highly recommended. Examples include advanced biology, neurology, genetics, endocrinology, immunology, and zoology.
  • Physics- 1 semester is recommended.
  • Writing- 1 semester of a scientific, technical, or healthcare-focused writing course is recommended.
  • Scientific Inquiry/Research Course- 1 semester is recommended.
Shadowing Hours
All applicants are encouraged to spend 16 hours shadowing a Physician Assistant/Associate to ensure they have knowledge of the PA profession and the role of the PA on the health care team.
Clinical Hours
All applicants must have a minimum of 800 hours of patient contact and health care experience. All hours must be documented in CASPA. Health care shadowing does not count toward clinical hours.

Examples of patient contact hours include but are not limited to: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Community Health Worker, Dietitian, EMT, Emergency Room Technician, Home Health Aide, Laboratory Tech, Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), Medic/Corpsman, Medical Assistant, Medical Scribe, Midwife/Doula, Paramedic, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomist, Physical Therapy Assistant, Respiratory Therapist, and Surgical Technician.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the MCW PA program if they are unsure whether their health care experience will qualify.
Personal Statement
All applicants will be required to submit a personal statement in CASPA.
Letters of Reference
All applicants must submit one letter of reference from each of the following people:

1. PA/NP/Physician
2. Educator/academic advisor
3. Character reference

Letters should speak to the applicant’s ability to be a successful student and future clinician. The character reference should describe overall character qualities that are essential to academic success in the PA program such as: integrity, honesty, resilience, determination, and empathy. 

No letters of reference from relatives will be accepted.
Individual interviews will occur before an applicant is accepted into the program.

The location and format for interviews will be determined by Spring 2024.
Community Service
All applicants are encouraged to spend time volunteering in their community. These hours can be entered into CASPA.
Standardized Scores
GRE, PA-CAT, and MCAT are not required for admission, but applicants can submit scores.
Transfer and International Students
The MCW PA program is not accepting transfer or international students. During the 2024 application cycle, MCW will only accept applications from US Citizens, US Permanent Residents, and DACA recipients.

We may welcome international applicants in a future application cycle.

Contact Us

For phone inquiries and appointments, program administration can be reached Monday - Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Outside of these hours, please contact the program via email for a response within one to two business days.

(414) 955-7488