James Madison University

Admission to the Program

The JMU PA Program  admits one  cohort of 30 students each year.  The cohort begins classes in the fall semester.  Students are selected through a competitive process that includes two separate applications  - one to the JMU Graduate School, and the second to the PA Program through CASPA. Applicants MUST complete both applications prior to the deadline in order to be considered.

The application process opens in mid-April.  Competitive candidates who have submitted both the CASPA application and JMU Graduate School application by the deadline of August 1st will be invited for an on-campus interview.  Positions are offered on a rolling basis until the class is full.  Please note that the CASPA application must be complete by August 1st and verified by September 1st.

Pre-application advising may be obtained as follows:

  1. For general information about the program and the application process, first read this website thoroughly.
  2. If you are currently a JMU student or live close to the university, attend an information session. Times and dates
  3. After familiarizing yourself with the general information, if you have questions specific to your own situation contact the PA Program for an in-person or telephone appointment.

Admissions Timeline: view application deadlines and more information about the application procedure

Selection Factors: view more information about the selection process and factors affecting admission to the PA Program.

Contact the PA Program at:

James Madison University
Physician Assistant Program
Department of Health Professions
235 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, MSC 4301
Health and Behavioral Studies Building
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: (540) 568-2395
Fax: (540) 568-3336
Email: paprogram@jmu.edu

Additional information about the elements of the application and admission process can be found at: The Grad School

Information for Foreign Medical Graduates

In the United States, a license to practice medicine as a Physician Assistant (PA) is issued by individual states; therefore each state sets its own requirements for licensure.  To obtain a license, an individual (even one educated as a physician in another country) must graduate from an accredited United States Physician Assistant Program AND pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certifying of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).  There are NO states that have an exception to this rule.

In other words, an individual cannot practice as a PA in the US without a state license and one cannot get a state license without passing the PANCE and one cannot take the PANCE unless you are a graduate of an accredited PA program.

The James Madison University Physician Assistant Program welcomes applications from foreign medical graduates.  Individuals educated as physicians outside of the United States are held to exactly the same prerequisite requirements as all other applicants to our PA Program.  In addition, all non-US based course work must be evaluated by a credential evaluation service such as WES:  https://www.wes.org/

More information on international applicant requirements can be found here:

Frequently Asked Questions of Foreign Medical Graduates

  1. Must I take the graduate record examination (GRE)?
    The GRE is a PA Program requirement.  The requirement is waived if the applicant has already earned a graduate degree.  If the graduate coursework is from outside of the United States then one must have the coursework evaluated by a credential evaluation service such as WES:  https://www.wes.org/   If an evaluation service determines that prior course work is equivalent to a graduate degree in the US, then the GRE may be waived by the PA Program.
  2. Must I take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)?
    All international students must present evidence of English proficiency.  TOEFL is required for all applicants whose first language is not English, regardless of US citizenship status.  A minimum TOEFL score is 570 (paper-based) or 88 (internet-based). This is a PA program policy.  An exception will be made if the applicant has already completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at a US-based college or university.