PA Program Admissions Procedure

Employing Holistic Admissions for a More Diverse STUDENT BODY

Recognizing the Importance of Holistic Admissions in Medical Programs

We are committed to the holistic evaluation of each student to get a true sense of who they are and can become.

The Holistic Review

The CUNY School of Medicine uses a holistic admissions process first described by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC).  The admissions holistic review takes into consideration the full spectrum of the applicant’s qualifications based on all evidence provided in the application, and viewed in the context of the overall strength of the applicant pool. Holistic admissions review ensures that no single factor leads to acceptance into the program.  The goal of this selection process is to identify applicants who are most likely to contribute to the CUNY School of Medicine’s intellectual community and upon graduation, to fulfill our mission to practice primary care within underserved communities.

Holistic Admission Factors

The factors considered in the holistic admissions process include:

  1. The applicant’s full record of academic achievement in high school and/or college, including the number and rigor of courses taken and grades earned in those courses.
  2. Professional preparations for the BS/MD program such as employment as a healthcare worker, patient contact, work with underserved populations, and volunteering and shadowing experience. 
  3. Strength of letters of recommendation.
  4. Personal statement including elements of style, creativity, originality and anticipated goals as a Physician Assistant.
  5. Alignment with the program mission.

Race, ethnicity, gender, and religion are excluded from the selection criteria.

Each application is ranked using these five criteria. The highest ranked applicants are offered an interview. The interview assesses applicant deductive reasoning, professionalism, disposition for the profession, problem solving skills, verbal and non-verbal communication skills and alignment with the program mission. The highest ranked applicants meeting all admission requirements are offered a seat in the program.


A CASPA cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above, as well as a cumulative CUNY School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or above are required.  To be eligible applicants must complete at least a baccalaureate degree and PA program specific prerequisite requirements. 

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