Acceptance into the Xavier University of Louisiana PA program is competitive. Our selection process is based on a combination of your CASPA application, academic performance (GPA & GRE), letters of recommendation, healthcare experience, personal statement of intent and performance during an in-person interview if invited. Enrollment in the PA Program is only available on a full-time basis. 

Review the links below for more information on our application requirements and upcoming deadlines. Please also see our Next Steps page for what to expect once your application has been submitted.

Deadlines

These are the upcoming application deadlines for the Class of 2023

Application Opens: Late April 30, 2020

  • Application Deadline: August 1, 2020
  • Interviews: June-August 2020 
  • Classes Begin: January 2021

Application Requirements

All applications must be submitted and received by the August 1st deadline using the CASPA Application online. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications and supporting documents as early as possible. Applicants are responsible for following up with CASPA to ensure all necessary documents are received. After CASPA confirms receipt of all necessary documents and completes the application, students must forward any updated transcripts for courses in progress at the time of application to the Office of Admissions:

See the CASPA FAQ page for details on how to ensure your application is complete. Failure to meet the "complete" status requirements by the deadline will result in an incomplete application. Submissions must include:

  • CASPA application fee
  • Official academic transcripts 
  • Official GRE or MCAT scores (review test requirements under Prerequisites below for more information)
  • Three letters of reference (at least one letter of reference must be from a practicing PA or Physician who can discuss the applicant's abilities with patients, preferably someone who has supervised the applicant in a clinical setting); personal references from friends or family members are not accepted.
  • A candidate’s overall grade point average (GPA), science GPA, and prerequisite GPA, as calculated by CASPA, must be a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with an overall GPA below 3.0 are not considered further for admission. 
  • Healthcare Experience – Minimum of 80 hours of healthcare experience
  • Completion of all prerequisites 
  • Students must meet and maintain all technical standards in order to be enrolled in, and progress through, the PA program. 

Submitting your application materials early will ensure timely processing and help avoid delays. Once your application has a complete date, it can take 4 to 6 weeks to verify and mail to your designated programs. Upon submission of any of the application requirements, applicants will receive electronic notification of their application status via e-mail through the CASPA website. You are required to regularly check your e-mail account provided on your CASPA application and update any e-mail address changes in a reasonable period of time. Failure to respond to program request in a timely manner may result in loss of eligibility for program admission.

Prerequisites

Be sure to also review our prerequisites for more information on eligibility to apply.

Official transcripts must show that the following prerequisites have been completed. Substitutions are not accepted.  Please refer to XULA PA Program Course Equivalency Guide.   

  • Prerequisite courses must be completed with grades of C or above.
  • A single course cannot be used to satisfy multiple prerequisites.
  • All science courses must be for science majors and must have a science prefix. 
  • Lower-division or "Intro/Survey"-level coursework may not fulfill prerequisites. Applicants should be prepared to produce syllabi detailing week-to-week content for these courses if requested by admissions officials. Prerequisite courses must cover, in sufficient detail, the content areas listed in the table below.
  • There is no expiration period for prerequisites. Applicants should be prepared to address how information has been kept easily recallable in an interview setting.
  • Online lab courses are NOT accepted for science prerequisites. 
  • AP coursework will be accepted as long as classes appear on a college transcript with assigned credits. If AP coursework is completed Pass/Fail, the passing grade (or equivalent) must be a C or higher.
  • Applications will not be considered if all prerequisites have not been completed by application deadline.

Basic Science Prerequisite

Course PrerequisiteRequirementAdditional Details
General Biology I and II with labs8 credits
General Chemistry I and II with labs8 credits
Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II with labs8 creditsCombined Anatomy
and Physiology I and II with labs are accepted.
Organic Chemistry I3 or 4 credits
Organic Chemistry II or Biochemistry3 or 4 creditsMinimum three semester hours or equivalent quarter hours
Microbiology with lab4 creditsNot satisfied by molecular biology, cellular biology or bacteriology alone
Genetics3 credits
Upper Level Biology
Electives
Strongly Recommended
3 to 8 credits
The PA Program recommends courses in cell biology,
molecular biology, embryology, histology, parasitology,
virology, immunology, and other similar courses.
While none of the latter courses are specifically required,
they provide a good foundation for the study of medicine.

* The lab courses for Human Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, Biology, and Microbiology may not be taken by an online or correspondence format. 

General Prerequisite

Course PrerequisiteRequirementAdditional Details
English Composition3 credits
General Psychology3 credits
Statistics3 creditsMinimum three semester hours or equivalent quarter hours
Pre-Calculus or Calculus3 credits
Sociology3 credits
Medical Terminology1 to 3 creditsOne to three semester hours or
equivalent quarter hours Not satisfied by professional,
educational or life experiences No "test out" options are accepted
Medical EthicsRecommended


The Technical Standards for admission are set forth by the Xavier University Physician Assistant Program and are essential functions that include attributes that are necessary to successfully complete the program. Minimal Technical Standards for Admission, Promotion, and Graduation state the expectations of all students. 

Students who develop conditions while in the program, which may impair their ability to meet the technical standards, will be reevaluated. If a student’s abilities to meet the technical standards are compromised, then the program director may request a physical assessment of student’s cognitive, psychological or physical ability. After reviewing the information, if the student does not meet the technical standards he or she may be terminated from the program at the discretion of the program director. 

The standards provide information to allow a candidate to make an informed decision regarding application and serve as a guide to accommodation of students with disabilities. Academic adjustments can be made for disabilities in some instances, but a student must be able to perform in an independent manner with reasonable accommodations. Xavier University of Louisiana is committed to the principle of equal opportunity. The program does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability.

The Xavier University of Louisiana Physician Assistant Program is committed to enabling students by any reasonable means or accommodations to complete the course of study leading to the Master of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree. However, every precaution is taken to ensure that students with substantially impaired intellectual, physical, or emotional functions place neither the educational process nor the patient in jeopardy. Vital to successful completion of the program, it is imperative that students are able to meet the Technical Standards outlined here.

Individuals with questions or concerns about their abilities to meet these standards are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Affairs. The process for applying for accommodations is located at the end of this policy statement in the section entitled Disability Accommodations. 

1. Observation Ability:

Students must have the ability to observe didactic presentations, demonstrations, and laboratory activities in the basic and clinical sciences. Students should have the ability to observe patients and assess findings. Observation includes the use of vision, hearing and touch.

2. Communication Ability:

Students must be able to communicate effectively with the faculty, fellow students, patients and their friends/families, and other healthcare professionals. Communication includes speaking, hearing, reading and writing. Students must be able to interpret written records and document information accurately.

3. Motor Ability:

Students must be able to perform gross and fine motor movements required to perform a complete physical examination, perform or assist with procedures, diagnostics and treatment methods, administration of medication, managing of equipment and emergency intervention. Motor function encompasses physical ability, coordination of gross and fine motor skills, and equilibrium. The student should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. The student have sufficient motor skills and coordination to manipulate equipment and instruments without interruption necessary to perform basic laboratory test and procedures involving stethoscope, ophthalmoscope, needles, tongue blades, intravenous equipment, gynecologic speculum, and scalpel. The students must possess the fine motor skills to perform the requirements of the profession. 

4. Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Ability: 

Students must have the cognitive abilities sufficient to process the information provided during the basic and clinical sciences curriculum. Students must possess intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities. Students must be able to perform measurements, calculations, reasoning, analysis and synthesis. In addition, the student must be able to comprehend three dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. Students must be able to solve complex problems in a timely manner under stress and in diverse settings. 

5. Behavioral and Social Attributes:

Students must demonstrate maturity and emotional stability to allow for full use of all intellectual abilities, reliable and timely decision making, and effective relationships with patients and their families, and other healthcare professionals. Students must be able to work collaboratively with their classmates to sustain a non-competitive learning atmosphere and with their colleagues and patients to develop collaborative professional relationships Students must be able to work effectively under high levels of stress, adapt to changing work environments, and the uncertainties of healthcare. Students must have an understanding of and abide by legal and ethical standards in regards to healthcare. Students must be able to work as part of a team and possess integrity, compassion, motivation to serve, empathy, and the interpersonal skills necessary for medical practice.

A completed baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, or an equivalent institution as determined by Xavier University of Louisiana, is required prior to matriculation into the program.

  • Applicants educated outside the United States and Canada must utilize a transcript evaluation service. See the International Applicants page for details.
  • Applicants from the United States or Canada with coursework completed outside those countries do not have to utilize a transcript evaluation service if the coursework appears on their transcripts from the U.S. or Canadian institutions (e.g., study abroad).
  • Applicants must possess an overall minimum grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) to be considered for admittance.
  • College seniors are eligible to apply provided they will receive the baccalaureate degree prior to the October 1 application deadline. 
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA in cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (as calculated by CASPA) on a 4.0 scale 
  • A minimum undergraduate science GPA of 3.0 (as calculated and verified by CASPA)
  • A minimum prerequisite GPA of 3.0 (as calculated and verified by CASPA). 
  • Although 3.0 is the minimum GPA required, students with higher GPAs are more competitive

Healthcare Experience: PA applicants should be familiar with medical care environments and the role of the physician assistants. Healthcare Experience is required in order to be eligible for admission;

    • A minimum of 80 Healthcare Experience Hours are required 
      • Healthcare experience can be paid or volunteer.
    • Preference will be given to candidates who have :
      • Direct patient care experiences that required a prior period of training based on the length/rigor of the required training.
      • Completed greater numbers of healthcare experience hours.
    • Applicant must describe their healthcare experience in the CASPA application.
    • These hours must be completed at the time CASPA application is submitted
    •  Common roles that fulfill healthcare experience hours include:
      • Emergency Medical Technician
      • Licensed Vocational Nurse
      • Medical Assistant 
      • Medical Scribe
      • Medical Technologist
      • Military Medical Corpsman
      • Nursing Assistant
      • Paramedic
      • Psychiatric or Radiologic Technician
      • Respiratory Therapist
      • Paramedic
      • Chiropractor
      • Registered Nurse 

Shadowing Physician Assistants is recommended as it prepares the student to understand the role of the PA role and medical profession.  Shadowing should be done with a licensed and practicing PA, MD or DO. 

Community service is recommended as acts of demonstration in community service carries out our mission to provide a more just and humane society and benefits under served or disadvantaged groups. Community Service also prepares students for the program that has a commitment to training its students with these populations.


A minimum of (3) letters of recommendation are required. Letters are allowed through the CASPA application process. One must be from a practicing PA or physician. Letters of reference must be submitted directly to CASPA. Letters of reference will only be accepted through CASPA. at least one letter of reference must be from a practicing PA or who can discuss the applicant's abilities with patients, preferably someone who has supervised the applicant in a clinical setting. Reference letters should not be from personal friends or family members.


The personal statement is your primary opportunity to distinguish yourself from other applicants within the CASPA application. Make a lasting impression by showing the admission committee who you are as a person and describe your personal characteristics that support your ability to become a successful physician assistant. Personal statement/Narrative: Please describe your motivation towards becoming a PA.  5000 characters limit = approximately 625 words.

Official GRE or MCAT scores are required of all applicants, regardless of previous education, degrees or other credentials. Other standardized tests (MCAT, GMAT, etc.) are not accepted in place of GRE scores. Official GRE scores must be submitted and received by CASPA by the August 1 application deadline.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) must have been taken within the previous five years from the application deadline.

Candidates must have a combined verbal/quantitative GRE score of 290 and a minimum of a 3 on the writing section of the GRE or a minimum score of 496 on the MCAT.

However, to be competitive with others in the overall applicant pool it is recommended that a competitive applicant has GRE scores: verbal, 150 or higher; quantitative, 150 or higher; analytical writing, 3.5 or higher.

If the GRE or MCAT  is taken multiple times, the program considers the highest cumulative score for the test taken on a single date.

GRE scores must be submitted directly to CASPA; Xavier University of Louisiana GRE code /CASPA GRE code is:4433

GRE score reports will be sent directly to CASPA, so refer to your CASPA profile to ensure scores have been received. Official score reports sent to other school codes will not appear for your Xavier University of Louisiana designation and your application will not be complete. Do not list a Department Code when submitting official GRE scores. Ensure your name and birth date appear exactly the same between the GRE score report and CASPA application. Applicants should plan for a minimum of two weeks between the test and the date scores are received by CASPA.

MCAT scores must be sent to CASPA electronically through the AAMC score reporting system.

Visit the GRE or MCAT site for more information.

Official TOEFL scores are required of all applicants who have not earned a baccalaureate degree or graduate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university, regardless of the official language of the country in which the education took place or the predominant language of the degree-granting institution. Minimum scores are listed below.

 TOEFL or IELTS Scores (Non-English speaking natives are required to submit) 

Required Minimum Scores: TOEFL: Paper – 550 Internet-Based – 80 IELTS: 7.0

Official and valid TOEFL scores must be submitted and received by the October 1 application deadline. PDF score report copies received at the time of testing or in the mail are not considered an official score report. TOEFL scores are valid for two years prior to your intended January enrollment.

The Xavier University of Louisiana Physician Assistant Program's Institution Code is 6975


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