Selection Factors and Preferences

Physician Assistant Studies

(ARC-PA Standard: A3.15a)

Candidates for admission are considered comparatively and are reviewed on the following selection factors and awarded preference points:

(Please note that admission to the PA Studies Program is competitive. Meeting the selection factors noted below does not guarantee an interview or admission).

Selection Factors

  • Academic background, including overall GPA with an emphasis on Biology/Chemistry/Anatomy & Physiology GPA. Basic science preparation at the upper division level is highly valued.
  • Quality and quantity of paid direct hands-on clinical patient care.
  • Letters of recommendation - it is recommended that at least one reference be obtained from a healthcare provider (PA preferred) with whom you have worked with or shadowed. (Family members and friends are not a desirable source for recommendation letters).
  • Personal statement and response to supplemental questions.
  • Demonstrated interest and experience in primary care, rural health and/or, underserved populations.
  • PA mentorship/shadowing experiences.
  • Honors, achievements and awards.
  • If selected for an interview, assessment of motivation, ability to communicate, problem-solving ability and maturity.

Preference Points

The Program awards admissions preference and assigns a maximum of 18 points supporting the Program's Mission to applicants with the following attributes:

  • Residents of Nevada or applicants with Nevada Heritage. (6 Points)

Nevada Heritage is defined as 1) an applicant with one or both parents residing in Nevada at the time of application, 2) an applicant who graduated from high school in Nevada with at least two years at a high school in Nevada, or 3) an applicant who graduated from a Nevada institution of higher education with a bachelor's or advanced degree with at least two years of attendance at an institution of higher education in Nevada.

  • Rural Resident. (6 Points)

To determine whether a specific location is considered rural, we access the Rural Health Information Hub.

  • Veterans. (6 Points)

Rev. 5/1/2018