Physician Assistant Studies Program

Health Science Building
9200 University Blvd., Charleston, SC 29406

Requirements for applying

Centralized Application Service for PAs (CASPA)

The Charleston Southern University Physician Assistant Program utilizes the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) for application processing.

  • All applications and supporting documents must be submitted directly to CASPA. 
  • We will only consider verified CASPA applications, so please ensure that you submit your application before the deadline.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to confirm that all application materials have been submitted to and received by CASPA. The PA Program and University are not responsible for notifying applicants of incomplete applications.
  • All required materials must be received by the specified deadlines. No exceptions will be made. 
  • Applicants may apply with 2 remaining prerequisites provided they complete each with a B (3.0) or higher before September 1st. Official transcripts must be received at University by October 1st  or a selected candidate will relinquish their seat.

CSU’s Application Opens: April 25, 2024

CSU’s Application Deadline: September 1, 2024*
*Applications must be verified by this date

Baccalaureate Degree with Official Transcripts

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution must be completed at the time of application. 
  • The degree can be from any field of study, provided that all prerequisite coursework requirements are met.
  • Transcripts sent directly to the University will not be accepted.
  • All official transcripts must be received by CASPA for the application to be considered complete. 

Minimum Grade Point Averages (GPA)

  • The minimum requirement for both cumulative GPA and science GPA is 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). 
  • There is no minimum requirement for the prerequisite GPA, but it is considered in the application review process.
  • CSU follows CASPA GPA calculation and coursework reporting policies.
  • Please see CASPA website for detailed information on course grade reporting and GPA calculations. 

Prerequisite Courses

  • Applicants may apply with up to 2 work in progress prerequisites provided they complete each with a B (3.0) or higher before September 1st. Official transcripts must be received at the University by October 1st or a selected candidate will relinquish their seat. 
  • There is no expiration date on prerequisite coursework with the exception of Anatomy and Physiology which must be completed within the past seven (7) years at a two year or four year regionally accredited institution. 
  • All prerequisite coursework must be awarded a letter or numeric grade and completed with a grade of “C” or higher. “C-“ or 1.7 on CASPA 4.0 GPA scale will not be accepted, with the exception of work in progress classes as noted above.  
    • Classes taken between January 1, 2020 and September 1, 2022 and awarded satisfactory completion (P) will be accepted for prerequisite requirements. 
  • All prerequisite course hour requirements are in semester hours. 
  • Online course and lab work is accepted.  
  • We will not accept the following to satisfy prerequisite requirements:  
    • Survey Courses 
    • Advanced Placement (AP) Credit 
    • CLEP Credit 
    • Exam Credits 
    • Competency Testing  
    • Work Experience  
Required CourseworkMinimum HoursCourse Information
Human Anatomy Lecture with Lab**4 semester hours
Physiology Lecture with Lab**4 semester hours
Microbiology Lecture with Lab4 semester hours
General Chemistry8 semester hours
Organic Chemistry with Lab OR Biochemistry Lecture with Lab4 semester hours
Upper Level Biology, Chemistry, or Physics Courses*3 semester hoursUpper level courses are considered 300- or 400-level courses and may be designated by the university as “UL” or “U.”
Suggested courses include: 
-Molecular or Cellular Biology
-Exercise Physiology
-Biochemistry (This can only be used once)
Statistics3 semester hours

Total Prerequisite Hours: 30

*Upper-level courses are typically 300 or 400-level courses and may be designated by the university as “U” or “UL”. If the course is not numbered 300 or 400 level, you must provide documentation proving it is an upper level course as determined by your university or college.

**Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2 sequences with lab is also acceptable.

If you are interested in taking prerequisite courses at CSU please contact our Enrollment Services Office at 843-863-7050. 

Health Care Experience

  • A minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care experience is required at the time of application submission.
  • Applicants will be able to continue to add hours to their application on June 1, July 1, August 1, and September 1 by completing the PCE Hours Addition form and emailing it to the Admissions Coordinator at Additional hours will only be accepted and added to the application on these specific dates.    
  • Acceptable forms of patient care experience:
    • Acupuncturist
    • Athletic Trainer
    • Chiropractor
    • Clinical Medical Research Assistant (direct patient care required)
    • Dental Hygienist/Assisting
    • Dietician
    • Emergency Medical Technician
    • Emergency Room Technician
    • Exercise Physiologist
    • Home Health Aide
    • Laboratory Technician/Technologist
    • Medical Assistant
    • Medical Scribe
    • Military Corpsman / Combat Medic
    • Nursing (CNA, LPN, RN, MSN)
    • Occupational Therapist / Occupational Therapy Assistant
    • Paramedic
    • Patient Care Technician
    • Pharmacy Technician
    • Phlebotomist
    • Physical Therapist / Physical Therapy Assistant
    • Radiological Technician
    • Respiratory Therapist
    • Shadowing of a PA, NP, MD, or DO (for a max of 50 direct PCE hours)
    • Surgical Technician
  • Unacceptable forms of patient care experience include:
    • Administrator or Business Manager for a Medical Office
    • Aesthetician
    • CPR/BLS/ACLS Instructor
    • Hospital Patient Transport or Orderly
    • Lifeguard
    • Medical Interpreter
    • Medical Secretary/Receptionist
    • Medical Transcriptionist
    • Nanny or Babysitter
    • Personal/Group Fitness Trainer
    • Pharmaceutical representative
    • Non-Clinical Research Assistant
    • Veterinarian Assistant

Foreign Applications

  • A bachelor’s degree must be completed from a regionally accredited institution or an equivalent from a foreign institution.
  • CSU requires that all official transcripts be submitted, including foreign, study abroad, and overseas US transcripts. 
  • All foreign transcripts are to be submitted to a U.S.-based evaluation service for a U.S. equivalency report. The equivalency report must then be submitted directly to CASPA from the evaluation service. Please reference the CASPA website for a list of suggested evaluation services and detailed instructions on submitting study abroad, US overseas, and foreign transcripts.
  • The program requires international applicants or those who have foreign transcripts to complete the 30 semester prerequisite credit hours at a regionally accredited U.S. institution before applying to the CSU PA program.
  • Transcripts sent directly to the university will not be accepted. 
  • Additionally, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) must be taken by those whose native language is not English. Please note the score requirement is different than the university’s Graduate School requirement. 
  • Any financial burdens encumbered in the foregoing processes are the sole responsibility of the applicant.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based test (iBT) is required of all CSU PA applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • An applicant whose native language is not English.
  • An applicant whose degree is earned from an international institution.


If you have specific questions about applying to the PA Program as an international student, please contact CSU’s International Student Enrollment Counselor for more information at

Recommendation Letters

  • Two letters of recommendation are required for an application to be considered complete. 
  • One letter must be from a medical provider.
  • Letters cannot be from a family member or friend.
  • The CSU PA program strongly recommends choosing references who have known the applicant in a professional setting for at least six (6) months.       


  • Interview invitations are extended to the most competitive applicants for admissions.
  • Applicants who are invited for the interview portion of the selection process must participate in the interview to be considered for a position in the program.
  • We will be transitioning back to in person interviews for the 2023 application cycle, but the program will still offer one virtual interview day for applicants who prefer this option. The virtual interview will be offered to all applicants who are offered an interview on a first come first serve basis. Once the virtual interview is full, all other applicants will be offered an in-person interview only. While considering interview options, it is important to note that admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis.
  • Interviewees will be notified of their status within one month of the interview. The decision will be one of the following: accepted to the program, placed on the waitlist or declined. 
  • The program uses a rolling admissions process and with this approach, it is possible for the program to fill all available seats prior to September 1st application deadline. 

Updated on 4/27/2023