PA Program Admissions
How to Apply
The CASPA Application Portal will open on April 27, at which time applicants for January 2024 may begin an application. Applicants should fill in the academic history section as soon as you begin the application process to allow CASPA to match incoming materials with an application. Do not submit the application until all final transcripts are received.
Please note that the Tufts PA Program has a Green Deadline, August 1, 2023 (See CASPA's deadline definitions). Applicants should aim to have all items submitted by July 1, 2023 in order to meet the "verified-by" deadline of August 1.
Applications must meet CASPA and Tufts requirements:
a) CASPA requirements for verification:
- Application e-submitted in CASPA with application fee paid
- Resume/CV is uploaded
- Patient Care Document found in CASPA is completed and uploaded
- All official transcripts received by CASPA
- Minimum of two letters of recommendation received by CASPA
b) Tufts requirements (not required for verification, but must be received by CASPA by August 1):
- Third letter of recommendation (references from shadowing experiences will not be accepted as one of the three required recommendations)
- Official GRE/MCAT Scores (if choosing to submit as part of the application)
- Two short essays (around 1,000–1,500 characters each)
- TOEFL Scores (if required)
Once an application meets CASPA and Tufts application requirements AND has been confirmed by the PA Admissions Office, then the application will be sent to the PA Admissions Committee for review.
In addition to the application materials, there are also a set of prerequisite requirements students must meet.
Special Note: May 2023 graduates MUST
- E-submit and submit an official final transcript to CASPA before July 1 even if it may not have a degree conferral date yet. This allows the process of application verification to begin. The applicant should call CASPA customer service to check whether the transcript received includes the date of degree conferral. If it does not, the applicant should request a second, updated transcript with degree conferral date be sent to CASPA no later than August 1. This updated transcript will be loaded to the application and the PA Admissions Office will check that the degree has been conferred, allowing the applicant to move forward to the prerequisite review process
- Call the PA Admissions Office at 617-636-0935 notifying them of their status so that a note of the exception can be made in their CASPA record
Official Transcripts must reflect:
- All undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate coursework taken,
- All required prerequisite coursework with final grades, and
- An official, final transcript indicating completion of the bachelor's degree (Applicants must request official transcripts from their Registrars' offices that include a date of graduation/degree conferral date.)
- Overall 3.0 GPA for Science and Prerequisite requirements.
ALL official, final transcripts from all undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate institutions attended (degree and non-degree) should be sent to:
CASPA - P.O. Box 9108 - Watertown, MA 02471
Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the Transcript Request Form provided by CASPA, which will be available once attended institutions have been listed. PDFs, unofficial and/or photocopied transcripts will not be accepted. Applicants should NOT send any transcripts or evaluations directly to the PA Program.
Note that CASPA will not update transcripts after an application is submitted so applicants should NOT send:
- Transcripts with in-progress coursework to CASPA. If an application is received without all prerequisites complete or final grades listed, it may not be reviewed for admission.
- Updated transcripts to CASPA after verification. Any grades reported as part of Academic Update will NOT be verified and CASPA GPAs will NOT be updated.
International transcripts (except English-speaking Canadian) will not be accepted, but CASPA will accept a foreign transcript evaluation report (Tufts requires WES evaluation). An applicant should report study abroad on CASPA if they:
- Studied via an overseas U.S. institution
- Studied via another U.S. institution
- Studied via a study abroad company, directly via your undergrad institution or any other method
A WES evaluation of foreign transcripts is necessary ONLY if the applicant took a Tufts PA Program prerequisite course during their study abroad and if the CREDITS AND/OR GRADES for these courses DO NOT APPEAR on their undergraduate transcript. Send all WES evaluations to CASPA for verification of courses.
One thousand (1,000) hours of direct patient care experience must be completed and documented in the application. ALL direct patient care experience should be added in the "Experience" section of the application. Please request references to verify direct patient care performance and responsibilities. Applicants are NOT required to provide an official document stating completion of the experience.
The purpose of this document is to capture the types of hands-on patient care experiences candidates have performed in their clinical work. The committee does not expect candidates to have had the opportunity to perform all of the listed experiences.
The link to the Patient Care document can be found in the CASPA application (Qualtrics link). Candidates are required to complete and upload this document in the clinical/professional section in CASPA. If an error is made in generating the Patient Care Document, the link may be reused to redo the survey to generate a new document.
The first two letters of recommendation should be received by July 1 at 11:59pm ET, and the third recommendation (required by Tufts) MUST be received by CASPA no later than August 1 at 11:59pm ET. Applications will not be reviewed by the Tufts School of Medicine PA Admissions Committee until at least three letters of recommendation have been received by CASPA.
All letters must be completed via CASPA's online evaluator portal. An electronic request from CASPA Messenger will be sent immediately to each reference once the applicant saves the references’ information into the CASPA system. The evaluator will be asked to complete a skills rating and then attach their letter of reference to the evaluation. Applicants will be able to check on the status of electronic letters via the CASPA applicant portal. Up to five references can be submitted through CASPA in this manner, even after application submission and verification. Letters of recommendation will not be accepted by any other method.
These letters of recommendation should reflect the applicant’s ability to perform graduate-level work, and address the individual’s professionalism, integrity, and motivation. Prior employers, professional colleagues, and academic advisors are acceptable references. References from shadowing experiences will not be accepted as one of the three required recommendations.
At least one reference should be from a supervisor of a direct patient care experience to substantiate the applicant’s experience and performance in that capacity. Please note that all direct patient care experiences are subject to verification by the program.
A Committee Letter of Reference may be submitted electronically and will be considered as one reference.
*Please see the Prerequisite Changes Statement at the top of the page.
An applicant's official test score(s) must be received by CASPA no later than August 1 at 11:59pm ET.
Please note, test scores do not arrive in real time.
Scores should be sent to CASPA electronically three weeks prior to August 1 (to ensure they arrive before the deadline) using the Designated Institution Code 0438 (Tufts U Sch Medicine CASPA). This code was specifically created for the Tufts School of Medicine PA Program and will ensure that the Tufts PA program receives applicants' score(s). GRE scores do not arrive to CASPA in real time. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) will send new GRE Scores to CASPA up to twice per week. Scores are reported 10-15 days after taking the GRE. Applicants should not have scores sent directly to Tufts as they will not be matched up with an application.
Scores are sent to CASPA electronically from AAMC. PAPER COPIES ARE NOT ACCEPTED. Applicants must contact AAMC to have MCAT scores released to CASPA, and then can self-report the MCAT score in the “Standardized Tests” section along with the individual AAMC ID#.
An applicant's name, date of birth, and AAMC ID# are used to match the information on the MCAT exam. If the NAME or DATE OF BIRTH appears differently on the MCAT than it does on CASPA, the scores will NOT post automatically to the applicant's account. If the name is different on the test, contains punctuation, or the applicant made an error entering their date of birth information, they must wait the 10-12 day processing time and call CASPA customer service. CASPA can look up the name and manually connect the test score to the desired application.
Within the CASPA application, you will have two short essay prompts:
- Short Essay 1 (1,000 character limit): a. Describe what positive contributions you can make to the PA profession and to Tufts University School of Medicine's PA Program. OR b. The Tufts PA program mission speaks to educating a diverse student body. How would you contribute to the diversity of the student body of Tufts University School of Medicine’s PA Program?
- Short Essay 2 (1,500 character limit): What obstacles have you faced during your pursuit to become a PA and how have you overcome those challenges?
All TOEFL scores must be RECEIVED by CASPA by August 1st at 11:59pm ET. School code is 3889.
Official TOEFL scores are provided to CASPA directly from the ETS in electronic format. PAPER COPIES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Applicants must contact the ETS to have their TOEFL scores released to CASPA.
PLEASE NOTE: For the Tufts School of Medicine PA Program, the TOEFL requirement is waived for students who have attended a U.S. university/institution for two or more years.
Applicants are required to upload a resume to CASPA (under the Documents section > "CV/Resume" section).
IMPORTANT: The Tufts School of Medicine PA program reserves the right to verify any experiences listed in the application and/or resume, especially all direct patient care experiences listed.
International applicants are those who are citizens of any foreign country (including Canada) who do not hold a United States permanent resident visa (green card). Permanent resident visa status is equivalent to U.S. citizenship for the purposes of our admission process and U.S. federal student loan programs.
International applicants are eligible to apply to the Tufts University School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program, but should be advised that we admit very few and give strong preference to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. We also give strong preference to applicants who have completed their undergraduate work at a U.S. college or university. The international students admitted to the Tufts PA Program are usually students who have earned bachelor's degrees in the United States.
Please note that any coursework completed outside of the United States or English-speaking Canada must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES). We will only accept evaluations done by WES. Evaluations performed by other companies will NOT be accepted. WES reports should be submitted to CASPA.
Please note: Graduates of foreign medical schools will not be considered for this program.
The Tufts University School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program welcomes applications from undocumented individuals who qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). These applicants will be considered with U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents for admission to the Tufts School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program. The PA Program does not consider an applicant’s financial circumstances in the selection process. However, DACA students must be prepared to absorb the cost of US physician assistant education, and have a full understanding that DACA students are not eligible for traditional US educational funding including federal and/or institutional loans and scholarships. Accepted DACA students will be expected to have proof of funding for all years of their education prior to matriculation. DACA applicants who are accepted to the PA Program will join a supportive community that strives to produce socially and culturally competent physician assistants who will care for a diverse and ever evolving patient population.
After You Apply
Application review and decisions occur on a rolling basis, and will extend only to those completed applications meeting the deadline.
CASPA performs a course and degree verification process once all official transcripts are received. All complete applications (e-submitted, payment received, transcripts received, and two letters received) verified by August 1st will be sent to Tufts PA Admissions Office.
Once the Tufts PA Admissions Office has a verified and complete CASPA record for the applicant as well as the third letter of recommendation and test scores, they will send it to the PA Admissions Committee for review. Meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee an interview or admission to the program.
Please note: The format of the 2023 interview sessions are still to be determined based on the ongoing pandemic.
The Tufts University School of Medicine Physician Assistant (PA) Program enrolls students in January of each year. Decisions are made on a rolling basis.
Selected candidates who have complete and competitive applications are invited to attend one of several interview sessions held throughout the summer and fall. The session—lasting up to three hours—will include a program presentation, two individual interviews, and a tour.
Applicants will receive an email from the PA Admissions Office if they are invited for an interview.
Selected candidates will be asked to submit a photo prior to the interview via email to the PA Program for identification purposes.
Candidates are notified of their admissions decision via email and through the admissions portal. Admitted candidates will have two weeks to respond to their offer and submit a non-refundable $1,000 deposit. Candidates admitted from the wait-list will have two days to respond to the offer and make the deposit. Deposits are submitted electronically to ensure receipt of the deposit by or before the designated reply deadline.
All candidates who enroll are advised that their matriculation is conditional, pending a successful outcome of a criminal background check. The university reserves the right to rescind offers of admissions for candidates with criminal histories.
Once students are admitted and enroll in the program, they are required to:
- Submit documentation verifying their license (EMT, RN, PT, etc.) history and standing
- Participate in a criminal background check processed through the Registrar's Office
- Have and maintain American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Professionals (BLS) Certification at matriculation in January and for the duration of their time in the PA program
- Have access to a car for the duration of the program
- Have a laptop that is compatible with the ExamSoft test-taking system. Learn about laptop specifications.
- Prepare for the medical terminology exam to be given at Orientation.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition rates and fees provided here are effective for students enrolling in the program in January 2023.*Tuition information for currently enrolled students is available from the Office of Financial Aid.
|$17,823 per semester (flat-rate)**||$346 per semester|
*Tuition rates and fees are effective as of July 2022. Note that program cost is set each PA program academic year (January to December) and typically increases a small amount from year-to-year. The Trustees of Tufts University reserve the right to change tuition rates or fees at their discretion.
**Completion requirement is six semesters total.
For information about the estimated full cost of the PA Program, including tuition, room & board, fees, etc., see:
*The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Tufts University Health Sciences Schools require all matriculated students of higher education to participate in a health insurance plan. Students may enroll in the student insurance plan offered by Tufts University, or maintain private coverage as long as it meets or exceeds the minimum state requirements set forth by the Commonwealth.
Tufts School of Medicine primarily provide financial assistance in the form of federal loans.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a financial aid application as early in the application process as possible to allow adequate time for processing. Applicants should not wait until applications have been submitted or until admissions decision have been received in order to apply for aid. Delaying the financial aid application could result in delayed disbursements and/or refunds.
PA Funding Resources
Veterans may be eligible for additional financial assistance through the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
PA Class by The Numbers
For a better picture of our PA program, view the class makeup of our latest matriculated class.
Current Matriculated PA Students - 2022
Average Overall GPA
Average Prerequisite GPA
Average Science Prerequisite GPA
Average Age (range)
Mean hours of patient care experience
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GRE was test-optional for the 2021 and 2022 admissions cycle and is therefore not reported in the 2021 class statistics.