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PA Schools That Don't Require GRE

PA Schools That Don’t Require the GRE

Students who are looking into PA school have a lot of hurdles to jump. There’s sending in an application, taking the competency exams, passing the final interview, etc. But there is one thing that students dread the most — the GRE.

The GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, is what can either make or break your chances of getting into PA school. And this is what a lot of candidates dread the most. So if they hear of a PA school that doesn’t require the GRE, surely, a lot of students will jump at the opportunity.

We’ve rounded up the programs and universities that don’t require the GRE in their PA school application process. Plus, some other important things you need to know about the GRE.


The GRE, or the Graduate Record Examination, is a prerequisite test that many graduate schools require from their candidates. The GRE is a standardized exam that helps evaluate a person’s qualifications and preparedness to be admitted in the program. These exams go hand in hand with your PA school application and can be a huge determinant of whether or not you get accepted.

The GRE is multiple-choice, testing candidates on different subject matters and their command of basic skills. Some subjects that you can expect from a GRE are:

  • Analytical writing
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Quantitative reasoning

These sections in a typical GRE exam are meant to test your command of math, data analysis, and advanced vocabulary.


Physician assistant programs usually favor candidates who score above average in their GRE. A recent survey revealed that the competitive GRE scores are anywhere from 300 to 310 in the composite. Looking at it by GRE section, that means a candidate needs to reach an average score of 150 in verbal reasoning, 150 in quantitative reasoning, and 3.5 in analytical writing to be considered a competitive candidate.

However, some programs just determine a candidate’s competitiveness if their GRE score made it to the above 50th percentile. Anyone who is ranked in the top 50 can be considered a very competitive candidate, surpassing all the others who took the test.


Most PA schools only require that candidates take the GRE for their admission to be considered. This has been the prime prerequisite for admission to a PA program. However, some schools are beginning to adopt a new standardized test — the Physician Assistant College Admission Test (PA-CAT).

The PA-CAT is a more targeted exam that tests the candidates’ command in PA school subjects. It has a more science-based approach compared to the general subject matters covered by the GRE. More specifically, the PA-CAT covers the following:

  • Anatomy
  • Behavioral Sciences
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • General Biology
  • General and Organic Chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Physiology
  • Statistics


According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the cumulative GPA required to be accepted in PA school is 3.0 to 4.0. This is the standard followed by most PA programs and universities. With this, plus the requirement of a GRE or PA-CAT, it can be seen that admissions to PA programs are very competitive.


Statistics show that the average cumulative GPA of students accepted in PA school is about 3.9. For science subjects, the average GPA is 3.36, while non-science grade point averages fall at 3.56.


Statistics for non-accepted students showed that their average cumulative GPA was around 3.16. However, this is not the only factor that contributed to their non-acceptance. Other reasons can be the lack of clinical experience, low GRE score, poor interview performance, etc.


Admissions to PA schools can get very competitive. Not only do you have to rise the ranks with your GPA and perform well in your interviews, but you also have to take the GRE and pass the test. This can put a lot of weight on a candidate’s shoulders. So if you’re looking for a way to avoid GRE, lucky for you. There are several programs that do not require the GRE prerequisite.

Here are the PA schools that do not require GRE:

  • A.T. Still University, AZ (find other top PA schools in AZ)
  • Advent Health University, FL
  • Army Medical Center of Excellence, TX
  • Augsburg University, MN
  • Bay Path University, MA
  • Bethel University, MN
  • California Baptist University, CA
  • California State University Monterey Bay, CA
  • Canisius College, NY
  • Central Michigan University, MI
  • Charles R. Drew University, CA
  • Christian Brothers University, TN
  • Colorado Mesa University, CO (see other top PA schools in CO)
  • Concordia University, WI
  • Concordia University Ann Arbor, MI
  • D’youville College, NY
  • Daemen College, NY
  • Dominican University of California, CA
  • Drexel University, PA
  • Duquesne University, PA
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School, VA
  • Franklin College, IN
  • Franklin Pierce University. NH
  • Gannon University, PA
  • Gannon University Ruskin, FL
  • Heritage University, WA (check other PA schools in Washington)
  • Hofstra University, NY
  • King’s College, PA
  • Le Moyne College, NY
  • Lipscomb University, TN
  • Loma Linda University, CA
  • Marshall B Ketchum University, CA
  • Mayo Clinic, MN
  • MCPHS Boston, MA (check other PA schools in Massachusetts)
  • MCPHS Worcester, MA
  • Mercy College, NY
  • Miami-Dade College, FL
  • Misericordia University, PA
  • New York Institute of Technology, NY
  • Northeastern State University, OK
  • Northeastern University, MA
  • Northwestern College, IA
  • Northwestern University, IL
  • Oklahoma City University, OK (check other PA schools in Oklahoma)
  • Oregon Health & Science University, OR
  • Pace University, NY
  • Pacific University, OR (check other PA schools in Oregon)
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology, PA
  • Pfeiffer University, NC
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, PA
  • Presbyterian College, SC
  • Quinnipiac University, CT
  • Rochester Institute of Technology, NY
  • Rutgers University, NJ (check other PA schools in New Jersey)
  • Sacred Heart University, CT
  • Saint Elizabeth University, NJ
  • Saint Francis University, PA
  • Saint Louis University, MO
  • Samford University, AL (check other PA schools in Alabama)
  • Samuel Merritt University, CA
  • Seton Hill University, PA
  • Shenandoah University, VA (see other PA schools in Virginia)
  • Slippery Rock University, PA
  • South University Richmond, VA
  • South University Savannah, GA
  • South University Tampa, FL
  • Southern California University of Health Sciences, CA
  • Springfield College, MA
  • St. Bonaventure University, NY
  • Stony Brook University, NY
  • Sullivan University, KY
  • SUNY Downstate, NY
  • The CUNY School of Medicine, NY
  • Thomas Jefferson University, PA
  • Touro College – Bay Shore, NY
  • Touro College – Manhattan, NY
  • Touro University California, CA
  • Towson University, MD
  • Union College, NE
  • University of Bridgeport, CT
  • University of California – Davis, CA
  • University of Dayton, OH
  • University of Findlay, OH
  • University of Florida, FL
  • University of La Verne, CA
  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore, MD
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center, NE
  • University of Nevada, Reno, NV
  • University of New England, ME
  • University of North Dakota, ND
  • University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK
  • University of Saint Joseph, CT
  • University of South Dakota, SD
  • University of Tampa, FL
  • University of Texas – HS Center at San Antonio, TX
  • University of the Cumberlands, KY
  • University of the Pacific, CA
  • University of Utah, UT (find other PA schools in Utah)
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison, WI
  • Valparaiso University, IN
  • Wagner College, NY
  • Western Michigan University, MI
  • Western University of Health Sciences, CA
  • Westfield State University, MA
  • Wichita State University, KS
  • Xavier University of Louisiana, LA
  • Yale University Physician Assistant Online Program, CT
  • Yale University Physician Associate Program, CT

Getting into PA school is a competitive feat, what with all the strict requirements and qualifications expected from the candidates. However, it’s not impossible. The GRE, along with the other admission requirements exist to make sure that future PAs are highly qualified and effective as healthcare providers.

You can get into PA school. If you’re thinking about it and you want to skip the GRE, consider these programs that don’t require the standardized test.