The Duke Physician Assistant Program is mission-driven, and strives to recruit a diverse student population who demonstrate a heart for service and a commitment to increasing access to primary care in rural and underserved communities. We value diversity in the broadest sense and give preference to applicants who represent a strong match to our mission. We endeavor to matriculate a student body that differs in attributes such as age, gender, gender identity, disability, life experience, and years of health care experience. We also seek applicants who have served their communities or their country through volunteer activities, military service, employment opportunities, or service-oriented programs. The Duke PA Program is committed to recruiting students from North Carolina and geographically underserved regions, as well as students from different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

In an effort to carry out our mission, our program employs a holistic review of applications and considers the special qualities that each person would bring to the class. We not only seek individuals who demonstrate academic excellence and preparation through various quantitative assessments (e.g., grade point average, and test scores), we also consider more qualitative factors, including the student’s life experiences, background, and how the applicant will contribute to and benefit from our diverse academic community. 

The interactions of an inclusive student population contribute to a rich learning environment where students learn from each other’s shared experiences, skills, and cultural backgrounds. This promotes the cultural, civic, and intellectual learning of all students, broadens their perspectives, and improves their overall educational experience. We strive to create an educational environment conducive to collaborative learning, which includes respect for differences and identification of shared values.

As a professional program preparing graduates to enter the health care system, we have an obligation to train leaders who can provide quality care to an increasingly diverse population in the United States and around the world. With an increasingly global society, it is imperative that our graduates have the requisite skills to navigate interactions with individuals who have different perspectives and backgrounds in efforts to deliver quality care and improve health and health outcomes.  

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Competitive Admissions

Admission to the Duke PA Program is very competitive. The following information describing recent candidates will allow prospective applicants to realistically assess their chances of admission, and to plan accordingly.

For the 2018 incoming PA class, 2,861 CASPA applications were received. Two hundred and fifty applicants were interviewed. Ninety applicants accepted the offer of admission for the Fall 2018 entering class. PA class size is typically 90 students per year.

The ranges of academic and experiential qualifications for the middle 50 percent of accepted applicants for Fall 2018 are as follows:

  • Overall GPA: 3.5-3.8
  • Natural science GPA: 3.3- 3.8
  • Total natural science hours: 53- 80
  • GRE General Test scores:
    • Verbal: 154-161
    • Quantitative: 153-161
    • Analytical Writing: 4.0- 4.5
  • Hours of full-time patient care experience: 2900-5152

Although this represents the range of qualifications among accepted candidates, each application is evaluated on its individual merits. Evidence of academic potential, knowledge of the health care system, motivation, personal maturity, self-assurance and good interpersonal skills will weigh strongly in the admission decision.

Applicants to the Duke PA Program should be aware that all courses within the curriculum are required, no transfer credit is accepted, no AP credit is accepted, and no credit is granted for pre-admission experiential learning. Only full-time students are admitted to the program.

Duke PANCE Pass Rate Summary Report 2019