Program Description

Physician Assistants (PAs) are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine under physician supervision. They are formally trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive health care services. Within the MD/PA relationship, PAs conduct physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret laboratory tests and x-rays, counsel on health care issues, and assist in surgery. They also treat injuries by suturing, splinting and casting. PAs record progress notes, instruct and counsel patients, and order or carry out therapy. The PA's practice is centered on patient care and may also include educational, research, and administrative activities. 

The Physician Assistant program begins autumn quarter. It consists of a 12-month didactic phase that provides a foundation of biological, behavioral, and medical sciences. This is followed by a 12-month clinical phase of clerkships in a variety of medical specialties designed to provide diverse and intensive patient care experience. A new class is accepted annually, with students selected from a variety of clinical backgrounds.  Experience in patient care, duration of experience, level of patient contact, and degree of responsibility are considered in the evaluation of each prospective student.

Graduates from the program are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).

Program Website  |  Catalog

Program Length

24 months, full-time

Possible Careers

Private practice, Clinic or hospital settings, Research, Teaching and Administration.

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted through CASPA between May 1 and October 1 (CASPA deadline) for the following school year.

Admissions Requirements

To apply to the Physician Assistant program, the applicant must have the following: 
  1. A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution
  2. A minimum of 2,000 hours (approximately 1 year of full-time work) of hands-on paid patient care experience prior to entering the program
  3. An overall GPA of at least 3.0 or higher and a science GPA of 3.0 or higher

Please note the following important information regarding the application process:

  1. C-minus grades are not acceptable for transfer credit
  2. All applications must be made through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) available at
  3. Applications are accepted through CASPA between May 1 and October 1 (CASPA deadline) for the following school year
  4. Applicants are required to submit a secondary application in order to complete the application process - the CASPA application should be submitted to CASPA prior to beginning the supplemental application


Prerequisite Courses* (All prerequisite courses must be taken at a regionally accredited institution by all applicants)



  • Human Anatomy and Physiology with an on-campus laboratory component, complete sequence OR separate courses in Human Anatomy with an on-campus laboratory component and Human Physiology with an on-campus laboratory component. Must cover all organ systems.  (Introductory, X or XL courses are not accepted)
  • General Chemistry, one-year sequence with an on-campus laboratory component OR a sequence in Inorganic, Organic AND Biochemistry with an on-campus laboratory component (three quarters or two semesters; Inorganic can be Introduction to Chemistry or General Chemistry I only. Organic and Biochemistry cannot be Introductory; X or XL courses are not accepted)
  • General Microbiology with an on-campus laboratory component.  Must cover the four medically important areas: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. (Introductory, X or XL courses are not accepted)
  • Please note:  "C- minus grades" are not accepted for prerequisite courses


  • General Psychology (General Psychology, Introduction to Psychology, Human Growth and Development, or Developmental Psychology)
  • General Sociology or Cultural Anthropology (General Sociology, Introduction to Sociology, Principles of Sociology, Medical Sociology, Cultural Anthropology or Introduction to Cultural Anthropology)
  • College-level Algebra (College Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Trigonometry, Calculus or AP Calculus)
  • English, one year sequence (language courses not accepted. International students must complete English writing sequence requirement from an accredited US institution)


  • Statistics
  • Medical Terminology
  • Conversational Spanish

Lab requirements:

  • We recognize the challenges that an applicant may face in meeting the in-person laboratory requirement. For this reason, we have modified our pending/outstanding course requirements. For the 2020-2021 CASPA Application Cycle ONLY, Loma Linda University PA Sciences will allow for three total outstanding prerequisite courses at the time of application, with a maximum of 2 science prerequisites outstanding. An outstanding course is defined as any course listed as being in progress when the CASPA application is submitted by the applicant, even if the course will be completed prior to the applicant submitting his or her supplemental application. Transcripts demonstrating completion of outstanding coursework must be received by the department no later than August 31, 2021 at 12:00 PM.
  • Science courses must be for science majors and include an on-campus laboratory or a hybrid (at least 50% of lab on-campus) laboratory component. Online science courses will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but must have an on-campus or hybrid laboratory component in order to be considered. It is required that all prerequisite science courses have been taken within the last 10 years.

PA shadowing/observation:

  • PA shadowing/observation hours do not meet the direct patient care requirement. This is not a required element of your application, but is strongly recommended (at least 8 hours). Face to face shadowing/observation hours is strongly recommended but we will accept telemedicine shadowing/observation hours with a PA-C for this CASPA cycle.

Discipline Accrediting Agency

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Loma Linda University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Loma Linda University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2027. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Accreditation History


Integrating faith and health
Loma Linda University educates and encourages a balanced life by living our values of humility, compassion, justice, integrity, excellence, freedom and self- control. You will be surrounded by faculty who are committed to healthcare innovation and research while engaging your spirituality.

Expected Cost of Attendance

Academic Year 2021-2022

Year of Program: Year 1 Year 2
Tuition $54,796 $37,492
Fees $3,696 $3,696
Books & Supplies $4,850 $1,000
Misc (e.g., Boards, Licensing exam, Uniforms)
Total $63,342 $42,188


The cost of attendance varies from year to year. Please contact the office of Student Finance for up-to-date costs.

Estimated Living Expenses

Academic Year 2021-2022, off campus, with a roommate

Year of Program: Year 1 Year 2
Months enrolled 12 12
Room & Board $17,700 $17,700
Transportation $3,840 $3,840
Personal Expenses $3,000 $3,000


  • Amounts are what a student can apply to borrow for the number of months shown in each academic year based on living off campus with a roommate and not with a relative.
  • International students need to calculate 12 months of living expenses based on the numbers listed here.
  • In general, to qualify for financial aid a student must be enrolled at least half time taking degree requirements. Half time is 6 units in a quarter for undergraduate programs and 4 units in a quarter for graduate programs.