Please see below for answers to our most commonly asked questions. If you have additional questions that are not answered here, please email


  • The program begins accepting applications when CASPA opens in late April. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PST on December 1 for the following enrollment year.

    For example, applicants who complete their CASPA by December 1, 2021, will be considered for enrollment in fall 2022.

  • Yes, early applicants will be evaluated first and will be given first priority for interview dates if selected to interview. However, all applications received before the December 1 deadline will be reviewed and evaluated. Please ensure that all prerequisite requirements are completed as outlined in our MSPA Admission Requirements & Procedures prior to submitting the CASPA application.

  • No, KGI does not differentiate between in-state or out-of-state residency.

  • Only one cohort is accepted per year, and classes begin in the fall semester. The MSPA program anticipates matriculating its first class in August 2022 pending accreditation. See our Accreditation Status page for more details.

  • The program plans to enroll 40 students in each cohort.

  • The program has a rolling admissions policy with decisions made throughout the cycle at various stages in the review process.

  • The program will host information sessions periodically throughout the year. Please check the KGI Admissions website for information about any upcoming sessions.


  • Our primary goal is to assess if any applicant shares in the mission, vision, and goals of the MSPA program and KGI. With this in mind, we have developed multiple formats within the interview process to evaluate applicants.

    On interview day, each applicant will complete a series of interviews assessing the following attributes:

    • Oral and written communication
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Knowledge of and commitment to the PA profession
    • Character attributes (i.e., empathy, compassion, humility, resiliency, motivation)
    • Professionalism
    • Critical-thinking skills and problem-solving
    • Leadership qualities
    • Entrepreneurship and innovation
    • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Yes, all applicants who are interviewed will be ranked in various categories that include a tiered alternate list.


  • Every applicant must have the following in place at the time the application is submitted to CASPA:

    • 1,000 hours of patient care experience
    • No more than two prerequisite courses outstanding
    • A bachelor’s degree to be completed by June 15 of the following year
    • Three reference letters requested, with one healthcare reference from an MD, DO, PA, or NP; one academic reference from a professor or academic advisor; and one reference of your choosing.

    Please review the MSPA Admission Requirements & Procedures page for full details.

  • Yes, the KGI MSPA program requires a supplemental application with no additional fee. This application is already embedded in CASPA with seven short-answer questions (250 words or less).

  • CASPA takes up to four weeks to process your application and send it to us. Once we receive your application, Admissions team members first carefully screen each application to ensure it meets the minimum requirements. The process then moves on to MSPA faculty, who will use a holistic approach to evaluate each applicant’s cognitive and non-cognitive attributes. Based on this review, the Admissions Committee will then determine whether or not to extend an invitation to interview.

International Applicants

  • Yes, we welcome international students. No TOEFL is required, but all prerequisite courses must be completed in the U.S. Please review the MSPA Admission Requirements & Procedures page for full details.

  • Yes, a degree may be earned from a non-U.S. institution if an accredited foreign transcript evaluation service determines its equivalency to a bachelor’s degree or higher in the U.S. However, please note that all prerequisite courses must be completed through a U.S. accredited institution. Please review the MSPA Admission Requirements & Procedures page for full details.

  • No, we will accept patient care hours from outside of the United States as long as they meet our overall requirements for patient care.

  • Yes, every student who enters the program must complete all courses in the program in order to graduate and be eligible for licensure as a physician assistant.


  • Not every applicant who meets the minimum requirements will be invited for an interview, and the interview is a required step in the admissions process.

  • An applicants’ cumulative college performance is considered in the GPA calculations by CASPA. The Admissions Committee factors both undergraduate and graduate level performance in its decisions. Both the overall and science GPA (as calculated by CASPA) must be 3.0 or higher at the time of application. Outstanding prerequisite courses will not be used to recalculate GPAs as they are completed.

  • All courses with an earned letter grade are used to calculate a GPA in CASPA. You may use an online GPA calculator to see how many courses would need to be taken to raise your GPA. Please note the program will accept GPA calculations for admission decisions from CASPA only. Although a beneficial tool for the applicant, online calculators are not official and will not be used by KGI.

  • Any course can be retaken to improve the GPA, but note that both grades will be used by CASPA to calculate GPAs. When the program evaluates specific prerequisite courses, the latest grade will be used.

  • Two of the three required letters have specific requirements.

    • One must be from an MD, DO, or PA and must discuss your suitability for the medical profession based on their interactions with you. This can be from a shadowing experience but is stronger if you have worked with that individual.
    • The second letter must be from an academic professor or an academic advisor from any point in your college career. The letter from a professor may be from a single course but may be stronger if you took multiple courses.
    • The third letter can be from any person of your choice except for a friend or relative.

    The goal of reference letters is to demonstrate to the Admissions Committee your readiness for the rigors of PA school, as well as your suitability for medicine and the PA profession.

  • Neither the GRE nor the MCAT are required by the KGI MSPA program. Results of GRE or MCAT examinations will not be used for admissions decisions.

    • We encourage all applicants to review prerequisite requirements and ensure that all requirements are met by visiting the MSPA Admissions Requirements & Procedures page.
    • If the applicant’s patient care experience has a low degree of hands on care, we would encourage pursuing positions with higher degrees of hands on care and more responsibility in order to become more competitive.
    • Any prerequisite course can be retaken to improve the overall GPA.
    • Becoming familiar with the PA profession through shadowing experiences, interviewing PAs, attending pre-PA events, and personal research will always help strengthen an application.
  • We use the GPA as calculated and published by CASPA to make admissions decisions. We will not make any exceptions. For information on how CASPA calculates the GPA, please review this information on the CASPA website.

  • Criminal history questions have been removed from the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA), and a criminal background check is not required to matriculate into the KGI MSPA program. Read more.


  • Only two total prerequisites can be outstanding at the time of your CASPA application. Both of these courses must be completed by June 15 of the enrollment year.

  • Yes, all prerequisite science courses must have been taken within 10 years of the date of completion of the CASPA application.

  • Labs are required for the Human Anatomy/Physiology courses and one Chemistry course.

  • Yes, online courses can be used to meet prerequisite courses as long as they are through an U.S. accredited institution and meets the stated requirements. In-person lab is highly recommended, but online labs will be accepted.

  • Yes, if the college is regionally accredited. Note that upper division courses may be more competitive than lower division courses, and one upper division course is required in biology or health science.

  • We do not accept pass/fail credit for any prerequisite science course when taken at an undergraduate level. Graduate level prerequisite science courses will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Non-science prerequisite courses will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

  • AP credit is not accepted for any prerequisite course.

  • You must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college by June 15 of the enrollment year. For example, for the cohort beginning fall 2022, the degree must be earned by June 15, 2022.

Patient Care Experience Requirement

  • All applicants must have a minimum of 1,000 hours of patient care experience at the time of application. There are a variety of ways to receive patient care experience, and a list of acceptable experiences are on our website. Both paid and volunteer experience are acceptable. Applicants who have been trained in a health profession with a high degree of hands-on patient care and are working in a paid position are considered more competitive. Please review the MSPA Admission Requirements & Procedures page for full details.

  • You may review the list of acceptable patient care experiences on our website. If your experience is not listed, please feel free to contact us by emailing KGI Admissions. Please include a description of your duties and whether the experience is paid or unpaid.

  • Shadowing of PAs, MDs, or DOs is accepted for healthcare hours, but it is not considered as competitive as hands-on, higher level experience.

  • The KGI MSPA program does not currently have a list of PAs willing to accept pre-PA students for shadowing. There are several websites that are devoted to helping pre-PA students with finding a PA to shadow. You may also check with your state PA chapter to see if they have a list of PAs who are willing to work with pre-PA students. Note that PA shadowing is not required for the KGI MSPA program but is highly encouraged.


  • The KGI School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has applied for Accreditation – Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences anticipates matriculating its first class in September 2022, pending achieving Accreditation – Provisional status at the March 2022 ARC-PA meeting.

    Accreditation – Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. In the event the program does not earn provisional-accreditation, students will not matriculate and admission deposits will be refunded. The KGI Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPA) Program is also pending approval from WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

  • In the event the program does not earn provisional accreditation, students will not matriculate and admission deposits will be refunded.


  • No, MSPA students are unable to work while enrolled in the program.

  • No, all enrolled students must attend full-time.

  • The KGI MSPA Program is redefining traditional PA Education through innovation. The core values of the KGI MSPA Program include:

    • Active learning: Professors do not simply lecture but rather bring real-world experience to the classroom through engaging educational methods.
    • Interdisciplinary education: Students at KGI will have the opportunity to learn about cutting-edge technology in medicine through robust interprofessional experiences. Students will gain valuable perspectives of medicine through a collaboration with KGI’s unique offering of programs, including medical device engineering, translational medicine, genetic counseling/genomics, pharmacy, and occupational therapy (in development).
    • Leadership and Entrepreneurship: Leadership development and entrepreneurship are also central to our program, and students will develop skills that can take them further in their PA careers.
    • Early Clinical Experiences: Students will not have to wait until the second year of the program to gain clinical experiences. KGI MSPA students have opportunities for “real life” patient experiences in the first year of the program.
    • Additional Focus on Surgery and Emergency Medicine: In addition to primary care practice, our students will be uniquely prepared to excel in the ER and OR through additional coursework and experiences.
    • Community Health: Students will be involved in community-based projects and local health events to ensure their focus is on caring for and educating our local community.
  • No, only students enrolled in the MSPA program can take MSPA courses. There is no course audit option.

Financial Aid

  • For more information regarding financial aid, please visit the KGI Financial Aid page.

  • We encourage you to review the Funding Your Degree page for valuable scholarship and loan information.