Master of Physician Assistant Studies at RVU


Is the PA Program offered at the Utah campus?
No. The RVU PA program is currently offered only at the Parker, CO location.

When does the Program begin? 
Orientation to the program is held during the last week of August. Classes begin shortly after Orientation.

No prerequisite coursework is required?
Although there is no “required” prerequisite coursework, the program considers those courses listed under “Requirements and Prerequisites” as a foundation to physician assistant training. As such, the listed coursework is strongly recommended, but not a requirement for the program.

Does the Program accept experiences gained during a healthcare training program toward the required 1000 hours of paid healthcare-relevant experience?
While we understand many students will have participated in clinical encounters during a healthcare training program, the level of responsibility for students is different than that of a paid employee. Paid employees are typically required to provide care to patients that students are not expected to provide. Therefore, experiences gained during training programs, including paid internship programs, do not count toward the required 1000 hours of paid healthcare-relevant experience. 

Do the 1000 hours of paid healthcare-relevant experience have to be completed consecutively?

Do the 1000 hours of paid healthcare-relevant experience have to be completed prior to application?

How does the Program define healthcare-relevant experience?
Defining healthcare-relevant experience will be left to the applicant to describe as part of the application process. The program does not identify specific experiences.

When can I apply for admission?
The program partners with the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). The CASPA application cycle opens in late April each year, and applicants to the RVU PA Program can begin the application process once CASPA has opened. CASPA will forward to the RVU PA program only those applications that have been successfully verified.

How long does the CASPA verification process take?
Once an applicant has completed and submitted the CASPA application, CASPA will verify that the information provided is accurate. The verification process and forwarding of the application to the RVU PA Program may take up to 6 weeksThe PA program must receive verified applications by November 1, in order to be considered. Applicants are encouraged to consider deadlines carefully and start the application process early. Please refer to the CASPA website for additional information

How long is the program?
The program is seven semesters (27 months).

Can I make an appointment to talk to Program faculty about my application or prerequisites? 
The PA program faculty and staff do not provide individual transcript, prerequisite or application advising. However, the Office of Admissions can offer general advising and inquiries can be directed to We ask that you do not email the PA Program faculty (including the Program Director) with any questions/concerns related to your individual application. We also highly recommend attending a general information session, which are held from April through August.

Will an arrest record preclude someone from being considered for the RVU PA Program?
An arrest will not preclude a candidate from being considered. Applicants convicted of any criminal offense, regardless of its designation, involving a crime of moral turpitude or a crime against a child or elder, are subject to further review by the Admissions Committee prior to consideration for matriculation. Please refer to the Admissions section of this website for information about background checks and drug screens.

What can I expect if I am invited for an interview?
Interviews are currently held virtually, via Zoom, and consist of 2 individual interviews and 1 group interview. Applicants will have the opportunity to speak with current RVU PA students. Interview dates will be included with an invitation for an interview. Applications are reviewed in order of receipt and interview slots will be offered until filled.

Does RVU give preference to in-state vs out-of-state applicants?

How does the Program use the PA-CAT scores?
The Program has no minimum score requirement for the PA-CAT, therefore, we are not utilizing the exam scores to eliminate applicants. There is some national data that suggests that the PA-CAT can predict student success in PA programs’ basic science courses, as well as on the PA National Certifying Examination (PANCE).  Consequently, the Program utilizes the PA-CAT scores as part of its holistic admissions review process to help us identify students who may need additional academic support after being selected into the Program.

How can I prepare for the PA-CAT exam?
The PA-CAT exam administrators (Exam Master) provide study materials, including a 120 question PA-CAT practice exam, eight 50 question subject exams, and a candidate PA-CAT study guide. You may wish to utilize resources beyond those provided by Exam Master, to prepare for the PA-CAT.

What subjects are covered on the PA-CAT?
Anatomy, Physiology, General Biology, Biochemistry, General and Organic Chemistry, and Microbiology.

What if I took the PA-CAT last year? Do I need to take it again?
PA-CAT scores are valid for a period of two years. If you have taken the exam within this timeframe, you do not need to take it again. However, you are encouraged to login to the PA-CAT dashboard and confirm that scores are still posted. You will need to select Rocky Vista University PA Program to receive a score report. This can be done at any time before or after taking the PA-CAT.

I have a master’s degree. Can this be used in lieu of taking the PA-CAT?
No. The program does not accept advanced graduate degrees or any other standardized tests (including the MCAT or GRE) as a substitute for the PA-CAT. All applicants must take the PA-CAT to apply to RVU PA Program.

How does the Program support learners in reaching their academic goals?

The Program is committed to supporting students in achieving academic success and maintaining low levels of attrition.  The Program uses several data points throughout the curriculum to identify learners at risk for academic struggle and places these learners with a student success coach. The Success Coach may be assigned as early as the first semester of training, and/or at points during the clinical phase of instruction, as needed.


The University reserves the right to change tuition and fees at any time without advanced notice. Learn more about the tuition payment schedule, individual health insurance status, and the tuition refund process.

The Physician Assistant Program processes hundreds of applications for admissions each year. Learn more about requirements for admissions including GRE scores, minimum prerequisite course work, and GPA requirements.

The MPAS curriculum is sequenced and designed to address and integrate the entrustable professional activities in which are contained the competencies the student must achieve to successfully enter the profession upon graduation.


8401 South Chambers Rd.

Englewood, CO 80112

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