You may find out more about the PA profession by researching the following websites:

Additionally, interested individuals may want to contact their local hospital and clinics for volunteer or shadowing opportunities to observe a Physician Assistant at their facility.

Finally, contact your local Area Health Education Center for more information about health careers. AHEC Website

Applicants may determine equivalency through the UK Transfer Equivalency database.

If the institution and/or course is not listed in the database, you may submit a copy of the course syllabus to Julia Berry for review.

Remember, courses must have been taken from a regionally accredited institution, in order to meet the equivalency requirement for UK.

You may take either a standalone Anatomy with a standalone Physiology course as a pair or you may pair an Anatomy & Physiology 1 with an Anatomy & Physiology 2 to meet the Anatomy and Physiology requirement. If you have any questions please contact Julia Berry.

If your institution does not offer a Human Anatomy or Physiology course, please submit the syllabi for review to Julia Berry.

The UKPA Program does not allow courses in the curriculum to be taken prior to admittance as an audit course. If a course was taken previously (i.e., PGY 412G), then it must be repeated as a student in the UKPA Program.

There is not one particular major that a student must have to be a successful PAS applicant.  The PA program values a diversity of majors within each class; thus, regardless of major, students will be competitive in the application process as long as they successfully complete the pre-requisites required for entry.  It is important for undergraduate students to select a major that they enjoy, and, in which, they are likely to be academically successful. It is also critical for students to do well in the PA prerequisite courses.  Historically, UKPAS matriculants in traditional science undergraduate majors and non-science majors such as Music, History, Communications, and Business, have all been successful in the program if they had a strong academic preparation.  Additionally, applicants would benefit from taking some higher-level science courses to better prepare them for the rigors of the PA program curriculum.

UK - College of Health Science Undergraduate Options

Human Health Sciences - The College of Health Sciences offers a unique program to prepare students for the health care professions, Human Health Sciences (HHS).  The HHS baccalaureate program prepares undergraduate students for future health care careers in a dynamic, interprofessional health care environment.  Graduates of the program will have a strong foundation in the basic sciences and develop competencies in health care skills and knowledge.

Medical Laboratory Sciences - The Bachelor of Health Sciences in Medical Laboratory Science responds to the critical shortage of laboratory professionals throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond by producing graduates with the knowledge and laboratory skills to aid in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. Medical Laboratory Scientists are an important member of the healthcare team and interact with physicians, physician assistants, nurses, patients, and other members in the laboratory. Graduates of MLS programs often have management responsibilities. Many specialize in areas in the Medical Laboratory such as hematology, clinical chemistry, toxicology, virology, microbiology, immunohematology (blood banking), or molecular biology.  Some of the MLS program courses align with the UKPAS pre-requisite requirements, however, there may be additional pre-requisites that need to be taken.  Additionally, the clinical experience from MLS is valuable in regards to the patient contact requirement of the UKPAS program.

Morehead State Undergraduate Options

Biomedical Sciences Pre-PA - The biomedical sciences area of concentration was developed specifically for students who plan on attending a health professional school, pursuing a career in biomedicine, or pursuing graduate education in biomedical disciplines.

Imaging Sciences - Morehead State University’s Department of Imaging Sciences offers nationally accredited programs, hands-on clinical skills, and knowledge to pursue an exciting, cutting-edge healthcare career after you graduate. As a student, you will gain hands-on experience with the latest imaging technologies, and the faculty is among the most highly credentialed in the nation and is dedicated to student success.  As with the MLS program at UK, some of the courses may streamline with the UKPAS prerequisite courses, however additional prerequisites may need to be taken.  Also, the patient contact and clinical experience will meet the UKPAS requirement.

In order to study as a physician assistant student as well as to practice as a certified physician assistant, it is vital that individuals meet certain minimum capabilities for observation, communication, sensory and motor function and coordination, intellectual capabilities, and behavioral attributes. 

College & Program Technical Standards

The UKPA program will not allow a substitution for the Developmental Psychology requirement (i.e., Abnormal Psychology). The course must cover the entire lifespan, child through adult, in order to meet the requirement. Some institution's courses cover the entire lifespan and others may have two separate courses (i.e., child/adolescent lifespan and adult lifespan), in which both courses must be taken to meet the requirement. If you are unable to find the equivalency in UK's Transfer Equivalency database, then a copy of the course syllabi must be submitted to Julia Berry for review.

The UKPA Program encourages foreign graduates or foreign medical applicants to apply. The program does not offer advanced placement for foreign or foreign medical graduates, in order to practice a fair admissions process. If accepted into the UKPA Program, students must complete all the courses in the curriculum, as well as all of the prerequisite courses for admissions.

Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by only the Word Education Services agency.  No other evaluators will be accepted.

Additionally, applicants must take the GRE, as well as the TOEFL exam to apply. If you are an international or domestic applicant who did not attend a high school where English is the primary language, you must also submit TOEFL scores. A minimum score of 104 is required with at least a 26 scored in each area: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Please use UK's institutional code R1837 when submitting scores on the ETS system.

For additional information for international applicants to the University of Kentucky, please review UK's International & Scholar Services website.

You may check the University of Kentucky Student Success website for the current tuition fees for the academic year.  Tuition is subject to change due to changing tuition costs each academic year per the decision made by UK's Board of Trustees.  

Graduation and PANCE exam fees will range from approximately $600 to $700.

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the University of Kentucky Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the University of Kentucky. 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 2027 March. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

The University of Kentucky has a Pre-PA student organization. You may find out more about this organization here.

The UKPA Program has a rigorous and demanding curriculum, which will require students to be fully attentive to their responsibilities as a graduate student. Therefore, the program highly recommends that students refrain from any outside employment.

The UKPA Program advises all applicants to be proactive in finding experiences and to start as early as possible to accumulate hours. If you have a question about whether or not your experience will count as patient contact or shadowing, please contact Julia Berry. The program does not assist students with shadowing or patient contact placements.  Students must be proactive in contacting local clinics and hospitals to set up their experiences.  Additionally, the University of Kentucky HealthCare system has updated its shadowing policy for students who are not enrolled in the College of Health Sciences or Nursing.  Please contact UK's OLE Office for information about observing at UK HealthCare.

Take advantage of any connections you have, such as family members, family friends, neighbors, or acquaintances who are members of health care professions, or may know someone in health care professions.

Networking is also important during your shadowing/contact hours. Ask your preceptor if they have any contacts in the health care professions, who will allow a student to observe, or get direct patient-care experience.

Internet Search

The internet is also an excellent tool for locating opportunities. Search for local hospitals or clinics to contact about their volunteer and/or job opportunities.

How to request Shadowing/Clinical Experience

It is important that you conduct yourself in a professional manner during all interactions with patients and preceptors. The preceptors may serve as your future recommendations, and it is important to conduct yourself professionally.

Arranging Shadowing/Clinical Experience

Procedures for setting up shadowing or patient-care experiences varies based on the facility. Facilities may require an orientation, proof of immunizations, and clinical certifications, in order to rotate at the facility. You may first try contacting the HR department to request experience, or some hospitals and clinics have an office for hospital volunteers to contact. Additionally, the Area Health Education Centers may serve as contacts in setting up experiences.

Helpful professionalism tips when contacting a facility:

  • Provide a written resume to each potential shadowing resource you have identified. Include a very brief, well-written cover letter (one or two paragraphs) in which you explain a little about yourself and your goals, including why you are interested in the profession and in undertaking clinical observation. Doing so can help you establish credibility as a serious-minded pre-professional student.

A couple of days later, you may make a follow-up phone call to see if they have received your resume and have had time to review it for consideration. In light of HIPAA, students are finding it more challenging to find providers who are willing to allow shadowing. If you have the option of utilizing summers and other breaks for shadowing in other locations, you should pursue those opportunities as well.

Additional suggestions for pre-PA students

If you are a pre-physician assistant student, you should also shadow some physicians to gain a better understanding of the differences between the two professions, how their responsibilities and duties overlap, and the different ways in which physicians supervise their PAs. PA program admission committees will sometimes ask interviewees to compare the two professions; as a practicing physician assistant, you will be working alongside physicians, so it simply makes sense for you to gain an understanding of that profession as well.


  • Be engaged during your clinical observation and an active participant in your shadowing experiences by paying close attention, asking questions, and taking notes.
  • Keep a shadowing/clinical experience journal (take notes regarding your observation experiences).
  • During your clinical observation experiences, ask lots of questions about the profession, the work routine, and so on. The notes you keep can serve as a launchpad or brainstorming tool for your personal statement.
  • After each observation, spend fifteen or twenty minutes reflecting on the experience and writing down your thoughts. Assess and name the variety of skills and attributes the person you shadowed exhibited.
  • Record your hours. You may prefer an excel spreadsheet, journal, calendar. Keep a consistent database of your hours so it may be easily inputted in your CASPA application.
  • You may want your record or log to include:
    • the name and title of the person with whom you spent time
    • their contact information, including their email address, if possible
    • date and number of hours you spent with them
    • whether paid or voluntary
    • description of observations/duties

The program abides by standards (A3.03) that enrolled UK PAS students are not required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors. Clinical experiences as required educational components for matriculated PA students are scheduled by the program. Sites and preceptors are evaluated by the program for suitability to fulfill learning outcomes.

Although these are not required prerequisite courses to apply to the UKPA Program, the program does value upper-level biology and chemistry courses. Specifically, the program has found that Biochemistry, Pathophysiology, and Genetics are great courses to prepare students for the rigor of our curriculum.

No, the UKPAS program does not allow students to audit courses in the program curriculum. All accepted students must complete the entire program curriculum.

The UKPA Program follows the UK Graduate School Policy on Scholastic Probation. This may be found in the UK Graduate School bulletin: http://bulletin.uky.edu/content.php?catoid=6&navoid=257. Additionally, the UKPA Program reviews with the student manual each new cohort during their orientation which outlines the program policies for withdrawal/dismissal and remediation/deceleration.

The numbers presented in the table below are the averages and medians from the selected cohort beginning January 2023.  These statistics are subject to change based on seats accepted.  The statistics below will be updated again January 2023 once the Class of 2025 matriculates.  They are intended to provide information to individuals who are interested in our program and should not be construed as either necessary or sufficient for admission.  Admission decisions are based on a holistic evaluation of the unique attributes of each applicant.

Cumulative Undergraduate GPA - average 3.66
Prerequisite GPA (Key GPA)-average 3.72
CASPA Science GPA-average 3.58
Last 60 Credit Hour GPA-average 3.79
Patient Contact Hours-median 1918
PA Shadowing Hours-median 55
Leadership Hours-median 439
Volunteer Hours-median 161

The UKPA Program abides by standards (A3.03) that enrolled UK PAS students are not required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors. Clinical experiences as required educational components for matriculated PA students are scheduled by the program. Sites and preceptors are evaluated by the program for suitability to fulfill learning outcomes. Rotations are completed throughout the state of Kentucky. All UKPA students will complete at least one rural rotation outside the Lexington and Louisville areas. Additionally, students may complete up to three out-of-state rotations that are not close to the Kentucky border such as Cincinnati, Huntington, Evansville areas (not limited to). Students are also allowed to complete international rotations as one of their three elective clinical experiences. Clinical rotations are completed in the following areas: family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, women’s health, emergency medicine, and surgery. Please see our curriculum page for more information on our program curriculum.

Covid-19 Vaccine Protocol

COVID-19 vaccines are strongly encouraged but not currently mandated at the University of Kentucky. However, many of our clinical partners and off-campus course activities are in facilities that require healthcare providers, including PAS students, to be vaccinated. At present, some clinical sites, including UK Healthcare accept vaccination exceptions for university-approved medical or religious reasons, but some do not. Thus, without being vaccinated, we cannot assure you will be able to fulfill the clinical requirements for graduation. Although we strive to work with our clinical partners to accommodate every student, this is challenging as guidelines change. If you do not meet a clinical sites vaccine requirements this may impact progression to timely graduation and the department cannot guarantee clinical placement. As an accepted student, if you choose to not be vaccinated, you will be subject to weekly COVID-19 testing, as currently mandated by the University. Further, by accepting admission into our program, you are agreeing to comply with any future mandates set forth by the University of Kentucky.