Admission Information

The Brenau University Department of Physician Assistant Studies will matriculate one class in January of each year. Prospective students are selected by the Committee on Admissions, which considers the overall qualities of each applicant. Areas of consideration include:

  • personal motivation
  • interpersonal skills
  • knowledge and understanding of the PA profession
  • quality and length of prior health care experience
  • academic performance and level of achievement
  • recommendations/evaluations
  • life experiences

Personal interviews will be offered to the most qualified applicants to assess interpersonal and communication skills, maturity, altruistic attitude and commitment to a PA career. The department participates in the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applications are received through CASPA, as they are completed, until the deadline date of Sept. 1. Only complete applications that have been verified by CASPA by the September 1st deadline will be reviewed by the Committee on Admissions (COA) for consideration for an interview. While students may have coursework in progress at the time of application, all prerequisite coursework and the GRE must be completed by the application deadline, Sept. 1. The baccalaureate degree must be awarded prior to January, the start of the program.

The COA will review each application individually to evaluate the merits of the candidate. Virtual interviews will be conducted between June and September. Due to the nature of our admissions process, no alternate interview dates will be offered.

Those applicants invited for an interview must complete and submit results of CASPer assessment to Brenau University.

Coursework, particularly required and recommended prerequisites, completed in the recent past is deemed to be more relevant to the related content in the professional curriculum and serves as better preparation than coursework completed in prior years. Academic preparation is considered on a case-by-case basis in the context of academic level of achievement, academic load each semester and during the semester when science prerequisite courses are completed, extracurricular activities during the undergraduate educational experience, including student athletes or those working part- or full-time, amount and quality of prior patient care/health care experience, personal motivation, etc.

Admission to PA school is very competitive and students who meet any or all of the following are generally considered more competitive applicants: applicants who take a course load of > 15 credits/semester for the majority of their undergraduate educational experience; applicants who complete the science prerequisites as part of a full course load and at a traditional four-year institution; applicants who also participate in extracurricular activities with verifiable hours during their undergraduate educational experience, including as a student athlete or at least half-time employment; and applicants who have completed graduate level science coursework or a graduate degree.

Recommended courses are regarded as important elements of comprehensive preparation for application for and success in the curriculum. Survey courses are not accepted to fulfill the required science prerequisites.

The COA will meet in early October to select the most qualified interviewees for admission to the program. Interviewees who are invited to join the program will receive a letter of acceptance from the Office of Admissions soon thereafter. Students not offered a seat in the program may be placed on the alternate or wait list. Applicants on the waitlist may be offered a seat in the program as late as December. Classes begin in January of each year.

It is important to remember that admission to the PA program is highly competitive and that each applicant’s application is reviewed and evaluated individually. Because the program does not admit students on a “rolling” basis, all applicants are evaluated for merit as compared against the entire applicant pool for the admission cycle during which the applicant has applied. Admission to the program is very competitive and applicants are reminded that the admission requirements outlined below define the minimum requirements for consideration.

Jamie Cushway

QUESTIONS regarding admissions should be directed to:
Jamie Cushway, Ed.D.
Director of Recruitment

Admission Requirements

  1. Prior to matriculation, applicants must have received a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 grading scale, and a minimum overall science GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 grading scale.
  2. GRE official scores for all three sections of the test must be submitted to Brenau University (Code: 4397) prior to the application deadline of Sept. 1.
  3. The college requires applicants to earn a grade of C (2.0) or better in each of the following required prerequisite courses and all prerequisite courses must have been completed by the application deadline of Sept. 1:
    • College Algebra or higher – 3 semester hours*
    • Statistics – 3 semester hours*
    • General Psychology or higher – 3 semester hours*
    • Biology I + Lab – 4 semester hours*
    • Biology II + Lab – 4 semester hours*
    • General Inorganic Chemistry I (4 hours) & II (4 hours) including labs – 8 semester hours*
    • Organic Chemistry I + Lab – 4 semester hours*
    • Microbiology including laboratory – 4 semester hours*^
    • Genetics – 3 semester hours*^
    • Human Anatomy & Human Physiology or combined A&P I & II courses with labs – 8 semester hours*^
      • *hours are indicated as semester hours; for colleges/universities using quarter hour system, applicant must have earned equivalent quarter hours.
      • ^these prerequisite courses must have been completed within 10 years of the time of application. Waivers for the time limit will be considered on a case by case basis for those with current, relevant health care or teaching experience in these areas.
      • Additional Note: Graduates of foreign institutions where English is not the primary language of instruction must meet the additional requirements outlined below, in bullet number 7.
  4. Other recommended courses include General Physics I, Biochemistry, Abnormal Psychology and Medical Terminology.
  5. Prior health care experience is required and is considered for admission. Applicants must submit verifiable information documenting at least 500 hours of direct patient care experience by the application deadline of Sept. 1 in order to be considered for admission to the program. Higher numbers of direct patient care hours are considered more competitive.
  6. Three letters of recommendation are required:
    • One letter from a professor or any individual who has worked with the applicant in a professional or educational environment. Reference should have worked with the applicant for a minimum of six months;
    • One letter from a physician assistant or physician (MD/DO); and
    • One additional clinical reference from a health care professional (e.g. physician assistant, physician, dentist, pharmacist, registered nurse, nurse practitioner, physical or occupational therapist, etc.)Recommendation letters submitted by relatives, friends, personal health care providers, or personal friends of the family are not acceptable.
  7. Applicants who have attended foreign universities or colleges are required to have their academic credentials evaluated for U.S. institution equivalence by a NACES accredited evaluation agency. Graduates of foreign institutions where English is not the primary language of instruction must present transcripts showing at least 18 semester hours of study from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States. Of these 18 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours): three semester hours must be in English Composition, three semester hours must be in English Literature, and three semester hours must be in Public Speaking (courses do not include ESOL). The remaining nine semester hours can be any course of the applicant’s choosing (excluding physical education courses).
  8. Candidates who fit either of the following will be given additional consideration during the admissions process:
    • those whose permanent residence is in and/or those who have been raised in northeast Georgia and/or a rural or medically underserved community
    • those with prior military experience (active duty and reserves)
  9. Applicants invited for an interview must complete/submit results of CASPer assessment to Brenau University.
  10. Candidates who meet any or all of the following criteria are generally considered more competitive applicants:
    • those who take a course load of > 15 credits/semester for the majority of their undergraduate educational experience;
    • those who complete the prerequisite science courses as part of a full course load (> 15 hours) and at a traditional four-year institution;
    • those who also participate in extracurricular activities with verifiable hours during their undergraduate educational experience, including as a student athlete or employed at least half-time; and
    • those who have completed graduate level science coursework and/or a graduate degree.

Matriculation Requirements

  1. Technical Standards – Students must meet the program-defined Technical Standards, as defined on the program’s website under “Technical Standards” All accepted candidates are required to meet the program’s Technical Standards (physical and psychological competencies of performance) prior to entering the program and throughout training. Technical standards include capacity for: observation, communication skills, psychomotor skills, cognitive/intellectual-conceptual skills, and behavioral/affective skills.
  2. Health and Immunization Requirements – Upon acceptance, students will be required to submit and maintain evidence of current health status and immunizations. The department’s policy on immunization of students is based on current Centers for Disease Control recommendations for health professionals. The CDC’s recommendations are available online. The department, along with all clinical programs in the Ivester College of Health Sciences, also requires students to be Up To Date on their COVID-19 vaccines, per CDC guidelines. A student is up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines when they have received all doses in the primary series and all boosters recommended for them, when eligible. This requirement is due to many of Brenau University’s partners, including the Northeast Georgia Health System, establishing new vaccine requirements for students who participate in clinical experiences. All students must be vaccinated and up to date or receive an approved exemption. Brenau’s exemption process will be overseen by the Brenau Institutional Review Board (IRB) c/o the Graduate Dean for evaluation and decision. Failure to follow the specified procedures will lead to a denial or termination of the exemption. If you wish to seek exemption please fill out our vaccine waiver form. Please contact Dr. Gale Starich at only with questions about the exemption process. Any other questions regarding immunizations should be directed to Mrs. Renee Merriwether, the Director of Operations & Admissions Advisor in the Department of PA Studies at
    • The department also requires baseline screening for tuberculosis via one of the following methods:
      • 2 step TB skin test (administered 1-3 weeks apart) – OR –
      • QuantiFERON Gold blood test (lab report required) – OR –
      • If positive results, submit a clear chest x-ray (lab report required). As per the most recent CDC recommendations, annual testing is only required in the case of exposure. Please see TB Screening and Testing of Health Care Personnel from the CDC for the most recent recommendations.
  3. Student Health Insurance – Students are required to maintain university-approved health care insurance coverage while enrolled in the program. The university offers a health plan and students will be automatically enrolled and can then opt-out if they have other health insurance (proof of other insurance is required).
  4. Computer Requirements
    • Windows 11, Windows 10 or newer
    • macOS 10.12 Sierra or newer
    • Brenau recommends Google Chrome since Google also hosts our email services.
    • Hardware Requirements – At a minimum:
      • 8 GB system RAM
      • 256 GB Solid State Drive
      • Webcam
      • Ethernet port (or adapter)
    • The following devices types WILL NOT WORK for some applications and should be avoided unless they are used as devices of convenience:
      • Chromebooks (LockDown Browser is not supported on Chromebooks)
      • Tablets (iPads, Android tablets, etc.)
      • Cell phones (while we have mobile apps for many functions, a full computer will still be needed for testing and other tasks)
      • Windows 10 S-Mode (S-Mode devices cannot install apps not on the Microsoft Store)
  5. Drug Screen – All students will be required to pass a drug screen prior to matriculation. The student will be responsible for the costs of the pre-matriculation drug screen.  Acceptance to the program is contingent upon drug screen results.Random drug screening may be performed during the program. Scheduled drug screening will be repeated prior to the clinical phase of the program.
  6. Background Check – All students will be required to complete a criminal background check prior to matriculation and prior to starting clinical rotations. The student will be responsible for the costs for the pre-matriculation criminal background check. Acceptance to the program is contingent upon the results of the background check.

Tuition Information

See also the university tuition page for costs.

Year 1 Spring, Summer, Fall semestersYear 2 Spring, Summer, Fall semestersYear 3 Spring semester onlyTOTALS
Flat rate tuition $14,742/semester1$44,226$46,326$15,442$105,994
University Fees
I&I Development Fee = 2.5% tuition$1,105.65$1,158.15$386.05$2,649.85
University Services Fee = $250/sem.$750$750$250$1,750
Graduation appl. fee – last sem. only00$100$100
Ivester College Fees
Comprehensive Ivester College fee/yr2$60$60$20$140
Program Fees
Comprehensive program fees3$1,675$1,3750$3,050
Tuition & Fee Totals$47,816.65$49,669.15$16,198.05$113,683.85
Other costs associated with program
Student health insurance4$2,782$2,950$1,811$7,543
Living expenses (housing, transportation, personal miscellaneous)$20,000$20,000$8,000$48,000
Medical equipment5$1,10000$1,100
Personal computer w/ privacy screen/internet$1,500$500$200$2,200
NCCPA Review Course and books (optional)00$700$700
NCCPA PANCE Exam00$550$550
Georgia State licensing fee00$300$300
Total associated costs$26,182$24,250$11,761$62,193
1 – tuition estimated to increase ~ 2%/year and amounts will be updated as soon as available
2 – includes clinical software fees, interprofessional education program fees, liability insurance, CITI training and IRB and hooding fee.
3 – including, but not limited to lab/course fees, student certifications, PACKRAT, EOR and End-of-Course exams, student professional organization membership fees and scrubs/lab coats/physical assessment, uniform, and clinical software fees.
4 – students must maintain personal health insurance during time in the program. Students will be automatically enrolled in the university’s health insurance each semester and must opt out with evidence of other insurance. The second and third year costs are estimates based upon projected increases in premiums. The quoted amount is for the student only, costs for additional coverage to add spouse/family to policy are available upon request.
5 – total cost is an estimate and will be dependent on the equipment the student chooses to purchase

Refund Information

Also see the university’s institutional refund policy for further information. In the event a student must withdraw for medical or other
verified reasons, two types of tuition adjustment may be made: a credit to the student’s account for the current or next semester and/or a refund of that credit balance. If a course is cancelled, students receive a 100% refund. Refunds will be granted at 100% for all tuition and fees, other than a book and supply assessment for books, supplies, materials and kits which are not returnable because of use, within 3 working days from the student signing an enrollment agreement or contact.

100%if written notice of withdrawal is received by the last day of the drop/add.
50%if the student withdraws after the last day of drop/add but before the end of the first 25% of the enrollment period
25%if the student withdraws between 25% and 50% of the enrollment period
no refundif the student withdraws after the first 50% of the enrollment period. This is also the last day to receive a “W”.

All students receiving federal Title IV assistance who drop some or all classes will receive a tuition adjustment based on a variation of the policy as required by the U.S. Department of Education. If no Title IV funds are returned by the school, the university refund policy will be in affect using the date of withdrawal noted on the R2T4 document.

Financial Aid Information

See also the university’s Financial Aid page.

General Information

Brenau University offers financial aid in the form of federal student loans for graduate students. Any student who wishes to apply must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Any new student must complete all Brenau University graduate admissions requirements and be fully accepted for admission before financial aid can be processed.


Applications for financial aid are generally processed on a rolling basis year-round. The application cycle for each new academic year begins in October. Graduate students who plan to apply for federal student loans should complete a FAFSA as early as possible after October 1 for enrollment beginning with the following fall semester. In general, students should have a completed financial aid file a minimum of one month prior to the beginning date of the first semester for which financial aid is needed.

Enrollment Status

A graduate student enrolled for 3-5 semester hours is considered a half-time student; graduate students taking 6 or more hours will be considered at full-time status. For students who receive VA education benefits, it is important to note that even though 6 semester hours (two courses) is considered full-time status for academic purposes, if one course is taken in each of the two evening or online sessions within a typical semester, VA will not pay benefits at a full-time rate because the courses are not
being taken concurrently.

Important Note: A graduate student’s projected cost of attendance and resulting financial aid award is based on the number of credit hours in which a student in his/her particular program of study would typically enroll each semester.

In the absence of advance knowledge to the contrary, it is assumed that a graduate student will enroll in both sessions of each semester (if that student is in a program that offers two 7-week evening or online sessions within the semester). A student who does not enroll for both sessions and/or is not enrolled in the number of credits on which his/her financial aid was based (as indicated in CampusWEB in the My Financial Aid section) may be subject to a reduction in the student loan award once his/her enrollment for the semester is set.

Admissions Statistics

Applicant Pool

CLASS MATRICULATING IN JANUARY OF:2021 (over 2 years due to deferred start)202220232024
Applications Initiated18909279481156
Verified Applications500579525622
Invitations for Interview122149154137
Number of students Accepted33333333

Accepted Class Profile

Average GPAs:
Cumulative Undergraduate: 3.45 3.36 3.46 3.42
Overall Science: 3.33 3.33 3.38 3.32
Average GRE Scores / Percentiles:
Verbal 151 / 50.8% 153 /47.5% 152.1 / 42.8% 150.3 / 34%
Quantitative 150 / 37.8% 153 /59.3% 152.82 / 57.1% 151.2 / 48%
Analytical Writing 3.86 / 50.3% 4.27 /66% 4.20 / 70% 4 / 56%
Highest Academic Degree:
Bachelor 31 31 32 24.91
Master 2 2 1 2
Doctorate 0 0 0 0
Male 39% 39% 24% 21%
Female 61% 61% 76% 79%
Average Age (in years) 26.8 24.9 24.18 24.91
Age Range 20-34 years 22-31 years 21-29 years 21-39
Hispanic 3% 18% 9% 12%
Non-Hispanic 97% 82% 91% 88%
Middle Eastern or Arabic in origin 3% 0 0 0
White 70% 79% 75% 85%
Black or African American 24% 18% 3% 12%
Asian 6% 3% 18% 9%
Average patient care experience hours: 3577 4405 4620 5117
State of permanent residence and/or where majority of childhood (birth to 18) spent:
Georgia 20 (61%) 17 (52%) 20 (61%) 22 (67%)
    Northeast Georgia 7 (21%) 3 (9%) 5 (15%) 3 (9%)
    North Georgia 14 (42%) 15 (45%) 14 (42%) 12 (36%)
Outside Georgia 13 (39%) 16 (48%) 13 (39%) 11 (33%)
Rural area 5 (15%) 7 (21%) 5 (15%) 6 (18%)
Medically underserved community 10 (30%) 10 (30%) 10 (30%) 7 (21%)