Admission & Tuition

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

  • 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

QUESTIONS regarding admissions should be directed to:
Mrs. Jamie Cushway, M.S.
Director of Recruitment

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 in August and September. Due to the nature of our admissions process, no alternate interview dates will be offered.

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, health care experience, personal motivation, etc. 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 wait list 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.

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)

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 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. 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. Random drug screening may be performed during the program. Scheduled drug screening will be repeated prior to the clinical phase of the program. Acceptance to the program is contingent upon drug screen results.

  5. 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 registrar’s page for tuition costs.

The table below outlines the estimated costs for tuition and fees for the cohort matriculating in Spring 2021.
Year 1 Spring, Summer, Fall semesters Year 2 Spring, Summer, Fall semesters Year 3 Spring semester only TOTALS
Flat rate tuition $13,500/semester1 $40,500 $41,310 $14,045 $95,855

University Fees

I&I Development Fee = 1% tuition $405 $413 $140 $958
University Services Fee = $210/sem. $630 $630 $210 $1,470
Graduation appl. fee – last sem. only 0 0 $100 $100

Ivester College Fees

Comprehensive Ivester College fee/yr2 $60 $60 $20 $140

Program Fees

Comprehensive program fees3 $1410 $1,175 0 $2,585
Tuition & Fee Totals $43,005 $43,588 $14,515 $101,108

Other costs associated with program

Student health insurance4 $2,627 $2,856 $1,811 $7,294
Living expenses (housing, transportation, personal miscellaneous) $18,000 $18,000 $7,000 $43,000
Medical equipment5 $1,100 0 0 $1,100
Textbooks $800 $800 $200 $1,800
Personal computer w/ privacy screen/internet $1,500 $500 $200 $2,200
NCCPA Review Course and books (optional) 0 0 $700 $700
NCCPA PANCE Exam 0 0 $500 $500
Georgia State licensing fee 0 0 $300 $300
Total associated costs $24,027 $22,156 $10,711 $56,894
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.
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.

Brenau’s institutional refund policy related to tuition charges
100% of tuition if student drops by the last day of the drop period
50% of tuition if the student drops after the last day of drop/add but before the end of the first 25% of the enrollment period
25% of tuition if the student drops between 25% and 50% of the enrollment period
no refund if the student drops after the first 50% of the enrollment period
DoD TA paid course only
10% of tuition if the student drops between 50% and 60% of the enrollment period
No refund if the student drops after 60% of the enrollment period

Students who wish to drop courses or withdraw must first see their advisors to fill out the required Drop/add Form. If they desire a refund of any credit balance that might result from dropping or withdrawing, students must request in writing a refund of any credit balance from the Accounting Office. No institutional official other than the Controller or Student Accounts Manager may authorize refunds of tuition. Advisors/coordinators/directors have no authority to make commitments concerning or to grant refunds. Refunds will generally be processed within 30 days after all necessary documentation (drop/add, written request for refund) is submitted.

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 – Class of 2023 Profile

Class of 2023 Characteristics

For the inaugural cohort, a total of 500 applications were received. The Committee on Admissions (COA) interviewed 122, from which 33 students were selected for matriculation.

    • Female – 61%
    • Male – 39%
    • Average age: 24.8 years
      • Age range: 20-34 years
    • Ethnicity: Hispanic: 3%
    • Race:
      • White: 70%
      • Black/African American: 24%
      • Asian: 6%

Other statistics

The statistics below are provided to allow potential applicants to realistically gauge the competitiveness of their application based upon the most recently admitted cohort of students. While these data represent the averages for accepted candidates, it is important to remember that each applicant is reviewed and evaluated individually in the context of the applicant pool of that year.

For the inaugural cohort, a total of 500 applications were received. The COA interviewed 122 of these and selected 33 students for matriculation.

  • Average cumulative undergraduate GPA: 3.45
  • Average overall science GPA: 3.33
  • Average GRE scores:
    • Quantitative: 150
    • Verbal: 151
    • Analytical Writing: 3.86
  • Average patient care experience hours: 3577