School of Health Professions
HomeHealth ProfessionsPhysician Assistant

Frequently Asked Questions


1. What makes a successful physician assistant student candidate?

A minimally qualified candidate will have an academic background with a minimum cumulative and science GPA of 3.0. Stronger candidates will have a higher GPA (with an emphasis on most recent coursework). Competitive candidates will have a history of community service, extracurricular activities, exposure to health-care and knowledge of the PA profession. Competitive candidates will have documented PA or healthcare shadowing experience.

2. How much clinical experience is required?

There are no set parameters for this. Although no clinical experience is required, it does show that you have been exposed to the medical field. The students in the Class of 2015 varied drastically. Some that were selected had no experience, while others had over 10 years of clinical experience.

3. How does my GPA impact the selection process?

It is important because we believe it is an objective demonstration of the applicant's ability to perform academically. 

For the 2015-2016 admission cycle, we will utilize the GPA as calculated by CASPA. Therefore, your GPA used for application screening will be calculated based on the courses you have completed at the time you complete your CASPA application. Prerequisite course completion and overall GPA will be confirmed prior to matriculation. Applicants should realize their entire academic transcript is reviewed.

4. Are there other courses that are recommended in preparation for the PA Program Curriculum?

There are courses that are not required as prerequisites that may help better prepare students to undertake the rigorous curriculum of the program. These courses include Human Development, Cellular or Molecular Biology, and Immunology. Knowledge of Medical Terminology is also beneficial.

5. Is healthcare or shadowing experience required?

No, healthcare or shadowing experiences are not required. These experiences do strengthen the admissions application. PA mentorship or shadowing experiences are encouraged.

6. Is community service experience required?

No, community service experiences are not required. These experiences do strengthen the admissions application and are highly encouraged.

7. How many candidates will be selected for the class beginning June 2015?

The PA Program plans to interview approximately 180-200 applicants.  Sixty students will be selected.  For the class beginning June, 2015, the program received over 580 applications.

8. How soon after the interviews will I be notified of my acceptance status?

TTUHSC PA Program offers a "rolling" interview process. Some applicants will be notified of their acceptance within a week of their interview, and others will be notified of their acceptance or non-selection after all interviews have taken place (currently scheduled for March).

9. Is there a fee for “guaranteeing” my position in the program?

Yes, there is a $100, non-refundable placement guarantee fee.

10. Why is the Texas Tech University HSC program in Midland instead of Lubbock?

At the time the TTUHSC PA program was conceived there was no PA program in West Texas, a critically underserved health-care area. The closest program was in Fort Worth. Political leaders favored the establishment of a program in West Texas. The legislature and the Midland community were successful in securing significant financial and logistical support for the program.

11. Do I have to complete all of the courses in the program?

Yes, every student must successfully complete all courses in the program to be eligible for graduation. No advanced placement is granted. The listing of courses is available on the "Curriculum" page on the PA Program Website. The academic performance and progression standards are located in the Student Handbook that may be found at:

12. What is the relationship between faculty and students like?

The faculty are very accessible and concerned with the welfare and success of each student. All students are assigned academic advisors with whom they meet with regularly.

13. How is the camaraderie between classmates?

Every class varies. Many classes set up study groups and social functions. It helps to become involved in community projects and to take a proactive role in the things affecting your class, program, and profession as a whole.

14. Where will I do my clinical rotations?

Clinical sites are currently established in the El Paso, Lubbock, Amarillo, Abilene, and Midland/Odessa areas. No rotation region is confined to one city and all will require some travel. Most will require moving from the Midland area.

15. How does the program decide which student will go to which clinical region?

Although personal preferences are considered, the needs of the program and clinical site availability are also considered.

16. Will I be able to work while attending this program?

The program strongly recommends that students do not work. The demands placed on you by the coursework alone will require great amounts of time and energy.

17. Will I be able to maintain a high GPA throughout this program?

This is up to the individual student but is an attainable goal if the student is willing to put forth the effort.

18. What is the board pass rate for the TTUHSC PA program?

The five year first-time pass rate is 95% compared to the national average of 94%. For the Class of 2013 and 2014, the first-time pass rate was 98%. Please see the link on the program home page for specific information.

19. Will the program assist graduates in finding jobs?

While the program makes no placement efforts, faculty and staff are often notified of employment opportunities. Every attempt is made to disseminate this information to current students as well as alumni. Most students are offered positions prior to completion of the program.

20. Is the program currently accredited?

Yes, the TTUHSC PA Program is accredited - status probation, through the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant through March, 2015. Please see the detailed information on the program homepage.

Estimated Financial Aid Student Budgets for 2016-2017


Budget Items & Est Costs
for 2016-2017

Year 1


12 Months

Year 1


12 Months

Year 2


12 Months

Year 2


12 Months

Year 3


3 Months

Year 3


3 Months

Tuition 13,680 35,910 13,680 35,910 5,040 13,230
Fees 5,052 5,052 5,052 5,052 2,518 2,518
Books/Supplies 2,850 2,850 2,850 2,850 1,050 1,050
Housing/Food 14,976 14,976 14,976 14,976 9,360 9,360
Transportation 5,472 5,472 5,472 5,472 3,420 3,420
Personal/Misc 8,461 8,461 8,461 8,461 5,288 5,288
Total $50,491 $72,721 $50,491 $72,721 $26,676 $34,866

Information on the policies and procedures for payment and refunds of tuition and fees is located at: