Canadian PA Admissions Requirements

Canadian Physician Assistant Program Admission Requirements

There are 3 PA programs in Canada. Each PA Program differs in terms of what they want submitted (e.g. transcripts, letters of reference), pre-requisite courses, GPA, supplementary application format and even the format of the Multi-Mini Interview.

Please note: There are NO required written tests (e.g. GRE, MCAT, etc.), nor will those test scores be considered for the programs.

The most common questions we get in our Canadian Pre-PA Student Networking Group often have to do with, “I have a GPA of X, is this good enough to get in? What courses do you recommend taking? Do I need health care experience to apply to the PA Programs in Canada?”

If you have specific questions, post your question over in the Canadian Pre-PA Facebook Group:

Overview of Canadian PA Programs

UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA MCMASTER UNIVERSITY PA CONSORTIUM
Location Winnipeg, Manitoba Hamilton, Ontario Toronto, Ontario
Degree* Masters of PA Studies (MPAS) Bachelors of Health Sciences PA Studies (BHSc PA) Bachelors of Sciences from UofT (BSc PA)
Class Size** 15 students 24 students 30 students
Duration ~2 years (96 weeks) ~2 year program ~2-years
Visit MPAS Website
to learn more
Visit McMaster PAEP
Website for deadlines
Visit PA Consortium
website for deadlines

Notes:

  • Does getting a Masters or Bachelors in PA studies affect employment opportunities? Whether you obtain a Masters of Bachelors of PA Studies does not affect your ability to obtain employment in the Canadian PA Job Market.
  • Who determines the class sizes of PA programs? Class sizes in Ontario are determined not by the programs, but by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

September 2022 Key Application Deadlines

When should I start the application process? I recommend getting ready for PA admissions the FALL (or September) before the deadline. E.g. if you are applying for September 2022 entry, you can start to prepare for the process September the year before (September 2021).

UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA MCMASTER UNIVERSITY PA CONSORTIUM
January 15, 2023
Deadline for Application Submission through Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS), Radius Portal. All material must be submitted by that deadline (MPAS Supplementary application, letters of reference, transcripts, Police Check, etc.)
Deadline 1: February 1
OUAC Application, transcripts & supporting documentation submitted to PA office
Deadline 1: Jan 17, 2023
University of Toronto Online Application through OUAC, keep track of your OUAC reference number
Deadline 2: March 4
Supplementary Application fee due ($125) access to supplementary application will be emailed mid-February.
Deadline 2: February 1, 2023
1) Transcripts & Proof of English Language Proficiency
2) All supplementary documentation
Visit MPAS Website for deadlines Visit McMaster PAEP Website for deadlines Visit PA Consortium website for deadlines

Canadian PA School Admission Requirements

What are the admission requirements of Canadian PA schools?

Each school is slightly different depending on the school and the year. Always check the PA program websites for the most up to date information

Don’t forget to download our free Canadian PA Admissions Cheat Sheet.

UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA MCMASTER UNIVERSITY PA CONSORTIUM
Who can apply? Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada

Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada

Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada

Minimum Years of Study to Apply Graduate of 4-year Bachelor’s degree. Students in 4th & final year of study can apply. 2 years of undergraduate study completed by June 2023. Minimum 10 full-year courses (20 half-year courses) OR 4 semesters of undergrad study must be completed with grades before the application deadline.
Minimum cumulative GPA (cGPA) Minimum 3.0 (out of 4.5 GPA scale) on most recent 60 credit hours. 3.0 (out of 4.0 on OMSAS scale) by Feb 1, 2023 3.0 (out of 4.0 on OMSAS scale)
Required coursework Human Anatomy, Human Physiology & Biochemistry (online study acceptable) None None
Health Care Experience Hours None required to apply None required to apply Minimum 350 hours of health care experience (reduced from 910 hours due to COVID-19) You must provide
See MPAS Website
for admission requirements
See McMaster PAEP
Admission Requirements
See PA Consortium
Admission Requirements

Answering some Questions about PA Admissions:

  • Which PA programs have prerequisite courses to apply? Only the University of Manitoba’s PA program has required courses you must take before applying. For tips, read Undergrad Courses to take for Canadian PA Admissions.
  • Which PA programs require health care experience hours to apply? Only PA Consortium (UofT’s PA program) requires Health Care Experience Hours. Read How to Meet University of Toronto’s Health Care Experience Hours Requirements.
  • Cumulative GPA is the average of ALL undergraduate coursework you have taken. This includes courses you have repeated (the old and new grade for that course), courses that are taken in the summer, etc.

PA School Application Process

UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA MCMASTER UNIVERSITY PA CONSORTIUM
Supplemental Application 1000-word written Statement of Intent (SOI)
• Complete TakeAltus/CASPer Test
• CV/Resume (The Academic CV would be an appropriate format to use to apply to UofM)
• Self-Declaration Statement
Timed video and written supplemental application (done through Kira Talent in previous years) • Complete written Supplemental application – answering questions on health care experience & mini-essay questions.
Letters of Reference Two letters of recommendation required. None required, any submitted not reviewed. One Reference submits a Confidential Applicant Reference Form
PA School Interview Format • Multi-Mini Interview
• Panel Interview
Multi-Mini Interview (MMI) Virtual Multi-Mini Interview (vMMI)
Admission Timelines

Note: Specific dates may vary year-to-year.

• January 15, 2023: Submit ALL documentation including online application
• Late February: PA school interview invites released
• mid-March: MMI invitations sent out
• Early to mid-April: Virtual Interviews take place
•May 20, 2023: Offers of acceptance sent out
Feb 1: Submit OUAC Form 105 & all transcripts
• Mar 2, 2023: Access to supp. app released.
• mid-April: MMI Invites sent out
• Early May: MMIs take place on a Saturday
• May 20, 2023: Offers of acceptance sent
• Sept 2023: Successful applicants begin PA cycle
January 17: Complete UofT Online Application (OUAC)
February 1: Submit Transcripts and Proof of English Language Proficiency; and submit ALL supplemental documentation.
Early April: MMI Invites sent out.
• Early May: MMIs take place
• May 20, 2023: Notice of acceptance sent out to students
• Sept 2023: Successful applicants begin PA school cycle.
See MPAS Website
for admission requirements
See McMaster PAEP
Admission Requirements
See PA Consortium
Admission Requirements

NOTE: This is a summary of the application process. Always visit the Canadian PA program’s official websites for the most up-to-date information.

  • Are PA program interviews virtual? In the past, the Multi-Mini Interview was in-person. Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the interviews went virtual for the first time for the 2020-2021 PA School Admissions Cycle. PA programs will indicate on their websites and/or communicate to applicants directly what the format of PA school interview will be.
  • What if I identify as indigenous? McMaster offers a facilitated admissions process for First Nations, Inuit and Metis applicants. See their website for more information.

Competitive PA School Applicants

The University of Manitoba MPAS and the University of Toronto/PA Consortium PA program have outlined preferred admission requirements that may make your application more competitive.

Note: These are NOT required, and there are examples of PA applicants who got in without those requirements!

MCMASTER UNIVERSITY
Preferred Admission Criteria
  • None listed on website
Tips from McMaster PA Students & Alumni
Visit McMaster PA Student Resource Website to learn more

UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA
Preferred Admission Criteria
  • GPA of 3.5 or better is competitive (out of 4.5 GPA scale)
  • Microbiology and Psychology are asset courses and would enhance your application.
Tips from Manitoba PA Students
Visit MPAS Website
to learn more

PA CONSORTIUM
Preferred Admission Criteria
  • One full-course equivalent of: Human Anatomy, Human Physiology
  • Recent health care experience hours (within last 5 years)
  • Direct hands-on experience in a clinical setting
  • Paid position as a health care provider
  • Current resident of Ontario
  • Resident (as an adult) in a northern or rural community (Rurality index of 40 or more, outside of Ontario, Rural = population of < 15,000).
Tips from UofT PA Students & Alumni
Visit PA Consortium Website
to learn more

8 Comments

  1. Gopi. Yemineni August 19, 2022 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Hai, Can a Indian PharmD graduate pursue PA in canada

    • Anne Dang August 23, 2022 at 6:22 pm

      As long as you meet the admission requirements you can apply for PA! Requirements are outlined here: canadianpa.ca/admissions and https://canadianpa.ca/becomeapa

  2. Aduk Bul September 1, 2022 at 1:58 am - Reply

    Hello I plan on apply to UofT for the pa program I currently attend university here in Calgary Alberta and I was wondering how I convert my GPA to the omsas scale

    • Anne Dang September 3, 2022 at 5:42 pm

      Hi Aduk,

      The OMSAS Conversion table page includes:
      1) Table #1 – Conversion Table
      2) Table #2 – Institution Scale Chart

      https://www.ouac.on.ca/guide/omsas-conversion-table/

      To calculate your grades from University of Calgary, check the second table (“Institution Scale Chart”), which lists UofC on “Scale 7”. Then you can go to the first table (“Conversion Table”) to see how your grades convert to the 4.0 OMSAS GPA scale. You would likely have to do this for each individual grade.

  3. Firdowsa Abdi September 17, 2022 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    Hi, I was wondering if one could apply if they have a degree whether it’s from a college or university setting.

    • Anne Dang September 24, 2022 at 7:03 am

      For Canadian programs it has to be with undergraduate study from a university level.

  4. Carly September 29, 2022 at 10:43 am - Reply

    Hi there! I’m a reg nurse in BC. I can’t see much of a time line. Are student still able to work full time? And what is the cost estimate?

    • Anne Dang September 29, 2022 at 12:08 pm

      For the PA programs, you may be able to work part time, (e.g. evenings or weekends) but schooling is full time in-person or as per UofT first year is a combination of online learning and residual blocks (in person learning sessions).

      And do you mean the cost of admissions? or cost of tuition?

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