Program Description

Physician Assistants (PAs) are graduates of accredited PA programs who are licensed to practice medicine in collaboration with a supervising physician. There are more than 148,000 certified PAs nationally, with over 11,000 in California alone. PAs provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative health care services as a member of the healthcare team.

PAs conduct physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret laboratory tests and x-rays, counsel on health care issues, and assist in surgery. They also treat injuries, record progress notes, instruct and counsel patients, and order or carry out therapy. All fifty states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands have enacted laws that authorize PA prescribing. PA practice is centered on patient care, and may include education, research, and administrative duties.

The Loma Linda University Physician Assistant program begins annually in the autumn quarter. The curriculum consists of a 12-month didactic phase that provides instruction in biological, behavioral, and medical sciences for the primary care provider. This is followed by a 12-month phase of supervised clinical practice experiences in a variety of medical specialties.

Graduates from the Loma Linda University Physician Assistant program are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).

Program Website  |  Catalog

Program Length

24 months, full-time

Possible Careers

Clinical or Hospital Practice, Research, Education, or Administration

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted through CASPA between May 1 and October 1. Classes begin annually in September of the year following the application cycle

Admissions Requirements

To apply to the Physician Assistant program, the applicant must have the following:
  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, completed by December 31 of the year of application
  • Overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale AND Science GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Documented paid patient care experience of 2,000 hours minimum is required by August 1 of the year of matriculation. While patient care hours gained from student experiences, shadowing, and volunteer hours are not accepted as meeting the PCE hour requirement, they are strongly recommended
  • Three letters of recommendation, including one from a practicing MD/DO/PA who you have worked under in a direct, hands-on, paid patient care experience. This letter cannot be from a friend or relative, and cannot be from a shadowing or volunteer experience

Please note the following important information regarding the application process:

  • All applications must be made through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA), available at
  • Once the CASPA application is verified, all applicants will be provided with a link to a supplemental application. All supplemental applications must be submitted within 15 days of receipt from University Admissions or by December 15, whichever date comes first. Interviews are granted to qualified applicants by invitation only


General Information
  • For the 2024-2025 CASPA Application cycle, Loma Linda University Department of PA Sciences will allow for two total outstanding prerequisite courses at the time of application, with a maximum of one science course outstanding at the time of application. View sample prerequisite courses
  • An outstanding course is defined as any course listed as being in progress when the CASPA application is submitted by the applicant, even if the course will be completed prior to the applicant submitting their supplemental application
  • All outstanding prerequisite coursework must be completed by the end of the Spring quarter of the year of matriculation
  • Science prerequisite courses must be for science majors
  • The program is currently not accepting any science courses with online labs. The only exception is for courses completed between Spring 2020 and Fall 2022
  • All prerequisite science courses must be taken within the last 10 years from time of application
  • Applicants must complete all prerequisite coursework at an accredited institution in the United States
  • Recommended Coursework: Statistics, Medical Terminology, and Conversational Spanish
  • All prerequisite courses must contain a letter grade; Pass/Fail, Credit/No Credit, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades will not be accepted
  • C minus grades and below are not accepted for prerequisite courses

Science Courses

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology: must contain a laboratory component. Coursework can be a complete sequence OR separate courses in Human Anatomy and Human Physiology. Must cover all organ systems
  • Chemistry:
    • General Chemistry: a one-year sequence, must contain a laboratory component;


    • Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Biochemistry: a minimum one-year sequence, of which all three courses must contain a laboratory component
  • General Microbiology: must contain a laboratory component. Coursework must cover the following four areas: bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa

General Education Courses

  • General Psychology: must be general and cover topics across the lifespan
  • General Sociology or Cultural Anthropology: must be general and cover multiple groups of interest
  • College-level Algebra: must be college-level or higher. Statistics courses, although recommended, do not satisfy this prerequisite
  • English Composition: a one-year sequence. English as a Second Language (ESL) courses do not satisfy this prerequisite

Discipline Accrediting Agency

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

Accreditation History:

Integrating faith and health
Integrating faith and health
Loma Linda University educates and encourages a balanced life by living our values of humility, compassion, justice, integrity, excellence, freedom and self- control. You will be surrounded by faculty who are committed to healthcare innovation and research while engaging your spirituality.

Expected Cost of Attendance

The following estimated cost of attendance is based on full-time attendance for the number of months enrolled per academic year. Estimated amounts may vary based on a number of factors. Students may use these estimates when applying for financial aid.

Required Program Costs

Academic Year 2024-2025

Year of Program
Months Enrolled
Year 1
Year 2
Tuition & Fees $69,042 $46,720
Books, Materials, Supplies & Equipment Allowance
(May or may not be purchased through the school)
$5,575 $1,000

Other Educational Costs

Non-required costs that can be funded with scholarships/loans.

Year of Program
Months Enrolled
Year 1
Year 2
Living Expense (Food & Housing Allowance)
Students will be assigned one of the following Living Expense Budget Options:
  • On Campus Dorm
  • $15,780 $15,780
  • LLU Owned Rental Property
  • $25,200 $25,200
  • LLU Owned Rental w/ Dependents
  • $26,400 $26,400
  • Undergraduate Dependent w/ Parents
  • $9,600 $9,600
  • Off Campus
  • $25,200 $25,200
    Transportation Allowance $4,200 $4,200
    Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $4,200 $4,200
    Federal Student Loan Fees $217 $217
    Cost of Obtaining Professional License 0 $550
    Dependent Care
    (See Budget Revision Request form)
    Available upon Request
    Disability-Related Expenses
    (See Budget Revision Request form)
    Available upon Request


    • The cost of attendance varies from year to year. Please contact the office of Student Finance for up-to-date costs.
    • Amounts are what a student can apply to borrow for the number of months shown in each academic year based on living off campus with a roommate and not with a relative.
    • International students need to calculate 12 months of living expenses based on the numbers listed here.
    • In general, to qualify for financial aid a student must be enrolled at least half-time taking degree requirements. Half-time is 6 units in a quarter for undergraduate programs and 4 units in a quarter for graduate programs.
    • Estimated amounts are for the academic year specified only. Amounts are based on full-time attendance for the number of months enrolled per academic year. International students need to calculate 12 months of living expenses based on these amounts.
    • Amounts are expected to increase each year consistent with inflation in the professional education sector.
    • To qualify for financial aid, most students must be enrolled at least half time in an aid eligible program and be taking degree requirements. Half time is 6 units in a quarter for undergraduate programs and 4 units in a quarter for graduate programs.