Application

CASPA logo


Please first visit our requirements webpage prior to starting your application. 

1. CASPA Application

CASPA, the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants, is a web-based application service. The application cycle for the 2019 matriculating class will open on April 26, 2018. Carefully follow instructions given on the CASPA website and check your application status regularly. Please do not send any application materials to us. Transcripts and additional materials received will be discarded.

  • Go to the CASPA website to create an account and begin your application. Follow instructions for each section and refer to FAQs as needed.
  • All supporting documents (transcripts, references, foreign transcript evaluation, if applicable) must be sent directly to CASPA as per instructions provided on the CASPA website.
  • You can fill out and e-submit/pay for your application at any time before the deadline, even if your supporting documents have not yet been received at CASPA. However, CASPA requires that your materials be received before application is considered complete and eligible for verification (processing). Only applications that have been verified and processed by CASPA, with GPAs calculated, will be eligible for review.
  • We strongly encourage applicants to have transcripts and letters received at CASPA on or near our August 1st submission deadline to assure timely processing. Applications that remain unverified (unprocessed) by CASPA after Tuesday, September 4th will not be considered. It is solely the candidate's responsibility to submit and complete the CASPA application with ample time for verification (processing) by the final deadline of September 4th. We do not make exceptions to deadlines.

2. CASPer Test

Effective this year, the Utah PA Program requires all applicants to complete the online CASPer test, the Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics. The purpose of the test is to allow us to acquire a wider range of applicant characteristics beyond what we can assess through the CASPA application alone. CASPer is a situational judgment test, replacing our supplemental application. There is no affiliation between CASPA and CASPer.

The CASPer test requires that candidates have access to a computer with reliable internet, audio, and webcam. The test takes up to 90 minutes to complete and consists of 12 scenarios for which you will respond to a set of questions in limited time, about 5 minutes each. There is a $10.00 fee to take the test. An additional $10.00 will be assessed to send test results to each program you are apply to that requires the test. Candidates who fail to complete a CASPer test will not be considered, and there will be no exceptions. There is no need to wait until your CASPA application is submitted or verified to complete your CASPer test. You can complete it on any available test date. 

Sign up for a test date with your 10-digit CASPA ID number and by uploading an image of your valid government issued photo ID at www.takeCASPer.com. You must complete your CASPer test no later than the August 8th test date. For a list of test dates, visit the webpage https://takecasper.com/test-dates/#usmed. Choose one of six dates between May 15th and August 8th. We recommend that candidates choose dates earlier than the final accepted test date of August 8th, as a buffer for unanticipated life events or technical difficulties. Once completed, there will be no option to re-take the test. No studying is required, and sample of what to expect on the CASPer test can be viewed at https://takecasper.com/sample-casper-content/.

Your application will be eligible for processing after 1) your CASPA application has been verified, and 2) your CASPer test has been taken.

3. Deadlines

You can submit your application to CASPA at any time after the application cycle opens in April and up to the submission deadline of August 1, even if your transcripts and letters have not yet been sent to CASPA. The deadline to take the CASPer test is August 8th. We recommend:

  1. That applicants apply as early as possible.
  2. That applicants complete the CASPer Test as early as possible.
  3. That your transcripts and letters of recommendation have been received at CASPA on or around the August 1 submission deadline, to better assure that CASPA will verify (process) your application by the September 4th verification deadline. 

Candidates whose applications remain unverified by CASPA, and/or who have not completed the CASPer test by the aforementioned deadlines will be disqualified. Applicants are solely responsible for allowing sufficient time for CASPA to process the application, and for completing the CASPer test in a timely manner. Please do not ask for exceptions to deadlines. 

Recommended Application Timeline Apply as early as possible. Although we do not utilize a rolling admissions process at Utah, many of the PA programs to which you are also applying likely utilize rolling admissions, thus potentially advantaging your early application for early acceptance in one or more of your programs of interest.

Graduate School Application Please DO NOT apply to the University of Utah Graduate School unless you have been extended a formal offer of acceptance following in-person interview by invitation.

Correspondence From UPAP: What to Expect

  • Candidates will be notified by e-mail when the verified CASPA application has been received.
  • Candidates will be notified by e-mail when the application is eligible for processing, estimated to be three weeks after the CASPer test has been taken.
  • Candidates will otherwise receive no personal correspondence from us unless we require some form of application clarification.
  • Interview status will be announced via e-mail sometime in October.

The UPAP Application Process

Beginning in 2019 matriculating class, the University of Utah Physician Assistant Program distant campus in St. George will reserve a minimum of two seats for graduates of Dixie State University. Those students must meet minimum requirements of the program. 

The Utah PA Program aspires to accept candidates that represent populations in Utah and the U.S. western region, and the program prefers candidates whose backgrounds and experiences are in alignment with our mission and vision. Candidates who have been verified by CASPA and who have submitted the Secondary Application are screened for minimum requirements. All candidates meeting minimum requirements are reviewed. Priority consideration for application evaluation is given to candidates who possess three or more of the following factors:

  • Utah residents
  • Southern Utah regional resident, current or within the past five years
  • Military experience
  • Evidence of exposure to primary care
  • Evidence of exposure to medically underserved populations
  • Diverse background
  • Strong science GPA (> 3.5)
  • Strong healthcare experience (> 10,000 hours)
  • Strong performance on the CASPer situational judgment test
  • Potential for mission fit

Scored application evaluation criteria are:

  • Academics: GPA (emphasis on science GPA), quality/quantity of prerequisite coursework. Additional consideration is given within the academic review for candidates identifying disadvanged status as defined by federal guidelines.
  • Health care experience: Quality/quantity of direct patient care (preferred) and other health related work experience. Paid experience is weighted more heavily than volunteer hours. Student practicum experience is not accepted at Utah, although candidates should list it on the CASPA application, since it may be accepted at other PA programs applied to.
  • Personal statement: Narrative up to 5000 characters, approximately 625 words in length. Personal statements are submitted with the CASPA application.
  • Secondary application: Individual scores for the Situational Judgement Test.  

Letters of reference will be reviewed, but will not contribute to application score.

Applicants receiving among the highest total application evaluation scores will be invited to interview in-person.

The UPAP Interview Process

Interviews will take place on both the Salt Lake City and St. George campuses. A limited number of candidates receiving among the highest composite scores from application review will be invited to interview in person. Interview dates will posted under "Important Dates" once identified. Candidates will be given a test of basic anatomy, physiology, and general medical terminology during the interview sessions: study guides are not provided. Offers of admission are extended and alternates are ranked based on highest interview scores. Candidates receiving admission offers must also apply and be accepted to the University of Utah Graduate School.

Acceptance to the Program: Campus Preference

Campus preference cited on the CASPA application will be taken into consideration. Candidates may cite "no preference" if flexible to attend the program at either campus.

Requirements for Accepted Students

University of Utah Graduate School Application Technical Performance Standards - The University of Utah School of Medicine Technical Performance Standards have been adopted by UPAP. These standards establish the minimum physical, cognitive, and emotional requirements needed to reasonably assure that a student can complete the entire course of study and participate competently in training and practice. View UPAP technical standards.

Laptop computer - Students are required to own a laptop computer (not a tablet) for testing. Laptop or tablet may be used for classroom lecture. Students receive all program correspondence, course materials, syllabi, and PowerPoint presentations to accompany lectures electronically.

Background check - Acceptance to the program is contingent upon acceptable background check results. All students receiving an offer of admission must consent to a criminal background check. Adverse results of background checks will be considered on an individual basis by the admissions committee and could result in revocation of offer. Matriculated students will undergo a second background check prior to clinical year. Individual clinical sites may conduct background checks independently, and program may require background re-checks at any time.

Drug testing - All students will be drug tested prior to entering clinical year.

Immunizations - Students who are accepted to the program must provide immunization records or proof of immunity to measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), varicella (chickenpox), and hepatitis B. Tdap (tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis combo), and current TB test is also required. UPAP also recommends that students obtain additional vaccinations for health care workers as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control that includes meningococcal, and influenza.

More About UPAP and the University of Utah

We support a policy of nondiscrimination with respect to age, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, race, nationality, college(s) attended or major field of study, religious or political preference, prior occupation, parental occupation, status, work, or extracurriculer involvements. For more information visit the Office of Equal Opportunity website.

The University of Utah provides reasonable accommodation to students with known disabilities.

UPAP is committed to recruiting, admitting, and graduating qualified candidates from diverse groups. Characteristics of a potentially strong applicant include:

  • Evidence of dedication to medically underserved populations. Prior medical experience working in a community or with an organization whose mission is to target populations with barriers to receiving health care is valued.
  • Strong clinical background: previous employment requiring a high level of medical knowledge, clinical responsibility, and critical decision-making.
  • Strong academic aptitude as demonstrated from past academic performance.
  • Superior interpersonal and communication skills, high motivation, strong ethical/moral character, understanding of limitations, exceptional knowledge of a PA role, an ability and desire to live and work among diverse populations, and a sincere desire to care for others.

Brochures are not available. All admissions information is posted on this website.

Business hours are Monday - Friday, 8am – 5pm MST

University of Utah
School of Medicine
Physician Assistant Program
375 Chipeta Way, Suite A
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Phone: 801-581-7766
Fax: 801-581-5807

We very strongly recommend that prospective applicants attend an information session prior to requesting individual appointments.

For admissions related questions call 801-581-7969 or send e-mail to admissions@upap.utah.edu
For appointments, a phone call is preferred.

Information Sessions

Register for a pre-admissions information session today!

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Contact Us

Admissions Coordinator

(Monday–Friday, 8am – 5pm)
Phone: 801-581-7969
Email: admissions@upap.utah.edu

Student Mentor

Email: UPAPmentor@yahoo.com

Mailing Address

Utah Physician Assistant Program
375 Chipeta Way, Suite A
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
801-581-7766