PA Education Programs

The following are the minimal entrance standards published on the program websites or utilized in program materials as of January 21, 2011.  Please note that the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants is not an educational agency and the information provided should be verified by visiting program websites or contacting them directly.

The Physician Assistant Certification Council of Canada (PACCC) provides oversight for the PA Programs that were accorded a Canadian Medical Association (CMA) 6 year accreditation status in 2016 and in 2017. The PACCC will ensure that the PA programs are meeting the standards for the maintenance of their 6 year accreditation status and will allow graduates from these previously CMA accredited programs to challenge the Canadian Physician Assistant Entry to Practice Certification Examination.

McMaster University Physician Assistant Education Program

Bachelor of Health Sciences Degree (Physician Assistant) requirements:

  • Academic:  A minimum of 10 full-courses or 20 half courses (two years) are required.  Courses that employ small group, self-directed or inquiry learning are excellent preparation for the McMaster’s PA program.  Applicants are expected to have achieved an overall simple average of at least 3.0 on the OMSAS 4.0 scale for consideration.  Higher grades may be required.
  • McMaster has always been an innovator in the field of medical education and invited applicants will participate in The Multiple Mini-Interview, or MMI.  The MMI increases the overall reliability of the interview in judging an applicant’s merits.


The Consortium of PA Education (University of Toronto, Northern Ontario School of Medicine and The Michener Institute for Education at UHN)

Bachelor of Science Physician Assistant Degree (BScPA) requirements:

  • Academic:
  1. Canadian Citizenship or Permanent Resident Status required.
  2. Minimum 10 full-year courses (20 half-year courses) or the equivalent of 4 semesters full time of undergraduate university education from a recognized university.
  3. Minimum cGPA of 2.7 calculated on the OMSAS scale. All completed undergraduate studies will be considered in the calculation of the cGPA.
  4. Minimum of 910 hours of healthcare experience. All forms of health care experiences are considered toward the minimum requirement; Healthcare experience can be obtained through employment, clinical placements as part of healthcare educational programs, or as a volunteer.
  • Preference will be given to those with:
    • Direct hands-on patient care experience in a clinical setting
    • Paid positions as a healthcare provider
    • Healthcare experience in the past 5 years
  • Non-academic: Healthcare experience will be evaluated on the following criteria:
    • the level of involvement in direct patient care
    • the specific clinical duties performed
    • the level of supervision
    • the total number of hours
    • the type of clinical setting
    • the recency of experience
    • Applicants are expected to provide information on all of their previous healthcare experiences, not only the minimum 910 hours. Applicants are also expected to provide as much detail as possible in their supplemental application in order for their application to be assessed. Information provided by the applicant is subject to verification by the Program.
  • These are only a selection of the criteria.  Please see the official website ( for additional information.

Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre Program

Physician Assistant Program  Physician Assistant Baccalaureate in an allied health program requirements:

  • Must be a member of the Canadian Forces
  • Graded entry based on prior learning will be available for candidates with advanced standing or experience such as other allied health professionals, or paramedics.
  • Qualification Level 6 Medical Technician qualification; rank of Sergeant; and successful completion of the Junior Leadership Course or Professional Level
  • Qualifications (12-15 years of service). In addition, candidate must be merit listed for promotion to Warrant Officer.

University of Manitoba Master of Physician Assistant Studies

Master of Physician Assistant Studies requirements:

  • This Program is open to graduates of a four year Bachelor’s degree, preferably in a health sciences field, from a college or university recognized by the University of Manitoba, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last two full years (60 credit hours) of study.
  • Undergraduate courses in Human Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry are required if they were not taken in the Bachelor’s degree. Microbiology and Psychology are asset courses.