Admission Process

The next application period is open from January 2–May 31, 2019 for classes beginning in January of 2020 (graduating December 2021).

Please follow each step of the application process thoroughly. Your application will not be considered if it is incomplete or if directions are not followed correctly. All of the following materials must be received by the deadline in order for an application to be considered completes: Official transcripts, photo ID, signed essential functions form, personal and shadowing statements, curriculum vitae, and two recommendations. Unofficial transcripts may be submitted initially with the application but the official transcripts must be received by the May 31 deadline.

Undergraduate degrees must be conferred by May of the application period. Any undergraduate degrees awarded after the May deadline are ineligible to apply for that application period. The committee will review applications and offer an interview with courses listed as “in progress.” Acceptance into the program will be contingent upon the applicant’s final GPA and conferment of degree.

Admission Requirements

A bachelor's degree in any science including (but not limited to) pre-professional biology, chemistry, medical technology, histology, forensic sciences and nursing is acceptable.

All students seeking admission to the Master of Science Pathologists' Assistant Program must meet the following admissions requirements:

  • A minimum GPA (overall and pre-requisite courses) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is preferred.
  • Completion of required pre-requisites as indicated below:

College Prep 

  • Baccalaureate Degree

Pre-requisite Courses 

  • 8 SH Biology with lab
  • 8 SH College Chemistry with lab
  • 4 SH of CHEM 231 (WVU students)
  • 3-4 SH Organic Chemistry or 3-4 SH of Biochemistry
  • 3-4 SH Microbiology, Immunology, Parasitology, or equivalent
  • 3 SH College Algebra or higher
  • 3 SH English Composition or comparable

Grade Point Average 

  • 3.0 cumulative (preferred)


  • Two letters of recommendation: one from faculty in the pre-requisite courses and one from a laboratory professional with whom you've worked.
  • If there is an extended time between when you attended classes and your application, then you may substitute a current employer or professional recommendation.


  • A personal interview with the Pathologists’ Assistant Program Admission Committee.

Shadowing or Work Experience 

Applicant must complete a surgical pathology shadowing experience with a practicing Pathologists' Assistant, or have applicable work experience in Surgical or Autopsy Pathology. A statement regarding this experience is required in the application packet. There are no set number of hours in which applicants need to shadow. We ask that you gain enough knowledge so that you can indicate to us in written form on your application, and verbally (if invited for an interview), about your shadowing experience and the duties of a PA in a "normal" working day.


  • We DO NOT require the GRE for admission or application.


U.S. Only. If you are taking pre-requisite courses during the time period in which you are applying to the PA program (January 2 - May 31), immediately upon completion of the semester, please contact admissions at your current institution to have your final transcript mailed to: West Virginia University, Office of Admissions, 1170 Health Sciences Center North, P.O. Box 9815, Morgantown, WV 26506. Your application cannot be reviewed until we receive your final transcript. All application materials, including transcripts must be received by May 31.

Recommended coursework :

  • Medical Terminology
  • Physiology and Anatomy

At WVU, we believe that you should have a good overview of a pathologists' assistant career before you spend thousands of dollars and hours of effort in a rigorous program. We require job shadowing in Surgical Pathology prior to application. Please follow these directions:

To shadow at WVU:  Visit the WVU Medicine shadowing page and complete the steps. Indicate "Pathology for Pathologists' Assistant Program" on the program application. 

What is the objective of surgical shadowing?

We want you to be able to tell us what a certified Pathologists’ Assistant does in a “normal” working day. Keep in mind that there is no “normal” working day for a certified PA and that is one of the good things about our career! No day is the same and it is always challenging. When you shadow, discuss with your mentor what their regular duties are and what is expected of them on a daily basis. Be able to share that with us at your interview.

Admissions Classification

The Program has established the following admissions classifications:

Direct Admit

- Limited to current WVU students only

A limited number of students completing the Bachelor of Science degree in the Medical Laboratory Science Program who have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 may apply to the Master of Health Science, Pathologists' Assistant Program at the end of their Junior Year. These students will be admitted into the Program after completing the Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science.

Direct admit students will be required to submit two references. Following review of all direct admit applications, a limited number will be offered an interview by the PA Admissions Committee.

Regular Decision

Application can be submitted between January 2–May 31. Typically, students apply during their senior year of undergraduate studies or following graduation. Students graduating in May of the application period may still apply. Again, admission is contingent upon satisfactory completion of the baccalaureate degree.

Criteria for Immediate Decline of Admission

  • A degree GPA of less than 3.0
  • No shadowing experience
  • Incomplete pre-requisites
  • No U.S. transcript
  • Misrepresentation of facts regarding background, work experience, or education
  • Incomplete application

Performance Standards

Students admitted into the program are required to maintain a semester GPA of 3.0 to progress in the first and second year of the professional program.

Criteria for graduation

  1. Successful completion of the didactic and clinical curriculum, with maintenance of a 3.0 GPA throughout the program.
  2. Completion of competencies and demonstration of practical knowledge and skill in Surgical and Autopsy Pathology, based on evaluations by Clinical Faculty.

Please read carefully and follow all directions.

  1. Gather all relevant documents before going to admissions link:
    1. Personal/ Shadowing statement with two sections:
      1. Section 1 explains:
        1. How and why you have decided to be a Pathologists’ Assistant.
        2. Why the WVU Pathologists Assistant program is the right choice for you.
      2. Section 2 states:
        1. What you saw during your shadowing experience.
        2. How this helped you make your decision to apply.
        3. The contact information for the person(s) with whom you shadowed.
    2. Photo (.pdf or .doc) of yourself
    3. Signed Essential Functions form
    4. International Applicants:
  2. Go to
  3. Click on the “Apply for Grad School” button on the top right.
  4. Read the instructions on left and click “create account” on right.
    1. Complete requested information
    2. Create user name and password (must be eight characters or more). You will use this user name and password to access your application throughout the entire process, so do not lose it.
  5. Click on “Application for Admission
    • Click on "Application Instructions" on the left menu and read the instructions
    • All Transcripts for the application to the Pathologists' Assistant Program must be requested and sent directly from all schools attended. Transcripts submitted by the student will not be accepted.
    • Send transcripts to:
      • Office of Admissions - Health Sciences Center
      • PO Box 9815
      • Morgantown, WV 26506-9815
  6. Under “Application for Admission” (left menu):
    1. Personal Data:
      1. Complete requested fields
        1. For WVU ID: this is only if you are or were a WVU student. New applicants will not have a WVU ID yet.
        2. For Social Security Number: do not add dashes or spaces.
    1. Main Contact Information:
      1. Enter home address and requested information.
      2. For “Student’s Email Address” create an e-mail address used only for your graduate school application form, for example google or yahoo. The address should be professional and simple; avoid using cute or suggestive terms in your e-mail address.
    2. Enrollment Information:
      1. Term for which you are applying:
        1. If you are applying during the application period January 2, 2018, to May 31, 2018, you are applying for Spring 2019.
      2. Program Choice: Master’s
      3. Intended Major: Pathologists’ Assistant
      4. Area of Emphasis: Leave Blank
      5. Primary delivery location: Main
    3. Emergency Contact Information: Complete requested fields
    4. Academic Background:
      1. List ALL colleges or universities attended with the most recent first.
      2. Complete all requested fields.
      3. WVU Pathologists’ Assistants program does not require GRE scores.
    5. Residency Information:
      1. Follow instructions to determine residency and complete all requested fields.
    6. International Applicant Information:
      1. US citizens: Skip this section and submit the application if all sections are complete.
      2. International Applicants: At this time, the WVU School of Medicine does not accept international transcripts; there must be a US transcript of pre-requisite coursework. If you have US pre-requisite coursework, and maintain international status, please complete all required fields.
    7. Additional Information:
      1. Application Fee Waiver: Applies only to certain WVU employees.
      2. Direct Admit : Indicate "direct admit for 2019" in this box.
      3. In the "Additional Information" text box: add any other information that didn't fit in other fields, e.g. additional names, colleges or universities you attended, etc.
    8. Supplemental Materials: Please note that only one document can be uploaded per field.
      1. Read the paragraph and check the box indicating you have read the specific application requirements for the Pathologists’ Assistant program.
      2. Upload the following:
        1. Personal Statement
        2. Shadowing Statement
        3. Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae
        4. Photo (must be a .pdf or .doc)
      3. Web site:
        1. If you have other documents or supporting information on a web site, provide the URL so that we can view this information.
      4. Statement of Applicant:
        1. Click on left menu.
        2. READ the paragraph and click on box.
  7. Recommendations:
    1. Read the entire information on the page.
    2. We only accept on-line recommendation submissions. Do not send or submit paper recommendations.
    3. Click on “Recommendation Provider List" and complete the requested fields. You can add a note in the last box to each person from whom you are requesting a recommendation such as a "thank-you".
    4. Click “save”.
  8. Downloadable forms:
    1. The Pathologists’ Assistant program does not require any further documentation.

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Standards for Admission

The following factors are reviewed for each applicant:

  • Overall GPA
  • Transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended
  • Interview Score
  • References
  • Essential Functions Signature
  • Overall Application Review

Each application is reviewed by a selected committee including, but not limited to, the program director, medical director, clinical coordinator, professional programs director, and additional faculty members.

Admission Interview

An interview will be granted to those deemed qualified to attend the program based on the standards for admission and review of the submitted application packet.

Please review the "Essential Functions" form in the Application packet. In addition to technical skill and knowledge, the ability to interact professionally and compassionately with co-workers at all levels is of utmost importance.

On the day of the interview, the applicant will first have ten minutes to write a short essay response to a general question. This is intended to establish the applicant's capability to communicate in writing. After the short essay portion is finished, the applicant will then be interviewed by a panel consisting of members of the admissions committee. Applicants will have the opportunity to tour the facilities and ask questions in a relaxed forum.

Selection Process

Once the application and interview phases are finished, the admissions committee will review the admissions packets and interview notes for each interviewed applicant. Recommendations are made to the program director and director of professional programs. Following selections, interviewed applicants will be notified in writing of their admission status. Notifications should be complete by the end of August, depending on the number of applicants.

Student Handbook for the WVU School of Medicine Pathologists' Assistant Program 

Financial Aid

For questions regarding Financial Aid for the Pathologists' Assistant Program, please go to:

The contact information for the Office of Financial Aid for the HSC is as follows:

Office Location: room HSC1170 1st floor North
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:15 am - 4:45 pm
Federal School Code: 003827

(FAFSA) Mailing Address:

Financial Aid Office
Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center
PO Box 9810
Morgantown, WV 26506-9810

Phone Number: (304) 293-3706
Fax Number: (304) 293-6861
Email Address:

Health Sciences Center Financial Aid Staff

A photo of Eric Meadows.

Eric Meadows

West Virginia University
Assistant Director, Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees

For current accurate tuition costs, call Admissions and Records at 1-800-344-WVU1 or visit the web site at:

Tuition and registration fees are the same for both semesters. The Pathologists' Assistant program requires summer sessions. Additional tuition and fees apply. A non-resident student who becomes independent while a student at an institution of higher education in West Virginia does not, by reason of such independence alone, attain domicile in this state for admission or fee payment purposes.

Please see the Health Science Catalog (available on-line or by request from the Admissions Office) for policies and procedures regarding financial aid, laboratory fees, special fees, refund of fees, and exceptions.