The JMU PA Program admits one cohort of 36 students annually.  The cohort begins classes in the fall semester.  Students are selected through a competitive process that includes two separate applications - one to the JMU Graduate School, and a second to the PA Program through CASPA. Applicants MUST complete both applications prior to the deadline in order to be considered.

Applications for the Fall of 2025 start term will open April 25, 2024.  Competitive candidates who have submitted both the CASPA application and JMU Graduate School application by the deadline in June 15, 2024 will be invited for an on-campus interview.  Positions are offered on a rolling basis until the class is full.  Please note that the CASPA application must be complete by June 15, 2024 and verified by July 15, 2024 for it to be eligible for review by the Admissions Committee.

Pre-application advising may be obtained as follows:

  1. For general information about the program and the application process, first read this website thoroughly.
  2. If you are currently a JMU student or live close to the university, attend an information session
  3. After familiarizing yourself with the general information, if you have questions specific to your own situation contact the PA Program for an in-person or telephone appointment.

Admissions Details

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Criminal Background & Sexual Offender Checks

Based on Code of Virginia § 23.1-407.1, the James Madison University Physician Assistant (PA) Program will not deny admission to any applicant solely on the basis of criminal history.  However, for any applicant who has been admitted, but not yet enrolled, the PA Program may inquire about the applicant’s criminal history.  The PA Program may then withdraw an offer of admission to anyone whom James Madison University determines “to have a criminal history that poses a threat to the institution’s community.”

Therefore, for every individual who has been offered admission to the JMU PA Program it will be required that a criminal background and sexual offender check be completed prior to enrollment.  Additional checks will be required later in the Program, just prior to the start of the clinical phase.  The student must comply with these additional checks in order to remain in good standing within the Program and before clinical placement can take place.  The cost of these background checks will be the sole responsibility of the student.

It is imperative to understand that if a background or sexual offender check reveals a criminal history, it is possible that the student may not be able to be placed at certain clinical sites.  The program will do it’s best to place the student at alternative sites; however, it is possible that program completion would be in jeopardy if not all supervised clinical practice experiences can be completed.

Upon PA Program completion, in the vast majority of cases, a graduate must obtain national certification and state licensure before being eligible to practice medicine.  Having a criminal record may impact a student’s ability to obtain a state license from a medical board.

Contact the PA Program at:

James Madison University 
Physician Assistant Program 
Department of Health Professions
235 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, MSC 4315
Health and Behavioral Studies Building
Harrisonburg, VA 22807 
Phone: (540) 568-2395
Fax: (540) 568-3336 

Additional information about the elements of the application and admission process can be found at: The Grad School


This program meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Please refer to the JMU Professional Licensure Program Status by Jurisdiction Index to determine if this JMU program meets the educational requirements specified by the associated licensing or certification agency in the state or territory in which you are located while enrolled. You can also determine if the program meets the educational requirements specified by the licensing boards in other states and territories. Requirements vary by state and are subject to change. The information provided is current as of the review date indicated in the table.

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