In the United States, a license to practice medicine as a Physician Assistant (PA) is issued by individual states; therefore each state sets its own requirements for licensure.  To obtain a license, an individual (even one educated as a physician in another country) must graduate from an accredited United States Physician Assistant Program AND pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certifying of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).  There are NO states that have an exception to this rule.

In other words, an individual cannot practice as a PA in the US without a state license and one cannot get a state license without passing the PANCE and one cannot take the PANCE unless you are a graduate of an accredited PA program.

The James Madison University Physician Assistant Program welcomes applications from foreign medical graduates.  Individuals educated as physicians outside of the United States are held to exactly the same prerequisite requirements as all other applicants to our PA Program.  In addition, all non-US based course work must be evaluated by a credential evaluation service such as WES:

More information on international applicant requirements can be found here:

Frequently Asked Questions of Foreign Medical Graduates

  1. Must I take the graduate record examination (GRE)? 
    The GRE is a PA Program requirement.  The requirement is waived if the applicant has already earned a graduate degree.  If the graduate coursework is from outside of the United States then one must have the coursework evaluated by a credential evaluation service such as WES:   If an evaluation service determines that prior course work is equivalent to a graduate degree in the US, then the GRE may be waived by the PA Program.
  2. Must I take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)?
    All international students must present evidence of English proficiency.  TOEFL is required for all applicants whose first language is not English, regardless of US citizenship status.  A minimum TOEFL score is 570 (paper-based) or 88 (internet-based). This is a PA program policy.  An exception will be made if the applicant has already completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at a US-based college or university. Read more about English Profiency Requirements.

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