Skip to main content
Sign In
Students and Faculty in CAPE

Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below for answers to commonly asked questions. After reviewing this information, feel free to email with your individual question. Questions are only answered through email. We are unable to answer questions by phone due to the high number of calls we receive.

Individual Transcript Reviews and Meetings

 Can I make a phone or in-person appointment with a CHA/PA advisor?

Individual appointments by phone or in-person are not available due to the high number of inquiries we receive. The program does hold information sessions several times per year. Please review the prerequisites website, which includes a Prerequisite Worksheet. Additionally, there is a list of advisors at local institutions on the left column of the Prerequisite webpage. Feel free to email with any course questions after reviewing this information. 1

 Can an advisor from CHA/PA review my transcripts for course requirements?

We do not review individual transcripts due to the high volume of requests. It is recommended to use the Prerequisite Worksheet on the prerequisite webpage to help you in analyzing your transcript and planning coursework. You may also wish to speak with your college advisor to help you in planning coursework. If you have additional questions after reviewing this information, feel free to email

 Do you offer campus tours?

We do not offer individual campus tours of the Anschutz Medical Campus. You may tour the campus on your own using the Walking Tours Map. The CHA/PA Program only offers campus tours during information sessions. CHA/PA is unable to accommodate individual meetings or tours due to the extremely high volume of requests. 3

Prerequisite Coursework

 Can I use the genetics course toward the biology requirement?

You cannot use the required genetics course toward the lower or upper division biology requirement. The required genetics course is a separate requirement from biology.1

 Do you accept online or community college courses?

Yes, we do accept online and community college courses from an accepted accredited institution. You can see the list of accreditations we accept on the Prerequisite webpage. Note that all community college courses cannot be applied to the upper division biology requirement.3

 What are upper division courses?

We require 6 semester hours (or 9 quarter hours) of upper division biology taken within the last five years. Upper division courses are 300 or 3000 or above. Community colleges offer only lower division courses, therefore, community college courses cannot be applied to the upper division biology requirement. Course numbering systems may vary at some 4 year institutions. Check with your institution’s Registrar or academic advisor if you are unsure whether your courses are upper division. 4

 Is there a time limit on any of the required prerequisite courses?

The only time limit is on upper division biology courses. Upper division biology courses must be completed within the last five years. Coursework fulfilling other prerequisite requirements may be older than 5 years.5

 What courses are required before applying?

See the Prerequisite webpage for details on what courses are required before applying and what courses are required before matriculation. 6

 Can I use courses with general titles such as Special Topics of Biology, Senior Seminar, or Techniques of Biology toward the prereqs?

Students must request approval to use any of these courses toward the prereqs. It is the student's responsibility to send in a course syllabus for review. 7

 What types of courses cannot be used toward the BIO requirement?

Courses need to be related to the animal and medical sciences. Therefore, examples of courses we do not accept toward the prerequisites are ecology, biology of fishes, medical terminology, epidemiology, ornithology, public health, and ethics. 8

 Can I use biochemistry courses toward the biology requirement?

Biochemistry courses may be used to fulfill the biology requirement. Biochemistry may not fulfill both the biology and chemistry requirement.10

 Can I use nutrition courses toward the biology requirement?

Nutrition courses offered in the biology department may be used toward our biology prerequisite requirement. A nutrition course offered in a nutrition, health science, or food science department may only be used toward our biology prerequisites if the course requires an upper division chemistry or biological science prerequisite course. Courses offered in a biological sciences department are preferred.11

 Can I use a course offered in the health sciences department toward the biology requirement?

All courses offered in the health science department need approval to use toward the biology requirement. It is the student's responsibility to send in a course description for approval.12

 Upper division courses at my university are not traditionally numbered as 300+ or 3000+ level. Should I notify admissions?

Admissions is aware of many unusual course numbering systems. Yet, to ensure that your upper division courses are appropriately noted and applied to our requirement, email the Admissions department with a link to the course catalog outlining the upper division policy at your university or college.13

 Do you accept study abroad courses?

Please see the Prerequisite webpage – Coursework taken outside the U.S. tab for details on courses taken abroad including study abroad. All of the science prerequisites must be completed at an accredited college or university in the United States. Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services. 14

 I already have a medical degree from another country. Do I have to complete all of the prerequisites?

All of the prerequisites must be completed as prescribed on the website. All of the science prerequisites must be completed at an accredited college or university in the United States. Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services. See the Prerequisite webpage, Foreign Coursework section for more details. 15

 Do you review updated coursework on my CASPA application submitted after my CASPA application was initially verified?

We review your application one time once your application is complete with your verified CASPA application. If your CASPA application has been updated after verification, with courses required before applying, you need to notify admissions that you have a revised CASPA application. 16

 Do you accept transfer credit?

Transfer credit is not accepted. Applicants should be aware that all courses in the program curriculum are required. There is not an option for the curriculum to be accelerated. 17

Applications and Transcripts

 What makes an application competitive?

Completion of prerequisite coursework, strength of the academic record, essays, letters of recommendation and interviews are all strongly considered in the admissions process. Positions are offered to applicants who appear to be the most highly qualified to meet the mission and goals of the program in terms of academic potential and previous achievement, character, motivation and understanding of the profession, and life experience. While we do not require medical experience, exposure to the PA profession through shadowing or other experiences will give you a better understanding of the PA profession. It is also highly recommended to be involved in extracurricular, community service, and volunteer activities. Experiences in a medical clinic or hospital are especially beneficial. Additional upper division biology coursework is also helpful for students as our curriculum is quite rigorous. 1

 Do you require medical experience to apply?

CHA/PA does not require medical experience, but it will strengthen your application.  See the Admission Statistics webpage for average hours of accepted students.  You must classify your experiences according to CASPA's guidelines.  See CASPA's website for details. 


 Do you require the GRE?

​No, we do not require the GRE.  See the How to Apply webpage for required materials.10

 Does my experience count toward patient hours?

​CHA/PA does not require a set number of patient hours.  You need to classify your experience according to CASPA's guidelines.  See CASPA's website for details.  All of your experiences will be noted upon file review.11

 In what order should I submit the required components of my application?

You can submit your supplemental application and fee, CASPA application, and CASPer scores in any order. You can check the supplemental application portal to check which items we have received. 5

 Should I wait to submit my supplemental application until my CASPA application and CASPer scores are received by the program?

No, you do not need to wait for us to receive your CASPA application or CASPer scores. Submit the supplemental application as soon as you have finished it. The supplemental application is not considered complete until we receive the supplemental application fee. 4

 What communication should I expect from CHA/PA during the application process?

You will receive an email from CHA/PA once we receive your CASPA application. You can check the supplemental application portal for the status of your CASPA application, supplemental application, test scores, and fee. Once we have received a completed application, you will receive an email confirmation. All interview invitations and application updates are sent through email. Please be sure to make the following emails safe to receive in your email account:,, and You should also check your Spam or Junk mail folders periodically to be sure that emails from CHA/PA and CASPA are received. 3

 Can I update my application with additional experience hours after submitting my CASPA application?

No, we only accept the experience hours listed on the CASPA application. 7

 Do you have rolling admissions?

​Yes, we have rolling admissions.  We commonly start receiving completed applications in June.8

 Do I need to send CHA/PA my official transcripts?

Generally, we only need official transcripts if you are offered acceptance to the program. One exception is if you completed a course after you submitted your CASPA application that is required before applying (a biology or chemistry course). All other transcripts will not be considered as part of your application. See the Prerequisite Webpage for details on what courses are required before applying and before matriculation. Transcripts must be received by Sept 1 to be considered. 2

 I am a reapplicant. What is the procedure for applying?

You are considered a reapplicant if you submitted a complete application in a prior admission year, which includes the supplemental application and fee and the CASPA application. You will need to submit a new supplemental application and supplemental application fee. See the CASPA website, FAQ section for details on transferring your CASPA application. 6

Supplemental Application Fee

 How long does it take for the supplemental application fee to show up as paid on my application?

It generally takes 5 business days for payments to be reflected on the application. 1

 I am getting an error message when I try to pay the supplemental application fee.

Try using a different computer and different browser. This solves the problem 99% of the time. 2

GPA Calculations

 I have retaken a course. Will my original lower grade be removed from the GPA?

We use the cumulative and science GPA as calculated by CASPA. CASPA will calculate both grades into the GPA equally. See the FAQ section of the CASPA website for details on GPA calculation. 1

 Can I send CHA/PA an official transcript to recalculate my GPAs after my spring or summer grades are received?

We do not recalculate GPAs. We utilize the GPA as calculated by CASPA. Therefore, your GPA’s will be calculated based on the courses you have completed at the time you complete your CASPA application.2

Letters of Reference and Additional Application Materials

 Do you accept additional letters of recommendation other than those submitted through CASPA?

We only accept the 3 letters of recommendation submitted through CASPA. We do not accept any letters of recommendation sent to us by mail.1

 Who should submit my letters of reference?

We require three letters of recommendation submitted through CASPA. We do not have a requirement for specific people to submit these on your behalf. We do suggest that you obtain letters of recommendation from various areas of your life (school, work, volunteering, etc) and from people who know you well and can attest to who you are and your desire to become a PA. These letters tell us more about you and help us get to know who you are in the various aspects of your life. 2

 Can I mail in additional items such as resumes, portfolios, or letters to CHA/PA to evaluate as part of my application?

We only accept the electronic CASPA application that we receive, as well as your supplemental application filled out online. Be sure to list all relevant experiences that you want included as part of your application review in your CASPA application. Additional items submitted will not be considered.3

General Program Questions

 Do graduates only go into pediatrics?

CHA/PA offers additional training in pediatrics, but graduates pursue numerous specialties after graduation. Program graduates are employed in all areas of primary and subspecialty areas of practice including pediatrics, family medicine, orthopedics, surgery, emergency medicine, urgent care, otolaryngology, allergy and asthma, neurology, neonatology, child protection and advocacy, and many more. See the Graduate Statistics webpage for details.1

 How can I find a PA to shadow?

Shadowing is a great way to learn more about the PA Profession. We do not require shadowing experience and do not provide shadowing opportunities. You may consider contacting private medical offices, community clinics, or hospitals to inquire of available opportunities. 2

 How is CHA/PA’s 3 year program different from a 2 year program?

In addition to the pediatric curriculum, the three year curriculum is the result of a focus on clinical experience. Unlike other programs, the CHA/PA program includes clinical experience in both the 1st & 2nd years, as well as a full third year of clinical rotations. Therefore, our students are well prepared to work with a variety of patients in numerous settings. 3

 If I were accepted into the program, when does it begin and what is the schedule?

The 36 month, full-time program starts in the summer semester each year. Orientation and the first week of classes take place early July. The academic calendar is posted on the website every spring. For more information on the curriculum, see the Program Overview section of the website. 4

 Can I attend the program part time or work during the program?

The CHA/PA program is a full-time program. CHA/PA students rarely work during the three year program due to the demands of coursework and didactic and clinical schedules. If a student does choose to work part-time, employment must not interfere with class or clinical rotations. It is challenging, if not impossible, for a third-year student to work based on clinical rotation scheduling. Classes are generally scheduled between 8 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday; however, students may be required to attend early morning, evening, and/or weekend classes and clinical rotations. Clinical rotations may be located anywhere in the extended Denver Metro/Front Range area during the first and second year when didactic classes are in session, and anywhere in Colorado the 3rd year. Students are required to complete a one-month rural rotation during the third year which may require relocation. Some rotations, especially during third year, may also require you to take night call, work until the "day's patients" are completed, make hospital rounds, and work Saturdays, Sundays or Holidays. 5