Admissions Requirements (Class of 2026, Entering Fall 2023)

Citizenship Requirement

Individuals who have met all application requirements and permanently reside in the United States at the time of application, inclusive of DACA recipients, are permitted to apply and matriculate at Touro University California.  Currently, TUC does not accept international students.

Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid is limited to US Citizens and US Permanent Residents. Candidates applying without US Citizenship or Permanent Residency are strongly encouraged to explore financing options before proceeding with the application process.  Additional information may be viewed by visiting the Eligibility Requirements section of the Financial Aid website

Letters of Recommendation

The TUC Joint MSPAS/MPH Program requires three letters of recommendation, which are generally submitted with the CASPA application. One letter must be from someone who is a clinician (e.g., PA, NP, Physician).  The source of the remaining letters is up to the applicant.  The Program does not accept reference letters from friends, family, the applicant’s personal healthcare provider, or patients/clients.  If letters are not submitted with the CASPA application, they may be sent directly to the Office of Admissions (  Please note that submitting letters outside of the CASPA application may delay review of your application.   

Be sure to submit all application materials prior to their respective deadlines!  Letters of recommendation are used for admissions purposes only and do not become part of the official academic record.

Minimum Academic Requirements

Minimum cumulative and science GPA's, as calculated by CASPA, must be 3.0 or better.  The GRE is not required. 

All candidates are required to have obtained a Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education prior to submitting the CASPA application.  

Minimum Course Requirements

All pre-requisite coursework must be completed prior to submission of the CASPA application.

Applicants from all academic disciplines are welcome to apply, provided they have completed a Baccalaureate degree and provided they meet the required minimum prerequisites as noted below. Prerequisite courses may be taken at any regionally accredited community college or 4-year college/university, either in person or online.  The best way to verify whether or not your school is regionally accredited is to check your schools website, contact your registrars office, or look at the back of your official transcripts.

  • 8 semester/12 quarter units (including labs) in each of the following categories:
    • Biological Sciences (may be comprised of general biology, genetics, immunology, embryology, etc.)
    • Chemistry (may be comprised of inorganic, organic, biochemistry)
  • 4 semester/5 quarter units (including labs) of the following:
    • Human Anatomy (must be completed within 6 years of expected year of matriculation)
    • Human Physiology (must be completed within 6 years of expected year of matriculation)
  • Microbiology (4 semester/5 quarter units, lab not required)
  • Statistics (3 semester/4 quarter units)

When possible, pre-requisite courses should be completed with a letter grade which must be a “C” or better (“C-“ will not be accepted).  Non-letter grades (e.g., Pass or Credit) will also be accepted.

Proof of successful completion, via official transcripts, will be required prior to matriculation.

Patient Care Experience (PCE) and Health Care Experience (HCE)

It is the applicant's responsibility to sufficiently document patient care and health care duties in the CASPA application.  Applicants should consider the tasks which they perform and use their best judgment to determine which category in the CASPA application they fall into.  Applicants are expected to separate hours for positions that consist of both Patient Care Experience and Health Care Experience accordingly. Please also make sure to list the type of setting in which you completed the experience (i.e. family medicine, pediatrics, outpatient internal medicine, FQHC, community health center, etc.) as this is not always clear from the name of the clinic. 

All health care-related experiences should be documented either in the Patient Care Experience or Health Care Experience sections not the Volunteer section, even if you volunteered or were unpaid for the experience. 

Patient Care Experience (PCE)

At the time of application, candidates must have obtained a minimum of 1,000 hours of Patient Care Experience, either as a volunteer or in a paid position.  As outlined in the CASPA application, Patient Care Experiences are those in which you are directly responsible for a patient's care. For example, prescribing medication, performing procedures, directing a course of treatment, providing talk-therapy, designing a treatment regimen, actively working on patients as a nurse, paramedic, EMT, CNA (depending on job description), phlebotomist, physical therapist or aide, dental hygienist, etc.  In addition, our program considers back office medical assistant work as patient care (even though CASPA lists it as an example of health care experience).  If you have back office MA experience logged under health care experience, we will count those hours as patient care experience when your application is reviewed.

Having these experiences provides an applicant with the opportunity to observe and learn about the various roles of the health care team, ensures that an applicant has an understanding of, and commitment to working with patients, and provides a foundation of medical knowledge and experience to build upon in our fast-paced program.

Health Care Experience (HCE)

Health Care Experience includes paid or volunteer work where you are not directly responsible for a patient's care, but may still have patient interaction; for example, filling prescriptions as a pharmacy tech, performing clerical work (answering phones, filing paperwork, registering folks for insurance, etc.), delivering patient food, transporting patients, language interpretation services, cleaning patients and/or their rooms, administering food or medication, working as a scribe, CNA (depending on job description), etc.

All reported Patient Care Experience will be evaluated based upon the following criteria:

  • Specific duties performed
  • Skill set needed
  • Quality of patient interaction
  • Total number of hours
  • Setting
  • Patient population served
  • Time frame of the experience 

The following are some common types of Patient Care Experiences:

Athletic Trainer

Paramedic/Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)*


Clinical Nutritionist

Physical Therapist

Clinical Research Assistant

Physical Therapy Aide

Dental Assistant


Dental Hygienist


Medic/Medical Corpsman

Registered Behavioral Technician

Medical Assistant (MA)**

Respiratory Therapist

Nurse (LPN/LVN/RN)

Techs: EKG, ER, Lab, Mental Health, Ophthalmology

Occupational Therapist

Techs: Radiology, Surgery

*CNA hours are often a combination of Patient Care and Health Care.  Monitoring vitals, wound care, assisting with medical procedures are examples of patient care duties.  On the other hand, helping patients with activities of daily living (ADLs) is considered health care by our program standards because it involves a lower level of responsibility.

**CASPA suggests that you report MA hours under "Health care Experience".  The TUC PA program, however, will count back office MA hours, where you are directly responsible for a patient's care, towards our minimum required 1,000 "Patient Care'' hours.  Therefore, when listing your MA duties it is helpful to define how many hours (or percent) were front office versus back office.  The Program will consider back office MA duties as Patient Care Experience and front office MA duties as Health Care Experience. 

Credit for Experiential Learning

No direct patient care credit will be granted for student related experiences required for your degree or certificate program (i.e., athletic training student, EMT student, contact hours required for nursing school, etc.).

Physician Assistant Shadowing

Although we do not require PA shadowing, applicants who have a detailed knowledge of the PA role tend to perform better during the interview. Working with or shadowing a PA provides an applicant with more in-depth knowledge of the profession, allowing an applicant to make an informed career decision to enter a PA program.  Applicants who have worked with PAs are advised to describe all such interactions under the appropriate job descriptions.  Shadowing hours that occur in primary care settings (such as pediatrics, family medicine, outpatient internal medicine, occupational health, or women’s health) or working with underserved communities (in any clinical setting), support an applicant's demonstration of interest in our mission. Although we do recognize virtual shadowing hours, these are not preferred as there are substantial limits to understanding the role of the PA in a virtual setting. We discourage applicants from paying for these types of virtual opportunities.

Community Service

Though not required, community service volunteer work is highly desirable and is viewed favorably during the application review process. Preference is given to candidates who have 200 or more hours of volunteer work with community based organizations. We prefer to see experiences working with underserved, underrepresented, or under resourced communities. 

Additional Requirement for Graduates of Foreign Institutions

The Joint program considers applications from graduates of foreign institutions.  The Program does not, however, evaluate foreign transcripts. Transcripts and coursework from foreign institutions must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES).  Evaluations must be sent directly to CASPA and must indicate whether or not the degree(s) being evaluated should be considered equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited US institution.

Applications from TUC MPH Students and/or Graduates of Other MPH Programs

The Joint Program does not award credit for coursework completed prior to enrollment. Designed as a joint MSPAS/MPH curriculum, applicants who already hold a MPH degree are not eligible to apply to this program.

Advanced Placement (AP) Credit

Touro University California accepts advanced placement credit as long as such credit appears on the undergraduate transcript and indicates either specific subject credit (e.g. General Chemistry - 4 units) or specific course credit (e.g. Chem 101 - 4 units). General advanced placement credit without such specifications is not accepted.

Transfer Students from other PA Programs

The Program does not accept transfer students.

Transfer of Credit

The program does not grant transfer credit.  This includes prerequisite credit for work related experiences and credit for completing a public health degree at a different institution.

Part-Time Status

The Program does not allow part-time status for new students.