Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I prepare myself financially for this program?

  • Submit your FAFSA application early
  • Meet with the college financial advising department
  • If you live in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, or Wyoming submit your WICHE application by October 15th (read the website carefully)
  • Make preparations to support yourself (and your family, if applicable) for 2+ years
  • Start researching private scholarships and sources of educational funding.
  • Note: Students will be financially responsible for housing for up to three clinical experiences of 5 1/2 weeks. See Financial Aid tab.

2. Am I a competitive applicant?

Here are general statistics for the Class of 2025:

  • Mean total GPA is 3.51; overall science GPA is 3.41
  • Mean total prerequisite GPA is 3.5
  • The cohort had collectively acquired 184,117 hours of paid healthcare-relevant experience at the time of application submittal.
  • Individually, incoming students averaged 5,754 hours of paid healthcare-relevant experience at the time of application submittal.
  • 25 females, 7 males
  • 25 Colorado residents, 7 out of state
  • Mean age of cohort is 27

3. Can I make an appointment to talk to program faculty about my application or prerequisites?

  • The program faculty/staff DOES NOT review individual transcripts or courses, perform assessments of pre-requisites, or review applications for pre-applicants.Applicants are strongly advised to contact an academic advisor from their conferring university or college to confirm coursework meets PA Program prerequisite requirements.
  • Pre-applicants are encouraged to attend a PA Progam virtual information session, faculty hosts address questions pertaining to application requirements in these sessions. Information regarding virtual information sessions can be found on the PA Program home page.
  • Pre-applicants may contact Dan Macy, PA Program advisor ( for assistance with transcript review and course planning recommendations, as needed, for completion of PA Program prerequisites. Dan is available for email, phone and Zoom advising sessions 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays from March 30 through September 1, 2023.  

4. Do I have to take the prerequisites within a certain period of time?

All prerequisites must be completed by the posted deadline. There is no period of time previous to which prerequisites will not be accepted, however, experience has shown that students who have taken the prerequisites within the last five years do better academically.

5. What is the minimum GPA for application to the RRCC PA Program?

There is not a minimum GPA for application to the PA Program, however, applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for prerequisite coursework. All prerequisite courses must be passed with a grade of "C" or higher.

6. What kind of paid healthcare- relevant experience do you accept for admission to the program?

Applicants must have a minimum of 2,000 hours of relevant paid healthcare-relevant experience (updated for the 2023 application cycle). There are no specific jobs, titles, or professions that qualify as “healthcare-relevant experience.” The program expects applicants to explain how the healthcare experience is relevant and will  support the applicant's success in the program. If the applicant believes the healthcare-relevant experience has been "non-traditional," this should be explained in the personal statement of the CASPA application. Some of the healthcare-relevant experience the program has not typically accepted include lifeguard, personal trainer or yoga/pilates instructor in a gym, non-medical researcher, and ER registrar.

7. Does the admission committee allow extensions for the completion of any prerequisite including healthcare-relevant experience?


8. Is the GRE an application requirement for the RRCC PA Progam?

No. The RRCC PA Program admission committee does NOT require completion of the GRE for program application. Applicants may include GRE scores in the CASPA application, if desired.

9. Where do I find information about the PA profession in general?

Start with There are substantial resources and information on PA programs, scope of practice, state regulations, salaries, job openings, and much more.

10. Is part time study available at RRCC PA program?


11. Is it possible to transfer from another PA program to RRCC?


12. Can I take all of my pre-requisites at Red Rocks?

Many pre-requisite courses for the PA Program are offered at RRCC although a baccalaureate degree is required for entry into the PA Program. Visit the Admission/Application link for a complete list of required pre-requisites.

13. Is it possible to obtain advanced standing for coursework received as part of a professional program (such as M.D.)?

No advanced standing is given for any course required by the RRCC Physician Assistant curriculum.

14. Is it possible to start the program at anytime other than August?


15. Does the program have rolling admissions?


16. Is it possible to work while attending the RRCC PA program?

While there is no way the program can enforce a ban on student employment while in the program, it is strongly discouraged. Students who work while in the program tend to do poorly. Absolutely no accommodations will be given by the program for student employment.

17. Can I choose my clinical rotations?

It is the program’s responsibility to place students in clinical experiences that allow the student to meet the requirements for graduation from the program. Students may request or suggest rotation sites but are not guaranteed to be placed in any given site.  Students are also not required to obtain their own clinical experiences. Many of these rotations will be outside the Denver metropolitan area.  Final approval of all clinical rotations rests with the program and must follow established program policy.

18. Can I do all of my clinical rotations in the Denver metro area? (Or, I am not from Denver so can I do all of my clinical rotations in my home area?)

In keeping with the mission of the program, students will be required to do a number of clinical rotations in rural and underserved areas. Experiences in these areas provide the student with a unique perspective on these medical communities and the patients they serve. A student from a rural area may be able to fulfill many rotations in or near their hometown. It is important to note that a student may not refuse a rotation assigned by the program, and doing so is considered a voluntary withdrawal from the program.

19.  Is there a supplemental application for the program admission process?

There are supplemental questions in the CASPA application that are specific to RRCC applicants. There is no other supplemental application required, however, there is a $100 application fee.

20. Will an arrest record preclude someone from being considered for the RRCC PA program?

An arrest will not preclude a candidate from being considered; however, an applicant cannot have been convicted of any criminal offense, regardless of its designation, involving a crime of moral turpitude or a crime against a child. Prior to matriculation, accepted students must pass a criminal background check or otherwise may waive their acceptance into the program. 

21. I have applied to your program and did not score enough points for an interview.  What can I do to improve my application?

The program receives many more applications than there are seats available. You may be a strong applicant but in any given application cycle, you may be more or less competitive among the pool. The program does not provide information about your ranking within the pool. Please note the advertised prerequisites are a minimum, and there are no exceptions or substitutions allowed. The program values applicants who can self-evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. Here are some points to consider:

  • The mean GPA for the incoming Class of 2024 is 3.50 overall, 3.42 science and 3.53 prerequisite. Consider how you can improve your academic standing if your GPA is less than 3.0 in any category.
  • If you met only minimum science prerequisites, you should consider how you may be a more competitive applicant by taking additional upper level science courses, including those that will better prepare you for the curriculum of the program. (PA curriculum information is available under the PA curriculum tab on this website)
  • Was your personal statement a reflection of how you will be successful as a PA student in a rigorous program, how you share the qualities of others who influenced your decision to become a PA, and your commitment to the profession?
  • Did you answer all application questions?
  • Did you choose references who could speak to your clinical and/or academic abilities and personal/professional strengths?
  • Did your application reflect how you would fit the mission of the RRCC PA program? (empathetic, primary care-focused medicine that serves the community)
  • Did you ensure your application was free of spelling and grammatical errors?

The admissions committee reviews each application based upon program-determined criteria. Each application is reviewed using a comprehensive, multi-step review process. The application decision of the admissions committee is final. The program will not re-review applications or accept appeal requests in the case of an applicant whose application did not meet program application requirements or score enough points for an interview.