The annual application period is November 1-March 31. Applications are now closed. 

To Applicants:

  2. When you create your Login ID and PIN: Text this important information to yourself!
    • If you don’t do that you can retrieve your PIN by correctly answering questions about your application (Must have Login ID)
    • If you have attempted to login to the application system too many times with incorrect information, it will lock.  Call University Admissions for assistance at 909-651-5029.  They will ask you other identifying questions to authenticate your identity to assist you back into your application.


Undergraduate Degree Requirements

College Prep Baccalaureate Degree*
Pre-requisite Courses

8 SH Biology with laboratory
8 SH General Chemistry with lab
Organic Chemistry I and II with laboratory
Biochemistry with laboratory (optional but preferred)
4 SH Microbiology with laboratory
3 SH College algebra or higher
3 SH English Composition or Comparable
* Completion of listed pre-requisites

Grade Point Average 3.0 cumulative minimum
Recommendations Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to your intellectual ability, work ethic, and professionalism.
Interview A personal interview with the Pathologists’ Assistant Program Admission Committee.
Shadowing or Work Experience

Applicant must complete a surgical shadowing experience with a practicing Pathologists' Assistant or have applicable work experience in Surgical or Autopsy Pathology. An essay regarding this experience is required as part of the application packet. There are no set number of hours in which applicants need to shadow, rather we ask that you gain enough knowledge to articulate in writing on your application and verbally (if invited for an interview), your shadowing experience and the duties of a PA in a typical working day.

GRE We DO NOT require the GRE for admission or application.
Transcript U.S. and Canadian

A Medical Terminology course is preferred.

*Any Bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. undergraduate institution is acceptable, but all required pre-requisites must be included on transcripts.  Transcripts of ALL colleges/universities attended must be submitted for application.

Clinical Handbook

Student Handbook


A one-day, one-time shadowing experience is offered at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Please send an email to to go through the approval process.  Before this process, the potential student must:

  1. Have full COVID vaccination and booster with proof.
  2. Be willing to wear a mask during the shadowing experience while in the surgical pathology suite. 

The amount of time spent at these experiences is not as important as the ability of the applicant to tell the admissions committee what a Pathologists’ Assistant does in a “typical” working day.  This varies from place to place, and no day is the same as the day before (that’s the exciting part of our job!) but the applicant should ask questions of their mentor to determine the information and be able to discuss it.  A shadowing statement will be part of your application essay. 

Please call 909-558-8095 to inquire about shadowing opportunities. Every effort will be made to assist potential students to obtain shadowing at LLU or sites across the country, but cannot be guaranteed. 

Essential Functions

Technical Standards (Essential Functions) for Admission, Promotion, and Graduation from the Pathologists’ Assistant Program at Loma Linda University:

Pathologists’ Assistant Program Technical Standards (Essential Functions)

In accordance with Section 304 of the 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act, the Loma Linda University Pathologists’ Assistant Program has adopted minimum technical standards for assessment of all applicants to the Pathologists’ Assistant Program.

Because the Master’s Degree in Health Science signifies that the holder has obtained minimum competencies in all areas of the Anatomic Pathology laboratories, it follows that graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a wide variety of laboratory situations and to perform a wide variety of procedures.

Candidates for the Master’s Degree in Health Science must have somatic sensation (sense of touch) and the functional use of the senses of vision and hearing. Candidate’s diagnostic skills will also be lessened without the functional use of the sense of equilibrium, smell, and taste. Additionally they must have sufficient motor function to permit them to carry out the activities described in the sections that follow. They must be able to consistently, quickly, and accurately integrate all information received by whatever sense(s) employed, and they must have the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze, and synthesize data.

A candidate for the Master’s Degree in Health Science must have abilities and skills which include observation, communication, motor, conceptual, integrative, quantitative, behavioral, and social. Technological compensation can be made for some handicaps in certain areas but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. The use of a trained intermediary means that a candidate's judgment must be mediated by someone else's power of selection and observation.

  1. Observation: The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations, procedures and instruments in the basic sciences and clinical courses. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell.
  2. Communication: A candidate should be able to speak, to hear, and to observe people in order to elicit information and perceive nonverbal communications. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with members of the health care team.
  3. Motor: Candidates should have sufficient motor function to perform laboratory procedures. This action requires the coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
  4. Intellectual: Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the candidate should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand spatial relationships of structures.
  5. Behavioral and Social Attributes: A candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities, and the development of mature, sensitive relationships with patients and co-workers. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that should be assessed during admissions and education process.
  6. Ethical Values: A student must demonstrate the highest level of professional demeanor and behavior, and must perform in an ethical manner in all dealings with peers, faculty, staff, and patients. Students must also be able to develop professional relationships with clinicians and other medical providers and staff while protecting patient confidentiality. Students must also meet the expected ethical standards set forth by the medical profession. Good moral character, decent values and principled judgment are paramount attributes for being a professional. In order to participate in key components of the curriculum, a student must be able to pass requisite criminal background checks and random illegal drug screens required by affiliated clinical institutions.

In its evaluation of applicants to the Loma Linda University Pathologists’ Assistant Program, the Admissions committee will approach each applicant with the following questions in mind. When an applicant does not meet a non-academic standard as defined above, and when this would in the professional judgment of the Committee, not satisfy the Pathologists’ Assistant objectives for the student in performing laboratory procedures, education, and research, such opinion will be documented by the Admissions Committee.

 The questions are not designed to disqualify an applicant but rather to give the Admissions Committee more complete information about an applicant's ability to meet these nonacademic standards.

  1. Is the candidate able to observe demonstrations and perform procedures in the basic sciences and clinical courses?
  2. Is the candidate able to analyze, synthesize, solve problems and make judgments about results obtained on patient specimens?
  3. Does the candidate have sufficient use of the senses of vision, hearing and somatic sensation necessary to perform the indicated laboratory procedures?
  4. Can the candidate reasonably be expected to communicate the results of laboratory tests to other members of the health care team with accuracy, clarity, and efficiency?
  5. Can the candidate reasonably be expected to learn and perform laboratory tests and operate instruments?
  6. Can the candidate reasonably be expected to display good judgment in the analysis of procedure results?
  7. Can the candidate reasonably be expected to accept criticism and respond by appropriate modification of behavior?
  8. Can the candidate reasonably be expected to possess the perseverance, diligence, and consistency to complete the Pathologists’ Assistant Program and to become a practicing Pathologists’ Assistant?

Conditions That May Result In Immediate Rejection Of Application:

  • Undergraduate degree GPA of <3.0
  • Incomplete application package including recommendations, photos, transcripts, required essays, and forms.
  • No shadowing experience.
  • Insufficient pre-requisites.
  • Lack of US transcripts.
  • Any falsification of facts regarding undergraduate degree, work history, or personal background.

    Admissions Process

    Admissions requirements:

    Prospective Pathologists' Assistant students will:

    • Provide transcripts with a conferred bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university.
    • Provide three letters of recommendation that indicate a strong academic background, and professional competence, and maturity.
      (Links for the electronic recommendation will be sent to the evaluator AFTER application is submitted.)
    • Electronic submission only.  No paper recommendations are accepted.
    • Interview, if deemed necessary.
    • Complete a LLU application, including personal statement and shadowing statement, and submit application fee.
    • Regardless of nationality or citizenship, an applicant whose native language is not English or whose secondary education has been given outside the United States, is required to pass a test of English proficiency.  Test results/scores are to be sent directly to LLU from the testing service.  TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test dates.  
    • Minimum GPA of 3.0. Students with a lower undergraduate degree GPA may be considered with further graduate level education or other circumstances demonstrating academic competence
    • A statement regarding a shadowing experience is required in the application packet. There is no set number of hours that applicants need to shadow. Rather, it is expected that the applicant gain enough knowledge to articulate in writing (and verbally, if invited for an interview) the duties of a Pathologists’ Assistant (PA (ASCP)) in a typical working day.  Work experience in a laboratory can substitute for shadowing, if the applicant can articulate the typical duties of a PA (ASCP).
    • Completion of listed pre-requisites in or in addition to baccalaureate degree:
      • 8 SH Biology with laboratory
      • 8 SH General Chemistry with lab
      • Organic Chemistry I/II with laboratory
      • Biochemistry with laboratory (optional but preferred)
      • 4 SH Microbiology with laboratory
      • 3 SH College algebra or higher
      • 3 SH English Composition or Comparable

    The Application Committee consists of the Dean of the School of Medicine, the Medical Director for the Pathologists’ Assistant program, the Program Director, and selected members of the Loma Linda University community.  The Committee reviews each application that is submitted, with a limited number of applicants chosen for individual interviews.

    Criteria reviewed include:

    • Undergraduate GPA
    • Interview Summary
    • References
    • Essential Functions signature *****
    • Essay/shadowing statement

    Results of the applications and interviews are comprehensively reviewed and mathematically ranked by the committee.  Recommendations are made for offers of acceptance, and accepted individuals will be notified by end of May.

    Interview Process

    Interviews are scheduled on an individual basis. The interview will last from 25-45 minutes, and is conducted by a panel composed of members of the Admissions Committee.  A tour of the campus and pertinent facilities is given following the interview.

    Each prospective student will be asked a standard set of questions. The panel may ask other questions as they arise regarding student answers or experiences highlighted in the applicant’s file.  Interviewees are encouraged to ask questions of the panel and engage in discussions of questions, issues or experiences that they wish to highlight or explain.  This is your chance to shine!

    Interview Tips

    You have been invited to interview, congratulations! Here are a few tips for a successful interview:

    1. Sleep comfortably the night before the interview.
      This is an investment in the rest of your life. While expensive, it will benefit you to get a hotel room for one night before your interview to be comfortable, relaxed and sleep well. When you are well-rested, you can think clearly and present yourself at your best.
    2. Shower and dress appropriately.
      Professional attire will be most beneficial to your presentation. For men, a suit in dark blue, gray, or black with a professional (pressed) shirt and tie are appropriate. For women, a professional suit in muted colors is most appropriate. If a skirt or dress is worn, hose should also be worn with closed-toed shoes. Make-up and perfume/cologne should be kept to a minimum, if at all. Jewelry should be minimal.
    3. Do your homework!
      Have questions to ask! Review the curriculum, scheduling, clinical sites, and web site. Compare us to other programs in which you’re interested. Questions are welcomed and expected at interview.
    4. Treat everyone politely and with respect.
      Remember, you are being interviewed from the moment you arrive. How you interact with people matters! We realize you’re nervous or concerned but now is not the time to be rude! Important: Shut off your cell phone until the entire interview process is complete.
    5. Relax!
      This can only be accomplished with practice. Go on-line, look at typical interview questions and formulate answers. Sit in front of a mirror and interview yourself. This is what the committee will see. Sit up straight, speak slowly and clearly, and practice, practice, practice- then you’ll be ready! (A tip: If you use the term “like” or “you know” very often in your speech, practice professional grammar by eliminating these terms.).

    Good Luck! We at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine Pathologists’ Assistant program look forward to meeting you.