The 10 Least Expensive PA Programs

Updated February 2023

Becoming a Physician Assistant can be Expensive!

With many programs costing over $200,000 including cost of living, it may seem like attending a PA program is out of reach. It doesn’t have to be – in this article we give you the 10 least expensive programs based on our research. A few are very reasonable, especially for residents of the state they are located in.

What Expenses can I Expect to Incur at PA School?

When looking into attending PA school, the costs can be hard to determine and not very transparent. Your costs may include:

In compiling this list, we’ve attempted to estimate the total cost of attending each PA program. Note that your actual costs may vary significantly so make sure you do your own research and calculations for your specific circumstance.

If you are thinking of working while in school: it can be difficult or impossible, although some programs offer part-time schedules. Make sure you check to see if working is possible for the schools you are interested in.

Another thing to keep in mind is the length of the program – shorter programs will allow you to get out into the workforce sooner even if the total cost is a bit higher. You may want to take that into consideration.

Ten Least Expensive PA Programs

Based on our research, the 10 least expensive programs are as follows. For state schools, we use resident tuition in the ranking, although these schools tend to be some of the least expensive for non-residents too. Click the program name for more details.

Some Affordable Programs for Non-Residents

Although many of the top 10 shown above are inexpensive for both in-state and out-of-state residents, these five schools should also be considered if you aren’t a resident of one of the states of the public schools above:

Special Mention - U.S. Army Interservice Physician Assistant Program

The U.S. Army Interservice Physician Assistant Program is available only to active duty and reserve members of the U.S. military branches. It is an excellent, and zero cost, opportunity for eligible candidates to become physician assistants.

Search PA Schools by Cost

If you are subscribed to our PA Toolkit, you can search PA programs by cost and many other criteria including other test requirements, prerequisites, and GPA.

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After you purchase, you will receive an email for setting your password. Once you login, you will have full access to all search tools and data.

Not all data is available or applicable for every program. While we review and update each program’s information regularly, there may be errors and schools may make changes at any time. PreHealthAdmit is not affiliated with any school or application service.

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Instructions and Tips

Use this page to search for programs based on prerequisites.

Here’s some tips:

  • After searching, make sure you also review the detailed notes, recommendations and requirements on the school detail page and/or the compare prerequisite page.
  • Check one or more boxes within each group of fields to narrow the search results down.
  • Select every checkbox up to and including your target requirement. For example, if you have one semester of chemistry, check “None” also to make sure you don’t exclude those programs with no requirement.
  • The search criteria are only applied to programs that have that specific requirement. For example, if a program has a requirement for “1 semester of chemistry required and a lab is recommended”, this school will satisfy the “1 semester required” option.
  • Some programs have requirements for any combination of courses of one type, for example “2 total courses of any chemistry subject”. For the purposes of this search, that would not be treated as a requirement, but you’ll need to be aware that you need to closely look at each program’s detailed requirements.
  • Use the Add/Remove buttons to fine-tune your list of programs.

Instructions and Tips

Use this page to search for programs based on general criteria.

Here’s some tips:

  • Check one or more boxes within each group of fields to narrow the search results down.
  • For certain numerical searches (such as Minimum GPA), if the program does not have a minimum, it is considered a zero. Make sure you include zero in your range of values so that they show up in your search.
  • The tuition search uses our estimate of total cost of attendance for non-residents including tuition, fees and living expenses.
  • You’ll probably want to start with more boxes checked and start with a short list of results. Uncheck boxes to expand the list.
  • Use the Add/Remove buttons to fine-tune your list of programs.


An example of how to maximize the effectiveness of your search: let’s say you don’t want to take any standardized tests:

  • Check every box under Test(s) Required that does not have “required” in it. for example “None”, “GRE Recommended”, “PA-CAT Recommended”, etc.
  • Leave blank any box that has a “required” test, such as “GRE Required”, “PA-CAT Required”, “GRE Required and PA-CAT Recommended”, etc.

This will make sure you only filter for programs that have no requirement for a standardized test.