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Pre-Physician Assistant

Last updated May 20, 2019

Professional programs leading to certification as a physician’s assistant require specific courses in biology, chemistry, and psychology. Additional courses and requirements vary among the post-graduate programs. An internship or health care experience is strongly recommended. Most schools will require anywhere from 750-4000 direct patient care hours, so a CNA or EMT certification is strongly recommended. Students must also shadow a practicing Physician Assistant. Most schools require GRE test scores as part of the application process.

Understanding Your Undergraduate Path:

Students at Morningside College who identify as Pre-Physician Assistant typically major in Biology and/or Chemistry and then add appropriate prerequisites. However, each institution offering a Physician Assistant program has its own undergraduate prerequisites, so applicants should contact the school or college of their choice for specific requirements. Be sure to consult with your Academic Adviser, Faculty Adviser, or an adviser at the school or college of physician assistant that you plan to attend.   

University of Iowa PA program

Union College (Nebraska) PA program

See Suggested Four Year Plans by Major (Biology, Chemistry)

Applying for Physician Assistant School:

As defined on the CASPA Website: "The Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) simplifies the process of applying to physician assistant programs. By using CASPA, you are able to complete one application via our online website and send one set of documents to our centralized service. CASPA will verify your coursework for accuracy, calculate your GPA, and provide your application to your designated PA programs.

Physician assistant programs choose to participate in CASPA. Approximately 90 percent of accredited PA programs participate in each CASPA cycle. Developing PA programs that are within one year of being granted provisional accreditation may also choose to participate.  There are PA programs who do not utilize CASPA; they handle their application process individually. For a list of programs who participate in CASPA, please see the Participating Programs list.  PA applications are due summer/early fall of the senior year."

CASPA Website

Additional Resources:

Career Services – Graduate School Information

CASPA Website

CASPA PA Course Subjects

PA Programs Directory

Physician Assistant Education Assistant