Coursework

Prerequisite coursework varies amongst programs; therefore, it is crucial to be aware of individual schools’ requirements.

 

For a pre-physician assistant course planning guide, click here. Also consider using our four-year planner to map out your coursework and extracurricular activities.

 

Mathematics

Most PA schools require one semester of statistics. Some require another math course as well (e.g., Math 112). Note that Math 112 is a prerequisite for Chem 103.

 

Statistics

Choose one of the following:

  • Statistics 371 (recommended)
  • Statistics 301
  • Biostatistics 541
  • Statistics in your major

Chemistry

General Chemistry

Most schools require 2 semesters with lab. Some require 1 semester with lab. Choose one of the following sequences:

  • Chemistry 103-104
  • Chemistry 109

 

Organic Chemistry

Most schools require 1 semester, some with lab. Less than 10 schools require 2 semesters. Choose one of the following sequences:

  • Chem 341 & 342: Elementary Organic Chemistry with Lab
  • Chem 343, 344, & 345: Introductory & Intermediate Organic Chemistry with lab

 

Biochemistry

Many schools require 1 semester. A few require 2 semesters. Choose one:

  • Biochemistry 501
  • Biochemistry 507-508
Biological Sciences

General Biology

Choose one of the following sequences:

  • Zoology 101-102 + Additional bioscience course (Options include: Genetics, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Immunology)
  • Biology 151-152
  • Biocore: Students must apply to enroll in Biocore. For more information, visit their website.
    • Biocore 381-382 Evolution, Ecology and Genetics lecture/lab
    • Biocore 383-384 Cellular Biology lecture/lab
    • Biocore 485-486 Organismal Biology lecture/lab
    • Biocore 587 Biological Interactions

 

Microbiology

Choose one of the following sequences:

  • Microbiology 101-102
  • Microbiology 303-304

 

Anatomy/Physiology

  • Anatomy 328 (some programs require 329 lab)
  • Physiology 335 OR 435

 

I/A Bioscience

A number of PA programs recommend immunology, cell or molecular biology, virology, pathophysiology, or other upper-level bioscience coursework

Behavioral and Social Sciences

PA schools require coursework in psychology and/or human development. Check individual schools for specific requirements. Schools may require one or more of the following:

 

Psychology

Most PA schools require an introductory psychology course. Others require one or more of the other courses listed here:

  • Introductory Psychology: Psych 202
  • Human Development: HDFS 362 OR 363, Ed Psych 320, Psych 560
  • Abnormal Psychology: Psych 509

 

Social Sciences

  • Introductory Sociology course
English

Many programs require 3-6 credits of English composition or literature.

Other Coursework (Not required by all programs):
  • Medical Terminology: Classics 205 or options available off campus
  • Genetics: Genetics 160 or Genetics 466
Patient Care

PA programs typically require patient care experiences. These are experiences in which you have some level of responsibility for patients. There is a spectrum of these experiences, ranging from some volunteer situations to others for which you earn a license to practice the position (e.g., CNA, EMT). PA programs vary in how many hours they consider to be competitive and what they count as patient care.