The following is a general guide for courses you may need to apply to a PA program. Requirements vary from school to school. So, it is always necessary to consult the websites of PA schools where you know/think you want to apply.

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.


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.


Choose one of the following:

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


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


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 bio-science 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


Choose one of the following sequences:

  • Microbiology 101-102
  • Microbiology 303-304


  • Kinesiology/Anatomy 337 (some programs require 338 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 bio-science 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:


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 460
  • Abnormal Psychology: Psych 405

Social Sciences

  • Introductory Sociology course


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 also require patient care experience. Patient care is defined as having 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.