Physician Assistant (PA)


PAs work in all areas of medicine, but unlike MDs and DOs, do not specialize during their training. PAs examine, diagnose, and treat patients, but often work with a team that includes a DO or MD. PAs have similar responsibilities to registered nurses (RNs), but their training is more similar to MDs’ than to nurses’.

Suggested Major*:


*Note: no particular major is required for this program. Recommendation is based on major courses in common with program requirements.

Required Courses**:

  • General, Organic, and Biochemistry (1-year sequence including ALL three topics) OR two semesters of organic chemistry OR one semester of organic chemistry and one semester of biochemistry. 100-level general chemistry does not fulfill this requirement
    • Recommended RMC courses: CHEM101/102, CHEM251/252 OR CHEM220, BIO425
  • Biology coursework to include 15 credits of:
    • Two semesters of human anatomy & physiology with laboratory (from a biology, physiology, zoology department, or an allied health program) - 8 credits
      • Recommended RMC courses: BIO321/322
    • Recommended RMC courses: ENG119/120
    • One semester of microbiology with laboratory - 4 credits
      • Recommended RMC courses: BIO350
    • One semester of genetics – 3 credits
      • Recommended RMC courses: BIO203
  • 1-2 credits of medical terminology (online course acceptable);
    • Recommended RMC courses: PHA247
  • Mathematics to include a pre-calculus or higher course (functions, trigonometry, exponents, and logarithmic functions) and a statistics/probability course (defined as pre-mathematical functions and statistics and probability) - 6 credits
    • Recommended RMC courses: MAT110, MAT210, MAT175/176
  • Psychology (development or abnormal highly recommended) - 3 credits
    • Recommended RMC courses: PSY205/206, PSY305
  • 3 credits earned in a social science course such as sociology, geography, anthropology, political science, or economics
    • Recommended RMC courses: SOC101, SOC225
  • One course in English composition - 3 credits;
    • Recommended RMC courses: ENG119/120

**Note: course requirements differ slightly by institution. Be sure to check the requirements of the schools you are interested in applying to.

Additional requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Science GPA of 3.00 with no science prerequisite lower than a "C-"
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.00
  • GRE with minimum combined score (verbal + quantitative) of 291);
  • 1,500 paid hours of direct, hands-on patient care before you apply
  • Letters of recommendation (one from a healthcare provider)
  • Recommended additional courses: one year of physics or additional quantitative courses and / or laboratory experiences, and additional writing classes.
  • Patient care experience
  • PA shadowing hours (minimum 40 hours)
  • Application materials: for help with the application process, consider enrolling in the Medical Careers Pipeline of courses and contacting Lisa Wallace ( our Director of Career Services.

Affiliated programs: 

Useful resources: