Pre-Physician Assistant

A physician assistant (PA) is a medical professional who works with a medical doctor. PA’s perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient education and counseling, and make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes. (American Academy of Physician Assistants)

Major Selection

As an undergraduate student, you may choose any major in preparation for applying to physician assistant programs. There is not a specific preference on a particular major, so you are encouraged to choose a major based on your own personal interests and strengths. What’s important is that you have completed the prerequisite courses required by the institution you are applying to.

Prerequisite Courses

Requirements may vary from school to school, so you will want to research different program requirements. In general, most physician assistant programs will expect applicants to have completed the following types of courses:

  • Anatomy & Physiology (one year)
  • Biology (one year)
  • Chemistry (two years, through organic chemistry)
  • English (one year)
  • Psychology (one year, abnormal psychology is recommended)
  • Statistics

A complete listing of physician assistant programs and their admission requirements.

Admissions Test

GRE: Graduate Record Examination

The GRE is compromised of the following sections:

  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Analytical Writing

Not all programs require the GRE, so it is important to check the admission requirements of each institution you plan to apply to.