University of Southern Indiana

Pre-Physician Assistant

Physician Assistants (PAs) are experts in general medicine that can treat, diagnose, and prescribe medication. PAs can have specialties in primary care, surgery, emergency medicine, or internal medicine and work for physicians, hospitals, or other qualified health centers. 

Entry level for a Physician Assistant is a Master’s Degree. PA schools accept students with a Bachelor’s degree in any major as long as a student has all prerequisite courses. Admission to PA programs is highly competitive. Application is usually based on a number of factors:

  • GPA - A minimum 3.0 GPA is typical with the average GPA being higher than 3.0
  • Exam Scores - PA programs are graduate programs so students must take the GRE although the MCAT is acceptable for some programs
  • Shadowing Experiences and Patient Contact - PA schools vary widely on this requirement. Some schools require as little as a few shadowing experiences, while others require up to 2000 hours of direct patient care.
  • Pre-requisite coursework - while course requirements vary, most programs require
    • Biol 121/122 - Human Anatomy & Physiology (I and II)
    • Biol 375/376 - Microbiology & Lab
    • Chem 261/262 - General Chemistry (I and II)
    • Chem 353/354 - Organic Chemistry (I and II)
    • Stat 241 - Statistics
    • Psy 201 - Introduction to Psychology
    • Psy 261 or 322 - Lifespan Developmental Psychology or Abnormal Psychology
    • HP 115 - Medical Terminology

These requirements can be satisfied in both the Biology and Biochemistry majors. You must check specific programs for up to date requirements. Sometimes pre-requisite coursework must be completed by the time of application although a completed Bachelor’s is not required at that time. You can find more information about PA programs from the American Association of Physician Assistants.

For more information about Pre-Physician Assistant preparation in the Biology Major, please contact:

Henri Maurice
Dr. Henri Maurice
Associate Professor of Biology
Contact: 812-461-5231
Science Center 1279


For more information about Pre-Physician Assistant preparation in the Biochemistry or Chemistry Majors, please contact: 

Jeannie Collins
Dr. Jeannie Collins
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Contact: 812-465-1267
Science Center 2265


Contact Dr. Zane Mitchell


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