Physician Assistant | College of Arts & Sciences | Kent State University

Physician Assistant

PRE-PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT

Physician assistants work collaboratively with physicians to provide patient care.

IS THIS CAREER RIGHT FOR YOU?

  • Do you find the human body fascinating and enjoy learning about science?

  • Would you like educating and communicating with people?

  • Would you be happy to be part of a team and be supervised by a physician?

  • Do you enjoy scientific research and solving problems?

UNDERGRADUATE TIMELINE

FIRST YEAR

  • Dedicate yourself to doing well in all your courses, especially science courses, from your first semester. Many programs will expect minimum grades of C or B in prerequisite courses.
  • Become involved in a variety of campus organizations.
  • Become comfortable with speaking with your professors and advisors. Visit them during office hours to discuss your performance in class and future plans.
  • Begin to research PA programs to which you would like to apply. Study their admission and prerequisite course requirements and tailor your courses accordingly.
  • SECOND YEAR

  • Continue doing well academically.
  • Start seeking PA shadowing experience if you have not already done so.
  • Continue getting to know your professors, ensuring that you will have individuals who are willing to write you supportive letters of reference.
  • THIRD YEAR

  • Begin to study for the Graduate Record Exam and plan on taking it in spring or summer of the junior year. Some programs may not require the GRE for admission.
  • Become familiar with the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants.
  • Identify the programs to which you will apply. Make certain you are aware of their application deadlines and that you will have completed all necessary prerequisite courses with the necessary minimum grades. Also, familiarize yourself with their supplemental application materials.
  • Gain additional PA shadowing experience. Some programs require more shadowing experience than others.
  • Line up letters of recommendation. Many programs will require at least one letter from a physician or physician assistant.

Fourth Year

  • Have application in by deadline which can typically range from Sept. 1 to November 1.
MAJOR

PA schools typically do not require any particular undergraduate major. What is most important is that you do well in your undergraduate program and prerequisite courses necessary for admission.

DEGREE DETAILS

The vast majority of accredited programs grant master’s degrees, and to maintain accreditation all programs must award master’s degrees by 2021. Graduates of accredited PA programs are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination.

Some programs offer dual degree options such as: PA/MPH or PA/MBA

Most programs are between 18 and 36 months in length. PA programs are very intense. This is especially true for shorter programs. It may not be possible to work while in the PA program.

PREREQUISITE COURSEWORK

The courses listed below are typically required by PA programs. Be sure to consult individual programs.

Biology Courses

  • Biological Diversity and Foundations: BSCI 10110, BSCI 10120
  • Elements of Genetics: BSCI 30156

Human Anatomy and Physiology

  • Anatomy and Physiology I and II: BSCI 21010, BSCI 21020

Chemistry and Biological Chemistry

  • General Chemistry I and II: CHEM 10060, 10061, 10062, 10063
  • Basic/Organic Chemistry I: CHEM 20481 or 30481.
    • If Organic Chemistry Laboratory is required: CHEM 30475
  • Biological Chemistry: CHEM 30284

Psychology

  • PSYC 11762

Statistics

  • MATH 10041 or 30011

Medical Terminology

  • HED 14020
TESTING REQUIREMENTS: GRE

The Graduate Record Exam is offered at test site all around the world. The GRE covers:

  • Verbal reasoning
  • Quantitative reasoning
  • Analytical reasoning

Preparation materials can be found here.

PRE-PA ADVISING
PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION