Department of Biological Sciences
Information for Physician Assistant Program Applicants
Links to Sites of Interest to Pre-P.A. Students
Regional Physician Assistant Programs
Other PA Sites
Let me know if you know of other sites that might be of interest to prePA students.
Applying to Physician Assistant Graduate Programs
Students should apply to physician assistant graduate programs (usually through CASPA, see link above) in the summer or fall of the year before they plan to begin the program. Do not wait until just before the deadline to apply--apply close to the earliest time they accept applications. Investigate the web sites for programs that are of interest to you to make sure that you take the prerequisite courses required--not all programs require the same courses.
For example, in the social sciences, some programs specify abnormal psychology, some developmental psychology, and some just one year of psychology and one other social science course (but make sure what they mean by social science!).
In science and math, most require a year of chemistry (with labs), a year of physics (with labs), and a year of biology, but some specify anatomy and physiology, or zoology, or microbiology in addition to general biology. In math, a few require calculus, but most require college algebra and trigonometry, plus statistics.
Some schools require human anatomy and physiology (at SIUE, Biol 240a and b); some allow separate vertebrate anatomy and physiology courses (at SIUE, Biol 389 and 340). Biol 240ab do not count toward a biology major; Biol 389 and 340 do. Many PA program applicants choose the biology/medical science specialization (abbreviated BIOM), but the biology/integrative biology specialization (abbreviated BIOI) may also meet their needs, with properly chosen area electives.
Most programs require the GRE as an admissions test. In addition, most require documented experience working with a physician assistant.
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