The prerequisites for PA programs vary from school to school, so students should refer to potential schools’ websites. PA schools can be searched using the Physician Assistant Program Directory.
As a general reference, most PA schools require the following prerequisite courses:
General Biology (2 semesters with Lab)
Chemistry/Biochemistry (2-3 semesters with Lab)
Note: PA schools vary considerably in terms of their chemistry requirements. All require at least one semester of "general" or "inorganic" chemistry. Some PA schools require two semesters of "general" or "inorganic" chemistry. Some schools will substitute one semester of Organic Chemistry or biochemistry for the second semester of general chemistry.Some schools require one semester of Organic Chemistry I or biochemistry in addition to two semesters of general chemistry.
Anatomy and Physiology (1 semester of each with Lab)
Note: Be sure to confirm that the above courses will fulfill the requirement for “human anatomy and physiology” at the schools to which you plan to apply.
Microbiology (1 semester with Lab)
Genetics (1 semester with Lab)
Statistics (1 semester)
Psychology (1-2 semesters)
English/Writing (1-2 semesters)
In addition to the above, most PA programs require courses in the social sciences (e.g. sociology, anthropology, women’s studies) so check individual school requirements. Some schools may also require a medical terminology course, which can be done online at many community colleges.