There are certain prerequisites that are required out of physician assistant programs that the applicant must fit in order to be consider for enrollment, in a class which can range from a class size of anywhere from 25 to 85 students. PA programs are offered for multiple different degrees which include associates and bachelors as well as masters degrees. Below are the physician assistant prerequisite requirements that must be fulfilled for each degree, so you can find out exactly what you need to get your foot in the door of a profession that has excellent job security as the demand keeps getting increased each year, as well as has a median salary of over $93,000 per year, which also has steadily increased each year. All programs vary slightly in their acceptance requirements, but generally follow the same criteria as far as what you need to provide in order to become a student.
Associates Degree Physician Assistant Program Prerequisites
PA program prerequisites for associates degrees may consist of the below categories:
- Patient Care Experience and/or direct patient care experience. This experience can include jobs like CNA, Paramedic, RN, Physical Therapist, Corpsman, Medical Assistant among others. The hours demanded can range from a small amount all the way up to in the thousands of hours.
- Prerequisite Courses – Course can vary, but may include courses like; Principles of Microbiology, Organic Chemistry, Algebra, Introduction to General Psychology among others.
- A US citizen or permanent on resident.
Bachelor’s Degree Physician Assistant Program Prerequisites
As far as the bachelor’s PA school requirements go, they can look something like this:
- Completion of prerequisite courses that can include; Chemistry, Microbiology, Anatomy & Physiology, Sociology, Philosophy among others, all needed to be completed with a grade of usually a C or better.
- Criminal background checks as well as drug tests.
- Reference letters.
- Writing an essay at the location of the interview.
- US citizen or permanent non-resident.
Masters Degree Physician Assistant Program Prerequisites
If one is looking to attain their Masters Degree in Physician Assistant Studies, the physician assistant program requirements will most likely include:
- A Bachelors Degree from an accredited college or university, which you will know if they are accredited if they are given accreditation status by one of six different regional associates, which consist of; Northwest Association (NA), Middle States Association (MSA), Western Association (WASC Junior & Senior), Southern Association (SACS-CC), New England Association (NEASC-CIHE and CTCI) and North Central Association (NCA). The degree is usually demanded to be completed with a cumulative GPA as well as a cumulative science GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- Prerequisite courses, usually needed to be completed in the C to B range, which can consist of; Chemistry, Genetics, Statistics, Medical Terminology, Microbiology, Anatomy & Physiology, Biology among others.
- Letters of recommendation, and if possible one from a physician.
- Background and drug tests as well as one having certain immunizations.
- Official Graduation Record Exam (GRE) scores, which the test must be taken in the last 5 years.
- A Basic Life Support (BLS) certification.
- Patient experience, which is preferred to be hands on experience, that can range into the thousands of hours.
- A US citizen or permanent non-resident.
- Showing competence in certain technical skills which can include things like; observation, motor skills, verbal and quantitative skills among others.
When one goes to apply for a PA program, applications are most always to be submitted through Central Application Service for the Physician Assistant (CASPA), who is solely responsible for making sure an applicant has met all the physician assistant program prerequisites.
After completion of a PA program whether it be for an associates, bachelors or masters, one is able to then take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), which passing the test will enable one to apply for licensure in the state in which the life in. When one is given licensure by their state, they then be able to apply for a job as a physician assistant. Although the minimum requirement for a PA job is an associates degree, it is highly suggested that one fulfills the master’s degree physician assistant program requirements as a masters degree is what almost all working PA’s have, show that it can give you the best chance for getting employment.