Becoming a pre-physician assistant student is a great route to go for aspiring PA’s as it will give you the best chances for admittance into a bachelors or masters degree in physician assistant studies. A pre-physician assistant program is basically going into a program with a transfer agreement that will allow one to advance to the next physician assistant degree program. The main reason that this route is the most sure fire way to go when it comes to getting into a university offering a PA program is that even if you meet a universities minimum requirements, you are still not guaranteed acceptance, which you will then have to apply again or try another school.
These programs are also referred to as a 4 + 2 program which means that once your bachelor’s degree is completed, in which you have met all the prerequisite course requirements, as well as certain Graduation Record Exam (GRE) scores then one is guaranteed to become a student in the masters program. The student is usually able to choose what major they want to study during bachelor’s studies, but it needs to be a study in which it will allow them to fulfill all the prerequisites needed for admittance into the Masters program, like Chemistry and Biology among others.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, the pre-physician assistant student now becomes as the student in a masters degree PA program which last anywhere from 24 to 30 months of full-time course work, that consist of both classroom learning as well as hands-on training in a clinical setting.
Pre-Physician Assistant Requirements
In order to get into a pre-physician assistant, you must meet certain admission requirements differ depending on the program that you are applying to but can consist of some or all of the following:
- Certain prerequisite courses, which all courses are completed with what is usually a C or better, not a C-, which the student attained a minimum cumulative GPA or what is usually demanded to be at least a 3.0
- Letters of recommendation.
- Certain minimum scores on both portions of the Graduation Record Exam (GRE), which the exam is usually needed to be taken within the last 5 years.
- Hands-on clinical experience can be required, and can range anywhere from 100 to 1000 hours or higher. This can consist of either work that you were paid for, or volunteer work or a combination of both.
Pre-Physician Assistant Requirements For Regular PA Programs
If you do not live near a school that offers you the opportunity to become a pre-PA student, then you can still apply to over 100 other accredited physician assistant programs throughout the United States, which demand requirements that consist of the same ones above, as well as can include others that include:
- A Basic Life Support (BLS) certification.
- Having certain insurance like health and life insurance.
- Background check.
- Designated immunizations.
- Technical skills that can include; motor, communication, critical reasoning, social and behavioral skills.
- All PA programs require that you apply through Central Application Services for Physician Assistants (CASPA) which they determine whether you have met the designated requirements for the specific PA program that you are applying to.