Marjoanne Thompson, Coordinator and Advisor
Department of Biology and Microbiology
Alfred Dairy Science Hall 228
Pre-Professional Interest Area Information
SDSU offers pre-requisite courses to students interested in gaining admission to one of the more than 120 accredited physician assistant (PA) programs in the United States. Accredited PA programs have their own distinctive features, prerequisites, and missions designed to prepare students to become effective members of a health care delivery team.
All PA programs are expected to become master’s degree programs in the near future, thus earning a baccalaureate degree while completing prerequisites for the PA school(s) of your choice is strongly recommended. The general Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is a requirement for many programs.
Generally, all PA programs require one year each of general biology and general chemistry, one course each in human or animal anatomy and physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, general developmental and abnormal psychology, and statistics. All science courses need to have an accompanying laboratory. Additionally, courses required by many PA programs include medical terminology, organic chemistry (a prerequisite for biochemistry), and statistics.
A broad, general education including courses in communication, humanities, and social science is strongly recommended. Many PA schools also require a minimum of three months health care experience. An excellent source of information about accredited PA schools is the online Physician Assistant Programs Directory.