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Did You Know?

Over the last 4 years, 61.3% of Miami undergraduate applicants have been accepted to medical schools, compared to a national average of 45%.

Mallory-Wilson Center
for Healthcare Education at Miami University

Preparing for a Career as a Physician Assistant (PA)

Once you have decided to pursue a career as a physician assistant, you should:


Unfortunately, the prerequisite coursework required for admission to PA programs is not standard. While program requirements vary, it is not uncommon for PA programs to require some or all of the following courses:

Physician Assistant School Requirement - Miami Equivalent

General Biology (1 year)
*BIO/MBI 115, 116
General Chemistry (1 year)
CHM 141, 142, 144, 145
Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry (1 year)
CHM 241, 242, 244, 245
CHM 231, 332
Anatomy (1 semester)
BIO 201 or KNH 244†, 244L†
Mathematics (1 semester)
MTH 102 or higher
Statistics (1 semester)
STA 261
Microbiology (1 semester)
MBI 201
Physiology (1 semester)
BIO 161 or BIO 305
Psychology (2 semesters)
PSY 111 and one higher-level PSY course

* BIO/MBI is a cross-listed course offered by the Departments of Biology and Microbiology.
† Class not accepted by every PA program.

Once again, program requirements are not standard, so once you have decided to pursue a career as a PA please contact the PA schools to which you plan on applying to verify their course prerequisites.

Additional Requirements

Admission to Physician Assistant school is competitive and schools choose among many qualified applicants. Evaluation of candidates is based largely on objective criteria. While high overall and science GPAs are important, there are other important requirements that you need to fulfill as well. These include:

  • competitive Graduate Records Exam (GRE) scores. The GRE is required by the majority of PA programs.
  • PA schools generally require a certain number of hours of direct healthcare experience (some up to 1,000 hours). Verify the hours requirement with the schools to which you want to apply.
  • strong letters of reference (both academic and from a PA)
  • evidence of leadership potential as demonstrated by a few carefully chosen extracurricular activities
  • well-developed interpersonal skills

Applying to Physician Assistant School

The majority of PA schools require that students apply to their programs using a web-based application service called the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). For more information and for a complete listing of schools that require students to apply through CASPA, visit the CASPA website.


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