Physician Assistant Program PrerequisitesBy
I have talked about this before. It is very important to know the prerequisites of the programs to which you will apply. When I looked at just the top 25 teams, it took me 50 hours to extract 25 different items onto an Excel spreadsheet. I make that Excel file available to you in the program “Everything You need to know to get Accepted to PA School”. Until you purchase that program, let me talk about this issue.
Rule number one is to exceed the minimum. Just barely qualifying won’t get you accepted. The top 25 programs receive about 15+ applications per seat. Duke gets 700-800 for 70-75 seats. Emory reports similar stats and Iowa, ranked #1, only has 30 seats in its program. You have to get noticed by your academic record first and they look at how many courses you have taken, how heavy your load was (PA school is intense and you need to show you can do it) and what kind of grades you made. A 3.0 is the cut-off for most schools. For your last 60 hours, you need more than a 3.0.
What courses do you need? Think about Anatomy and Physiology with labs, Microbiology with labs, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry with labs, Statistics, Cell Biology, Genetics and advanced courses in Psychology plus Medical Terminology. Think about Embryology and Immunology also. Almost all the top 25 programs require a degree for acceptance to their program. In the 2010-11 application cycle, St. Francis University in Loretto, PA did not have a place for anyone outside their pre-PA program. This is not the norm but could be as more and more students choose the PA profession as their first choice.
Then there is the GRE. Most Master degree programs require it. You have to send it directly to the program and not through CASPA. You don’t need a course if you will prepare for the GRE mindset with a book. Elizabeth writes about this in her tips in the PDF that is part of our “Everything You need to know to get Accepted to PA school”.