Pre-Physician's Assistant

What is “pre-physician assistant”?

“Pre-physician assistant” is a term used to describe students who plan to enter a physician assistant (PA) education after completing the basic science and behavioral science pre-requisite course work. You should know that there is rarely if ever a “pre-physician assistant” major at any college. When a student is “pre-physician assistant,” he or she is not only taking the classes required for admission to physician assistant program, but also has a major in a specific subject matter area. A student can choose any major and still go to physician assistant school so long as he or she has 1) successfully completed the courses required for admission to physician assistant program, 2) has both a strong science and overall college GPA, and 3) has demonstrated a dedicated interest in health care delivery. 

Most students accepted into a PA program have completed a baccalaureate degree and have at least three years of health care experience. Depending on the program, students may be eligible to apply to the PA program of their choice after completing at least 2 years of college pre-requisite courses.   

What courses are required for admission to physician assistant school?

Typically, physician assistant school admissions committees require the following courses to be taken in college. The equivalent courses offered at Bowling Green State University are indicated in parentheses:

  • One semester of English composition (GSW 1120)*
  • One year of biology with laboratory components (BIOL 2040 and 2050)
  • One semester of microbiology with laboratory (BIOL 3130 or 3140 and 3150)*
  • One year of anatomy and physiology (BIOL 3310 and 3320)*
  • One semester of genetics (BIOL 3500)*
  • One year of general chemistry with laboratory components (CHEM 1250-1270/1280 or CHEM 1350-1370/1380)*
  • One semester of general organic chemistry with laboratory (CHEM 3060 or CHEM 3410)*
  • One semester of statistics (MATH 1150 or MATH 2470)*
  • One semester of calculus (MATH 1310)*

*pre-requisites required for this course

Minimum cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
Students are responsible for verifying pre-requisites at the professional school of their choice.

Recommended:

  • One semester of biochemistry (CHEM 3080 or 4450)*
  • One semester of nutrition (FN 2070)
  • One semester of medical terminology (MEDT 3010)
  • One semester of general physics (PHYS 2010)
  • One semester of introductory psychology (PSYC 1010)
  • One semester of developmental psychology (PSYC 3100)*
  • One semester of introductory sociology (SOC 1010)

*pre-requisites required for this course

Minimum of 500 hours of direct hands-on patient-care experience recommended

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, all the courses required for physician assistant admission are available at BGSU.

Pre-physician assistant students often choose science majors, as these majors usually include some of the courses required for medical school admission. However, remember that a student can choose ANY major and still go to physician assistant school, so long as he or she has 1) completed the courses required for physician assistant school admission, 2) has a minimum 3.00 college GPA, and 3) has demonstrated a true interest in health care delivery.

Typically, a student’s overall college GPA should be at least a 3.0 or higher in order to be a strong candidate for admission to physician assistant school. Physician assistant school admission committees also consider a student’s GPA in the required science courses.

No. In addition to a high GPA, a student applying to physician assistant school must also submit scores from the GRE exam but some school will also accept MCAT scores. Further, students interested in physician assistant school should gain a minimum of 500 hours of direct hands-on patient-care experience. Additional sciences courses completed with above average grades will be evaluated positively in most PA programs.

Yes. Alpha Epsilon Delta, prehealth honorary society and Minority Association of Pre-medical Students encourages any student interested in healthcare delivery to attend their meetings. The Biology Sciences Honorary, Beta Beta Beta, and the American Chemical Society Student Affiliate are also available to dedicated science students. These organizations not only provide opportunities to attend lectures given by health care and other professions but also give students a chance to more deeply explore their intended professions.

BGSU graduates have attended a wide range of physician assistant programs both inside Ohio and out, including University of Toledo, Wake Forest, and University of Findlay.

BGSU offers students two faculty advisors in the science departments, Lee Meserve, Ph.D. (Biological Sciences) and Steve Chung, Ph.D. (Chemistry). Students can also consult with an academic advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences Office.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Lee Meserve, Ph.D.

Distinguished Teaching Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Pre-Health Professions Advisor
419-372-8361
lmeserv@bgnet.bgsu.edu

DeVona Smith

College of Arts and Sciences
Academic Advisor
419-372-2015
smithdd@bgsu.edu

Steve Chung, Ph.D.

Lecturer
Department of Chemistry
Pre-Health Professions Advisor
419-372-2031
schung@bgsu.edu

Patrick Dymarkowski

College of Arts and Sciences
Academic Advisor
419-372-2015
pdymark@bgsu.edu