Skip to main content

Pre-Physician Assistant courses



TIERNEY R. BROSIUS, Associate Professor (Biology)
B.S., Wayne State College; M.S. & Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Augustana's pre-physician assistant advising program prepares students for the entrance requirements to any physician assistant graduate program in the country.

Besides taking challenging coursework in biology, chemistry and physics, Augustana pre-physician assistant students are encouraged to take advantage of the college's strong liberal arts foundation by taking classes in other areas of interest. Beyond their requirements of a Bachelor of Arts degree and strong science curriculum, pre-physician assistant programs may give consideration to students with a broader, well- rounded education.

Pre-Physician Assistant program outline

The following courses should be completed by the end of the first year:

Chemistry 131, 132 (General Chemistry)
First-Year Inquiry (FYI) 101 and 102
First-Year J Term course
Foreign Language 101, 102 if needed (less than 4 years of high school language)
Biology 130 (Molecules to Cells)* or Biology 140 (Organisms to Ecosystems)*

Summer after First Year:

Take Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Class or EMT class. This can be taken at a local community college near hometown. ALL schools require clinical hours ( patient care); most require a minimum of 1,000-2,000 hours.

The following courses should be completed by the end of second year:

Biology 130 (Molecules to Cells)* or Biology 140 (Organisms to Ecosystems)* (whichever one was not taken during the first year)
Chemistry 321,322 (Organic Chemistry) *Organic Chemistry is not required for all PA schools. Many schools only require a single semester. However, since many schools also require Biochemistry, the prerequisite being two semesters of Organic, you will need to enroll in a full year of Organic Chemistry.
Biology 250 (Genetics)*-BIOL 130 is a prerequisite
Psychology 100 (Intro to Psychology)
Psychology 240 (Psych. Stats) Calculus is NOT required, however a few PA schools require one math course. Psych stats fills this requirement.

The following courses should be completed by the end of the third and fourth year:

Biology 250 (Genetics)*(if it was not taken during the first year)-BIOL 130 is a prerequisite
Biology 360 (Comparative Physiology) or Biology 362 (Human Physiology)
Biology 343 (Microbiology)
Biology 351 (Human Anatomy)
Chemistry 441 (Biochemistry I)* if schools you are considering require it
Senior Inquiry Course- in Biology or another major; if done in a different major, then replace with another biology elective

Additional courses currently needed for some Physician Assistant Schools:

Biology 345 (Immunology), Communication Studies 1##, Public Speaking 2## or (Argumentation and Oral Advocacy) or 4## (Business & Professional Communication
Psychology 216 (Human Development)
Psychology 224 (Psychological Disorders)

The Augustana physician's assistant program is not a graduation major, so a departmental major must be completed if the student intends to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree. The choice of graduation major is not critical for acceptance by a PA school, but the majority of students matriculating in PA programs have a major in the biological sciences or psychology.