Program Requirements

Physician assistants (PA) are medical practitioners who work as a team with physicians for the care, diagnosis and treatment of patients. They practice in private practices, clinics, hospitals and other health-care institutions and serve in fields from general practitioner to surgical specialties. The degree requires 26-27 months to complete and is comprised of both classroom and clinical experience. Currently, those who obtain Master’s degrees in the field are more desirable in the marketplace.

REQUIRED COURSES FOR ADMISSION BY MOST PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT SCHOOLS
Course Name Credits MSJ Course(s) Pre-requisites
General Chemistry I & II 8 CHE 111 & 111A
CHE 112 & 112A
Math placement 4 or higher
Principles of Biology I & II 8 BIO 111 & 111A
BIO 112 & 112A
 
Organic Chemistry I & II 8 CHE 211 & 211A
CHE 212 & 212A
CHE 112
Biochemistry or Biochem: Nucleic Acid Struct 4 CHE 325 & 325A or
CHE 326 & 326A
CHE 212
Anatomy & Physiology I & II 8 BIO 201 & 201A
BIO 202 & 202A
BIO 111 & CHE 112
Microbiology 4 BIO 305 & 305A BIO 112 & CHE 112
Cell Biology 4 BIO 310 & 310A BIO 111, CHE 112
Statistics 3 MTH 174 or MTH 176 MTH 098
Psychology 3 PSY 103  
Lifespan Development 3 PSY 204 PSY 103
Medical Terminology 1-3 BIO 130  
Recommended COURSES
Course Name Credits MSJ Course(s) Pre-requisites
Pathophysiology 4 BIO 301 preferred
Or BIO 225
BIO 197 & BIO 198 or BIO 201 & BIO 202

The courses that are listed above are commonly required or recommended by graduate schools.  In addition to the specific courses that are listed above, students are expected to take core courses in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics.  Students who are interested in a particular school should refer to that school’s website for specific requirements.

HPAC Advisor:  Tracy Reed-Kessler, PhD
Office:  SC 205A, 513-244-4324
Email:  tracy_reed@mail.msj.edu

Admission Requirements

Physician Assistant School Admission Requirements

Physician assistant schools require that you have a residency time before coming to school rather than after your training as in medical schools. This is one reason for the shortened training time. At least 40 hours of shadowing a PA is required by Cuyahoga Community College and recommended at most other schools. In addition, as much as 1000 hours of health care experience with direct patient care (paid or volunteer) is required. Many schools want you to have a part-time or full-time job in a health-related field with direct patient care before applying to the school. For this reason, the average age of students entering PA schools is 26. Visit websites of the schools for the specific requirement.  Students who are admitted to physician assistant school must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the natural sciences and an overall minimum 3.0 GPA.  However, admission is very competitive so a high GPA is important. CPR certification is also required. Students apply to physician assistant school through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).  The application process opens to students in early April of each year prior to the year of planned school entrance.  Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Official transcripts and three letters of recommendation are required as well as a base fee before September 1st. Additional information is available at http://www.caspaonline.org. Additional information about the physician assistant career and all PA programs can be found at the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) website, www.PAEAonline.org.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The revised GRE (implemented August 1, 2011) is a four-hour computerized exam that includes two multiple-choice sections (Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning) and an Analytical Writing Section. The reasoning sections are scored individually on a scale from 130 to 170 in one point increments and the writing section is scored on a scale from 0 to 6 in 0.5 point increments.  The GRE is offered year-round but you must wait 60 days to retake the exam. Students should take the exam 12-18 months before the expected date of entry to the professional program. Each school has its own minimum requirements.  Additional information and free test preparation materials are available at http://www.ets.org/gre.

Tri-state Schools

These summaries and course listings are intended to serve as guidelines. Please refer to the College Catalog at www.msj.edu/catalogs for the latest information on course listings.

***The College of Mount St. Joseph will become Mount St. Joseph University effective July 1, 2014. Any reference within the catalog to the College will be understood to be a reference to Mount St. Joseph University after July 1, 2014, unless otherwise noted.***