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Pre-Physician Assistant

Pre-Physician Assistant is not a major, but rather a compilation of courses and experiences to prepare students for next steps. Professional schools evaluate achievement in required prerequisites, regardless of major. We recommend for students to choose a major they enjoy and in which they can excel.

Students are encouraged to contact us to receive assistance in planning when to take these prerequisite courses, and those who are declared as being in the Pre-Physician Assistant program are required to meet with their Medical Professions Advisor each semester in order to remain in the program. Students will receive academic advisement for their chosen degree program with their assigned academic advisor.

A competitive GPA is essential when considering a career in the health field. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to remain in the Pre-Physician Assistant Program. Our experience is that students with a GPA below 3.0 are, unfortunately, not competitive.

The courses listed below are generally required for Physician Assistant schools in our region, in addition to the courses necessary for General Record Examination (GRE) preparation. We encourage students to seek out and familiarize themselves with the prerequisite and admission test requirements of their intended Physician Assistant school(s), as requirements may vary.

Biology and Anatomy Courses

  • BIOL 1107/1107L: Principles of Biology I/Lab (4)
  • BIOL 1108/1108L: Principles of Biology II/Lab (4)
  • BIOL 3134: Cell and Molecular Biology (3)*
  • BIOL 2240 or 4240: Microbiology (non-biology majors) or Biology of Microorganisms (biology majors) (4)
  • KINS 2531/2511 (Statesboro) or BIOL 2081/L (Armstrong): Human A & P I/Lab (4)
  • KINS 2532/2512 (Statesboro) or BIOL 2082/L (Armstrong): Human A & P II/Lab (4)

Chemistry and Biochemistry Courses

  • CHEM 1211K: Principles of Chemistry I/Lab (4)
  • CHEM 1212K: Principles of Chemistry II/Lab (4)
  • CHEM 3401: Organic Chemistry I/Lab (4)
  • CHEM 3402: Organic Chemistry II/Lab (4)*
  • BCHM 5201: Biochemistry I/Lab (4), or BCHM 3200: Principles of Biochemistry (3)*

Mathematics Course

  • STAT 2231: Intro to Statistics (3)

Social Science Courses

  • PSYC 1101: Intro to Psychology (3)
  • PSYC 3101: Abnormal Psychology (3)*

Additional courses to consider

  • BIOL 4130: Genetics (3)
  • BIOL 4230: Intro to Immunology (3)
  • BIOL 5131: Cell Biology (3)
  • BIOL 5132: Molecular Genetics (3)
  • BIOL 5142: Molecular Biotechniques (4)
  • BIOL 5148: Human Genetics (4)
  • BIOL 5239: Neurobiology (3)
  • BIOL 5240: Histology (4)
  • BIOL 5246: Human Pathophysiology (4)
  • BIOL 5247: Endocrinology (4)
  • BIOL 5248: Immunology (4)
  • BIOL 5341: Parasitology (4)
  • BIOL 5532: Evolution (3)
  • HLTH 2510: Medical Terminology (1)

*Please refer to each PA school/program for specific prerequisites.

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Make it official. Add your Pre-Professional Program by filling out the Office of Pre-Professional Advisement Interest Form on our home page. This step will ensure that you receive up-to-date information from Medical Professions Advising staff regarding events, programming, and advising.

Study + Excel. A competitive GPA is essential when considering a career in the health field. You must have a minimum of a 3.0 to remain in the Pre-Physician Assistant Program at Georgia Southern University. Talk with your Academic Advisor, professors and Academic Success Center for help with study skills through various workshops and tutoring.

Resume + Interviews. Create and/or improve your resume at the Office of Career Services. You can also gain confidence and develop your interview skills with a video-taped mock interview.

Job Shadow. We recommend that you gain experience by shadowing a general practice Physician Assistant and specialists of your choosing. Document your experiences in a physical or digital format, and obtain at least one letter of reference from a Physician Assistant you have shadowed.

Direct Patient Care. Get hands-on experience to show your genuine interest in and commitment to the healthcare field. Program direct patient care requirements vary between 100 – 2,000 hours. Roles to gain experience include: Nursing/Medical Assistant, EMT, Phlebotomy, and more!

Volunteer + Lead. We recommend that you participate in volunteer activities that benefit others. Contact the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement for more information about volunteering with local weekly trips, Alternative Break Trips, and more. We also recommend that you participate in leadership seminars, workshops, retreats and LEAD courses. Get involved and join a student club or organization, such as the Association of Pre-Health Professionals or Pre-Physician Assistant Association.

Connect + Explore. Get to know your professors and local health care professionals. These individuals are valuable resources for research experience, volunteering, shadowing and letters of recommendation. Consider Study Abroad programs through the Office of International Programs and Services. Attend information sessions, workshops, field trips, and other events for pre-PA students offered by the Office of Medical Professions Advising.

Research. Talk with your professors and peers who are involved with undergraduate research and consider opportunities within the College of Science and Mathematics.

Prepare for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). This exam requires substantial amounts of preparation and study time, so it is never too early to begin. Typically, students prepare to take the GRE in the spring of their junior year, so it is important that necessary coursework be completed by this time.

Degree: MPAS or MMS. Physician Assistants (PAs) are medical professionals who work as part of a medical team with a doctor. PAs perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, and assist in surgery. PAs also provide patient education, counseling and make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes. After licensure and certification, PAs are allowed to practice medicine and prescribe medication under the supervision of a physician. If you choose to pursue a Pre-Physician Program alongside your major, you will be on track to apply to a master’s degree program in PA Studies upon graduation. Learn more about Physician Assistants at the American Academy of Physician Assistants website.

Entrance Exam: Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Medical Programs in US: Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) and Physician Assistant Education Association Program Directory

There are five Physician Assistant programs in Georgia. Specific admissions requirements are available on each school’s website:

Last updated: 5/31/2022