Biology Pre-Physician Assistant

The requirements for admission to PA school are much more varied than for admission to medical, dental or graduate school. Some programs have large numbers of course requirements, and other programs have very specific requirements regarding the medical experience of people applying to their program.

If you're a biology major at Detroit Mercy, you can apply for admission to Detroit Mercy's Physician Assistant Program with the following items in addition to completing the requirements for Biology:

  • The following courses: Comparative Anatomy, Genetics, Microbiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Biometrics and HUS 441 (Multicultural Understanding) and ETH 358 (Medical Ethics) under the core curriculum,
  • Chemistry 470 (Biochemistry)
  • Psychology 250 (Developmental Psychology)
  • HSA 101 (Introduction to Health Care Systems)
  • HSA 461 (Health Care Economics)
  • 6 months of "hands on" health care experience
  • Recommendation from the Biology faculty

With these requirements fulfilled you may be admitted to the three year track only. This track leads to the Master's Degree.

Note that some of the courses listed above have additional pre-requisites so plan ahead.

Your Biology Department advisor will help you lay out a plan of study so that you have the courses necessary to apply to several different physician assistant programs.  A few programs require courses that are taught only in alternate years so you will need to plan ahead to make sure that you get in all of your requirements.

You may want to compare the requirements of PA programs with those of other health care professions before making a final choice.  Many times students do not consider the wide range of options available to them in health care.

Alternatives to Pre-PA: A Physician Assistant requires a graduate degree.  Detroit Mercy offers direct admission to a 5-year PA program through the College of Health Professionals.  Another option is to complete a rigorous curriculum in Biology, Biochemistry, or Chemistry that prepares you very well for graduate programs in Physician Assistant.