Prerequisites

Clinical and academic preparation

The following prerequisite information outlines the educational and clinical experiences you will need in order to be successful in the physician assistant studies program. Preference is given to those candidates who complete all prerequisites at the time of application (summer).

Preprofessional Prerequisite Courses Minimum Semester Hours

  1. Life sciences (14 hrs minimum)

    1. Must include courses (8 semester hours total) in anatomy and physiology at the pre-med level or for science majors, preferably as separate, upper division courses with lab. Courses in human anatomy and human physiology are preferred.

      MSU courses that would fulfill this requirement: *BMS 307 and *BMS 308 (*strongly preferred).

    2. Must include a course in microbiology (3 semester hours minimum), preferably including a lab component.

      MSU courses that would fulfill this requirement: BIO 210 or *310 (*preferred)

    3. Must include a course (3 hours minimum) in human or general genetics.

      MSU courses that would fulfill this requirement: *BMS 230 or BIO 235 (*preferred). A lab is not required.

    4. Other appropriate courses may include cell biology, cell physiology, embryology, endocrinology, genetics, histology, virology, immunology, molecular biology, neurobiology, bacteriology, pathophysiology and epidemiology.
  2. Chemistry (12 hrs minimum)

    1. Must include the complete sequence (2-3 semesters) of general chemistry at the pre-med level or for science majors, including lab.

      MSU courses that would fulfill this requirement: CHM 160, 170, (CHM 161 and 171, labs)

    2. A course in organic chemistry or biochemistry is also required (a survey course is acceptable).
  3. Statistics (3 hrs minimum)

    1. One introductory course in statistics

      MSU courses that would fulfill this requirement: MTH340, ECO 308, SOC 302, PSY 200, QBA 237, BIO 550

  4. Social Science (6 hrs minimum)

    1. Must include a course in general or introductory psychology.

      Missouri State University course that would fulfill this requirement: PSY 121

    2. Additional courses may include: developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, sociology, health care ethics or death and dying.

      MSU courses that would fulfill this requirement include, but are not limited to: PSY 304, PSY 350, PSY 363, PSY 380, PSY 441, SOC 150, PHI 513. (*The list of Missouri State University social science courses that may fulfill the "additional course" requirement is not exhaustive, but representative.)

For all academic prerequisite course work

  • A grade of “C” or higher must be earned in each of the courses.  A minimum GPA of 3.0 (as calculated by CASPA) is required.
  • CLEP examination or advanced placement credit may not be used to meet any of the above requirements, unless a comparable number of credits in advanced courses in the discipline have been completed.
  • Due to the rapid evolution of the basic sciences, preference may be given to applicants who have completed their pre-professional prerequisite courses during five years prior to applying to the program, particularly those with strong science work.
  • Additional life science courses (listed above) beyond the minimum will strengthen the application.

Contact the Physician Assistant Studies Department for additional information.

Proficiencies

  1. Candidate for admission to the PA program should “shadow” a practicing PA for at least 24 hours.
  2. Applicants must have a minimum of 500+ hours of paid, direct, hands-on patient care experience at the time the CASPA application is submitted.  Patient care experience requiring certification is most competitive and includes, but is not limited to:  nurse, paramedic, EMT-B, CNA or PCT, health educator, respiratory therapist, athletic trainer or Medical Assistant (MA). Supervised clinical internships may account for up to 50 of the required 500 hours. Volunteer work at hospitals, clinics or other medical venues does not count toward the required hours of clinical experience, but is valued by the admissions committee and can, therefore, strengthen a candidate's application.
  3. A course in medical terminology is strongly recommended for applicants who are not health professionals or for any applicant not confident of their ability in this area. Self-study courses are appropriate.