Pre-Physician Assistant

The Department of Biological Sciences offers outstanding preparation for a career as a Physician Assistant. The suggested curriculum below fulfills the admissions criteria for the University of Kentucky and other regional Master’s of Science in Physician Assistant (PA) Studies programs. Students usually apply to the 2-and-a-half-year professional program during the spring of their senior year for admission in January of the following year.

To meet the minimal requirements for admission into a PA program of study, students should adhere closely to the suggested Pre-PA curriculum, earn an overall GPA of at least a 3.0, and take the GRE General Test. The General Test is a national examination composed of three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. The GRE is offered several times during the fall/early spring, and it is not uncommon for students to take it more than once. Competitive applications will have an overall GPA greater than 3.5 and a combined Verbal and Quantitative score of greater than 300.

In addition, many PA programs have a requirement for health care experience which varies depending on the program (200-2000 hours). This direct "hands-on" patient care experience may include clinical experience as a health professional (nurse, health educator, paramedic, EMT, respiratory therapist, etc) or experience as a medical/nursing assistant, clinic aide, orderly, patient care attendant, etc. It is not uncommon for pre-PA graduates to work full-time to acquire this experience prior to applying for a PA program. Any applicant with minimal exposure to physician assistants (no regular contact with a PA in a work setting for example) may want to arrange with one or more PAs to "shadow" them on a regular basis, especially PAs who work in primary care settings such as family practice, internal medicine or general pediatrics. Students should familiarize themselves with the specific requirements of each program early into their Pre-PA studies.

Suggested Curriculum Outline, BS in Pre-Physician Assistant


For First-Time Freshman (Scroll Down for Transfer Students)

Course Credit Hours
Fall Year 1 16 total hours
Bio 100T Transitions 1
BIO 115 The Cellular Basis of Life 3
CHE 201 General College Chemistry 5
ENG 105 Critical Reading, Writing & Inquiry 4
PSY 180 General Psychology 3
   
Spring Year 1 18 total hours
BIO 216 Biological Inquiry & Analysis 4
CHE 202 General Chem & Quantitative Analysis 5
BIO 221 Zoology: Animal Form and Function 4
MAT 150 Algebra & Trigonometry or MAT 250 Calculus & Analytical Geometry 5
   
Fall Year 2 15-16 total hours
BIO 222 Botany: Plant Form & Function 4
CHE 312 Organic Chemistry I & Lab 5
STA 135 Intro to Probability & Statistics or PSY 300 Principles of Statistical Analysis 3-4
PSY 260 Lifespan Development 3
   
Spring Year 2 14 total hours
BIO 300 Microbiology 4
PHY 130/131 General Physics I & Lab 4
CHE 320 Organic Chemistry II 3
COM 161 Introduction to Public Speaking 3
   
Fall Year 3 15 total hours
BIO 120 Scientific Etymology 1
BIO 227/228 Human Anatomy & Lab 4
BIO 321 Cell Biology: Mechanisms 3
PHY 132/133 General Physics I & Lab 4
SOC 133 Introduction to Sociology 3
   
Spring Year 3 15 total hours
BIO 220 Clinical Terminology 1
BIO 229/230 Human Physiology & Lab 4
BIO 333 Genetics 4
CIV 201 World Civilization I 3
HUM 211 The Western Tradition 3
   
Fall Year 4 14 total hours
BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective 4
BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective 3
BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective 3
XXX XXX Ethics Elective 3
IDC 300 GRE Preparation 1
   
Spring Year 4 13 total hours
BIO 499 Senior Seminar 1
BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective 3
CHE XXX Upper Level Chemistry Elective 3
XXX XXX Unrestricted Upper Level Elective 3
XXX XXX Global Awareness Elective 3

 For Transfer Students with an Associate's of Science degree

Note, this pathway follows the pre-Biology Curriculum from WKCTC. It assumes that students have taken courses that will transfer as Murray State's BIO 115, BIO 216, CHE 201, CHE 202, MAT 150 and PHY 130/131. See Murray State Transfer Equivalency Tool to help you figure out how courses transfer from your current institution.

Course Credit hours
Fall Year 1 Post Associate's Degree
16 total hours
BIO 120 Scientific Etymology 1
BIO 221 Zoology: Animal Form & Function 4
CHE 312 Organic Chemistry I & Lab 3
PSY 180 General Psychology 3
PSY 300 Principles of Statistical Analysis 3
   
Spring Year 1 Post Associate's Degree 15 total hours
BIO 220 Clinical Terminology 1
BIO 222 Botany: Plant Form & Function 4
BIO 300 Microbiology 4
CHE 320 Organic Chemistry II 3
PSY 260 Lifespan Development 3
   
Fall Year 2 Post Associate's Degree 15 total hours
BIO 227/228 Human Anatomy & Lab 4
BIO 321 Cell Biology: Mechanisms 3
SOC 133 Introduction to Sociology 3
PHY 132/133 General Physics & Lab 4
IDC 300 GRE Preparation 1
   
Spring Year 2 Post Associate's Degree 15 total hours
BIO 229/230 Human Physiology & Lab 4
BIO 333 Genetics 4
BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective 4
CHE XXX Chemistry Elective 3
   
Fall Year 3 Post Associate's Degree 13 total hours
BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective 3
BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective 3
BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective 3
BIO 499 Senior Seminar 1
XXX XXX Unrestricted Upper Level Elective 3

For More Information Please Contact:

 

Dr. Chris Trzepacz
Department of Biological Sciences
2112 Biology Building
Murray, KY  42071
ctrzepacz@murraystate.edu
270.809.2786

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