Pre-Physician's Assistant

The Department of Biological Sciences offers outstanding preparation for a career as a Physician’s Assistant. The suggested curriculum below fulfills the admissions criteria for the University of Kentucky and other regional Master’s of Science in Physician’s 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's Assistant

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

For More Information Please Contact:

Department of Biological Science

Murray State University

2112 Biology Building

Murray, KY 42071-3346

Telephone: (270) 809-2786


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