Academic Requirements

The prerequisites for PA programs vary from school to school so students should refer to potential schools’ web sites. PA schools can be searched using the Physician Assistant Program Directory. As a general reference, most PA schools require the following prerequisite courses:
Introductory Biology (2 semesters)
  • General Biology: Genetics and Evolution (Bio 101F) and General Biology: Cells to Ecosystems (Bio 102S); or
  • (for those with a score of 4 or 5 on the AP exam) Biology: Fundamentals and Frontiers (Bio 115F) and either Bio 248, 331, 346, or 357
General and/or Organic Chemistry (2 semesters)
  • Principles of Chemistry (Chem 120F) or 125F (for those with a score of 4 or 5 on the AP exam)
  • Inorganic and Materials Chemistry (Chem 265S) or Biological Chemistry (Chem 270S) - to complete the general chemistry requirement

Some schools will substitute one semester of organic chemistry or biochemistry for the second semester of general chemistry; other schools require one semester of Organic Chemistry (Chem 190S) or biochemistry in addition to two semesters of general chemistry. For schools that require two semesters of general chemistry as well as biochemistry, there are two options:

  1. Chem 120 (Principles), Chem 270 (Biological Chemistry), and Bio 346 (Biochemistry); OR
  2. Chem 120 (Principles), Chem 265 (Inorganic and Materials), and Chem 270 (Biological Chemistry)

Chem 120/125 and Bio 346 are offered only in the fall; Chem 265/270 are offered only in the spring.

Anatomy and Physiology (2 semesters)
  • Survey of Human Anatomy (Bio 222S) and
  • Vertebrate Physiology (Bio 331F)

Note: Be sure to confirm that the above courses will fulfill the requirement for “human anatomy and physiology” at the schools to which you plan to apply.

Microbiology (1 semester)
  • Microbiology (Bio 221S)

Notes: Prerequisites include Bio 101 and 102, or Bio 115 as well as Chem120 or 125. Also, this course is offered every other spring semester; plan accordingly!

Genetics (1 semester)
  • Genes & Genomes (Bio 248S)
Statistics (1 semester)
  • Statistical Analysis of Data (Math 252F/253S) or
  • Statistics and Research Methods in Psychology (Psych 201)

Note: You must take Introductory Psychology (Psych 101) as a prerequisite for Psych 201.

Psychology (1-2 semesters) 
  • Introductory Psychology (Psych 101)

Note: Some schools require two semesters of Psychology. In this case, it is recommended that you take Lifespan Development (Psych 350S). Psych 201 (Statistics and Research Methods in Psychology) is a prerequisite for this course.

English/Writing (1-2 semesters)

Note: Any writing intensive course in the Literature and Creative Writing department will meet the requirement but most 100-level courses are open only to first-year students.

In addition to the above, most PA programs require courses in the social sciences (e.g. sociology, anthropology, women’s studies); check individual school requirements. Some schools may also require a medical terminology course which can be done on-line at many community colleges.

Contact Information

Leslie Bell

Director of Health Professions Advising
315-859-4338 lbell@hamilton.edu
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