Physician Assistants

Physician assistants, also known as PAs, practice medicine on teams with physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare workers. They examine, diagnose, and treat patients. (Source: United State Department of Labor, Healthcare Occupations)

Required Coursework (Iowa State University course numbers)

Prerequisite courses vary greatly among PA schools,. Information about the various PA schools, as well as a list of their required coursework, can be found in the PAEA Program Directory. Courses to consider include, but are not limited to:

  • Biol 211 and 211L & Biol 212 and 212L
  • Biol 255 and 255L & Biol 256 and Biol 256L
  • Chem 177 and 177L & Chem 178 and 178L
  • Chem 331 and 331L & Chem 332 and 332L OR Chem 231 and 231L
  • BBMB 301 or 303 or 316
  • Psych 101
  • Stat 101

Experience Hours

Most PA programs require a set number of patient care hours be completed prior to application to their program. The number of hours varies greatly, so it is important to review the requirements of the schools to which you plan to apply. It is also important to understand what types of experiences PA programs count towards these hours. Some programs will require direct patient care while others will count shadowing. Additionally, some programs require paid experiences while others will accept volunteer hours. Because the number of hours can be very high, it is important to start exploring the requirements and gaining experience early in your preparation process.

Standardized Test

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