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Pre-Physician Assistant

Nationally certified and state-licensed, physician assistants (or PAs) work as a member of a healthcare team under the supervision of a physician. These professionals help diagnose illnesses, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and can assist in surgery. While the path to becoming a PA is challenging, this career offers many professional benefits, including the ability to change specialties throughout the course of a career.

To become a physician assistant, students will need to complete a master’s degree from an accredited PA training program. These degrees take roughly 2 years to complete and can include more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations.

PA Programs in Indiana

  • Butler University
  • Franklin College
  • Huntington University
  • Indiana State University
  • Indiana University
  • Trine University
  • University of Evansville
  • University of Saint Francis

Pre-Requisite Courses

The admission criteria for each PA program are unique to that college or university. Additionally, many schools stipulate a maximum number of outstanding required courses at the time of application. While the following table includes the most common pre-requisite courses for physician assistant programs in the US, students should work with their advisor(s) to ensure all pre-requisite courses are completed in a timely fashion.

Introductory BiologyTwo, w/labBIO203 and BIO204
MicrobiologyOne, w/labBIO214 or BIO340
Medical TerminologyOneBIO216
Human AnatomyOne, w/labBIO225
Human Physiology One, w/labBIO226 or BIO334
BiochemistryOneBIO310 or BIO311/312 or BIO411/412L
General ChemistryTwo, w/labCHE140/141L and CHE142/143L
Organic ChemistryTwo, w/labCHE305 and CHE306
StatisticsOneBIO205 or MAT130
Behavioral Sciences

Preparing a Competitive Application

Admission to PA programs is highly competitive. Since the requirements for entry into these are diverse, students should thoroughly explore the requirements of all programs to which they hope to apply. At Marian, meet early and often with your advisor to stay on track for a successful application.

A competitive candidate will generally:

  • Demonstrate strong academic performance in all courses (GPA 3.5 or higher strongly recommended)
  • Score well on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Note, some schools may request the MCAT or the PA-CAT instead of the GRE. Check the requirements of each program carefully.
  • Demonstrate extensive familiarity with the field to gain an understanding of the expectations of the physician assistants
    • Shadow several PAs in different specialties and in different settings to gain a realistic view of the responsibilities in the field
    • Gain extensive first-hand experience with patients through volunteering or a paid position. (Many programs require a specific minimum for patient care hours.)
    • Get involved in community service, volunteerism, and co-curricular activities
    • Seek leadership opportunities in clubs, organizations, church, or sports
    • Conduct independent research to better understand the scientific literature. Note, research is not necessarily required for your PA application, but it will help distinguish you as an applicant.
  • Exhibit strong interpersonal skills, the ability to work with a diverse group of people, and a desire to help others

Recent Schools Attended by Marian Graduates

  • Butler University
  • Franklin College
  • Indiana State University
  • Indiana University
  • Kettering College
  • Marietta College
  • Northeastern University
  • Rush University
  • Trine University
  • University of the Cumberlands
  • University of Dayton
  • University of Evansville

Want to Know More?

Trisha Staab, Ph.D.
Director of Pre-Medicine and Pre-Health Professions
(317) 955-6544

Office of Undergraduate Admission
(317) 955-6300
(800) 772-7264

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Marian University does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age or disabilities in the selection of administrative personnel, faculty and staff, and students.
*Placement rates are gathered from data collected from graduates within six months of graduation.

Students may make a complaint to the Indiana Commission of Higher Education.

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