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Pre-Physician Assistant

Preparation for Physician Assistant School 

What should I major in if I want to be a physician assistant? There is not a specific major that is required for admittance in a PA program.  With your advisor’s assistance you can design a program that meets the requirements to enter physician's assistance school while studying what you are most interested.  Students who have developed excellent writing and speaking skills, possess analytic and synthetic thinking ability, life-long learners who are enthusiastic, and understand the interpersonal aspects of medicine are they type of students most PA schools seek.   Your major does not determine your success in being accepted to a Physician's Assistant Program.

Undergraduate Preparation

The “pre-PA” checklist is a beginning point for students.  There are certain criteria that must be fulfilled for admittance to a PA school.  You and your academic advisor will need to examine your interests, your academic record and the requirements to determine the best academic path for you.  Most Tennessee schools require courses in biology, chemistry, human anatomy and physiology, and psychology.  It is important to check each school's admission requirements to make sure you are on track to apply to the respective PA School.

Early in your academic career you will need to research some of the PA schools you are interested in attending in order to insure you will meet their criteria for admission.  Some basic factors common to all professional schools include:

  • Good undergraduate grades (overall GPA of 3.0 minimum)
  • Test scores (GRE)
  • True interest in profession as demonstrated by shadowing or volunteering in the field
  • Service-related experiences in people-oriented environments – long term service preferred to short bursts of unrelated service activities
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • Strong reference letters from professionals who know your character, as well as, your work ethic

Tennessee Physician Assistant Programs

Kentucky Physician Assistant Programs