Ambitious and motivated Towson University students may choose to focus their studies
in pre-physician assistant to gain the strong academic foundation and skills necessary
to be accepted into pre-professional schools. Graduates go on to successful careers
in medicine as a Physician Assistant.
Pre-Physician Assistant Advising
If you are majoring in a Fisher College of Science & Mathematics (FCSM) department/program,
please contact Professor Stella Evans (see below). If you are majoring in a College
of Health Professions department, please see CHP's Pre-Physician Assistant Advising.
The program offers students:
research and internship opportunities,
highly individualized advising,
small classes taught by faculty who are recognized as accomplished teachers and researchers,
state-of-the-art facilities and instrumentation,
Pre-Physician Assistant club that sponsors enrichment programs and events and offers
networking opportunities, and
advantegous location in Baltimore-Washington region with top medical facilities where
students gain clinical and healthcare experience required for admission to Physician
Students interested in Physician Assistant schools typically select majors in sciences,
though you do not need to be a science major to apply. However, schools require completion
of certain science and mathematics courses.
Required and Recommended Pre-Requisite Courses
Pre-physician assistant students, regardless of major, must take the required courses
as part of their curriculum. Students are advised to check the schools they are interested
in to be certain to fulfill their requirements. Students should keep in mind that
admission to physician assistant programs is highly competitive and most schools require
at least a 3.0 GPA to apply but students that are accepted to the program average
a 3.5 GPA. Most programs do not have grade replacement for repeated courses when
determining a student’s GPA, this means all grades will count when the GPA is calculated.
Note that a minimum grade of a B is required by most schools in the prerequisite courses.
Students can choose either the Functional Biology of Animals concentration or the Cellular and Molecular Biology concentration and take the following courses:
BIOL221 & BIOL 221L
Human Anatomy and Physiology I [Lecture] Human Anatomy and Physiology I [Lab]
BIOL 222 & BIOL 222L
Human Anatomy and Physiology II [Lecture] Human Anatomy and Physiology II [Lab]
CHEM 131 & CHEM 131L
General Chemistry I [Lecture] General Chemistry I [Lab]
CHEM 132 & CHEM 132L
General Chemistry II [Lecture] General Chemistry II [Lab]
Essentials of Organic Chemistry
Introduction to Psychology
1 BIOL 215- Essentials of Microbiology is acceptable for PA programs but does not count
toward the Biology major or provide upper level credit.
2 Students can elect to take the two semester Organic Chemistry courses, CHEM 331 and
CHEM 332 but for the majority of PA schools CHEM 330 is sufficient.
3 Some PA schools require a lab with this course, if that is the case then also take
4 Some schools require 6 or 9 credits in psychology courses so student should consider
taking PSYC 203- Human Development and PSYC 361- Abnormal Psychology.
Health Care Experience
In addition to the undergraduate coursework required for PA school, you will need
to gain a significant amount of health care experience or what some programs call
“patient contact” experience. The total number of hours required varies from program
to program but is generally in the range of 800-1600 hours. The type and quality of these hours also matters.Programs prefer experiences in which the applicant was directly responsible for patient
care. Many programs provide applicants with lists of the type of experiences that they prefer
applicants to have. Note that hours spent shadowing a physician or physician assistant
are considered low-quality hours and may not be considered at all by some programs.
Pre-Physician Assistant Program Advisor in Biological Sciences