Overview of Physician Assistant

Physician assistant programs are at the masters level whereas the other health care professional programs are at the doctorate level. Physician assistants work under the supervision of a physician. They can write some prescriptions, diagnose, and treat patients. Frequently they work in family practice clinics. But, they may not build a practice on their own beyond the supervision of a physician. Background checks are often conducted.

See the Occupational Outlook Handbook: Physician Assistant. Also, see the American Academy of Physician Assistants


The courses listed below are general suggestions. Check the professional school of your choice to see specific admission requirements.

Minimum Science Coursework

  • Principles of Biology I and II (BSC 120 and 121)
  • General Bacteriology and Lab (BSC 302 and BSC 304) or Microbiology(BSC 250) Note: BSC 250 does not count toward a Biological Science degree.
  • Human Anatomy (BSC 227) Note: BSC 227 does not count toward a Biological Science degree
  • Human Physiology (BSC 228) Note: BSC 228 does not count toward a Biological Science degree.
  • Principles of Chemistry I and II and Labs (CHM 211, 212, 217, and 218)
  • Organic Chemistry I and II and Organic Lab (CHM 355, 356, and 361)
  • Mathematics to meet prerequisite requirements for the science courses listed above

General Education Coursework

  • English Composition I and II (ENG 101 and 201)
  • Social and Behavioral Science: General Psychology (PSY 201) and Introductory Sociology (SOC 200)
  • Follow catalog for degree requirements B.S. or B.A.

Recommended Coursework

  • Additional requirements that vary among institutions.
  • Some programs will not consider an applicant who has not completed a bachelors degree.

Professional Exam

Generally, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required but the entrance exam requirement may vary among institutions. For the most current information, review the GRE web site.

Links to Professional Schools

College of Science • One John Marshall Drive • Science Building 270 • Huntington, WV 25755
(304) 696-2372