Requirements

Students interested in becoming a physician assistant can major in any discipline, but a strong foundation in biology, chemistry, math and psychology is required for admission into graduate programs.

Some graduate schools may begin using a standardized exam — the Physician Assistant College Admission Test (PA-CAT) — that may also be required for admission. We recommend that students front-load science courses as part of their four-year plan to ensure topics on the PA-CAT exam are scheduled before the end of their junior year. 

Prerequisites for physician assistant graduate programs vary by school, so we encourage students to consider a specific list of graduate programs of interest so they can work with advisers to create a custom plan tailored to their plans.

Most physician assistant graduate programs require prerequisites to be completed prior to acceptance; therefore, all prerequisite coursework must be done by fall semester of senior year.

The following sample academic plans are compatible with all physician assistant graduate programs in Illinois, as well as Des Moines University in Iowa and Carroll University in Wisconsin.

See Sample Academic Plans