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The University of Texas at ArlingtonThe University of Texas at Arlington

College of Science

Pre-Physician Assistant Studies

Pre-Physician Assistant Studies

WHAT IS A PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT (PA)?

A physician assistant (PA) is a medical professional that diagnosis illnesses, develope and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and can serve as a patients prinicple healthcare provider. PA's can specialize in many medical settings and have thousands of medical training hours. They can also assist in surgery, make rounds at hospitals and nursing homes, perform procedures and physical exams, counsel on preventative care, and do clinical research. PA's work with physicians. 

EDUCATION LEVEL: MASTER's DEGREE - average 27 month program 

TRADITIONAL COMPETATIVE PRE-PA STUDENT: 

  • AVG GPA: 3.5-3.8 with strong science GPA 
  • AVG GRE: 300+
  • AVG Clinical Experiences: 1000+ hours (Majority direct patient care with scribing and shadowing)
  • Well rounded experiences, volunteering, strong letters and essays

 

UPDATES ON COVID-19

 

NEWS/UNCOMING EVENTS:

  • A new admissions test will be required for some programs (PA-CAT). For more information on this test please visit : PA-CAT FAQ (More information for come)
  • CASPA opens April 30th, 2020

 

NATIONAL ORGANIZATION 

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

 

UTA PRE-HEALTH ORGANIZATION 

 

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

  • PARKLAND HOSPITAL OBSERVATION PROGRAM
    • The experience is designed to increase career awareness, fulfill education/application requirement and help model behavior through example. Eligibilty and additional information can be found on the website.
  • STUDENTS ENGAGED in ROUNDING and VOLUNTEERING PROGRAM (SERV)
    • The SERV Program is a two-semester long volunteering and shadowing program at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. Eligibilty and additional information can be found on the website. Applications are accepted at certain times of the year. 

 

RECOMMENDED CLINICAL EXPERIENCES

Gaining shadowing and direct patient care experience is very important in becoming a competitive candidate for PA Programs. Some programs may expect hundreds to thousands of hours of healthcare experience with focus on direct patient care. Therefore, getting an early start is helpful. Below are suggestions for Pre-PA students. Visit our Special Programs page for additional resources.

  • Shadowing PA's
  • EMT/Paramedic
  • RN or CNA
  • Medical Assistant
  • Physical Therapy Aide
  • Home Health Aide
  • ER, EEG, or EKG Technician
  • Phlebotomist
  • Hospice Care
  • Scribing
  • Volunteering in clinics or healthcare settings
  • Shadowing other Healthcare Professionals

 

PREREQUISITES

The prerequisites for PA Programs can vary per school and can have a 7-10 year expiration. The courses listed below are typical requirements for most programs. The courses must be for science majors and are taken with your major classes. You can major in any subject, however, most students choose Biology. Students should visit the specific schools admission website for complete requirements. Recent coursework is preferred. The average GPA of accepted student is 3.6-3.8.  

Course # of Hours Required  UTA Course
General Biology (prerequisites to upper level Biology) 8 Hours - 6 hrs lecture & 2 hrs lab

BIOL 1441 - Cell and Molecular Biology

BIOL 1442 - Evolution and Ecology

Genetics 3 Hours BIOL 3315 - Genetics
Microbiology 4 Hours - 3 hrs lecture and 1 hr lab BIOL 3444 - Microbiology
Human Anatomy & Human Physiology 8 Hours - 6 hrs lecture & 2 hrs lab

BIOL 3446 - Human Anatomy w/lab

BIOL 3442 - Human Physiology w/lab

General Chemistry 8 Hours - 6 hrs lecture & 2 hrs lab

CHEM 1441 - General Chemistry I w/lab

CHEM 1442 - General Chemistry II w/lab

Organic Chemistry with Lab 4 Hours - 3 hrs lecture & 1 hr lab CHEM 2321/2181 - Organic Chemistry I w/lab
Statistics 3 Hours 

MATH 1308 - Elementery Statistics  OR

BIOL 2300 - Biostatistics

Psychology 3 Hours  PSYC 1315 - Intro to Psychology
Recommended Courses (Some schools may require)  

CHEM 4311 - Biochemistry I (prerequisite Organic Chem II)

BIOL 3301 - Cell Physiology

BIOL 3312 - Immunobiology

BIOL 4312 - Intro to Virology

BIOL 4331 - Molecular Biology

NURS 3309 - Medical Terminology

Average GPA of Accepted Applicants:   3.6-3.8


 

PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT PROGRAMS - TEXAS

APPLICATION SERVICE 

  • The Central Application Service for Physician Assistants - CASPA
    • Opens April 30th, 2020

ADMISSION TEST