Physician Assistant

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There is growing interest in the Physician Assistant career, which allows you to work as a team member with physicians in a diverse number of medical areas. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of PA jobs in the U.S. will increase by 38% between 2012 and 2022. Typical PA programs last 24-32 months and require a bachelors degree and health care experience to be competitive for admission. Most entering PA students have completed a bachelors degree. The median salary for PAs in 2012 was $90,930. Most programs require online application using the The Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) by October 1st of the Junior year. The GRE is typically used as an entrance exam.

See information on other professional health programs on the Health related professional schools page.

Admissions requirements

Most programs offering the Masters degree require a bachelors degree and previous health care experience, which can be gained during shadowing and volunteer activities as an undergraduate. Some schools require 40-250 hours of clinical shadowing/patient care experience. Not every PA program requires the same pre-requisite courses for admissions, but the following list is typical (some schools require a minimum grade of B- in each course):

  • One year of biology (Bio 201/202; required for Biology, Biochemistry and Toxicology majors)
  • General chemistry (Chem 103/104; required for Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry and Toxicology majors)
  • Organic chemistry (Chem 307/308; both required for Chemistry major; Chem 307 for Biology and Toxicology majors)
  • Anatomy and Physiology (Bio 325/326 - elective for Biology and Toxicology majors)
  • Genetics (Bio 303 - required for Biology and Toxicology majors)
  • Microbiology (Bio 340 - elective for Biology and Toxicology majors)
  • Statistics (One year of math required for Biology major)
  • Two semesters of Psychology such as Introductory, Lifespan and/or Abnormal Psychology
  • Medical Terminology

Some schools also recommend:

  • Cell Biology (Bio 424 - elective for Biology and Toxicology majors)
  • Biochemistry (Bio/Chem 429 - required for Biochemistry and Toxicology majors; elective for Biology major)
  • Immunology (Bio 354 - elective for Biology and Toxicology majors)
  • Pharmacology (Bio 432/433 - elective for Biology and Toxicology majors)
  • Physics (Phys 201/202 or Phys 205/206; required for Chemistry and Biochemistry majors)

PA programs in Ohio

Baldwin Wallace University

Cleveland State University

Kettering College

Marietta College

Ohio Dominican University

University of Findlay

University of Mount Union

University of Toledo

Wright State University

Helpful links

American Academy of Physician Assistants

Physician Assistant Education Association

Ohio Association of Physician Assistants