Prerequisite Coursework

Prerequisite courses must be taken at regionally accredited community colleges and/or universities.  We accept both upper and lower division credits to meet specific prerequisite courses.  The prerequisites indicate the minimum required, competitive applicants will generally apply with more than the minimum.

For the 2019-20 application cycle, planned summer 2020 admission, applicants must complete the bachelor's degree and all prerequisite course work with a grade of C (2.0) or better by December 31, 2019 (Fall 2019 term).   All courses must be taken from a regionally accredited institution.  Unless otherwise noted, Pass/No Pass, AP credit, or IB credit will not be accepted to fulfill the prerequisites below.

Online coursework is accepted from regionally accredited institutions with the exception of the Anatomy lab, which is required to have been taken in person (including the refresher lab).

If you are an applicant who has received their education from an international institution, please refer to the requirements detailed on the international applicants page.

Required prerequisites

The following academic prerequisites are required of all applicants.  Click the expand button on each prerequisite to learn more information about the requirement.

Must be complete by the end of fall term prior to matriculation.

  • Degree must be granted from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or equivalent foreign institution (see the international applicants page for more information about equivalencies).
  • No specific major is required or preferred (science and non-science majors are accepted).
  • Degree may be in progress at the time of application, but must be complete by the end of fall term prior to matriculation.

Minimum 3.0 overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required. 

  • Cumulative GPA calculation will include all undergraduate coursework taken, both as part of bachelor's degree requirements and separately.
  • Minimum BCP (science) GPA of 3.0 is preferred.
  • Average cumulative GPA for students admitted in the previous admissions cycle was 3.5.
  • Graduate coursework may be considered in addition to the cumulative undergraduate GPA.

Minimum of 30 semester credits or 40 quarter credits are required.

  • Includes all coursework taken in the biology, chemistry, and/or physics departments that are medically, human, and/or animal science related. 
  • Prerequisite coursework listed below can count towards fulfilling the credit requirement (biology, chemistry, microbiology, A&P).
  • Plant, marine, environmental, exercise science/kinesiology, nutrition, etc. coursework will not be counted towards the minimum credit requirement.

2 semester courses or 3 quarter courses of combined A&P with lab OR 1 semester Anatomy with lab plus 1 semester Physiology with lab.

  • Must have been completed within 5 years of planned PA program matriculation
    • For application during the 2019-2020 cycle (matriculation in June 2020) A&P coursework with labs must have been complete Spring 2015 or more recent.
    • Both Anatomy and Physiology with labs must be within 5 years of planned matriculation, whether taken as individual or combined courses.
    • If the last anatomy with lab and/or physiology and/or combined A&P with lab course was taken over 5 years ago (as of planned matriculation), then a refresher is required.  
  • Refresher course requirements:
    • The refresher can be taken as minimum of one term (quarter or semester) of combined A&P with lab or as individual terms of anatomy with lab and physiology.
    • Refreshing the full A&P with lab sequence is preferred and is the best preparation for PA school.
  • Labs are required.  Physiology without a lab can be considered if a separate physiology lab was not offered by your institution.  Anatomy only and combined A&P courses must be taken with labs.  If they are taken without a lab, it will not be accepted.
  • Preference is for an in-person lecture and lab. Online A&P labs are not accepted. However, a hybrid course with online A&P lecture and an in-person lab will be acceptable.
  • Human A&P is preferred; mammalian, vertebrate, and/or comparative coursework is acceptable, but it is recommended to also complete some human A&P coursework.
  • If applicant attended a WA or CA state school, the 2 quarter sequence of 5 credit courses (10 credits total) will be accepted to meet the minimum.  Two quarter sequences of courses that are less than 5 quarter credits each are not acceptable on their own and additional A&P coursework must be taken to fulfill the requirement.
  • A&P coursework is not required to be complete at the upper division level.  Lower division and community college coursework is acceptable.

2 courses, minimum of 3 credits each (semester or quarter).  Labs highly recommended, but not required.

  • The biology requirement can be fulfilled through any combination of the following foundational courses:
    • General biology
    • Cell or molecular biology
    • Genetics 
    • Introductory coursework accepted, but not preferred
  • The courses can be non-sequential, as long as the minimum credits are met.
  • Labs are highly recommended, but not required.  
  • Additional biology coursework is recommended (see highly recommended courses below).
  • Will accept AP or IB credit towards this requirement (AP or IB credit must show on college transcript as biology credit).
  • Microbiology, A&P with labs are separate requirements and are therefore not accepted towards the biology prerequisite.

2 courses, minimum of 3 credits each (semester or quarter).  Labs highly recommended, but not required.

  • The chemistry requirement can be fulfilled through any combination of the following foundational courses: 
    • General chemistry
    • Inorganic chemistry
    • Organic chemistry
    • Biochemistry
    • Introductory coursework accepted, but not preferred
  • The courses can be non-sequential as long as the minimum credits are met.   
  • Labs are highly recommended, but not required.  
  • Will accept AP or IB credit towards this requirement (AP or IB credit must show on college transcript as chemistry credit).

One course with lab; minimum of 3 credits (semester or quarter).

  • The lab is required
  • Substitute courses, such as cell or molecular biology, are not accepted.  The course must be a specific microbiology course.
  • Bacteriology* is not accepted to meet requirement.
  • Online lecture and lab will be accepted.

*UCSD BIMM 120 (formerly titled Bacteriology) is acceptable when combined with BIMM 121 Microbiology Laboratory.

One course; minimum of 3 credits (semester or quarter).

  • General Psychology, Human Development, or Introduction to Psychology.  
  • Abnormal psychology will be accepted, but is not preferred.
  • Will accept AP or IB credit towards this requirement (must show on college transcript as psychology credit).

One course; minimum of 3 credits (semester or quarter).

  • Will accept courses offered through math, stats, bio, psych, kines, or soc departments
  • Business statistics will not be accepted.  
  • Will accept AP or IB credit towards this requirement (must show on college transcript as statistics credit).

The recommended coursework is intended to further academically prepare an applicant for the rigorous PA program curriculum and for the future practice as a PA. 

  • 300-400 level (upper division) Biology and Chemistry courses (in addition to prereqs listed above)
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Immunology
  • Other courses which may be beneficial to a future health care provider (e.g., epidemiology, medical terminology, etc.)
  • Spanish language course(s)

Questions about your coursework?

Please first refer to the prerequisites section of our FAQ page.

If you have specific questions about your coursework that have not been answered by our website, please email us with the following information and the admissions team will evaluate if the course is acceptable. We are unable to review coursework over the phone.

  • Course number/title
  • Institution
  • Date taken
  • Course description
  • Syllabus, if available