Physician Associate Academic Preparation

PA Academic Preparation

These courses meet the requirements for most physician assistant schools/programs. PA schools/programs generally do not accept AP credit or on-line courses for these required courses. Be sure to check each school’s requirements.

No PA school/program requires a science major, nor are science majors given extra consideration in the admission process. Becoming a competitive PA school/program applicant also requires more than a solid GPA. Be sure you are meeting regularly with your HPAO advisor.  


One year General Chemistry with Labs

CHEM 200                  General Chemistry

Prerequisites: Knowledge of introductory chemistry as demonstrated by completion of CHEM 100 with a grade of C or better, or satisfaction of the Entry-Level Mathematics requirement and qualification on the Chemistry Department Placement Examination.

CHEM 201                  General Chemistry

Prerequisite: CHEM 200 or 202 with grade of C or better


One year of Biology with Labs

BIOL 203/203L            Principles of Cell & Molecular Biology

Prerequisite: Credit/ concurrent registration in CHEM 200 or 202 and satisfaction of the English placement test requirement

BIOL 204/204L            Principles of Organismal Biology

Prerequisite: Satisfaction of the English placement test requirement. Recommended completion of BIOL 203/203L


One semester of Microbiology

BIOL 350                     General Microbiology 

Prerequisites: Biology 203, 203L, 204, 204L; Chemistry 232, 232L


BIOL 211  AND 211L 

Prerequisites: Biology 100 or 203 and 203L; or a grade of B or better in high school biology. Credit or concurrent registration in Chemistry 100 or 102 or 130. 


One semester of Physiology with Lab

BIOL 261                     Human Physiology

Prerequisites: Biology 212. Credit or concurrent registration in Chemistry 102 (or Chemistry 100 and credit or concurrent registration in Chemistry 130).


BIOL 336                     Principles of Human Physiology & BIOL 436 Human Physiology Laboratory

Prerequisite (336): Completion of the General Education requirement in Foundations of Learning II.A.2. Life Sciences. If a biological sciences course is not taken to satisfy General Education II.A.2. Life Sciences, a college course in biological sciences is required.   

 Prerequisite (436): Credit or concurrent registration in Biology 336 or 590


BIOL 590                    Physiology of Human Systems & BIOL 436 Human Physiology Laboratory 

Prerequisite: Biology 366, Chemistry 365, Physics 180B, 182B


One semester of Anatomy with Lab

BIOL 212                     Human Anatomy

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in Biology 100, 203, or 211.


One semester of Statistics

Generally any statistics course except business statistics. Be sure to check each course’s prerequisites.

STATS 119 or STATS 250 or ECON 201 or PSY 280 or BIOL 215



PSY 101                      Introductory Psychology



Requirements vary by program (generally satisfied by completing through Algebra).


Highly Recommended (required by some schools)

BIOL 351                     Genetics 

Prerequisites: Biology 203, 203L, 204, 204L, 215.

CHEM 232/232L         Organic Chemistry
Prerequisite: CHEM 201 with grade of C or better and credit or concurrent enrollment in CHEM 232L

CHEM 432/432L         Organic Chemistry

Prerequisite:  CHEM 232 with a grade of C or better and credit or concurrent enrollment in CHEM 432L

SPAN 101                   Introduction to Spanish 1 (Required by USC)

SPAN 102                   Introduction to Spanish 2 (Required by USC)

Prerequisite:  Spanish 101 or two years of high school Spanish

Medical Terminology (not offered at SDSU)

Speak to HPAO about course options