Pre-Physician Assistant

Pre-Physician Assistant at Carroll College

The Program

The Pre-Physician Assistant (PA) program at Carroll College focuses on essential medically related sciences including microbiology, anatomy, and physiology. Depending upon the chosen major, Carroll also requires up six credits of internships as a way to help students build experience with work in this field. Students interested in pursuing a career as a PA often major in Biology, Health Sciences, or Chemistry; however, students can also major in any degree program as long as they complete courses in the perquisites for their chosen graduate programs.

Those who complete their PA prerequisites at Carroll, and graduate from a PA graduate program can continue their career as a physician assistant. PAs have a long-standing tradition of serving in areas of need and providing care to those who might otherwise have little or no access to quality health care. PAs work everywhere, from remote rural settings to major urban centers, in doctors’ offices, hospitals, clinics, HMOs, the armed forces, and other federal government agencies.

Why Carroll

At Carroll, our Pre-PA program focuses on building successful career paths for health professionals eager to perform a comprehensive range of medical duties in their field, from basic primary care to high-technology specialty procedures. Over the past 15 years, Carroll College has dedicated a strong effort to expand health science education, experiencing 205% growth in enrollment, which includes pre-professional health tracks like the Pre-PA programs offered today.

I want to take the next steps in my health career.

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Courses and Student Learning Objectives

Students will take selections of courses in math, English/writing, and some specialized science courses, such as anatomy/physiology, microbiology, physics; and computer sciences.

To successfully complete the PA pre-requisites, a student must earn a grade of “C-“or better in all required courses.

Admissions criteria vary widely across PA programs. Students need to check specific admissions requirements for programs of interest. Generally, the following coursework is required to gain admissions to a PA program:

  • General Biology: 2 courses with labs
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology: 2 courses with labs
  • General Chemistry: 2 courses with labs
  • Microbiology: 1 course with lab
  • Statistics: 1 course with lab
  • Psychology: 2 courses

Many PA graduate programs also require:

  • Organic Chemistry: 1 course with lab
  • Biochemistry: 1 course with lab
  • Genetics: 1 course with lab
  • Physics: 1-2 courses with labs
  • Medical Terminology: 1 course

For a full list of required and recommended courses, visit our Academic Catalog.

Program Highlights

More than 140 accredited Pre-PA programs are located throughout the United States. They are generally affiliated with two- and four-year colleges and university schools of medicine or allied health. Most program application deadlines fall between November and March and most programs begin between May and September. A list of PA programs can be found on the website of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA).

A chance to improve people’s lives? I’m in.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Certainly. In some rural areas where physicians are in short supply, those who become PAs serve as the primary providers of health care, conferring with their supervising physicians and other medical professionals as needed and as required by law. Physician assistants (PAs) can be found in virtually every medical and surgical specialty.

Physician Assistants’ responsibilities depend on the type of practice they work for and their interests and experience. The working relationship with physicians and other health care providers, as well as state laws, will also govern the type of work they perform.

What happens after I complete the pre-PA coursework?

To practice as a PA, students must continue their education at an accredited graduate PA program. Once a student earns their graduate degree, Physician Assistants (PAs) become health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs perform a comprehensive range of medical duties, from basic primary care to high-technology specialty procedures. PAs often act as first or second assistants in surgery and provide pre-and postoperative care, opening the door to a range of career opportunities in the following areas of expertise:

  • Psychology
  • Radiology
  • Telemedicine
  • Dermatology
When we award a financial aid package it is not just to get you here, it is a four-year commitment to see you graduate and succeed. Every year you will have the opportunity to meet with financial aid, renew your goals, explore opportunities for on-campus work, and make sure you are on track with any borrowing. Find out more.
Students with different financial backgrounds choose to attend Carroll College every year. There are many ways to fund your college experience and invest in your education and future. Find out more
We are happy to answer any questions you may have! Request information or call us at (406) 447-4384.

Ask a Pre-PA Professor