Jan 18, 2022  
2021-2022 Catalog 
2021-2022 Catalog

Physician Assistant Studies – Undergraduate Pre-Professional Program, Years 1–4

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Our vision is that our graduates will strive for excellence in all academic endeavors, develop a passion for caring for others, and prepare for a future in healthcare.


The mission of the USciences undergraduate pre-professional physician assistant program is to educate highly qualified students through an accelerated or traditional curriculum that prepares them to be academically successful in a graduate physician assistant program and that nurtures their qualities necessary to become competent and compassionate physician assistants.


To accomplish our mission and vision, the undergraduate pre-professional physician assistant program at University of the Sciences includes the following objectives:

  • To identify those students at the pre-professional level who have the interest, motivation, and potential to be successful in the physician assistant profession.
  • To promote in our students the importance of lifelong learning, professionalism, responsibility and ongoing self- evaluation.
  • To develop in our students the ability to work collaboratively as part of the healthcare team.
  • To prepare the students academically, clinically, and professionally for intense professional training in a graduate professional PA program.
  • To socialize students into the role and expectations of the physician assistant.

Physician Assistant – Biomedical Sciences Major in Conjunction with USciences Graduate PA Program

Physician assistants (PAs) are licensed health professionals who practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. PAs are educated with a focus on primary care medicine. They deliver a broad range of medical and surgical services to diverse populations in rural, urban, and suburban communities throughout the country. With a physician assistant education, the graduate may choose to work in primary care, emergency medicine, surgery, and all other specialty practices. The PA profession has numerous employment opportunities and was recently rated as the best job and the fastest growing healthcare career in the U.S.

Eligibility Requirements

Successful completion of the undergraduate pre-professional program at USciences provides a guaranteed interview to the graduate professional program at USciences only after the student has fulfilled all required criteria:

  • Successful completion of all required pre-professional coursework at USciences with a minimum cumulative GPA of and minimum natural science GPA of 3.20. These minimums must be earned and maintained from the second year through graduation. There are also requirements at the end of first and second year to advance. (Note: grades of “C-” or lower in any natural science and “C+” or lower in PA-specific courses do not qualify). All natural science and PA- specific courses after freshman year must be taken at USciences. Transfer credit is at the discretion of the program director.
  • Completion of the graduate program application via CASPA (an online application service), which includes three to five letters of recommendation (one must be from a physician assistant), and a one-page personal statement describing the applicant’s motivation for a career as a physician assistant. The narrative should demonstrate knowledge of the profession, motivation, interpersonal skills, and maturity.
  • Documented completion of a minimum of 500 hours of direct patient contact and 100 hours of shadowing a physician assistant or physician. These experiences offer the students an awareness of the intricacies of healthcare and/or human service with exposure to care of the sick or injured. Students are strongly encouraged to become familiar with the depth and breadth of the physician assistant role.
  • Demonstration of professional behavior, good judgment, maturity, motivation, and ability to perform well. Successful interview with the graduate program faculty.
  • The meeting of program technical standards.

Physician Assistant Undergraduate Pre-Professional Program Degree Requirements (years 1-4)

General Education and Foundation Courses

  • General Education Humanities Discipline Requirements Credits: 6
  • Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirement Credits: 6 
  • BS 4XX 400 Level Biological Sciences Course Credits: 3
  • Biological Sciences Electives Credits: 1

Sample Physician Assistant Pre-Professional Curriculum

First Year

 Minimum of 50 hours of shadowing/patient contact required prior to start of first year.

Second Year

Fall Semester

  • Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirement Credits: 3 
Credits/Semester: 17

Spring Semester

  • Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirement Credits: 3
Credits/Semester: 16-17

Third Year

Credits/Semester: 15

Credits/Semester: 18


  • Application to graduate professional program(s).
  • Minimum of 400 documented hours of patient contact required by start of fourth year.
  • Minimum of 500 documented hours of patient contact prior to start of professional program.

Fourth Year

Fall Semester

  • Biology or Free Elective Credits: 3-6
  • General Education Humanities Discipline Requirement Credits: 3
Credits/Semester: 14-17

Spring Semester

  • Biological Sciences Electives Credits: 3
  • BS 4XX 400 Level Biological Sciences Course Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3-6
  • General Education Humanities Discipline Requirement Credits: 3
Credits/Semester: 13-16

Total Credits: 127

General Note:

An accelerated option where students complete the undergraduate requirements in 3 years is available for highly qualified students.  Please discuss your interest in the accelerated program with the undergraduate PA program director. 

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