Students interested in a career as a Physician Assistant may pursue any major along with completing specific prerequisites. Direct-entry Physician Assistant graduate schools typically require the bachelor degree to be completed prior to enrolling. Students must gain a thorough understanding of the profession through a range of shadowing experiences and significant direct patient care experience through work as a Certified Nursing Assistant, EMT, Home Health Aid, etc. Some programs require a competitive score on the GRE and community service hours.
Canisius undergraduates who meet all admission requirements will be offered an interview by the Canisius Physician Assistant program. (This does not guarantee acceptance to the program.) A minimum of 500 hours of direct patient contact, 100 hours shadowing a physician assistant, and 100 hours of community service are required in addition to the course prerequisites. The Pre-Medical Center is able to connect students to work and volunteer opportunities. Students are encouraged to complete more than the minimum requirements. Many schools require significantly more direct patient contact hours (1000+).
Students should work with the Pre-Health Advisor beginning in the first college year to select appropriate coursework based on their schools of interest and plan appropriate co-curricular experiences. In addition to the information in this section, please check the general information at the pre-medical and pre-health section of the catalog.
Recommended Pre-Physician Assistant Courses
Academic admission requirements vary by school, but usually include the following courses:
At least one year of general biology with laboratory:
|Introductory Biology I|
and Introductory Biology Laboratory I
|Introductory Biology II|
and Introductory Biology Laboratory II
Anatomy & Physiology
One year of anatomy & physiology with laboratory:
and Human Anatomy Lab
and Physiology Laboratory
One semester of general microbiology with laboratory:
and Microbiology Laboratory
One year of general chemistry and one semester of organic chemistry with laboratories:
Note that some schools may require a second semester of Organic Chemistry CHM 228. Please work with the Pre-Health Advisor to determine chemistry coursework that aligns to your schools of interest.
|General Chemistry I|
and General Chemistry I Laboratory 1
|General Chemistry II|
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
|Organic Chemistry I|
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
One semester of biochemistry. Based on your selection or your major, two semesters may be required:
|Select one of the following:|
|BIO 211||Biochemistry and Cell Biology I||3|
|BIO 212||Biochemistry and Cell Biology II||3|
|Students should take both BIO 211 / BIO 212|
|BCH 301||Introduction to Biochemistry||3|
|BCH 302||Cellular Biochemistry||3|
|Students may take one or both courses of BCH 301/ BCH 302|
One to three semesters of psychology must include developmental psychology; abnormal psychology is strongly recommended:
|PSY 101||Introduction to Psychology I||3|
|or PSY 102||Introduction to Psychology II|
|PSY 203||Lifespan Developmental Psychology||3|
|PSY 303||Abnormal Psychology||3|
One semester of statistics:
Note that some programs also require calculus (MAT 111. Please work with the Pre-Health Advisor to determine math coursework that aligns to your schools of interest.
|PSY 201||Basic Statistics for Behavioral Sciences||3 or 4|
|or KIN 398||Statistics and Research Design|
|or MAT 141||Inferential Statistics and Computers for Science|
One course in medical terminology is required by some schools:
|HRP 111||Medical Terminology||1|
Additional Pre-Physician Assistant Courses
Some schools recommend additional coursework from the following:
HRP 101 allows students to explore different health professions.
HRP 498A is a medical mission trip.