Students interested in a career as a Physician Assistant have the option of pursuing any major along with completing specific prerequisites. Direct-entry Physician Assistant graduate schools typically require the bachelor degree be completed. 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 are given preference by the Canisius Physician Assistant program.
Students should work with the Pre-Med 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. (Note that some programs also require Genetics.)
|Introductory Biology I|
and Introductory Biology Laboratory I
|Introductory Biology II|
and Introductory Biology Laboratory II
Anatomy & Physiology
and Human Anatomy Lab
and Physiology Laboratory
One semester of general microbiology with laboratory:
and Microbiology Laboratory
One year of of general chemistry and one semester of organic chemistry with laboratories:
|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.
|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).
|PSY 201||Basic Statistics for Behavioral Sciences||3 or 4|
|or ATH 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 or 3|
|or CLS 220||Greek and Latin Roots of Medical Terminology|
Additional Pre-Physician Assistant Course Suggestions
Immunochemistry or Genetics
HRP 101 allows students to explore different health professions.
HRP 498 is an internship in medical informatics.