Prephysician Assistant

KU students can take classes and get health care experience to meet entry requirements to graduate-level PA programs at other colleges and universities. And, you can join the KU Prephysician Assistant Club. KU doesn't, however, have a PA program.
 
Different PA programs have different requirements, and requirements change. So, it's important to identify the programs you'll apply to, and get complete and current admissions information directly from them. The Physician Assistant Education Association sponsors a PA Focus career and application information center, and a PA Program Directory. The only PA program in Kansas is at Wichita State University
 
Most PA programs require or recommend shadowing experience. You can try cold calling/e-mailing, however, you'll likely have better luck starting with a PA in your personal physician’s practice, or volunteering in a hospital or free clinic to earn the privilege of shadowing. Also, you may have more luck outside of Lawrence, as local PA’s get asked a lot. And, you may want to try Physician Assistant Shadow Online, a national database of PA's who are willing to let students shadow.
 
Most PA programs also require or recommend extensive direct patient care experience. Although WSU's program doesn't absolutely require experience, it's very helpful. WSU's admissions committee weighs professional direct-patient care experiences, such as working as a registered nurse, more heavily than informal health care activities. So, if you plan to enter a PA program immediately after completing a bachelor's degree, I recommend training for an entry-level profession, like Certified Nurse Aid, early in your undergraduate education, and immediately start working with that credential to build experience. 
 
Most PA programs require a bachelor's degree before entry, and many candidates major in biology, exercise science, or nursing. 
 
The following KU courses meet minimum entry requirements at WSU's PA program: 
  • General Chemistry I & II with labs, first two courses for science majors, e.g., CHEM 130 Foundations of Chemistry I (5 credit hours) and CHEM 135 Foundations of Chemistry II (5) 
  • Organic Chemistry, e.g., CHEM 310 Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry or CHEM 330 Organic Chemistry I (3)
  • Biology I with lab, first course for biology majors, e.g., BIOL 150 Principles of Molecular & Cellular Biology (4), NOT BIOL 100 or 102 
  • Microbiology with lab, e.g., BIOL 200 Basic Microbiology (3) & 203 Lab (2), or BIOL 400 Fundamentals of Microbiology (3) & BIOL 402 Lab (2) 
  • Statistics, e.g., PSYC 210 Statistics in Psychological Research (3), MATH 365 Elementary Statistics (3), or BIOL 570 Introduction to Biostatistics (3)
  • Anatomy and Physiology with labs, e.g., BIOL 240 Human Anatomy (3) & 241 Lab (2) AND BIOL 246 (3) Human Physiology & 247 Lab (2)
  • Medical Terminology, e.g., HEIM 230 Medical Terminology (3)

In addition, many PA programs require one-semester of biochemistry, e.g., BIOL 600 Introductory Biochemistry (3). Some require introductory psychology and sociology courses.

Additional genetics, pathophysiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, gerontology, medical ethics, health policy, epidemiology, abnormal psychology, sociology and human nutrition courses are recommended.

Here’s one way of sequencing the courses:

1st Fall

1st Spring

2nd Fall

2nd Spring

3rd Fall

3rd Spring

4th Fall

4th Spring

Chemistry I

Chemistry II

Anatomy

Organic 

Biochemistry

Microbiology

 

 

 

Biology I

Anatomy Lab

Organic Lab

Physiology

Microbiology Lab

 

 

 

 

 

Statistics

Physiology Lab

Medical Terminology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For answers to all questions concerning requirements and admission to WSU's PA program, you can call 316-978-3011. 
 
If you plan to enter a PA program immediately after your senior year, you should begin the application process in the summer between your junior and senior years! 
  1. Although WSU's program doesn't require an admission test at this time, many PA programs require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). It's a computer-based test, so you can arrange to take it shortly after you finish preparing and practicing for the test.
  2. To apply to most PA programs, including WSU's, complete the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). The application is available in April, and different programs have different deadlines. UMKC's verified CASPA deadline is August 1st and WSU's is October 1st, so it would be wise to submit your application and transcripts in early June.
  3. Complete supplemental applications and have recommendation letters sent to CASPAYou can call 785-864-2834 to schedule an application essay review with a premedical advisor.
  4. And, the final stage is interviewing for admission. You can call 785-864-2834 to schedule a one-hour practice interview with a premedical advisor.
Premedical Slideshow

E-News Summary
Why KU
  • One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
  • Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
  • 44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
    —U.S. News & World Report
  • Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
    —ALA
  • 23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times