Pre-Physician Assistant

Essential Courses

Course # Title
BI 105 Biological Diversity and Ecology
BI 121 Biology Lab I
BI 106 Structure and Function of Cells and Organisms
BI 122 Biology Lab II
CH 142 Integrated Chemistry Principles I
CH 143 Integrated Chemistry Principles I Lab
CH 144 Integrated Chemistry Principles II
CH 145 Integrated Chemistry Principles II Lab
CH 242 Integrated Chemistry: Organic
CH 243 Integrated Chemistry: Organic Lab
CH 342 Integrated Chemistry: Biochemistry
CH 247 Bioanalytical Chemistry Lab
BI 207 Dynamics Of Biological Processes
MA 220 Intro. to Probability & Statistics
BI 305 Biostatistics
ND SS 214 Statistics for Social Sciences
BI 231 Microbiology I
BI 232 Microbiology I Lab
BI 331 Microbiology II
BI 332 Microbiology II Lab
BI 310 Physiology
BI 367 Comparative Anatomy
BI 368 Comparative Anatomy Laboratory
PY 101 Introduction to Psychology
EN____ English course (in addition to CWS)

Important Notes

  • Strongly recommend Genetics, foreign language (especially Spanish), medical terminology, and Ethics of Health Care. Also recommend Immunology, environmental science, Human Sexuality, history, religion, business courses, economics, art, and Communication courses.
  • These courses reflect broad-based program requirements for schools in Pennsylvania. Although this course list will be sufficient for most other programs, make sure to check requirements of schools in which you are interested no later than your sophomore year.
  • This course list does NOT represent a POE, nor does it cover College requirements. Design a POE in consultation with your advisor.
  • Make sure to have an advisor on the Health Professions Committee, preferably Dr. Randy Bennett.
  • In addition to your course work you are urged to gain some experience shadowing a physician assistant either during the school year or over the summer.
  • If you study abroad the SAFEST strategy is to take ALL prerequisite courses for professional school in the U.S., which may require you to take courses in the U.S. over the summer, preferably at a 4 year institution. However, if this is extremely difficult for your situation, check with the professional schools you wish to attend to see if they will accept courses taken abroad and if so, get their response in writing. Also if you have a Biology POE and will not have BI 207 by the time you go abroad, check with the Biology Department to see if there is a Cell and Molecular course you can take abroad that will enable you to take upper level biology offerings at Juniata your senior year that require BI 207 (ex. Physiology, Immunology, and Microbiology).
  • Be mindful of your POE courses, which are NOT indicated here. For example, if you have a Biology POE, you will need to take Freshman seminar the spring of your freshman year, Frontiers of Biology the fall of your sophomore year, and Biology 207 at your earliest opportunity after completing Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry.
Competitive Credentials

For programs in general: Science GPA and overall GPA of 3.5-3.6. 500-1000 hours of "hands-on" health care experience for many programs (examples; nurse's aide, hospital volunteer, EMT; some schools do not count "shadowing") ; for master's programs GRE combined score of 1000 or better in the verbal and quantitative sections.

Helpful Websites

Physician Assistant Education Association - and

American Academy of Physician Assistants -

General Information:

Suggested Core Progression for Pre-Physician Assistant

Bolded courses are offered only in the indicated semester and/or require a specific sequence due to Juniata prerequisites. Non-bolded courses are either offered in both semesters or represent open-ended choices, making them more flexible in when they can be taken.

Freshman Year Bi 105 Biology Lab II
  Integrated Chemistry Principles I Integrated Chemistry Principles II
  Integrated Chemistry Principles I Lab Integrated Chemistry Princ II Lab
Sophomore Year BI 106 BI 207
  Integratd Chemistry: Organic Integrated Chemistry: Biochemistry
  Integratd Chemistry: Organic Lab Bioanalytical Chemistry Lab
    English course
Junior Year Statistics Anatomy and Lab
  Physiology Analytical Chemistry
(not required for St. Francis)
  Microbiology and Lab*  
  GRE Exam Preparation** GRE Exam Preparation

*Microbiology I/Lab or Microbiology II/Lab could be taken in the fall of your senior year. Consult with your health professions advisor.

**Both semesters of the year that you plan to take the exam.