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Get on the right track to physician assistant school

We’ll guide you through choosing the courses and experiences PA schools look for.

Pre-Physician Assistant Path

Students of many majors have applied to become a physician assistant in the past and the PHPAC help to make sure that you are prepared to apply to PA programs.


If you are a biomedical sciences major you will take all of the important prerequisite classes your application as part of your major. If you are not one of these majors, it is important to take the following classes.

  • General Biology (BIO101, 4 credits with lab)
  • Microbiology (BIO203, 4 credits with lab)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II (BIO326 and BIO327, 8 credits with lab)
  • General Genetics (BIO305, 4 credits with lab)
  • General Chemistry I and II (CHE111 and CHE112, 8 credits with lab)
  • Organic Chemistry I and II (CH241 and CH242, 8 credits with lab)
  • General Psychology (PSY101, 3 credits)
  • Statistics (MAT161) or Biostatistics (BIO333, 3 credits)

The Honors Program at SUNY Plattsburgh is an important way to show academic excellence. You should take advantage of this opportunity if possible.

Healthcare Experience

Schools will expect you to have between 500 and 2000 hours of healthcare experience before starting their program. This must be hands-on experience in some role that involves direct patient care. Some examples of this include being an EMT, a certified nursing assistant (CNA), a phlebotomist, EKG technician, medical scribe, or military corpsman. Your hours don’t need to be complete before applying, but you must be able to show that they will be by the time you begin their program.

Applying to PA School

Application to physician assistant schools is through the CASPA system. The CASPA system opens for the each application cycle in late April and closes in March of the following year. Each PA school will have its own deadlines for application, which are usually in the fall. CASPA will require an official copy of your transcripts, letters of recommendation, MCAT or GRE scores (GRE preferred), and a list of schools where you want your application sent. More complete information can be found in the CASPA Policies and Procedures Manual on the CASPA Resources page.


Clarkson University

Marywood University

Albany Medical College — Joint Bachelor’s & Master’s Admission Program

Albany Medical College — Early Assurance Program

Recent Graduates

Lauren LaMotte, Class of ‘19

  • B.S. Biomedical Sciences at SUNY Plattsburgh
  • St. Francis Medical School, Physician Assistant Program

Tina Mitsoglou, Class of ‘19

  • B.S. Biomedical Sciences at SUNY Plattsburgh
  • CUNY School of Medicine, Physician Assistant Program
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