Physician Assistant

According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) website, "a physician assistant (PA) is a medical professional who works as part of a team with a doctor. A PA is a graduate of an accredited PA educational program who is nationally certified and state-licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a physician. PA's can perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient education and counseling and make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes. All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow PAs to practice and prescribe medications." In some rural areas, the PA may be the primary care giver in rural and underserved areas, with doctors available by referral.

To enter a PA, applicants must have completed at least 2 years of courses in basic and behavioral sciences, but most will have a bachelor's degree. (Many programs also require a significant number of direct patient contact hours.) Typical prerequiste courses are often in the following areas: anatomy, physiology, microbiology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics, general psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology., statistics, etc. The specific courses required vary somewhat by program.Thus, it is best to check the program at which the student is considering sending his/her application. A list of all accedited programs can be found at

There are currently 4 accredited Masters programs in Physician Assistant studies in Indiana. They along with their required prerequistes are listed below. (The school name is linked to the home page  of the respective program.)

Butler University
  • 2 semesters each of general chemistry and organic chemistry; 1 semester biochemistry (recommended)
  • 1 semester of general biology (cell), 2 semesters of human anatomy & physiology, and 1 semester of microbiology
  • 1 semester of physics
  • 1 semester of psychology
  • 1 semester of math above algebra
Indiana State University
  • 2 semesters of organic chemistry
  • 1 semester each of human anatomy & physiology (or a 2 semester combined course), and 1 semester of microbiology, 2 upper level biological science courses
  • 1 semester of psychology
  • 1 semester of statistics 
  • medical terminology proficiency
  • 2 semesters of general chemistry, 1 semester of organic chemistry
  • 2 semesters of general biology, 1 semester each of human anatomy & physiology (or a 2 semester combined course), and 1 semester of microbiology
  • 1 semester of psychology
  • 1 semester of statistics or biostats (200 level or higher)
  • 1 semester of medical terminology (2 or 3 credits)**
  • 1 semester of English composition
  • 1 semester of nutrition or health promotion or wellness
  • 1 semester of communication or speech
  • Possess 500 hours of direct patient care experience within the last 5 years
** Note: Franklin College only offers a 1 credit Medical Terminology course.
St. Francis University - Ft. Wayne
  • 12 semester hours in chemistry, including courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry
  • 15 semester hours in biology, including the equivalent of two semesters of human anatomy & physiology and a course in microbiology
  • 6 semester hours in psychology.
  • Possess direct patient care experience
    • The most direct and responsible forms of patient care experience in a compensated position are preferred.
    • Clinical components of the educational experience required for other health care professions are considered, but may not totally fulfill this requirement
    • Volunteer activities and/or appropriate life experience will be considered, but will not totally fulfill this requirement

Listed below are the suggested Franklin College biological, physical, and social science courses which should satisfy the requirements described by the programs above.

Biological SciencesPhysical SciencesSocial Sciences
BIO 115 Human Anatomy and Physiology I CHE 121/123 General Chemistry IPSY 117 General Psychology
BIO 120  Human Anatomy and Physiology II CHE 122/124 General Chemistry IIPSY 225 Abnormal Psychology
BIO 135 Principles of Biology
CHE 221/223 Organic Chemistry IPSY 226 Lifespan Development
BIO 140 Cell Biology
CHE 222/224 Organic Chemistry II
BIO 373 Microbiology (includes immunology) CHE/BIO 334 Biochemistry
Pre-PA Advisor:

 Dr. Edward Chikwana