Programs & Requirements
Physician Assistant and Surgical Physician Assistant, Masters of Science Degrees
Most PA programs will result in a graduate degree to gain entry into the field. For example, here are some:
- Masters in Surgical Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS)
- Masters in Health Science (MHS)
- Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)
- Masters in Medical Science (MMSc)
There are currently about 155 accredited PA training programs in the US, the vast majority of which award a master of science degree. The average curriculum runs about 27 months, though that number can be greater or smaller, depending on the program. Most programs begin in the summer or fall; a smaller number have spring admission.
A clinical internship usually precedes obtaining a license to practice as a Physician Assistant. Before practicing, PAs are certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and are licensed, certified or registered in the state in which they practice
Schools in Alabama
University of South Alabama Patt Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions (USA) - MHS - Mobile, AL
University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions (UAB) - MSPAS - Birmingham, AL
Course & GPA Requirements
Most schools have a minimum GPA of a 3.0, but to be a competitive student, a 3.5+ cumulative and science GPA is recommended. The below courses represent the requirements needed for both Alabama schools listed above.
Pre-requisites of the below courses are enforced.
- 8 hrs - General Biology I and II
- 8 hrs - General Chemistry I and II
- 3 hrs - Microbiology
- 8 hrs - Anatomy and Physiology I and II
- 4 hrs - Organic Chemistry I
- 6 hrs - Mathematics (At least College Algebra and Statistics)
- 3 hrs - General Psychology
- 3 hrs - Developmental Psychology
- 3 hrs - Abnormal Psychology
- 3 hrs - Medical Terminology (This class is currently being offered as a BYS Special Topics class at UAH)
- Can be taken online at JSU - Medical Terminology if necessary
Additional upperlevel classes will help an applicant show in-depth work in sciences and an interest in these courses. Such courses can include: Genetics, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, upper level Maths, or other classes students may be interested in.
There is a lot more you can do to make your application stand out, click here to read more.
The above courses support required and suggested coursework for UAB and USA PA School. Please keep in mind this is a guideline and specific requirements differ amongst different schools.
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