Prerequisite Courses for Physician's Assistant

For most Physician Assistant programs there are a core set of required courses.  However, many programs have additional courses that they require and these vary from one program to another.  If you are interested in a career as a physician assistant, you need to research the individual schools that are of interest to you to be sure that you are taking all of the courses they require. 

Core Prerequisite Courses (required by most programs)

  • Two semesters of General Biology with labs: BIO 110 and BIO 111
  • Two semesters of General Chemistry with labs: CHEM 111 and CHEM 112
  • One semester of Anatomy with a lab: BIO 341
  • One semester of Physiology with lab: BIO 350 - some programs will accept BIO 245 and BIO 246 instead of BIO 341 and BIO 350.  Please be sure to check with each individual school for details.
  • Two semesters of Psychology - some programs will accept any two courses with a PSY prefix, but others explicitly state that they require Developmental Psychology (PSY 230) and Abnormal Psychology (PSY 255).  If the program you are interested in requires Abnormal Psychology, you will also need to take PSY 120 (Principles of Psychology) which is a prerequisite for PSY 255.
  • One semester of Statistics: STAT 150 - many schools will not accept business statistics.
  • One semester of college math - many programs will accept College Algebra: MAT 124

Strongly Recommended Courses (required by quite a few programs)

  • One semester of Genetics: BIO 220
  • One semester of Organic Chemistry: CHEM 331
  • One semester of Biochemistry: CHEM 381
  • One semester of Microbiology: BIO 351

Colorado Programs Prerequisite Courses

There are two PA programs in the state of Colorado and their course prerequisites are listed
here.  Please be aware that these can change so you should always research the individual
program as you progress through your undergraduate education.

Red Rocks Community College PA Program

Biology

  • Principles of Biology: BIO 110
  • Anatomy and Physiology: BIO 245 and 246 OR BIO 341 and 350
  • Cell Biology: BIO 210
  • Genetics: BIO 220
  • Microbiology: BIO 351

Chemistry

  • General Chemistry: CHEM 111 and CHEM 112
  • Organic Chemistry: CHEM 331
  • Biochemistry: CHEM 381

Math

  • Statistics: STAT 150
  • College Algebra: MAT 124

University of Colorado School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program

Biology

  • Total of 14 credits, at least 6 of which must be upper division
  • Principles of Biology: BIO 110
  • Genetics: BIO220
  • Anatomy and Physiology: BIO 341 and 350 preferred but BIO 246 and 246 may be accepted
  • Recommended options to complete the 14 hours (if needed):
    Microbiology: BIO 351 Cell Biology: BIO 210

Chemistry

  • General Chemistry: CHEM 111 and CHEM 112

Math

  • Statistics: STAT 150

Psychology

  • Two courses required: Principles of Psychology (PSY 120), Abnormal Psychology (PSY 255) or Human Growth and Development (PSY 230)
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