Pre-Physician Assistant

Bachelor of Science - BS

  • Primary & specialized health care
  • Shadow a practicing PA
  • Criteria-based acceptance to master's program

« See All Degrees

Pre-Physician Assistant at Marywood

This program will provide the knowledge you need to diagnose, treat, educate, and empower your patients – and prepare you for the ever-changing health care field. Unique to our program is our non-competitive team approach, our specialized clinical tracks, and our hands-on, clinical emphasis.

The Pre-Professional Physician Assistant Program is designed to provide students with liberal arts and with science courses needed in order to apply to the professional phase of the program (the graduate PA program). Admission to the Pre-PA program is selective, as students must maintain high standards required for admittance to the professional phase. All Pre-PA students must apply and pass admission standards in order to enter the professional phase of the program. Students academic progress is closely monitored by the PA Program staff. The PA Program also provides a 'Mentor Program' which allows for the opportunity to shadow a practicing PA in the local medical community.

Our Keith J. O’Neill Center for Healthy Families provides advanced technology and equipment for academic learning, community outreach, and research, including a state-of-the-art Human Physiology Laboratory. Understanding the need for quality healthcare, both regionally and globally, our ARC-PA accredited program will well prepare you to provide this much-needed care. Students who qualify are automatically accepted into the professional phase (master’s level) of the program.

More About This Degree

Deanne Garver, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Courses: Organic Chemistry, and Chemistry

Brian Piatak, DC
Assistant Professor
Courses: Anatomy and Physiology

Michael C. Kiel, Ph.D.
Chairperson, Associate Professor of Biology
Courses: Cell Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology

Steven Reggie, DC
Clinical Assistant Professor, Doctor of Chiropractic
Courses: Anatomy and Physiology and Human Gross Anatomy
This is just a sample of our Science faculty - see them all!

The $6.4 million Center for Natural and Health Sciences is equipped with four large laboratories, a newly renovated Biotechnology research lab, an environmental wet laboratory, a greenhouse, three computer laboratories, and a multi-media auditorium.

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements

  • Official SAT and/or ACT scores
  • Completed application
  • Essay
  • Official transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation

Find Your Counselor

Pre-Physician Assistant Studies

The Pre-professional phase of the Physician Assistant (PA) Program is completed in the Science Department. Students with no previous college-level study begin a program of liberal arts core requirements and science courses to prepare for admission to the professional phase of the PA program, which grants a Master’s Degree in PA (see the Marywood University graduate catalogue PA program section for more details).

Students with some previous college experience may apply to the Pre-Professional Program. Admitted students will then complete all liberal arts core requirements and prerequisite sciences. (For information about the opportunity to receive advanced placement based upon proven competence in specific subject areas, see “Additional Ways of Earning University Credit” in the “Degree Information” section of this catalog.) Such transfer students must have a 2.50 QPA minimum and must have earned a C+ or better in science classes transferred; however, a minimum grade of B in General Chemistry, General Biology, Microbiology, Organic Chemistry, and Anatomy and Physiology courses is required for admission to the PA professional phase. 

For acceptance into the Pre-Physician Assistant Program, students must have a minimum of a 1450 combined on all three sections of the SAT, with a minimum of 500 in the Math section. For students with ACT scores, a minimum of 21 is required. Students who do not meet the above criteria may be accepted into the Science Department as “Undeclared with an interest in Pre-Physician Assistant” studies.

Pre-Professional Program Requirements
Students in the pre-professional phase are required to maintain an overall GPA of 3.00, as well as a 3.00 (B) in each prerequisite Science course or lab (see courses above), to be considered eligible for admission to the professional phase.

BIOL 150, 150L General Biology I 4
BIOL 151, 151L General Biology II
BIOL 201, 201L Gross Human Anatomy 4
BIOL 202, 202L Human Physiology 4
BIOL 235, 235L General Microbiology 4
BIOL 332, 332L Immunology 4
CHEM 131, 131L General Chemistry I
CHEM 132, 132L General Chemistry II 4
CHEM 221, 221L Organic Chemistry I 4
CHEM 222, 222L Organic Chemistry II 4
MATH 170 Applications of Mathematics to Biology
MATH 201 Calculus  I 3
MATH 155 Statistics 3
N D 112 Nutrition I 3
COMM 101 Dynamics of Speech Communication 2


Professional Program Phase

Students who have successfully met all required liberal arts core requirements and science prerequisites may apply for admission to the professional program, following their second year as Pre-PA. These students are guaranteed an interview with the PA interview committee. Those students who have previously completed a baccalaureate degree at Marywood or another accredited institution are not required to complete the liberal arts core requirements (see Degree Information in this catalog), but must have the prerequisite science courses to be considered for admission to the professional program. For complete information on M.S. in PA degree, see the Physician Assistant section of the graduate catalog.

Students Not Admitted to Professional Program Phase

Students who are not accepted to the Professional Program Phase may continue in the Science Department and complete another degree program or complete a Pre-PA/Health Sciences Degree. The requirements for the Pre-PA/B.S. Health Sciences degree include all of the Pre-Professional Program requirements listed above plus:

BIOL 410 Science Literacy Capstone


20 Science Electives:

CHEM 221, 221L, 222, 222L and BIOL 332, 332L taken during the Pre-Professional phase count towards the 20 credits. Additional suggestions include:

BIOL 281

Introduction to Biotechnology 3
BIOL 302 Bioinformatics
BIOL 305 Neuroscience 3
BIOL 440, 440L Molecular & Cellular Biology 4
BIOL 446, 446L Genetics 4
PHYS 303, 303L General Physics I 4
PHYS 304, 304L General Physics II

24 Other Electives - Suggestions Include:

BUS 112 Principles of Management 3
N D 213 Nutrition II 3
N D 300 Theory of Medical Nutrition Therapy I 3
PSYC 314 Physiological Psychology 3
PSYC 319 Health Psychology 3
PSYC 330 Computer Applications in Psychology and Health Science 3
SOC 305 Medical Sociology 3
SOC 402 Dying & Death in American Society 3
PA Summer Courses* PA 310, 322, 340, 370, 580  
PA Fall Courses* PA 311, 320A, 330, 341, 350, 371, 390  

*For students who are unsuccessful academically in the PA Professional Phase.