Pre-Med and Pre-Health Department

Information for Students Interested in Physician Assistant School

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is general information regarding applying to any PA program and is not directly related to any specific graduate programs at Marist or any other institution. The undergraduate pre-health advisor and committee works only with undergraduate students.

Marist offers courses that provide a strong scientific background for Physician Assistant (PA) school, as well as internships and special advising. Visit the American Academy of Physician Assistants for more information about training to be a Physician Assistant.

Marist has a strong record of students matriculating into PA school. Over the years, alumni of the School of Science have gained admission to schools throughout the United States, including but not limited to:

  • Arizona School of Health Sciences
  • Cornell University College of Medicine
  • Hofstra University
  • Mercy College
  • New York Institute of Technology
  • New York Medical College
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Pace University

Requirements for Applying to PA School

PA schools can vary greatly in terms of their requirements for applicants. Because of this, it is important to visit the websites of individual schools that you are interested in attending to learn more about the specific requirements of each school. In general, however, the following requirements are fairly common among PA schools.


  • General Chemistry I and II plus labs (CHEM 131 & 132)
  • At least 1 semester of Organic Chemistry with Lab (CHEM 211 & 212 plus 215 & 216 OR CHEM 201 & 202)
  • At least 1 semester of Biochemistry with Lab (either Principles of Biochemistry with Lab or CHEM 420 & 423).
  • General Biology I and II plus labs (BIOL 130 & 131)
  • Anatomy and Physiology I and II (BIOL 201 & 202)
  • Algebra and Statistics

Other courses often recommended and sometimes required by PA schools:

  • Microbiology
  • Courses in the social sciences
  • Upper divisional biology courses

Clinical Experience

In addition to the required coursework, the vast majority of PA schools require direct patient contact experience. Schools require anywhere from 100-3,000 hours of experience before beginning PA school. Typically shadowing, clerical work, hospital experience that does not include patient contact, and non-clinical research do not count towards those hours.

The types of experiences often accepted include:

  • EMT
  • Paramedic
  • Nurse
  • Medical assistant
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • ER tech
  • PT aide
  • Phlebotomy