The physician assistant preparation (PA-preparation) concentration at the Mount is intended for students who plan to make application to a graduate program in physician assistant studies. The curriculum has been designed to satisfy the requisite course admission requirements for most institutions that offer the graduate degree. Most graduate programs also require a certain number of contact hours in a health care setting. The total contact hour requirement and the allowed environments differ among institutions.
The Career Center at Mount Saint Mary College will assist PA-preparation students in obtaining experiences that may satisfy some or all of these requirements. It is the responsibility of the student to investigate the specific pre-requisites for the graduate program(s) for which he/she intends to apply and, as appropriate, to acquire the necessary contact hours.
The PA-preparation curriculum at the Mount leads to the bachelor’s degree in biology. While it is not necessarily required that an applicant to a graduate PA program have a degree in the sciences, the pre-requisite courses best fit into the sequence of courses taken by an undergraduate biology major. Most institutions have prescribed liberal arts requirements and those courses have been included in the Mount curriculum. The students are required to complete Biological Principles I & II, Chemical Principles I & II, and Calculus I & II with the following before applying to the department:
- No grade in the courses above lower than a B
- Overall GPA equal or greater than 3.2
- Combined Math and Science GPA equal or greater than 3.2
- Meeting all of the requirements outlined in the majors handbook
In addition to 40 credits in biology, the course of study includes the following:
A year of Freshman Chemistry with laboratory
A year of Organic Chemistry with laboratory
A year of Calculus and one course in Statistics
A year of General Physics with laboratory
A year of English
A year of Psychology
PA-preparation Program – Student Responsibilities
To remain in the PA-preparation track, a student must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.2 by the end of the first academic year. By the end of the second academic year, a student must then earn a minimum GPA of 3.4 overall and in prescribed science and mathematics courses. A minimum grade of B- is required in all science courses.
To enhance the success of graduate applications, students are expected to participate in College and divisional activities. There are many opportunities for students to demonstrate involvement in professional, cultural, and recreational activities. Active participation in one or more of these areas in looked upon favorably when graduate admission applications are reviewed.
It is essential that students consult the specific admission requirements for graduate programs in which they are interested. This must be done in a timely manner to ensure that any necessary changes in course scheduling can be accommodated. Students are responsible for adjusting their course schedules to meet graduate admission requirements. Students must also be aware of the number and type of contact hours required and have a plan to address this requirement. Students must also arrange to take any required entrance exam (e.g. GRE).