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The College of St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica’s physician assistant program builds on our tradition of excellence in health care education. If you are already considering this career as an undergraduate, our academic advisors can help ensure you make the right moves to set yourself up for success. We offer a vast array of undergraduate majors that would allow you to make a smooth transition into our PA program. These include biology, biochemistry, health humanities or chemistry.

PAs are in demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth of 31 percent between 2019 and 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

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Benedictine Scholarship

All new first-year applicants to St. Scholastica will be awarded either the Benedictine Scholarship or the Access Award, upon admission to the College.

Financial Aid

100% of traditional incoming undergraduates receive some type of financial aid. The average for scholarships, grants and/or loans is $31,841.

Degree Details

Tuition

Are You Looking for a Face-to-Face (on-campus) Experience?

St. Scholastica’s longstanding commitment to inclusivity and generous financial aid packages make our world-class educational programs accessible to students from any background.

Curriculum

Here are some classes you may potentially take in preparation for graduate school. Be sure to create your course plan in consultation with your advisor.

Coursework

BIO 1125 – Foundations in Biology

An investigation of living systems with particular emphasis on the molecular and cellular levels of organization within the various kingdoms of life. The concepts introduced in this class form a broad foundation for understanding biology, which is the study of all life. Biology is multidisciplinary and integrates genetics, evolution, ecology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and cellular biology, and we will begin to make connections among these disciplines. All biology and biochemistry majors must pass BIO 1125 with a grade of C or better. Prerequisite: minimum grade of C in Bio 1115.

BIO 2020 – Microbiology

Introduces microbiology including study of the morphology, diversity, evolution, physiology, genetics, metabolism, ecology, biotechnology, pathogenicity, immunology, epidemiology and control of microorganisms.

BIO 2021 – Microbiology Lab

Introduces microbiological laboratory work covering techniques and experiments in microbial structure, metabolism, growth and identification. BIO 2020 may be a prerequisite or a co-requisite. Recommended for all biology majors.

BIO 2510 – Human Anatomy and Physiology I

Study of human anatomy and physiology. Topics include an introduction to cells, tissues, systems organization, osteology, fluid compartments, gross and microscopic anatomy, physiology of the circulatory system, and the gross anatomy of musculature. This course will be geared towards pre-nursing and pre-health occupational students with an emphasis on how basic anatomy and physiology functions in human health.

BIO 2520 – Human Anatomy and Physiology II

Study of human anatomy and physiology. Topics include the physiology of the circulatory, respiratory, urinary, reproductive, endocrine, and defense systems. This course will be geared towards pre-nursing and pre-health occupational students with an emphasis on how basic anatomy and physiology functions in human health.

CHM 1110 – General Chemistry I

Introduces atomic and molecular structure, bonding, stoichiometry, gas laws, chemical periodicity, and chemical reactions. Prerequisite: high school chemistry

CHM 1120 – General Chemistry II

Studies solutions, equilibria, coordination chemistry, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, kinetics, nuclear chemistry, and qualitative analysis. Prerequisite: C- or higher in CHM 1110.

CHM 2200 – Organic Chemistry I

Introduces structure, properties, and reactions of alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alcohols, alkyl halides, and ethers. Prerequisite: C- or higher in CHM 1120.

CHM 2210 – Organic Chemistry II

Introduces the structure, properties, and reactions of aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids and their derivatives, aromatic compounds, amines, phenols, carbohydrates, amino acids as well as infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy techniques. Prerequisite: C- or higher in CHM 2200.

CHM 3240 – Biochemistry I

Studies the structure and role of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids in metabolism. Emphasizes protein structure and function, enzyme operation, metabolic pathways and their cellular role and regulation. Prerequisite: C- or higher in CHM 2210.

CTA 1101 – Interpersonal Communication

Text, lecture, discussion and laboratory exercises emphasizing relationships, the self, perception, verbal communication, assertiveness and listening skills, nonverbal communication and conflict management.

ENG 1110 – First Year Composition

Helps students build rhetorical knowledge, develop critical thinking skills, and practice writing processes. By doing so, students gain transferable knowledge and skills that they can apply to a wide range of fields, disciplines, and writing situations. Students can expect to practice some of the types of writing that they may encounter in their college careers, such as summaries, analysis papers, academic arguments, reviews, critiques, and papers built on research. English 1110 serves as a foundation for future writing practice within specific disciplines, where students will encounter different tasks, audiences, and purposes under the guidance of faculty from across the college.

HSC 2209 – Medical Terminology

Studies the terminology common to medicine utilizing word elements (prefixes, suffixes and roots) basic for building medical terms and analyzing meanings using a programmed learning format; includes spelling and pronunciation of medical terms.

PSC 2001 – Physics I

Covers algebra-based general physics including Newtonian mechanics (motion, force, energy, momentum), harmonic motion, fluids, and thermodynamics. Students must have ease and familiarity with basic algebraic and trigonometric techniques. Includes one 2-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: A grade of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better in College Algebra (MATH 1111) or a C or better in a more advanced college math course or a math ACT score of 24 or higher or by permission of the instructor.

PSC 2002 – Physics II

Continues the study of algebra-based general physics including content in electricity and magnetism, geometric optics, sound and light waves, and selected topics in modern physics. Includes one 2-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: A grade of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better in PSC 2001.

PSY 2208 – Lifespan Developmental PSY

Cognitive, personality/social, and physical development from conception to death. Within a life span developmental perspective, the course examines research methods, developmental theories, and application of research findings to selected problems in the major periods of the life span: the prenatal period, infancy, early/middle/late childhood, adolescence, and young/middle/late adulthood. The developmental perspective provides an important foundation for understanding normal children and adults, while also providing the essential knowledge base for the modern view of psychological disturbances as “normal development gone awry.” This approach has practical implications for individuals with interests in parenting, caregiving, education, social services, and health sciences with both normal and exceptional populations. Prerequisite: none, but sophomore standing recommended.

PSY 3331 – Statistics

Covers basic statistical concepts and methods useful in conducting research and evaluating results of studies done by others. Topics include frequency distributions and graphs, measures of central tendency and variability, transformed scores, correlations, multiple regression, hypothesis testing (t test, analysis of variance, and chi square), selection of appropriate statistics, calculation with MS Excel spreadsheets and SPSS, interpretation of the “results” sections of journal articles, and numeracy (understanding and using numbers in decision-making). Prerequisite: competence in arithmetic.

SOC 2433 – The Family and Society

Exploration of the meaning and variety of family life in the United States and other cultures. Classic and contemporary theories are combined with recent research findings to understand the changing definitions and contexts of family life. Emphasis is placed on the study of the family in a broader context, including the influence of neighborhoods, schools and religion, socioeconomic inequalities, gender roles, domestic abuse, divorce, and a life span approach to family life.

Career Outlook

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Minnesota is ranked third among states with the highest occupational demand for physician assistants, producing occupational vacancies at the rate of 80 new jobs per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Department of Labor state that “employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 38 percent by 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Increased demand for healthcare services from the growing and aging population and widespread chronic disease, combined with a shortage of physicians, will result in increased demand for healthcare providers, such as physician assistants.”

Pair with a Language

Boost your brainpower and give yourself a competitive edge in our global economy by pairing your major with a language. St. Scholastica offers programs and courses in American Sign Language, French, German, Latin, Ojibwe, Russian and Spanish.

Meet Our Faculty

Experienced, Dedicated and Distinguished Educators

Expect to be heard, to be challenged and to be involved. St. Scholastica faculty are world-class scholars and experts in their field who bring their deep experience to online and on-campus classrooms. Our values of community, respect, stewardship and love of learning reflect our faculty’s commitment to lifting up others and celebrating our common humanity.