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Admissions Office
The College of St. Scholastica
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
(218) 723-6046
TTY/TDD: (218) 723-6790
admissions@css.edu

Kimberly Lakhan, DHSc, PA-C
Program Chair
Health Science Center
Room 317
(218) 625-4863
klakhan@css.edu

Pre-Physician Assistant

Fast Facts: Pre-Physician Assistant 

  • Students interested in pursuing a career as a physician assistant will need to declare an undergraduate major while ensuring they complete the prerequisite coursework needed for a physician assistant master's degree program.
  • Common or complementary majors for pre-physician assistant students include biology, biochemistry, health humanities or chemistry. However, students can pursue any major provided the prerequisites are met.  
  • Undergraduate students who follow the pre-physician assistant undergraduate program will meet all prerequisites for the physician assistant master’s program (please note that meeting the prerequisites does not guarantee acceptance into the master’s program). For more information, visit our Physician Assistant Master's Program page.
  • St. Scholastica gives admissions preference to physician assistant master's applicants with a CSS undergraduate degree, those from underrepresented and underserved populations and military veterans. Admissions preference does not guarantee admission. 
  • St. Scholastica's Physician Assistant Club gives students an opportunity to network with other undergraduate pre-PA students.

Careers

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 31 percent between 2019 and 2029, 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."

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

Sample curriculum

Here are some classes you may potentially take in preparation for graduate school. Please note that you may not need all of these courses to fulfill your graduate school pre-requisites. This list doesn't necessarily include courses needed for your major or general education requirements. Be sure to create your course plan in consultation with your advisor.

Course Creation Center

Expand and Collapse Coursework

Expand and Collapse 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.

Expand and Collapse BIO 2020 - Microbiology

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

Expand and Collapse 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.

Expand and Collapse 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.

Expand and Collapse 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.

Expand and Collapse CHM 1110 - General Chemistry I

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

Expand and Collapse 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.

Expand and Collapse 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.

Expand and Collapse 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.

Expand and Collapse 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.

Expand and Collapse 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.

Expand and Collapse 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.

Expand and Collapse 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.

Expand and Collapse 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.

Expand and Collapse 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.

Expand and Collapse 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.

Expand and Collapse 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.

Expand and Collapse 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.

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