Physician Assistant Studies

Pre-Physician Assistant At WSU 

Preparing to apply to Physician Assistant programs, sometimes called "pre-PA", is not a major or minor. Students who identify themselves as "pre-PA" plan to apply to a master's degree for Physician Assistant Studies after completing their bachelor's degree. Advisors in the PMHSC work with students to plan coursework, engage in work and activities, and eventually apply to PA programs. Interested students are required to attend a Pre-PA Essentials Session before scheduling an advising appointment in the PMHSC. 

Why PA? 

Physician assistants are practicing medical professionals who hold a Master of Science degree. They examine, diagnose and treat patients under the supervision of a physician in a team setting. They can work in all areas of medicine, including primary care, emergency medicine, surgery and more. Specific job responsibilities vary from location to location, as does the level of physician supervision required by law. According to the U.S. Bureau and Labor Statistics, the 2021 median pay for physician assistants is $121,530 with a projected 31% job growth. 

Physician assistant programs have many more applicants than available seats. Each program has a different set of requirements. The Pre-Med and Health Science Center (PMHSC) advisors support Wayne State students in understanding and navigating the complex and competitive process to be admitted to a Physician assistant program.  

Freshman or Transfer Student and Interested in becoming a Physician Assistant? 

New WSU students should plan to attend Orientation and meet with their assigned advisor before their first semester at Wayne State. All pre-Physician Assistant students are expected to attend a Pre-PA Essentials meeting before scheduling a one-on-one advising appointment in the PMHSC.


BIO 2870 - Anatomy & Physiology 5 cr
BIO 3200 (Human Physiology) and one other physiology course 6-7 cr

BIO 2270/2271 - Principles of Microbiology 


BIO 3250/3251 - Molecular Mechanisms of Microbiology 

5 cr


Recommended WSU/EMU/UDM only
CHM 1100/1130 - General Chemistry 1 CHM 1020 - Survey of Gen Chm
CHM 1240/1250 - Organic Chemistry 1 CHM 1030 - Survey of Organic/Biochemistry
*Biochem (BIO 3100) Required for many programs


CLS 3300 - Medical Terminology 1 cr
NFS 2030 or 3230 - Nutrition 3 cr
STA 1020 or PSY 2030 or PH 3200 or MAT 2210 - Statistics 3 cr
PSY 2400 - Developmental Psychology 4 cr
ENG 1020 - Basic Composition 3 cr
ENG 3010 or 3050 - Intermediate Comp or Technical Communications 3 cr

It is extremely important for competitive applicants to spend time getting hands-on patient contact hours prior to applying. The most complete description of appropriate experiences can be found on the website under Admissions Requirements. Please read the description carefully as you consider what type of work opportunity to pursue.

All interested potential applicants are encouraged to attend an information meeting. The meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month at 6:00 p.m. at the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Please sign up prior to attending. 

There are other PA programs within the state of Michigan. Each program may have different requirements for admission and it is the student's responsibility to research those various requirements.

View a comparison chart of admissions requirements and statistics for Michigan physician assistant studies programs.

Central Michigan University

Concordia University - Ann Arbor

Eastern Michigan University

Grand Valley State University

Lawrence Technological University

Michigan State University

University of Detroit-Mercy

University of Michigan - Flint

Western Michigan University


Most PA programs participate in a centralized application system called CASPA. The website has helpful tips and suggestions as well as detailed instructions about the application process. It is the student's responsibility to educate themselves about the application and its various deadlines.

Applicants are required to take the GRE as part of their application. The GRE is a general examination of a student's verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing skills. Get more information.

Students interested in learning  more about the PA profession can review PAEA's infographic for descriptions and statistics related to the field.