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Physician Assistant

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An undergraduate education provides students with the opportunity to grow personally and intellectually; allowing them the time and resources to discover a breadth of new ideas and topics as well as to build and to explore their own interests and passions in depth.  Therefore, students should seek a broad education during their undergraduate years.  There is no required major for entrance to physician assistant (PA) studies programs.  The following represents what UTSA courses can be taken to fulfill the core and program prerequisites for entry to the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA).  There is some variation in requirements for other PA programs.  Students should also be aware that requirements are subject to change at each individual program.   Thus students are advised to consult individual programs for their specific and most current prerequisites.  Students are encouraged to incorporate these requirements into their semester by semester plans for completion of their baccalaureate degree.

Application Process

Before applying to the Physician Assistant Studies program, applicants must complete the Program Prerequisites listed above. The PA program requires two separate applications; one must be made through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) at: and one must be submitted directly to UTHSCSA via the PAS Supplemental Application.  

To find a list of PA programs available across the country, please visit the website of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) at Please consult individual programs for information regarding their specific application instructions and deadlines.    


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Program Prerequisites-Must receive C or better

General Chemistry
(6 hrs lecture; 2 hrs Lab)



¹CHE 1103 or ²CHE 1143


¹Passing grade on Chemistry Placement Exam or C or better in CHE 1073 and completion of or concurrent enrollment in MAT 1073; ²Grade of “B” or higher in MAT 1073 and CHE 1073 or score of 60% or higher on chemistry placement exam

CHE 1121 Lab and
CHE 1120 Lab Lecture


Completion of or concurrent enrollment in CHE 1103 or CHE 1143

¹CHE 1113  or ²CHE 1153


¹CHE 1103; ²“C” or better in CHE 1143 or “B” or better in CHE 1103 and instructor consent

CHE 1131 Lab and
CHE 1130 Lab Lecture


CHE 1121 and completion of or concurrent enrollment in CHE 1113 or CHE 1153

Organic Chemistry
(3 hrs lecture; 2hr lab)

NOTE:  CHE 2603 was formerly CHE 2604.

CHE 2603


CHE 1113 or CHE 1153

CHE 2612 Lab and
CHE 2610 Lab Lecture


Completion of CHE 1131 and completion of or concurrent enrollment in CHE 2603

General Biology
(6 hrs lecture; 2 hrs lab)

BIO 1404


MAT 1023 (not recommended for pre-PA students), MAT 1073 or higher; CHE 1073 or higher also recommended by UHPO

BIO 1122 Lab


Completion of or concurrent enrollment in BIO 1404

BIO 1413


BIO 1404

(3 hrs lecture; 1hr lab)

NOTES:  Most institutions offer combined Anatomy and Physiology courses while UTSA offers them as separate courses. Therefore, the courses should be completed at the same institution.

BIO 2083


BIO 1404 or BIO 1233

BIO 2091 Lab


BIO 1404 or BIO 1233

(3 hrs lecture)

NOTES:  Please see above. For fall 2013 admission and onward UTHSCSA no longer requires that students complete a physiology lab. However, many PA programs still require both the physiology lecture and lab.

BIO 2103 was formerly AHS 2103

¹BIO 3413, ²BIO 2103 or ³3153


¹BIO 2313, MAT 1193, and STA 1403; ²BIO 1404; ³BIO 1413 and 1122

(3 hrs lecture)

NOTES: For fall 2013 admission and onward UTHSCSA no longer requires that students complete a physiology lab. However, many PA programs still require both the physiology lecture and lab.

BIO 1053 was formerly AHS 1053.

¹BIO 3713 (preferred)
or ²BIO 1053


¹BIO 1122 and BIO 1413; ²BIO 1404 or 1233

(3 hrs lecture)

BIO 2313


BIO 1413 and completion of or concurrent enrollment in CHE 1103 and MAT 1193 or MAT 1214 or STA 1053

(3 hrs lecture)

STA 1053 or higher


Satisfactory score on placement exam

(3 hrs lecture)

PSY 1013 (or any 3 hours of psychology)





An integral part of physician assistant preparation entails involvement in community service projects and volunteer or other work in hospital or clinical settings.  These activities serve to familiarize prospective physician assistants with the realities of everyday clinical practice as well as to underscore the role of medicine in relation to broader community level concerns and issues.  A list of volunteer opportunities is available on the UHPO website (, and we will continue to update additional possibilities.  We do not, however, have a list available for shadowing experiences. 
Students must exercise personal initiative and develop relationships that would allow them to have this direct contact with a Physician Assistant in everyday clinical practice.