The Pre-Physician Associate/Physician Assistant (PA) minor enhances the competitiveness of students interested in applying to PA schools. The American Association of Physician Assistants (AAPA) recommends that interested students, regardless of the major chosen, should select courses that emphasize the skills of the effective and appropriate application of medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, patient care, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice.
This 18-credit minor is highly interdisciplinary and was developed for students preparing for professional or graduate training in a health care specialty. The courses were specifically selected to focus on the desired core competencies for entering PA students. This minor is particularly suited for students with a natural science major (such as Biochemistry, Biomedical Sciences, Biology, or Chemistry) who wish to take a suite of integrative courses that will provide them with perspectives from the social sciences and humanities. Please note that students do not have to major in the sciences to attend PA school but should meet with the pre-health advisor as early as possible during their program at Nazareth to ensure all the prerequisite courses are completed.
This selection of courses in the Pre-PA Minor is distinct from the courses listed in the existing Pre-Medical Minor, focusing less on the MCAT preparation and more on the specific PA program prerequisites and interpersonal and communication skills desired. This new minor also will allow Pre-PA students the opportunity to distinguish and differentiate themselves from the Pre-Medical students in the application process. Not currently having a distinct Pre-PA minor may be hindering and creating barriers for our PA students who instead are generally enrolled in the Pre-Medical Minor which does not address their specific needs.
The Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) is dedicated to all of our pre-PA minors and has developed a curriculum that is helpful for personal statement writing and interviewing practices and conducts informal , mock interviews to better help each student be as competitive as possible in the application process. The (HPAC) Chair acts as the program director, oversees the minor programs and advises students in both individual and group sessions.
Pre-Physician Assistant students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a minimum grade of C- or higher in all minor coursework. Students are also encouraged to perform a minimum of 200 hours of community/patient care or clinical service. Interested students should contact the pre-health advisor and HPAC Chair, Amber Charlebois, Ph.D., to develop an appropriate course of study for their four years of college.
Students must complete a minimum of 18 credits for this minor. Six of these credits are listed below and are required. Two additional credits are very highly recommended. Also required is at least 200 patient care or clinical hours in the field, which can include (but is not limited to) shadowing, volunteering, working as an EMT, PCT, MT, CNA or scribe.