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Skidmore College
Health Professions Advising
& Student Health Professions Network 

Physician Assistant (PA) Course Requirements

Always check for specific course requirements for each school you are going to apply to—this is only a guide.

Class Semesters Skidmore Course(s) Notes
Chemistry variable with three to four semesters with lab often required, including general, organic chemistry, and/or biochemistry (sometimes at upper level) CH 125 or CH 126
CH 221
CH 222
CH 341
Must take placement diagnostic. Schools that require two semesters of general chemistry will typically count CH 341 as the second semester (CH 115 does not fulfill the requirement).
General biology two semesters with lab BI 107 BI 108  
Microbiology one semester BI 246  
Genetics one semester BI 245  
Anatomy and physiology two semesters with lab HP 126
HP 127
HP 126 is now a prerequisite for HP 127.
Upper-level physiology one semester HP 311 or BI 306  
Psychology one semester PS 101  

Physician assistants deliver a range of medical and surgical services in private practices/clinics, hospitals, HMO's, and federal government agencies/the armed forces. Some physician assistants pursue additional education in a specialty. A physician assistant must be a graduate of an accredited program and certified by the NCCPA to pursue this option.


The General Records Exam (GRE) is a computer-adaptive test offered hundreds of time per year in a variety of locations. There is a fee-reduction program that discounts the exam by 50% for those who qualify. Please note: You must apply for fee assistance well in advance of taking the GRE, at least 30 days.