Pre-Physician Assistant Advising

Physician Assistants have become an integral and unique component of health care. Physician Assistants (PAs) are health-care professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs conduct physical exams, provide preventative care, diagnose and treat illnesses, assist in surgery and can write prescriptions.  Physician assistant graduate schools are about 28 months in length.

William and Mary students can select any major while fulfilling the requirements for physician assistants graduate school.

If you have questions please contact the College of William and Mary Pre-Physician Assistant advisor, Prof. Ray McCoy, at [[rwmcco]] or (757) 221-2783. Or you can also contact Prof. Ashleigh Queen [[aeeverhardt]].

Prerequisite Courses for PA graduate school:

Since the exact prerequisite courses vary for each graduate school it is important for the student to examine the graduate schools they are interested in attending during their sophomore or junior year to allow time to complete all of the prerequisite courses. The list of courses below contains the most common prerequisite courses when examining many physician assistant graduate program admissions requirements:

16 credits - Biological Sciences

  • 8 credits - College Biology
  • 4 credits of Human Anatomy and 4 credits of Human Physiology
  • Microbiology or Biochemistry

8 credits – Chemistry with labs

  • General Chemistry      I with lab
  • Organic Chemistry      I with lab           

3 credits – Mathematics (credits must include, trigonometry, precalculus, calculus, or

3 credits – Statistics (in addition to the other math course)

6 credits – Psychology

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology (recommended)

William and Mary courses that fulfill these requirements include:

BIOL 220/221 and BIOL 225/226, Introduction to Biology
BIOL 306, Microbiology

CHEM 103 and 151 (Lab), General Chem I
CHEM 206 and 206L (Lab), Organic Chem I

KINE 303, Human Anatomy
KINE 315, Human Anatomy Laboratory
KINE 304, Human Physiology
KINE 305, Human Physiology Laboratory

PSYC 202, Introduction to Psychology as a social science
PSYC 310, Developmental Psychology
PSYC 318, Abnormal Psychology

KINE 394, Statistics and Evaluation, or
PSYC 301 and 302, Elementary Statistics and Experimental Methods, or
MATH 106, Elementary Probability and Statistics

Graduate schools have accepted substitute courses for many of the prerequisite courses so it may a good idea to talk directly with the admissions personnel about satisfying the prerequisite courses.

Most schools have a minimum GPA requirement around 3.0 out of 4.0. However, our observation indicates that you must have a William and Mary GPA near 3.25 to be seriously considered for physician assistant graduate school.

Test Requirement

Applicants to physician assistant graduate school must take the Graduate Records Exam (GRE). This is normally taken at the end of the junior year or beginning of the senior year. It is best to complete all of the required biology, chemistry and physics by that time.

Internship Requirement

In addition to the course work described above, students must complete at least 960 - 1000 hours of internship.  These hours must be in a position where the student has direct patient care experiences.  These include being an EMT, clinical nurse assistant, respiratory technician, cardiac technician, phlebotomists,  or other patient care positions.

William and Mary and EVMS Early Assurance Program

The Early Assurance Program (EAP) exists to offer outstanding and qualified undergraduate William & Mary students with an interest in a career as a Physician Assistant the opportunity to gain early assurance of acceptance into the EVMS PA Program upon completing the junior year.

This program will exist to serve the interests of both institutions and the students.  The program will allow up to five highly qualified students from the College of William & Mary to be admitted in the PA Program each admissions cycle.

To be eligible to apply to the EAP, a student must meet the following criteria:

1. Be an enrolled “career student” at the institution from the freshman year of college (this program is not available to students transferring into the institution).

2. Meet all institutional and degree requirements to continue as a student in good standing.

3. Maintain an overall (cumulative) GPA of 3.25 or better.  (A Realistic GPA for the EAP is 3.7 or above).

4. Have satisfactory completed 7 of the 8 prerequisite courses by the time of application without withdrawing from or repeating any course(s) used to satisfy the prerequisites.

5. Have no academic or conduct code violations.

6. Accumulate 500 hours of patient care experience before acceptance in the program (typically August 1 of the year they apply)

Please click on the following link for the application process:
 WM/EVMS PA EAP Application process (pdf)

Physician Assistant Organizations and Websites:

U.S. Department of Labor Description

American Academy of Physician Assistants

Central Application Service for Physician Assistants

The Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) represents PA educational programs.

The Physician Assistant History Society charts the history of the PA profession

Physician Assistant Schools in Virginia:

 Eastern Virginia Medical School
Physician Assistant Program
700 West Olney Road, Suite 1110
P O Box 1980
Norfolk, VA
Phone: 757/446-7158

 James Madison University
Physician Assistant Program
Dept of Health Sciences, MSC 4301
Harrisonburg, VA  22807
Phone: 540/568-2395

Jefferson College of Health Sciences - B
Physician Assistant Program
920 S. Jefferson Street
Roanoke, VA
Phone: 540/985-4016

Shenandoah University - M
Division of Physician Assistant Studies
1460 University Drive
Winchester, VA
Phone: 540/542-6208

 If you have questions please contact the College of William and Mary Pre-PA advisor, Prof. Ray McCoy, at [[rwmcco]] or (757) 221-2783. Or you can also contact Prof. Ashleigh Queen [[aeeverhardt]].