The demand for PAs has skyrocketed in recent years, and enrollment in PA schools has accordingly exploded.

Application to PA school is highly competitive.

Look into PA programs you want to apply to as early as your freshman year in college.

You’ll typically need to complete at least two years of college coursework in basic and behavioral sciences before applying to a PA program, which is very similar to premedical studies.

The majority of PA programs have the following prerequisites:

  • Chemistry
  • Physiology
  • Anatomy
  • Microbiology
  • Biology


Many PA programs also require prior healthcare experience with hands-on patient care.

You can get healthcare experience by being a (not an exhaustive list):

  • Medical assistant
  • Emergency medical technician (EMT)
  • Paramedic
  • Medic or medical corpsman
  • Peace Corps volunteer
  • Lab assistant/phlebotomist
  • Registered nurse
  • Emergency room technician
  • Surgical tech
  • Certified nursing assistant (CNA)


Most students have a bachelor’s degree and about three years of healthcare experience before entering a program.


Find out more at AAPA

There is currently one PA program located on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton, MS.