Program Overview:

Prephysician Assistant Certificate

The prephysician assistant concentration admits post-baccalaureate students into a program of study that will aid them in meeting the entrance requirements for master's programs for physician assistants (PAs). While this program meets most minimal requirements for applications to physician assistant graduate programs in the Chicago area, students are strongly advised to confirm the admission requirements of the graduate programs in which they are interested before enrolling to ensure that the SPS program fulfills their needs. This program is designed for career changers who do not have an extensive background in science. Students who need only some of these courses should consider the Advanced Studies in Biology for the Health Professions certificate program, or designing a specialized post-baccalaureate certificate to meet their needs.

Required Courses

Students are required to take the following courses:

  • BIOL SCI 215 Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • BIOL SCI 217 Physiology
  • BIOL SCI 219 Cell Biology
  • BIOL SCI 220 Genetic and Molecular Processes Laboratory
  • BIOL SCI 221 Cellular Processes Laboratory
  • BIOL SCI 222 Investigative Laboratory
  • BIOL SCI 308 Biochemistry
  • BIOL SCI 313 Human Anatomy
  • BIOL SCI 317 Regional Anatomy Lab
  • BIOL SCI 328 Microbiology
  • CHEM 110 Quantitative Problem Solving in Chemistry
  • CHEM 131 General Chemistry 1 (with lab, CHEM 141)
  • CHEM 132 General Chemistry 2 (with lab, CHEM 142)
  • CHEM 210-A Organic Chemistry I
  • STAT 202 Introduction to Statistics
  • CLASSICS 110 Scientific Vocabulary Through Classical Roots

Optional Courses:

  • PRO HLTH 396-A Professional Health Careers Proseminar I*
  • PRO HLTH 396-B Professional Health Careers Proseminar II*

*These non-credit seminar courses are optional, but highly recommended, for prephysician assistant students and are offered free of charge to students in the Professional Health Careers program. For more information, please see the course listing page.

In addition to the program requirements, prephysician assistant students have the option to take any of the courses offered at SPS as electives. Elective courses are NOT eligible for financial aid, based upon federal financial aid requirements.

Transfer Credit Policy for Prephysician Assistant

Students in the prephysician assistant post-baccalaureate certificate program may transfer up to six semester hours, or nine quarter hours of academic credit. A transcript and grade of B or better are required for transferred courses in the program. Courses audited or taken with the pass/no credit option cannot be applied toward a certificate program. Courses earned for a bachelor's degree at SPS may not be applied retroactively toward certificate requirements. Required courses that have been completed in the past two years by students-at-large may be applied toward the completion of a certificate, subject to the approval of the admissions committee, and provided admission requirements for the program are met.  All transfer credit must be approved before a student begins his or her course work at SPS.

Additional Information

Prephysician assistant students have different admission requirements and application processes than other post-baccalaureate students. Visit the Acceptance Criteria page for details on admission requirements for this program and for SPS Office of Admissions contact information.