Physician Assistant

Northwestern’s pre-physician assistant program prepares students for entrance into a Physician Assistant (PA) professional program and an eventual career as a PA where you will practice medicine under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. Most students will attend Northwestern for four years, graduating with a B.A. degree before entering a 2-year PA professional program. It is important to know that PA programs typically require several hundred hours of experience in health care roles such as a CNA, EMT, paramedic, etc., before admittance to the graduate program.

Recommended courses

BIO 115SN - General Biology: Molecular and Cellular Biology
An introduction to molecular and cellular biology, with an examination ofthe processes common to living organisms and an introduction to thediversity of life, emphasizing unicellular organisms. This introduction willprovide students with a basic understanding of macromolecules, cellstructure and function, respiration and photosynthesis, the cell cycle,meiosis, genetics, mechanisms of evolutionary change, and Christianperspectives on evolutionary biology. (4 credits) (NWCore option underScience and the Natural World) Note: Three lectures and 3 hours of laboratory work per week.
BIO 116 - General Biology: Ecology and Organismal Biology
General Biology II is an introduction to organismal biology emphasizing the diversity of life forms. Representative organisms from the plant and animal kingdoms will be emphasized. Students will also be introduced to basic ecological concepts and Christian perspectives on stewardship. (4 credits)
BIO 203 - Microbiology
A study of the morphology and physiology of microorganisms with special emphasis on bacteria and viruses. Those organisms that have an economic or medical importance will be highlighted, and basic laboratory techniques will be stressed.Prerequisites: BIO115, 116 and CHE101, 102 or CHE111, 112.(4 credits)
BIO 221 - Human Anatomy
A study of the gross structure of the systems of the human body.Prerequisite: BIO102, 115 or permission of instructor.(4 credits)
BIO 222 - Human Physiology
A study of the mechanisms by which the human body functions. Emphasis will be given to nerve and muscle function, and thereafter to hormonal control and the integrated systems that allow for respiratory, digestive, excretory and reproductive activities.Prerequisites: BIO102 or 115 and CHE101, 102 or CHE111, 112 or permission of instructor.(4 credits)
BIO 326 - Biochemistry Proteins and Metabolism
A fundamental course surveying biomolecules, catabolism, bioenergetics and biosynthesis. Prerequisites: CHE321 and 322. (4 credits)
PSY 100SS - Exploring Psychology
(4 credits)(IGE option under Self and Society) In this course students learnhow, using methodologies such asobservation, survey and experimentation, psychological science exploresthe causes and consequences of human action. An overview of majorfindings from the field of psychology such as biological bases ofbehavior, learning and memory, motivation and emotion, human development,personality, intelligence, psychopathology and therapy, the effect ofothers on individuals will be discussed and students will be encouragedto apply this knowledge to their own views and actions. Students willconsider why the integration of faith and science in understanding humansis important and will explore ways of accomplishing this integration.
PSY 360 - Psychopathology
(4 credits) This course will provide a broad survey of what is considered to be disordered in behavior, emotional expression, and cognition in adults. Emphasis will be placed on a scientific view of psychopathology. The two main foci of the course are the (a) description of various behaviors, symptoms, syndromes and illnesses as described in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association, and (b) research and theories concerning etiology including discussion of environmental, biological, social and interactive perspectives. While intervention and childhood disorders will be discussed, they are not the primary focus of this course. Prerequisite: 4 credits of psychology courses.
Psychology elective
Medical Terminology
Choose one course
BIO 202WI - Genetics
An introduction to the principles of heredity and their practicalapplications. Prerequisites: BIO115SN or 116. (4 credits) (Writingintensive) Note: Includes 3 credits of lab per week. A fee is associated with this course (
BIO 327WI - Molecular Genetics
(4 credits)(Writing intensive) This course focuses on the structure andfunction of nucleic acids and examines the biochemical techniques involvedin gaining knowledge regarding replication, transcription and translation ofgenetic information, and control of gene expression.Note: Includes 3 hours of lab per week.Prerequisites: BIO115, CHE321 and 322.
Choose one sequence:
CHE 101SN - College Chemistry
(4 credits)(IGE option under Science and the Natural World) This course isan introduction to inorganic chemistry, with an emphasis on the health sciences. It is wellsuited for students whose programs require one year of chemistry.Note: Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Open toall students.
CHE 102 - College Chemistry
An introductory course in organic and biological chemistry. The content is especially suited to meet the needs of students whose programs require only one year of chemistry.Prerequisite: CHE101.(4 credits)
CHE 111 - General Chemistry
An introductory course in chemistry that emphasizes physical and inorganic concepts, problems and calculations. Topics include chemical reactions, stoichiometry, properties of gases, thermochemistry, theories of atomic structure, and chemical bonding. The general chemistry sequence (Chemistry 111 and Chemistry 112) is recommended for students with good math / science preparations who intend to proceed to advanced courses in chemistry, the biological sciences or engineering. Prerequisites: high school chemistry and ACT mathscore of at least 24 (SAT 570 or above). (4 credits)
CHE 112 - General Chemistry
A continuation of Chemistry 111. Topics covered include kinetics, thermodynamics, chemical equilibria, acid-base chemistry and nuclear chemistry.Prerequisite: CHE111 or consent of the instructor.(4 credits)
CHE 321 - Organic Chemistry
The study of carbon compounds and their functional groups, including nomenclature, synthesis, reactions, structures, mechanisms and spectroscopic analysis.Prerequisites: CHE102 or 112 or permission of instructor.(4 credits)
CHE 322 - Organic Chemistry
A continuation of the study of carbon compounds and their functional groups, including nomenclature, synthesis, reactions, structures, mechanisms and spectroscopic analysis.Prerequisite: CHE321.(4 credits)
Choose one course
MAT 116QR - Stats for Natural/Social Science
(3 credits)(NWCore option under Quantitative Reasoning) This course is designed to introduce topics in probability and statistics with an emphasis on problems in the sciences. We will study discrete and continuous distributions, estimation and hypothesis testing, p-values, correlation, and simple linear regression. There will be three main sections in this course, examining descriptive statistics (the nature of data and how to summarize it), basic probability concepts (the mathematical study of uncertainty), and inferential statistics (making claims or decisions based on one or more sets of data). Note: Students may receive credit for only one course among MAT 116QR, MAT 117QR and MAT 208.Prerequisites: C- or better in MAT090, an ACT math score of 20 or above (SAT 510 or above), a passing score on the basic algebra placement exam, or permission of instructor.
MAT 208QR - Biostatistics
(4 credits)(NWCore option under Quantitative Reasoning) This course is a study of statistical methodology commonly used in thebiological and health sciences. We will start with examining basicdescriptive methods in statistics. We will then introduce the foundationalconcepts in probability. After these topics are explored, we will spend theremainder of the course looking at the uses and interpretation ofstatistics. Topics will include confidence intervals and hypothesis testsinvolving one or two samples, correlation and regression, contingencytables, and ANOVA.Note: Meets four times per week. Students may receive credit for only onecourse among MAT 116QR, MAT 117QR and MAT 208QR.Prerequisite: C- or better in MAT090, an ACT math score of 20 or above (SAT510 or above), or a passing score on MAT090 placement exam.

Total credits recommended: 61-62