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Prospective PA student Please Help!

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Hi Guys, 

I have recently decided on a career changer into physician assistant and would be a non-trad. I have never taken any of the prerequisites required, but have completed a humanities bachelor degree as well as a master degree in bioinformatics. I have done well in these but after shadowing a pa, I am thinking of switching into healthcare. I was thinking of completing all of my prereqs online at Doane or UNE. While, taking classes I will also be working full time. My question is is there anyone on here who has done only online prereqs with these schools and been accepted into a good PA school? Do you guys recommend this path or should i attend a cc/4 year? Also is it better to complete all labs online with these schools or should I do the labs in person at a cc?

Thanks for any help or input and stay safe!

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Personally, I would not recommend it.  Schools usually look down upon community colleges to obtain prereqs.

With That Said - I can honestly attest to a person NON healthcare undergrad and masters, who took >70% of the courses at a CC was accepted (and has since graduated) from a prestigious PA school.  Biochem, Orgo and Chemistry were taken in undergrad.

I will also attest to non traditional student GPA being higher due to lack of upper level hard courses for their majors and that high GPA's get noticed.  On the flip side, my harder classes hurt my GPA, however ONCE I got past the screening committee, these classes could be brought up during the interview and impressed the faculty.  The numerous 4000 healthcare science classes during the same semester also showed I was able to handle the anticipated PA workload.


I know that may not be the specific answer you are looking for, however we are here to give advice, offer what we know and hope you take it in and consider.  Each case is different, each school committee is different and each applicant is different.  However it only takes one reviewer to like what they see to get you to the next level.

Good luck.

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I wouldn’t recommend online science courses due to some programs being very strict on those requirements and can limit your application choices. I did all my prereqs at a CC and saved a TON of money, I will never regret CCs! I applied to 8 schools and received interviews to every program and acceptances to those interviews I decided to do. I was a liberal arts major at notoriously difficult undergrad. I did take a few upper divisions biology courses just because. Proved them that I don’t need to be a bio major to be a provider, and there are no skills you learn by majoring in bio other than memorization. In my opinion there is no “top PA programs”, all are governed by the same entities with the same standards. What I do judge programs by is the PANCE scores anything below the national average is not worth taking a risk for. Find the school that fits what you want to do in your PA profession. Also there’s only like a handful of programs that care about where you did your prereqs, for the other 250 programs they don’t care. Plus those handful of programs are shooting themselves in the foot by lack of diversity. Students that come from a more affluent background would be able to complete all the prereqs at 4 year. I hope that helps you in your decision best of luck to you! 

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