Program Highlights

The physician assistant (PA) practices medicine under the supervision of licensed D.O.s or M.D.s, providing various health services. PAs come into direct contact with patients on a continuing basis, often as the initial patient contact, and they deal with all kinds of people. Many PAs work in rural or inner-city clinics, where a physician is available only one or two days a week. In these situations, PAs provide most of the patient's healthcare and otherwise consult with the supervising physician by phone. PAs may make house calls or check on hospitalized patients and report back to the physician. The duties of PAs who specialize vary widely with the demands of the specialty. Almost half of all practicing physician assistants are in primary care, and family practice is the most common specialty for PAs followed by surgery and surgical subspecialties, general internal medicine and emergency medicine.

To qualify for physician assistant training, many programs require applicants to have completed at least two years of college in the arts and sciences and to have had some work experience in healthcare. Most PA programs last two years (24 months) and are conducted at medical schools. Course work includes biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, clinical pharmacology, and clinical medicine. Course study is followed by rotated, hands-on study in specialties.

Most states require a PA to pass a certifying exam open only to graduates of accredited programs. To remain certified, PAs must have 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and pass a recertification examination every six years.

Sample Plan of Study

This plan of study shows the types of courses you might take as a student in this major. This is presented simply to provide a realistic preview of your coursework. Once you enroll at Millikin, a faculty advisor will guide you through the process of selecting courses that will help you graduate on-time from this program. While this sample demonstrates a plan of study that covers eight semesters, each student’s academic path is unique and your timeline may look different.

Sample Plan of Study
Semester 1 Ecology and Evolution with Lab
General Chemistry
Introductory Chemistry Lab I
Public Speaking
University Seminar
Critical Reading and Writing I
Semester 2 Diversity of Life with Lab
General Inorganic Chemistry
Introductory Chemistry Lab II
Critical Reading and Writing II
Calculus I
Fine Arts
Semester 3 Statistical Analysis
Intermediate Chemistry Lab I
Organic Chemistry I
US Cultural Studies
Semester 4 Molecular and Cell Biology with Lab
Research (optional)
Intermediate Chemistry Lab II
Organic Chemistry II
US Structural Studies
Semester 5 Biology Content Category
International Cultures and Structures I
Global Studies
College Physics I
Physics Lab I
Semester 6 Biology Content Category
Biology Elective
International Cultures and Structures II
College Physics II
Physics Lab II
Semester 7 Biology Content Category
Research (optional)
Senior Seminar
Semester 8 Biology Content Category
Senior Seminar
Historical Studies


Pre-Professional Program - Pre-Physician Assistant