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(Pre-) Physician Assistant

Collaborative delivery of medical care.

Physician assistants, also known as PAs, practice medicine on a team under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. They are formally educated to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment.

Physician assistants must complete an accredited educational program. These programs usually lead to a master's degree. All states require physician assistants to be licensed.

Is it for you?

This program will be a good fit if you:

  • Enjoy lifelong learning
  • Curiousity about life
  • Critical thinking and enjoy solving problems
  • Enjoy science and the scientific method
  • Strong interpersonal skills

Internship Opportunities

  • Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA's)
  • Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's)
  • Medical Scribes
  • Medical Technicians
  • Patient-care Technicians

Suggested Majors

  • Human Biology (B.S.)
  • Biochemistry (B.S.)
  • Biotechnology (B.S.)
  • Chemistry (B.S.)
  • Microbiology (B.S.)
  • Exercise Science (B.S.)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics (B.S.)
  • Psychology (B.S.)

Suggested Minors

  • Chemistry
  • Health Communication
  • Health Science
  • Leadership
  • Microbiology

Professional Schools Admitting Graduates

  • Des Moines University (DMU)- Iowa Health Sciences University (Des Moines, IA)
  • University of South Dakota (Vermillion, SD)
  • University of Wisconsin- LaCrosse (LaCrosse, WI)
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) (Omaha, NE)
  • St. Catherine's (Twin Cities, MN)

Still deciding? Reflecting on your values, interests, personality traits, and skills will provide valuable insight as you explore major and career choices. FOCUS 2 CAREER, a self-guided assessment, education and career planning program, will help you do just that. SDSU students may access FOCUS 2 CAREER by using the code: jacks. After completing FOCUS 2 CAREER, you may find it helpful to discuss your results with a career coach in the Office of Career Development.