Required courses for professional
Professional schools are not in total agreement concerning required
courses. This is true between different fields (i.e. medicine vs.
veterinary) and even within fields (Medical College of Wisconsin
vs. University of Wisconsin Madison Medical School).
Therefore, listed below is only a partial list of the minimal requirements
for most schools. Be sure to check with the schools that you are
interested in for their specific requirements.
Introductory science (SC119 and SC120)
Inorganic chemistry (CH260)
Organic chemistry (CH221 and 322)
Additional biology courses (genetics, BI351, cellular biology,
BI325, anatomy and physiology, BI231, biochemistry CH/BI328)
Literature (EN210, EN310)
Early in your academic career consult the web page of the school
that you are interested in attending for a list of their required
courses, then make an appointment with the pre-professional advisor
to see which Alverno courses fit those requirements. This should
be done EARLY in your academic career! (You would hate to wait until
your senior year to find out that you do not have all the requirements
for a particular school.) It is also highly recommended that at
the beginning of your junior year you meet with an admissions counselor
at one of the professional schools you are most interested in attending
to review your academic classes against their academic admissions
Many schools also have courses that are highly recommended, but
not necessarily required.
Most Pre-Physician's Assistant programs require either the GRE
or the MCAT test. Some require the AHPAT. You should contact the
school you are interested in attending to find out their specific
GRE (The Graduate Record Exam)
Some physician's assistant schools require the GRE. The GRE general
test is a computer-based exam and is administered on almost any day
of the year at computer-based test centers worldwide. Appointments
are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. For registration
information please refer to the GRE web page at www.gre.org,
or call 1-800-GRE-CALL. This website provides information on test
format, test dates, registration deadlines and other frequently asked
The GRE general test measures three scored sections: verbal, quantitative,
and analytical. The skills that are tested have been acquired over
a long period of time and are not related to any specific field
of study. At the start of the test, you are presented with test
questions of middle difficulty. As you answer each question, the
computer scores that question and uses that information to determine
which question is presented next. For this reason, once you answer
a question and move on to another, you cannot go back and change
your answer. As long as you respond correctly to each question,
questions of increasing difficulty typically will be presented.
When you respond incorrectly, the computer will present you with
questions of lesser difficulty. This means that different test takers
will be given different questions.
MCAT (Medical School Admissions Test)
Some physician's assistant programs require the MCAT.
The MCAT assesses problem solving, critical thinking, and writing
skills in addition to knowledge of science concepts and principles
prerequisite to the study of medicine. MCAT scores are reported
in verbal reasoning, physical sciences, writing sample, and biological
The MCAT is offered 2 times a year, in spring and at the end of
summer. Alverno College is sent MCAT registration materials in January
or your can register on the web.
The following website provides information on test format, test
dates, registration deadlines and other frequently asked questions:
Links to web pages of schools in
Marquette University Department of Physician's
Assistant Studies www.marquette.edu/chs/pa/index.html
American Academy of Physician's Assistants
Association of Physician Assistant Programs