Physician Assistant Prerequisite Information
Getting in to the Physician Assistant Graduate Program
Admission to the Springfield College Physician Assistant Graduate Program is highly competitive, and a limited number of seats is available. To be considered for one of these positions, a candidate must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with an overall cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. and an overall science GPA of at least 3.0. Candidates must have received a C+ or better in all of the required prerequisite courses. There is a preferred deadline of April 1. To be eligible for this deadline the entire application must be complete, including all prerequisite coursework. Completed graduate applications will be accepted up to and including June 1 of each year for classes beginning in January of the coming year. Interviews for graduate placement will take part in August and all candidates will be notified of the acceptance decision by Sept. 1.
Candidates for the undergraduate program are high school students or an undergraduate student from another institution who has not completed their bachelor’s degree. Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at (413) 748-3136.
Candidates for the graduate program have at least a bachelor’s degree, and have completed all of the prerequisite coursework and requirements listed below. Please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at (413) 748-3225.
When comparing prerequisites from other institutions the course description and course prerequisites should be equivalent to the prerequisite courses offered at Springfield College.
The following prerequisite courses must have been successfully completed:
- General Chemistry (eight credits)
- Biology (eight credits)
- Pre-Calculus (three credits) or higher level Math course
The following prerequisite courses must have been successfully completed within 10 years of enrollment:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology (eight credits)
- Microbiology (three credits)
- Organic Chemistry (four credits)
- Biochemistry (three credits)
- Statistics (three credits)
In addition to these academic requirements, candidates must have at least 470 hours of direct patient care prior to applying to the program.
What is direct patient care?
Here are examples of acceptable forms of hands-on patient care experience.
- Athletic trainer in a clinical setting
- Certified Nursing Assistant
- Clinical Nutrionist
- Clinical research assistant doing hands-on procedures
- Emergency room technician
- EMT doing more than patient transfer
- Exercise Physiologist in a clinical setting
- Licensed practical nurse
- Medical corpsman
- Medical/clinical assistant
- Mental health technician
- Nurse, Nurse’s aid
- Occupational therapist
- Occupational therapist assistant
- Peace Corps volunteer doing hands-on procedures
- Physical therapist
- Physical therapist assistant
- Radiology technician
- Rehab assistant
- Respiratory therapist
Here are examples of unacceptable forms of hands-on patient care experience.
- Caregiver for relative or friend
- Clinical research assistant doing consenting/counseling
- Dental Hygienist
- Life coach
- Medical device salesperson
- Medical lab tech
- Peer educator
- Pharmacist or pharmacy tech
- Researcher doing bench work only
- Shadowing (PA or MD)
- Social Worker
- Unit secretary/ward clerk
- Veterinarian/veterinary tech
Non-clinical related positions
- Housekeeping, dietary aid, transport, etc.
Physician Assistant Shadowing
Knowledge of the profession, 30 hours of physician observation, healthcare field and a commitment to providing quality healthcare must be demonstrated. Personal references, submitted as part of the application process, must present evidence of strong personal qualities, character, and intellectual ability indicative of success in the physician assistant master's program.
You are required to shadow a practicing physician assistant for at least 30 hours. A note from the physician assistant you shadowed (on office stationary or a prescription pad) should be included in your application stating how many hours you were present. You should not shadow a first-degree relative.