Pre-Physician Assistant

Biology - Pre-Physician Assistant

At Anderson University, undergraduates who plan to pursue a physician's assistant degree will be prepared for the demands and challenges of PA school. The College of Arts and Sciences recommends students major in Biology or Biochemistry, both of which provide students a strong foundation for a future in medicine.

Biology or Biochemistry

Students who desire to pursue PA degrees must first understand the root of human healthcare, which begins with comprehensive knowledge of living things.

Anderson prepares biology students with an overview of all areas of living things on the genetic, cellular and organismal levels. The university's biochemistry students study the areas of chemistry most relevant to living systems on a cellular and molecular level in order to understand biological concepts.

The foundation for human health

Core classes lay the groundwork for both for Biology and Biochemistry majors to study human health in PA school. These students must take courses in general biology and chemistry along with cellular biology, genetics and organic chemistry during the first two years at Anderson.

Additional upper-level Biology and Biochemistry courses and electives further prepare students for their career path. For example, courses in immunology and microbiology will help students better understand disease-causing organisms and how the body fights off these pathogens. Courses in human anatomy and physiology provide invaluable knowledge about the organ systems.

Physician's assistants often interact closely with patients and see them even more frequently than an overseeing physician. Classes in psychology and sociology at Anderson help students develop the skills needed to build better relationships with the patients in their care. Anderson also encourages students to gain hands-on patient care experience through shadowing or volunteer work.

Research opportunities

As a requirement for their degree, Anderson's Biology and Biochemistry students work closely with a selected faculty member to design and complete a research project. A variety of research fields are available, and projects conducted at the university's Center for Cancer Research are especially relevant for students planning for graduate work in medicine. Our students have been honored with some of the highest undergraduate awards for their work at the center.

The on-campus human cadaver laboratory located in the School of Nursing provides a rare undergraduate opportunity for preparation in medical fields. All anatomy and physiology labs include several experiences in this facility, and some students choose to complete research projects involving the cadaver lab.

Choosing Anderson

Professors at Anderson prepare students with the appropriate vocabulary and academic concepts needed in the medical world, but also emphasize the importance of developing critical-thinking skills to evaluate the underlying principles of science. Our students are prepared to problem-solve and consider new approaches for treatment.

Anderson's small student-teacher ratio provides deeper relationships between professors and undergraduates. Students find these relationships helpful for one-on-one advising and, later, for recommendation letters as they near the completion of their degrees.

Medical professions provide excellent venues for Anderson students to exhibit Christian service. The knowledge that every person is created in the image of God influences how Christian physician's assistants serve their patients through medical treatment. Anderson students understand the inherent value of every human life, inspiring them to excel in their field and build strong relationships with their patients.