Pre-Physician Assistant Studies (BS)

Student working on a lab.

USF’s Pre-Physician Assistant Studies program will prepare you for graduate school and a subsequent career as a Physician Assistant. Structured to maximize your success, our program delivers:

  • A strong foundation in medical biology
  • Hands-on experience to build your laboratory and anatomy skills
  • 1,000 paid patient care hours
  • Job shadow experience to explore PA subspecialties

1 Degree, 2 Options

We offer 1 degree with 2 entry options. Whether you come in through the Traditional or Dual Accept track, you’ll be in the same high-quality Pre-PA program.

In the Traditional Track, students complete their undergraduate degree and then apply for graduate PA master’s programs during the regular CASPA cycle.

In the Dual Accept Track, students move directly into USF’s Physician Assistant Studies Master of Science program.

Either way, you’ll benefit from having Pre-PA Program Director Dr. Mike Bechill serve as your academic advisor. He’s guided students to graduate programs throughout the country.

Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester.

Mike Bechill showing students how to do a lab.

An Ideal Learning Environment

You’ll be taught by experts in the field and will emerge as a competent and compassionate medical professional.

You’ll learn in USF’s Professional On-Campus Labs and will get experience not typically available to undergraduates, including:

  • Simulation Lab with high-fidelity patient simulators (infant, child, and adult patients)
  • Cadaver Lab for human anatomy
  • Resource Lab with patient units, exam rooms, and mid-fidelity patient simulators

Individualized Plan of Study

Our flexible undergraduate curriculum can be tailored to fit your needs. Whether you enter as a freshman or a transfer student, we’ll work with you to accommodate your point of entry and keep you on track!

Real-Life Medical Experience

You’ll graduate with real medical experience, including:

  • Patient Hours – Students complete 1,000 PAID patient hours (as patient care techs, CNAs, EMTs, & more). We’ll help you find the ideal setting.
  • Job Shadowing — Professors help connect students to professional PAs for job shadowing & sub specialty experience. We have many alumni in the region who want to work with USF students.

Plus, opportunities for service and travel like our annual medical mission trip to Haiti.

The faculty have helped me in so many ways: at different times, they’ve kept me focused, built my confidence, and offered advice. The professors are one of the reasons we have such a strong community where we all support each other.

Brittany Kuhlenbeck ’18
Pre-Physician Assistant Studies major

Career Outlook & Success

100%

of our students are accepted into graduate PA programs

37%

Expected job growth for PAs by 2026 - much faster than average

$104,860

Median pay per year

Ready to start?

I want to learn more

Program Director

Michael Bechill, Ph.D.
mbechill@sf.edu
260-399-7700, ext. 8208