Physician Assistant

preProfessional

Academics / Departments & Programs / Pre-Professional Health / AcademicsPhysician Assistant

Degree Overview

Make a tangible difference in patients’ lives. Under the supervision of a licensed physician, you’ll counsel patients, make diagnoses, assist in surgery, and more.

What’s different about the pre-physician assistant track at Calvin? Here, our faith informs our practice. We see every interaction with a patient as a chance to serve, care for, and love other people. And we’ll give you lots of opportunities for direct patient care experience, through our connection with Grand Rapids’ large medical community.

Here, you can major in any discipline, as long as you complete the prerequisite courses for your intended graduate program. But you won’t have to figure it out on your own. Your pre- professional health advisors will help you create a unique academic plan, apply to graduate school, and support you as you work toward your dreams.

Program Distinctives

 
Gain real-world experience - Applicants to physician assistant graduate programs must have a large amount of direct patient care experience. Our close connection to Grand Rapids’ medical community ensures that you will gain the practical experience you need.
 
Founded on faith - Be inspired by professors whose Christian faith is woven into the classroom and their practice. Ask big questions about faith, ethics, health, and medicine.
 
Prepare for your career - Your advisor and expert faculty will help you create an academic plan that lets you major in any discipline while also preparing for graduate school and your career. Invested in your success, they’ll walk with you every step of the way.

Take the next step:

Degree Information

preProfessional
  • Overview

    Get experience

    Some PA schools require up to 2,000 hours of direct patient care experience. Calvin’s pre-professional health advisors can help you identify facilities in Grand Rapids's extensive medical community where you can gain the experience you need.

    After Calvin

    Calvin graduates have attended physician assistant graduate programs such as University of Iowa, Yale University, Central Michigan University, Emory University, Grand Valley State University.

    More options

    This program is part of a family of health science programs, many of which share a common course foundation. To learn about other options in the health sciences, see the Health Sciences page.

  • Courses
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  • Other Details

    Applying to PA programs

    Over 120 PA programs now accept a generalized application. Some programs, however, require a supplemental application form to be sent directly to the program. You can find information about a school’s specific application requirements at each program’s web site.

    You should begin the generalized application at least four weeks prior to your first deadline. Programs beginning in May often have application deadlines in October, so plan well in advance of deadlines.

    What happens next?

    • Clinical training programs are typically two years in duration (if they include summer courses). Some accredited programs offer baccalaureate degrees, most offer a master of science degree. For a complete listing of the educational programs, visit American Academy of Physician Assistants ».
    • Upon graduation from a training program, you will take the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) examination to become a "Physician Assistant - Certified."
    • Once certified, ongoing training is required. You must earn and log 100 continuing medical education hours every two years and sit for a re-certifying exam every six years to retain your credentials.
  • Advising

    Amy Wilstermann

    Amy Wilstermann

    Associate Professor
    Director, Honors and Collegiate Scholars
    Full profile

Find hands-on experiences

Connect with Calvin's Service Learning Center to find a clinical experience that matches your career goals. Learn more »

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A world of possibilities

This program is part of a family of health science programs, many of which share a common course foundation. Learn about other options in the health sciences »

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