Pre-Physician Assistant


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Degree Overview

Enter an expanding field that allows you to practice medicine under the supervision of a licensed physician.

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.

Degree Information

  • 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
  • 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


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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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