The Physician Assistant (PA) Studies Program will be open to all qualified applicants. Veterans with medical military backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

PLEASE note that this program is not approved for GI Bill education benefits. The program applied for approval and anticipates a response by the end of 2018. This is very important to the program since our mission-in part-is focused on veterans and military medical experience.

All applicants must meet the minimum requirements for admissions:


All prerequisites must be completed by the application deadline to be considered a complete application. All academic prerequisites must be completed from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning in the United States. Currently, foreign degrees and/or coursework (including equivalency evaluations) do not satisfy the academic prerequisites.

  • Bachelor's degree (any major) from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning in the United States
  • 2.75 GPA minimum, overall
  • 2000-hour minimum paid, direct hands-on clinical patient care
    • All forms of clinical patient care experience are considered (see a list of examples below)
    • Student practicum or shadowing experience is NOT considered toward meeting the 2000-hour requirement
    • Health care hours are subject to verification; the program may contact supervisors to confirm reported hours
  • Anatomy and Physiology, 2 semesters (lab preferred)
    • Must be human anatomy; animal or comparative anatomy courses are not accepted
  • General Biology, 1 semester (microbiology with lab strongly recommended)
  • General Chemistry, 1 semester (biochemistry recommended)
  • General Statistics, 1 semester (quarter accepted)

Students must earn a B- or better in each prerequisite course, and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine Physician Assistant Studies Program strongly recommends that prerequisite courses be taken within the last 5-7 years.

Recommended additional coursework for academic preparation: Pharmacology, Genetics, Medical Terminology, Spanish, Abnormal Psychology, Development Psychology, Aging and Disabilities, Public Health, Technical Writing, Communications.

All academic prerequisites are measures in semester hours — see the conversion table.

Prerequisites conversion table: semester hours to quarters
Semester Hours Quarters
0.33 0.5
0.67 1
1 1.5
1.33 2
1.67 2.5
2 3
2.33 3.5
2.67 4
3 4.5
3.33 5
3.67 5.5
4 6
4.33 6.5
4.67 7
5 7.5
5.33 8
5.67 8.5
6 9
6.33 9.5
6.67 10
7 10.5
7.33 11
7.67 11.5
8 12

Example courses

The below courses are NOT required, rather examples of courses from the UNR Course Catalog (including Upper-Level Courses) that would satisfy the above listed prerequisites:


  • BIOL 224A: Human Anatomy and Physiology II Lecture
  • BIOL 224L: Human Anatomy and Physiology II Lab
  • BIOL 300: Principles of Genetics
  • BIOL 315: Cell Biology
  • BIOL 395: Laboratory in Genetics and Cell Biology


  • MICR 276: Introduction to Microbiology
  • MICR 276L: Introduction to Microbiology Laboratory
  • MICR 300: Medical Microbiology and Immunology
  • MICR 350: Microbial Genomics and Genetics


  • CHEM 121A: General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 121L: General Chemistry Laboratory I
  • CHEM 122A: General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 122L: General Chemistry Laboratory II
  • CHEM 220A: Introductory Organic Chemistry Lecture
  • CHEM 220L: Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory

Organic Chemistry

  • CHEM 241: Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 242: Organic Chemistry II
  • CHEM 341: Organic Chemistry for Scientists and Professionals I
  • CHEM 342: Organic Chemistry for Scientists and Professionals II
  • CHEM 345: Organic Chemistry Laboratory
  • CHEM 347: Laboratory Techniques of Organic Chemistry I


  • APST 207: Practical Statistics
  • APST 270: Introduction to Statistical Methods

Examples of health care experiences that could fulfill the "clinical patient care" requirement:

  • Athletic Trainer
  • Dietitian
  • EKG/EEG Technician
  • Emergency Room Technician
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Scribe
  • Mental Health/Behavioral Health
  • Military Medic or Corpsman
  • Nursing Assistant (CNA) or Aide
  • Nurse
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant or Aide
  • Paramedic / EMT
  • Patient Care Technician
  • Pharmacist
  • Phlebotomist
  • Physical Therapist / Physical Therapy Assistant or Aide or Tech
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Social Work: clinical focus
  • Surgical Technician or Assistant