Loyola University Chicago

Pre-Health Professions

Career Services


These are typical requirements and recommendations for applying to PA programs.  If you are interested in applying to programs in one of the other health profession areas (medical, dental, pharmacy, PT, optometry, etc.) please review the recommended courses for that specific area. Given that PA schools require several more courses and significant more clinical hours than medical school admissions, it is normal for PA students to take extra gap years as necessary. Please schedule an advising appointment with a Pre-Health advisor if you have questions about completing the requirements for a PA school application.


Suggested Academic Timelines:


First Year


Chemical Structure & Properties with Lab

CHEM 160/161

Chemical Reactivity I with Lab

CHEM 180 & 181

Intro Biology I with Lab

BIOL 101/111

Intro Biology II with lab

BIOL 102/112

*MATH 131 (or 161) is a pre-requisite for CHEM 260/261. If you plan on taking CHEM 260/261 by Spring Semester of Second Year, you will need to complete this pre-requisite beforehand.


Second Year


Chemical Reactivity II with Lab

CHEM 240/241

Organic Chemistry II with Lab

CHEM 260/261

Human Anatomy & Physiology I

BIOL 242

Human Anatomy & Physiology II

BIOL 243


Third Year



CHEM 361


BIOL 302

Science Electives*

Science Electives*


Fourth Year


Science Electives*

Science Electives*

*Physician Assistant programs typically require or recommend courses in: psychology, sciology, statistics, medical terminology, or other related biology courses.

**From Chemistry Department Website: “Starting in Fall 2023 all students will begin the Chemistry sequence in CHEM 160+161 (replacing CHEM 101+111).  Students who began the Chemistry sequence in CHEM 101+111 prior to Fall 2023 may continue in the older course sequence, as long as they make progress in the sequence each consecutive semester, but may switch to the updated sequence as the older courses are replaced.  Students should consult with their Academic Advisor(s) as listed in LOCUS for degree requirements and options.” 

Clinical Experience Timeline

PA schools often require a significant (i.e. 1,500+) number of clinical hours as a pre-requisite. This extensive expectation is one of the key reasons we recommend students interested in PA school get involved as early as possible. Some of the accepted experiences for these hours differ from those accepted at many medical schools, so we have provided a list of clinical experiences that are typically accepted by PA schools: 

  • Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Paramedic/EMT
  • Medical Assistant
  • Radiology Tech
  • Military Medic/Corpsman/Tech   

Some experiences typically NOT accepted by PA schools are:

  • Shadowing
  • Volunteering in a hospital, clinic, etc.

Please keep in mind all health professional schools have different requirements and recommendations.  We suggest students research the specific requirements of schools they are interested in and speak with a Pre-Health advisor.