Physician Assistant Program

Academic Requirements

All Applicants MUST

All applicants MUST:

  • Possess a bachelor's degree, completed at a regionally accredited institution in the United States prior to matriculation into the program. There is not one degree area that is given preference. 

    • Transcripts from institutions outside the United States are not accepted, even after use of an evaluation service.

  • Have a minimum Cumulative Undergraduate GPA must be 3.0 on a 4-point scale as computed by CASPA. Cumulative Undergraduate GPA is the wording used by CASPA to include all undergraduate and post baccalaureate academic work.

    • The Program may consider applications with a Cumulative Undergraduate GPA below the required 3.0 if it is clear, based on the Program review of the application, that there is strong evidence that the applicant has demonstrated current academic success. This is based on the GPA for the last forty hours of academic work, the academic load being carried and the level of coursework taken. All such reviews are performed at the sole discretion of the Program.

    • Should the Program allow an exception to the Cumulative Undergraduate GPA requirement, the applicant will receive the Supplemental Application from the Program to continue the application process.

  • Have a required prerequisite GPA must be a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale as computed by the Program. There are no exceptions made on this minimum prerequisite GPA. 

  • Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. ETS keeps scores for FIVE (5) years, if it is beyond that period the GRE must be re-taken. See Required GRE for more details.

Academic Prerequisite Course Work

  • Prerequisite courses must be completed at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

  • Prerequisite GPA must be a 3.0 on a 4-point scale. There are no allowances for this GPA. 

  • All prerequisite course grades must be a C (2.0) or higher (NOT C-). Pass/Fail is not acceptable.**

    • The only exception is Medical Terminology which can be P/F or C or better. 
    • **Due to Covid-19 we will allow CR/NC (or similar) for the Spring 2020 grades. As stated under Prerequisite Course Evaluation, this term will continue to be evaluated in the context of the entirety of the academic picture. 

  • All science prerequisites must be at a level acceptable for science majors and have an accompanying lab if required. Courses in Allied Health programs must meet the academic rigor expected for others in science majors.

    • Online course(s) plus labs taken from a regionally accredited institution are acceptable. If there are several science courses taken online, we strongly recommend that there be upper-level science courses taken in an in-person setting to demonstrate the ability to handle that level of rigor in a classroom setting.
  • Only 1 prerequisite course may be left for completion during the spring semester 2021 (winter quarter) prior to the program start date the following fall. This work must be included in the CASPA application as "in progress" for program consideration. This may be a course which includes a lab component.

    • At the end of this fall term (fall 2020) it will be determined if the Prerequisite GPA can be maintained at the required 3.0 level if a C were to be earned in the remaining spring (spring 2021) course (winter quarter). If the prerequisite GPA of 3.0 cannot be maintained, your application status will become inactive for that application season.

  • The program reviews transcripts first to ensure that all applicants have met the academic requirements (GPAs and course requirements) before further consideration is given to any application.

  • Applications are strengthened by evidence of the successful completion of additional biology or social science coursework beyond the minimum required. 

  • It is strongly recommended that coursework in Anatomy and Physiology and Microbiology be completed within 7 years prior to applying to the Program.

  • On the Prerequisite Equivalent page, check to see if your school has had the prerequisites already evaluated.


CREDITS (semester hours)

General Chemistry I & II with labs

8 credits

Organic Chemistry OR Biochemistry (no lab)

3 credits

Microbiology with lab

4 credits

Human anatomy with lab1 important

4 credits

Human physiology with lab1 important

4 credits

College Algebra OR Precalculus OR Calculus OR Statistics2

3 credits

General OR Developmental Psychology (lifespan in scope)

3 credits

Psychology elective3 this is in addition to above
(you will need 2 psychology courses total - not 2 electives)

3 credits (this is the correct # of credit hr)

Medical TerminologyP/F or C or better for this course ONLY. This course can also be taken spring 2021 in addition to 1 other course 

1-3 credits

Upper level biology (no lab required) in University setting4 see description

3 credits

To view acceptable Harding Courses pdf

Introductory or Survey courses are not acceptable

1A combined full year of Anatomy and Physiology I and II with labs will meet this requirement. Applicants must take A&P I & II (both components are required) OR separate anatomy AND physiology (plus labs) to meet this requirement. Do NOT combine these components (the A&P I & II series with stand-alone courses) as you will not get the full scope of knowledge. 

2Business Statistics is not accepted.

3Psychology electives must be similar to the following list and completed in the psychology department: Development psychology (does not have to be life span), Physiology psychology, Abnormal psychology, or Cognitive neuroscience (this is not an exhaustive listing of acceptable courses)

4An Upper level (per your University designation of upper level or division) Biology course completed in a University setting (4 year Bachelor degree granting institution).

The course should be similar to the following list: Cell biology, Immunology, Virology, Pathophysiology, Genetics, and Pharmacology (this is not an exhaustive listing of acceptable courses) AND be designated UPPER LEVEL. Courses should be mammalian or vertebrate based and be within the core biological sciences departments. Epidemiology, Biochemistry, and Biology II are not acceptable to meet the upper level biology requirement. IF you have questions, please contact the program:  Please include the following in your inquiry: 1) the school where the course is taken, 2) course number, prefix, and if possible the course description or link. 

To view the science department course descriptions go to: Course descriptions

The PA program is not able to do general evaluation of transcripts. Please check with your academic advisor first, then your college registrar before writing to the PA program for clarification. College catalog descriptions should answer most questions about course acceptability. If an applicant contacts the PA program about a particular course, the applicant must submit a copy of the catalog course description and the web address of the course catalog. They may be asked to also submit a course syllabus. All Program decisions are final.

Prerequisite Course Evaluation

    • The program does look at where prerequisite coursework was completed, taking into consideration:
      • Was the coursework completed one course at a time or with other courses?
      • If it is repeated coursework, was it done at the same or a like institution as the original work?
      • What else was being done at the same time as the coursework?
      • If coursework was completed in several different settings, are the grades in all settings comparable?
    • The program considers and gives weight to a variety of GPA's
      • Cumulative Undergraduate GPA as computed by CASPA
      • Science GPA as computed by CASPA - no set GPA requirement
      • Prerequisite GPA as computed by the program. If coursework has been re-taken, the higher grade is used. The course with the higher grade is used if there is a choice of courses given to meet the requirement.
      • Last 40 credit hour GPA as computed by CASPA - no GPA requirement, but given weight.
    • The majority of prerequisite work should be completed prior to the application deadline. If the number of core science prerequisites still to be completed does not allow us to have a good indication of your academic abilities, your application for the current CASPA cycle may be denied. This may vary for each applicant at the programs discretion.
    • Any prerequisite courses that are still to be completed at the time of the application must be included in the CASPA coursework section under the section of "coursework planned". This includes all coursework to be completed to finish degree.

    All applicants who meet the minimum requirements will be considered for an interview regardless of their major area of study. A broad base of study in areas such as humanities, sociology and religion is encouraged, accompanied by strong academic performances in the biological sciences beyond the prerequisites.  The Program is seeking applicants who are well prepared for the rigors of the academic curriculum and the clinical training of the program.

    Submission of a completed application does not guarantee an interview, selection or admission into the Physician Assistant Program.



Additional Program Admission Requirements

  • All matriculating students must receive their bachelor's degree no later than the end of the summer term (2021) prior to program start date in August (2021).
  • Course substitutions that do not cover the scope of information covered in the prerequisite classes are not accepted. Program decisions are final.
  • CLEP examination credit to meet any of the listed prerequisites is not accepted, unless a comparable number of credits in advanced courses in the discipline have been completed.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) credit is accepted to satisfy prerequisite coursework if the AP credit is accepted by the applicant's institution and is posted on the applicant's official academic transcript, assigning the credit to a specific course.
  • If an applicant's conditional acceptance into the program includes completion of prerequisite coursework and/or graduation, the completed transcript(s) must be provided to the program before matriculation.
  • All applicants must meet the minimum technical standards for the Physician Assistant Program see Technical Standards

Contact Us

Fax: 501-279-4811

Mailing address:
Harding University
Physician Assistant Program
Box 12231
Searcy, AR 72149-5615