Physician Assistant Program

Academic Requirements

Academic Prerequisite Course Work

Prerequisite Course Evaluation

Additional Program Admission Requirements


  • Possess a bachelor's degree which was completed at a regionally accredited institution in the United States prior to matriculation into the program.

  • We do not specify the degree area. Coursework must include, at a minimum, the required prerequisite courses listed below.

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

  • The required 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 will generally be 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 will be 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.

    • There will be no exceptions or allowances made for any other admission requirements.

  • The required prerequisite GPA must be a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale as computed by the Program. 

  • Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. ETS keeps scores for FIVE (5) years, if it beyond that time frame 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.

  • In addition to the cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (computed by CASPA), the prerequisite GPA is computed (by the program) and is required to be at or above 3.0 for the application to be considered as having met the academic requirements. 

  • 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.

  • Only 1 prerequisite course may be left for completion during the spring semester 2019 (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.

  • 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 will be 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 lab1important

4 credits

Human physiology with lab1important

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

3 credits

Medical Terminology (required beginning next application cycle 2019/2020)

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) OR separate anatomy AND physiology (plus labs) to meet this requirement. Do NOT combine these components (the A&P I&I series with stand alone courses) as you will not get the full scope of knowledge. Beginning with the 2018/19 application cycle, there will be NO exceptions made on this requirement.  (9/5/17)

2Business Statistics is not accepted.

3Psychology electives must be similar to the following list and be 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. This must be completed in a University setting.

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 will not be accepted 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 and 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 college 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 at a time or with other courses?
    • If it is repeat 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 will be used. The course with the higher grade will be 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.
  • It is expected that the majority of prerequisite work will be completed prior to the application deadline. If the number of core science prerequisites still to be completed does not allow us to already 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.
  • Only 1 prerequisite course may be left for completion during the spring semester 2019 (winter quarter) prior to the program start date the following fall. This may be a course which includes a lab component.
    • At the end of this fall term (fall 2018) 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 2019) course (winter quarter). If the prerequisite GPA of 3.0 cannot be maintained, your application status will become inactive for that application season.

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 (2019) prior to program start date in August (2019).
  • Course substitutions that do not cover the scope of information covered in the prerequisite classes will not be accepted. Program decisions are final.
  • CLEP examination credit may not be used to meet any of the listed prerequisites, unless a comparable number of credits in advanced courses in the discipline have been completed.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) credit may be used 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
  • All interviewed applicants are required to PASS a medical terminology test at the time of the interview. Additional information can be found under the heading INTERVIEW INFORMATION.

Contact Us

Fax: 501-279-4811

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