Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Physician Assistant Program

Degree & Course Prerequisites

Degree Prerequisites

A completed baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution, or an equivalent institution as determined by Northwestern University, is required prior to matriculation into the program.

  • Applicants educated outside the U.S. and Canada must utilize a transcript evaluation service.
    See the International Applicants page for details
  • Applicants from the U.S. or Canada with coursework completed outside those countries do not have to utilize a transcript evaluation service if the coursework appears on their transcripts from the U.S. or Canadian institutions (e.g. study abroad).
  • Applicants must possess an overall minimum grade point average of at least 2.80 (on a 4.0 scale) to be considered for admittance.

Coursework Prerequisites

Recording Link for Prerequisites
Fulfilling & Entering Prerequisite Courses  (7:13min)

Official transcripts must show that the following prerequisites have been completed. Substitutions are not accepted.

  • Prerequisite courses must be completed with grades of "C" or above.
  • Labs are not required for any prerequisites.
  • A single course cannot be used to satisfy multiple prerequisites.
  • Coursework from Kinesiology, Exercise Science, and Nutrition departments are not accepted to meet our prerequisites.
  • There is no 'expiration period' for prerequisites.
    Applicants should be prepared to address how information has been kept easily recallable in an interview setting.
  • The Program will honor credits completed at community colleges and online through regionally accredited institutions.
  • AP coursework will be accepted as long as classes appears on a college transcript with assigned credits.
    If AP coursework is completed Pass/Fail, the passing grade (or equivalent) must be a "C" or higher.

Applications will be considered if all prerequisites have not been completed according to the following limits, which apply to the two semesters preceding the June intended for enrollment:

  • At most two prerequisite courses can be scheduled for completion during the fall semester (ending December)
  • At most one prerequisite course can be scheduled for completion during the spring semester (January - May)
RequirementAdditional Details
  • Minimum 3 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours
  • Content: protein structure and function, lipids, carbohydrate metabolism, DNA and RNA protein synthesis
  • Not satisfied by organic chemistry, nutritional biochemistry, metabolic biochemistry
  • Minimum 3 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours
  • Content: bacteriology, virology, parasitology, mycology
  • Not satisfied by molecular biology, cellular biology, or bacteriology alone
  • Minimum 3 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours
Medical Terminologyone
  • 1-3 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours
  • Not satisfied by professional, educational, or life experiences
  • No 'test out' options are accepted
Anatomy & Physiologyone
full year
  • Minimum 6 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours
  • Met by taking either one semester of Anatomy and one semester of Physiology, or two semesters of Anatomy & Physiology, combined.
  • Content: all major organ systems (e.g. endocrine, nervous, circulatory)
  • Not satisfied by Pathophysiology