Academic Prerequisites

The 2021-2022 admissions cycle has closed. Please see admissions information for the 2022-2023 cycle on our site for prospective students here.

The Boston University PA Program, from which students will be conferred a Masters of Science degree, is a graduate degree program in the Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences.

Important Information

  • All prerequisite coursework must be completed in traditional classroom and laboratory settings. Online courses do not count towards prerequisite course requirements. Prerequisite courses must be completed by the September 1 application deadline in order to be considered for an interview.
  • COVID Addendum:  For students taking courses in Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 semester, the program will allow prerequisite course which had started in-person and moved to remote online teaching due to COVID or those courses which were originally planned to be in person and were moved to remote online teaching due to COVID.  Courses which were not planned to be in-person and were designed to be only online, or courses from online universities do not count towards prerequisite course requirements. Prerequisite courses must be completed by the September application deadline in order to be considered for an interview.
  • Official transcripts for completed coursework should be sent to CASPA only. Please do not send copies of completed transcripts to the PA Program.
  • In the event that required prerequisite coursework is “in progress” at the time an application is submitted to CASPA, it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that course information is updated upon completion and verified by CASPA by the September 1 deadline.

Academic Requirements

The minimum academic admission standards for the program include a bachelors degree (BA/BS/AB/SB) conferred prior to application and the following requirements:

Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (CASPer) Scores
Sent to ETS code 0400Can only be taken once per cycle

Prerequisite Requirement
General Biology or Zoology with lab One semester
Human or Animal Physiology (preferably at the 300 or 400 level) One semester
General Chemistry with lab One semester
Organic Chemistry with lab One semester
Biochemistry (preferably at the 300 or 400 level) One semester
Upper level biology courses at the 300 or 400 level (or above) 3, one semester courses
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores
Sent to ETS code 0400
     scores above the 50th percentile    
Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (CASPer) Scores can only be taken once per cycle
Science Coursework GPA above 3.0

Notes on our Required Coursework

  • Course numbers – we realize that not all institutions use the same numbering system. A 300 or 400 course refers to a course that is usually taken by junior and senior students in the major. Upper-level courses often have their own prerequisite courses. For example, an upper level microbiology course might require a General Biology course.
  • Upper level Biology courses may be in any subject.  We have found that the following upper-level courses are helpful for PA students but are not required:
    • Immunology
    • Anatomy
    • Microbiology
    • Genetics
    • Histology
    • Embryology
    • Cell biology
    • Molecular biology
    • Pharmacology
    • Endocrinology
    • Histology
    • Neuroscience
    • Extra physiology
  • Chemistry courses should be those designated for chemistry majors rather than survey and non-degree chemistry courses.
  • Organic Chemistry course should cover the following foundational areas:
    • Chemical bonds
    • Alcohols, esters, phenols, aldehydes, and ketones
    • Proteins
    • Enzymes
    • Carbohydrates and energy production
    • Fats and lipids.
  • Biochemistry course needs to provide foundational knowledge in:
    • Enzymology
    • Cellular communication
    • DNA and RNA structure and synthesis
    • Energy and carbohydrate metabolism
    • Amino acid and protein synthesis
    • Digestion and hormonal control of metabolism
  • Human or Animal Physiology, if taken at the 300 or 400 level, do not count towards the upper level biology course requirement.
  • Biochemistry, if taken at the 300 or 400 level, do not count towards the upper level biology course requirement.
  • Science GPA requirement of 3.0 is calculated by CASPA. There is no minimum overall GPA requirement.