Prerequisite Courses



Prerequisite Courses

Scroll down this page for a list of prerequisite courses required for consideration for admission into the Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program. See our How to Apply page for complete details on admission requirements and procedures. 

When to complete prerequisite courses

While all prerequisite courses must be completed prior to enrollment in the MPAS program, not all prerequisite courses need to be completed at the time of application. Keep these guidelines in mind:

  • At the time of application, no more than three courses may be "in progress" or yet to be taken.  
  • During the summer prior to initial fall enrollment in MPAS, applicants are allowed to complete NO MORE than 4 semester/5 quarter credits of prerequisite course work, plus a medical terminology course.
  • By the end of the winter/spring term prior to initial fall enrollment, all other prerequisite course work must be completed.

If an applicant appears to be “short” the required number of credits in several prerequisite areas, the admission committee may deem the applicant ineligible to continue in the review process.

Course equivalencies for St. Catherine prerequisites

Use the online Transfer Evaluation System (TES) resource to determine if a specific course you have taken (or plan to take) will fulfill an MPAS prerequisite requirement. All St. Catherine course equivalencies listed in TES are fully verified by our Registrar's Office.

How to use TES

1. Make note of the St. Catherine department abbreviation (BIOL, CHEM, MATH, etc.) and course numbers in the MPAS prerequisite list below.

2. Connect to TES

3. Identify the institution from which you have completed courses (or plan to complete courses). You may search for institutions using the “Find Transfer College by Name” search box, or use the alphabetical index provided.

4. Enter the course code for one of our MPAS prerequisites (e.g., MATH 1080). Select “Home Course” and click on Search. This will identify any courses from the institution that are equivalent to the St. Catherine prerequisite course. You could also enter the code for the other institution’s course, and select “Transfer Course” and Search. This will identify any St. Catherine courses that might be equivalent to the other institution’s course. Be sure to review any notes with additional information for a given course.

If you have searched via TES and can’t find a specific school or course listing, contact your admission counselor for assistance. Please include the institution, course name and number, and course description in your email.

MPAS prerequisite courses

Biochemistry and Microbiology must be completed within ten calendar years prior to the term of intended graduate enrollment. It is strongly recommended (but not required) that all other prerequisite courses be completed within the past ten years. Please note that prerequisite course content does not fulfill MPAS degree requirements. 

We will consider courses completed in an online format from a regionally accredited institution. However, we encourage students to complete courses that include a lab component in a face-to-face format, if possible.

  • Human or Vertebrate Anatomy (4 semester credits)

Courses in order of preference are: human anatomy (often first half of combined anatomy and physiology sequence), mammalian/vertebrate anatomy, comparative anatomy. These credits must be from an anatomy, biology, zoology, physiology or kinesiology department.

St. Kate’s equivalent: BIOL 2400, BIOL 2510, BIOL 2610 or BIOL 3120

  • Human or Vertebrate Physiology (4 semester credits)

Courses in order of preference are: human physiology (often second half of combined anatomy and physiology sequence), or mammalian physiology. These credits must be from a biology, zoology, or physiology department.

St. Kate’s equivalent: BIOL 2410, BIOL 2520, BIOL 2620 or BIOL 3140

  • Organic Chemistry with lab (8 semester credits)

An organic chemistry sequence for science or health-science majors is preferred.

St. Kate’s equivalent: CHEM 2010 and CHEM 2020

  • Biochemistry (3-4 semester credits)

Must be completed within ten calendar years prior to the term of intended enrollment.

St. Kate’s equivalent: CHEM 3400 or CHEM 4400

  • Microbiology (3-4 semester credits)

Must be completed within ten calendar years prior to the term of intended enrollment.

St. Kate’s equivalent: BIOL 3210 (preferred) or BIOL 2200

  • Calculus (3-4 semester credits)

A calculus course with content that includes the basic functions, the calculus of limits and the derivative as related to algebraic, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions.

St. Kate’s equivalent: MATH 1130

  • Statistics (3-4 semester credits)

Course content should include: reliability, validity, experimental control and design, statistical inference and comparison of group means, correlation and regression. These credits must be from a math, psychology or statistics department.

St. Kate’s equivalent: MATH 1080, MATH 1084, ECON 2230, ECON 2250, HLTH 4994 or PSYCH 2050

  • Psychology (6 credits)

Applicants must complete a general or introduction to psychology course plus one other psychology course in either developmental/lifespan psychology or abnormal psychology.

St. Kate’s equivalent: PSYC 1000, PSYC 2025 or PSYC 3010

  • Medical terminology (one course)

St. Kate’s equivalent: INDI 2220 or HIMP 1020

How prerequisites are used in the admissions decision process

A goal of the admission process is to compare all applicants on the same course work, as much as possible. The admission committee requires basic-level courses in each prerequisite field, which all applicants are likely to have taken, and computes a cumulative prerequisite GPA. Not all courses taken in a prerequisite field are used to compute a prerequisite GPA. Only enough credits to satisfy the minimum requirement are counted in the prerequisite GPA. High-level electives may be used to meet credit requirements, but they are not necessarily used in the prerequisite GPA calculation, since the admission committee has no information about how other applicants would perform in those courses.

If a prerequisite is retaken, only the grade received in the most recent course is calculated into the prerequisite GPA.