Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite Courses

Scroll down this page for a list of prerequisite courses required for consideration of 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.

Finding out if courses are equivalent to St. Kate's prerequisites

Use the online "u.select" resource to determine if a particular course you have taken or plan to take will fulfill an MPAS prerequisite. All St. Catherine University course equivalencies listed in u.select are fully verified by St. Kate's registrar's office.  If you have searched uselect and can't find a course listing, contact your admission counselor for assistance. Please include the course name, number and description in your email.

If you still need to complete a particular prerequisite course, and want to find a college or university at which you can fulfill this requirement:

  1. Take note of the St. Kate’s department abbreviation (e.g., BIOL, CHEM, MATH) and course numbers in the prerequisite list below. 
  2. Connect to u.select
  3. Under the "Look for courses or transfer information" heading, choose the "Equivalencies by Course" link.
  4. Choose Minnesota and St. Catherine University.
  5. Enter the department abbreviation and number of the St. Kate's course for which you'd like to find an equivalency.
  6. Enter either a partial name of a specific school OR select a state and distance from St. Kate's.
  7. Click "Find" and a list of schools and the course equivalencies should appear at the bottom of the page.

If you want to find out if a course you have already taken is equivalent to an MPAS prerequisite: 

  1. Take note of the St. Kate’s department abbreviation (e.g., BIOL, CHEM, MATH) and course numbers in the prerequisite list below.
  2. Connect to u.select.
  3. Enter either a partial name of a specific school OR select the state and distance from St. Kate’s, OR
  4. Under the “Look for courses or transfer information” heading, choose the “Equivalencies by School” link.
  5. Choose Minnesota and St. Catherine University.
  6. Choose the state where your institution is located, click “Go.”
  7. Choose the institution(s) from the list provided, click “Add Schools.”
  8. From the list created on the right, click “Create Guide.”
  9. Choose the Department Abbreviation from your institution on the left and the equivalent St. Catherine University courses will appear on the right (It must list the St. Kate’s course equivalency that appear in the prerequisite list.  If not, the course will not fulfill the requirement).

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. 

  • 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 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 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

  • Mathematics (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 1110 and MATH 1120 or 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 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.