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The Pre-Physician Assistant (P.A.) program prepares students for entrance into a professional curriculum for Physician Assistant at institutions that offer a Masters degree in this field. Pre-Physician Assistant is not a degree-granting program at the University of Maryland, College Park. At the University of Maryland, students may complete the necessary prerequisite courses required by the professional physician assistant programs to which they will be applying. Pre-Physician Assistant typically follows a 4+2 model (though some professional programs may exceed 2 years). Students complete a four-year degree at College Park in their selected major, in addition to completing Physician Assistant prerequisites in areas including but not limited to science, psychology, and statistics. Most physician assistant schools also require health-care experience many perfering applicants to have worked direclty with patients. The institution offering the program confers a Masters degree upon completion of the Physician Assistant program.
Several educational paths exist for students who wish to enter the physician assistant field. Due to the many variables in the educational options, students are encouraged to thoroughly research this profession and determine which educational path best leads to their particular career goals. Students should check the particular prerequisites of the P.A. educational programs that interest them.
Prerequisites may change; students are strongly encouraged to contact professional programs for the most current requirements. The American Academy of Physician Assistants as well as Physician Assistant Education Association maintains information about individual program prerequisites. See www.aapa.org and/or www.paeaonline.org .
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