Pre-Physician Assistant

Roger Williams University offers individualized advising and guidance for students planning for careers in the health professions after they graduate. Our Pre-Physician Assistant track assists students throughout their undergraduate career and beyond, beginning with course selection and career exploration, continuing with support around gaining required clinical and extracurricular experience, and culminating with 1-1 support through the PA school application process.

RWU's Pre-Physician Assistant track is based on admission criteria for the University of New England Physicians Assistant program. Other PA schools will have different admission criteria and/or additional coursework. Students should plan on completing a Bachelor’s degree from RWU.

A minimum of one year health care experience (2000 hours) is expected of all applicants. Preference is given to those candidates who have had direct hands-on patient care. In addition, CPR training is required.
The application deadline is October 1st for the University of New England and Pacific University. Students should fill out a Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) which is available online. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for admission to some schools and must be received by application deadline.
Students will complete courses required for admission to PA school. RWU's Pre-Health advisor will provide more information with regards to pre-requisites for particular programs.

Register with RWU Pre-Health

First Year
WTNG 102 Expository writing (3)
MATH 135/137 Pre-Calculus (3/3)
BIO 103, 104 – Biology I/II (8)
CHEM191,192 – Principles of Chemistry I/II (8)
Core 102 – History & the Modern World (3)
Core 104 – Literature, Philosophy, and Ascent of Ideas (3)
Core Concentration (3)
Second Year
BIO 215/216 Human Anatomy and Physiology (8)
MATH124 Basic Statistics (3)
PSYCH 100 Introduction to Psychology (3)
PSYCH 211 Child Development (3)
CHEM 301,302 – Organic Chemistry I/II (8)
WTNG 200 Critical Writing
Core 103 – Human Behavior in Perspective (3)
Core 105 – Aesthetics: The Artistic Impulse (3)
Third and Fourth Years
Physics 201, 202 – Physics I/II with Calculus (8)
BIO/CHEM 390 Biochemistry (4)
BIO 200 Genetics
Humanities electives (9)
Social Science electives (9)
Complete requirements for a degree at RWU

What sets RWU Pre-Health apart from other programs?

Student in medical assistant's dress.With the growing need for knowledgeable, empathic healthcare providers, it has never been a better time to consider a career in the health professions. At RWU you will benefit from 1-1 pre-health advising from both experienced faculty and the Director of the Pre-Health program from the moment you step on campus. That support continues through your time at RWU and beyond – many applicants nationwide will apply to these graduate programs after the completion of their bachelor’s degree, and alumni support is a key benefit of our program.

Key Components and Advantages of RWU Pre-Health Professions Advising

  • A student examines a petri dish in a labEarn either a B.S. or a B.A. degree in a complementary field of study while completing requirements which prepare students for future graduate and professional programs in the health professions.
  • Benefit from dedicated advising to ensure that you complete all the necessary requirements for your chosen pre-health program.
  • Receive individualized, 1:1 support for career exploration and experiential learning (internships, co-ops, professional shadowing, research opportunities) in health-related fields through our Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD).
  • Access faculty advisors with specializations in mental and behavioral health tailored for students interested in Clinical and Counseling Psychology and Social Work.
  • Enjoy access to an even broader range of elective health professions courses through RWU’s membership in the Council of Independent College consortium.

Pair with Any Major

At Roger Williams University, we have a wide variety of majors in both the natural and social sciences that pair well with a pre-health pathway. Pre-Health students are always encouraged to major in a field that they are passionate about, and then connect with the Pre-Health office to ensure they are taking the proper coursework for their desired field. One of the benefits of an RWU education is the ability to develop your academic plan the way you want, and Pre-Health is no exception!

Did you know that 80% of our graduates leave RWU with more than just one major? Adding a minor or a second major to your academic program is a great way to differentiate yourself amongst other applicants. Given the academic programs that we offer, it is attainable to double-major in areas of study that you are excited about, all while satisfying the appropriate prerequisites for graduate school. You can even create an individualized major with University approval.

Listed are some of the most popular majors for our Pre-Health students, yet all RWU majors can be paired with Pre-Health.

Anthropology + Sociology
Applied Mathematics

Environmental Science
Marine Biology
Public Health

Academic Support

The health professions are competitive – we want our healthcare providers to know their stuff! Competitive GPAs for most of these programs begin at around 3.5, and many have even higher expectations of their applicants. At RWU we know that all healthcare providers found themselves struggling or overwhelmed with one of their courses, whether it was Organic Chemistry, Calculus or even Creative Writing. At RWU you have access to excellent resources including our prolific Tutoring Center, staffed by over one hundred students and staff whose goal is to help you better understand your material and retain it long-term. At The Tutoring Center a particular emphasis is placed on STEM, and the center is open 6 days a week, including most evenings. Additionally, all RWU faculty have office hours where students are encouraged to drop-in to better understand their coursework.

Experiential Learning

For all health professions schools, prospective students need to not only demonstrate a deep understanding of prerequisite courses, but to also demonstrate that they have an understanding of the professions that they wish to pursue. This happens in a number of ways, but almost always falls into one category: Experiential Learning.

Experiential Learning can take place in a number of different ways. A few activities that successful Pre-Health students have engaged in:

  • Shadowing healthcare providers in one’s desired field
  • Conducting research, either on-campus or off-campus
  • Gaining a professional certification to work hands-on with patients, such as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Engaging in community service work in your college or home community
  • Completing an internship, co-op or practicum in one’s desired field
  • Participating in high-impact learning opportunities, like the Honors Program or an independent research project
  • Taking leadership roles in on-campus organizations and clubs

It’s not expected that applicants to the health professions will have completed all of the activities above, but successful applicants will have engaged substantially outside of the classroom prior to submitting their applications. At RWU, you’ll work with the Pre-Health Program to identify your interests as they relate to the health professions, and collaborate to locate and engage in these experiences. You can also receive assistance from the Center for Career and Professional Development and the excellent suite of tools that they have for students including workshops, 1-1 advising, Handshake and more!