Pre-Physician Assistant

The DBU Pre-Physician Assistant Program equips students for physician assistant school in a variety of ways:

picture of a man and a woman speaking to each other in front of the chapel

Determining Your Calling to Physician Assistant School

Whether you are unsure of your calling or you have known your calling from an early age, professors and advisors at DBU want to help guide you in the right direction. Let us come alongside you as you determine God’s unique calling within the medical field.

purple gloved hand writing in lab journal with a pen

Preparing You Academically for Physician Assistant School

Develop the foundation you need to be successful in PA school and beyond. Through pre-physician assistant classes, students will have the opportunity to hone skills such as laboratory techniques, communication skills, data analysis, critical thinking, and problem-solving.  

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Preparing You Personally and Professionally for Physician Assistant School

Connect with other students on similar career paths through our student organizations or through service opportunities. Additionally, gain real-world experience through internships and shadowing opportunities that help enhance your learning.

woman in blue scrubs assisting in surgery

Preparing You for Admissions to Physician Assistant School

Students will receive personalized guidance from the pre-physician assistant advisor to help them make decisions such as how and when to apply to physician assistant school, including GRE preparation, mock interviews, CV/Resume reviews, and the creation of personal statements.

DBU Pre-Physician Assistant Advisor

headshot of Dr.Jonathan Cooper
Office: College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics 
(214) 333-5773

Dr. Jonathan Cooper

Biology Department Chair, Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Cooper is passionate about equipping students in all fields of biology to pursue excellence in their callings for the glory of God and the good of others. As the Pre-PA advisor, Dr. Cooper loves the opportunity to mentor students as they prepare to serve in this critical role within the healthcare community. Dr. Cooper is a cell biologist with research experience in the specific fields of lung cancer and soft tissue cancers. He received his Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from UT Southwestern Medical center where he also completed a postdoctoral fellowship. Dr. Cooper’s research in cancer cell signaling and therapeutics led to publications in leading cancer research journals such as Cancer Research, Cancer Discovery, and Clinical Cancer Research.

DBU Pre-Physician Assistant Alumni Profiles

 alumni paige harrelson

Paige Harrelson, PA-C

ENT & Allergy Centers of Texas

Mckinney, Texas


  • University of Mount Union, Master's Degree PA
  • Dallas Baptist University, Undergraduate Degree in Biology
Pre-Physician Assistant Degree Plan

Many Pre-PA students choose to major in Biology, but there are a variety of majors open to pre-PA students, as PA schools value a diversity of majors. Because of this, we encourage students to meet early on with their Pre-PA advisor and discuss a major that works for them.

Explore the Course Catalog and some of the potential degree plans or discuss further options with your advisor.


Pre-Physician Assistant Internships, Observations and Experiences

Through the Pre-PA program at Dallas Baptist University, students have the opportunity to gain practical training through both for-credit and not-for-credit internships and observation experiences. These experiential learning opportunities are critical to the development and execution of many of the core values that are prioritized by our program, such as accountability, altruism, compassion, excellence, integrity, professional duty, and social responsibility. 

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Students can meet with their advisors to discuss internship opportunities and locations. Rather than the traditional internship format, Pre-PA students have the opportunity to do summer research at hospitals and clinics throughout the country. Former DBU Biology students have interned with John Hopkins Medical Center, Yale School of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and others.

picture of a woman talking to her friend in a studious area

Students can connect with DBU alumni who are now working as PAs in order to learn more about what life as a PA really looks like. They can also receive mentoring in how to best prepare for PA school from those who have successfully completed it.

group picture of TriBeta Society members standing outside

Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) is a National Biological Honor Society. It is dedicated to improve the understanding and appreciation of biological science and promoting scientific research.

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The Dr. Herb Robbins Undergraduate Research Symposium gives students a platform to present scientific research they have done, as well as an opportunity for students to learn about new scientific discoveries and the importance of summer research programs.

Is PA School for Me?

For those who feel called to support others in a challenging and unique environment, becoming a physician assistant might be the career path for you. As you determine your calling, DBU’s advisors and professors are here to help you make an informed decision that is best for you. Whether you feel called to help kids in pediatrics, work in family medicine in the community, serve in a medical specialty at a major medical center, or choose another avenue, DBU’s Pre-PA program will equip you with the tools you need. The Pre-PA program at DBU is designed to help students understand their natural giftings and how that could be put to use in this career path. As you determine what your future in the healthcare field may look like, there are a few things that you should consider.

  • God’s calling on your life
  • Do your strengths match physician assistant school requirements
  • Do your short and long term goals match up with going to physician assistant school
  • What makes you interested in physician assistant school
  • Are you prepared for the investment, both time and money, that is physician assistant school
Preparing for Physician Assistant School

Dallas Baptist University partners with Kaplan, a test preparatory corporation, to provide GRE prep course opportunities. With this option, students are able to study with peers, take practice tests, and work through a guided analysis of test content.

Many programs emphasize the importance of real-world experience. Because of this, it would be wise for students to focus on building their resumes while in undergrad. Students will have the opportunity to meet with the Pre-PA advisor, as well as DBU's Career Services Office, to help them craft and develop their professional resumes.

While PA schools do not require a particular major, they do have certain application prerequisites. As you pursue your undergraduate degree, it would be wise to focus on building tools to prepare you for physician assistant school. Physician assistant school applications often focus on the following components:

  • Academic Record
  • GRE Score
  • Resume
  • Personal Statement
  • Letters of Recommendation
Why Prepare for Physician Assistant School at DBU?

Dallas Baptist University provides the unique experience of merging learning the tools and uses of science while also being immersed in a Christian environment. Students have the opportunity to learn the intricacies of science as well as the ability to connect their faith to their profession. The Pre-PA program is designed to train students to meet the medicinal needs of others while growing in their faith. Education at DBU provides the opportunity to meet with professors and advisors for advice about post-graduate work or other life decisions. Whether it is giving advice about physician assistant schools, internships, research, or other opportunities, the professors and advisors at DBU are here to help.