How to get into PA school from High School

PA School • May 28, 2023

Are you a high school student who dreams of becoming a Physician Assistant? Well, you’re in luck! In this video, we’re going to dive into the exciting world of direct entry Physician Assistant programs straight from high school.

How to Get into PA School from High School

If you’re a high school student aspiring to become a physician assistant (PA), I have some exciting news for you. Today, we’re going to discuss direct entry PA programs that allow you to get into PA school from high school. These programs provide a unique opportunity for ambitious students to expedite their journey towards becoming a practicing PA. So, let’s dive in and explore what these programs entail and how you can get into PA school from high school.

Understanding Direct Entry PA Programs

Direct entry PA programs are designed to admit high school students directly into the program, bypassing the traditional route of completing a bachelor’s degree before applying to a master’s program. This way you can get into PA school from high school. While these programs have specific requirements, such as GPA and SAT scores, they offer an accelerated path to becoming a PA by combining undergraduate education and a master’s level program.

Program Structure: Pre-Professional and Professional Phases

Direct entry PA programs typically consist of two phases: the pre-professional phase and the professional phase. The pre-professional phase spans around three years and involves completing prerequisite undergraduate coursework required for a bachelor’s degree. After completing the pre-professional phase, students transition into the professional phase, which follows a more standard PA program structure. During this phase, students engage in didactic coursework and clinical rotations. Depending on the program structure, the total duration of these programs usually ranges from five to six years.

Meeting Program Requirements

While direct entry programs offer an accelerated path, it’s essential to understand that progression from the pre-professional phase to the master’s level program is not automatic. In order to get into PA school from high school, students must meet certain standards and expectations to transition smoothly. These requirements typically include maintaining a specified GPA, acquiring patient care hours, and gaining volunteer experience. Some programs may also require an interview for admission into the master’s level program. Before applying, thoroughly research the program’s requirements to ensure you understand what is expected of you throughout the entire program.

Confirming Your Career Choice

Before committing to a direct entry PA program, it’s crucial to ensure that the PA profession is the right fit for you. Take the time to explore various healthcare professions, such as nursing, nurse practitioner, or physician, through shadowing, research, and discussions with professionals in these fields. This exploration will help you solidify your decision and ensure that you are fully committed to the PA profession.

Dedication and Commitment

Entering a direct entry PA program requires a significant level of dedication and commitment. These programs offer coveted spots, and it’s crucial to be certain about your career choice before embarking on this educational journey. While it is possible to switch paths if you realize the PA profession isn’t for you, it’s best to avoid starting a program without a strong commitment. Completing both your undergraduate and master’s degrees will take approximately five to six years, allowing you to sit for the boards and begin practicing as a PA.


Direct entry PA programs offer an exciting opportunity for high school students to accelerate their path towards becoming a PA. By bypassing the traditional undergraduate degree route, students can save time and enter the field sooner. However, these programs require diligence, maintaining specific standards, and demonstrating a genuine commitment to the profession. As you consider applying to direct entry PA programs, weigh the pros and cons, and carefully assess if this is the right path for you. With dedication and perseverance, you can achieve your dream to get into PA school from high school.

Also read: How to Get More Sleep in PA School

About me:

I’m Michele Neskey, aka The Posh PA. Welcome to my YouTube channel! My mission is to provide personalized guidance, education, and motivation to build confidence and promote wellness for aspiring physician assistants and beyond.   

Having been a PA for 17+ years and helped hundreds of students gain acceptance into PA school,  I understand the admissions process. I know what they are looking for, and I can help you tailor every component to make you shine, giving you the BEST chance of getting accepted to a program.  But it doesn’t end there. I create personalized plans for PA students and practicing PAs including test-taking strategy for the PANCE, contract negotiations, and tools to overcome and prevent provider burnout. 

My goal is to get you into a physician assistant (PA) school & survive the rigorous program, help you prevent burnout as a practicing PA, and help you take care of yourself so you can be the best version of YOU for your patients, family, and most importantly YOU!