- Diana T. Noller, DHSc, MMS, MSPT, PA-C, Chair, Department of Medical Science,
Physician Assistant Program Director
- Shannon Diallo, MMS, PA-C, Director of Didactic Education
- Michael Huber, MMS, PA-C, Director of Clinical Education
- Jami Smith, MPA, MEd, PA-C, Director of Assessment and Outcomes
- Renee Langstaff, MSPAS, PA-C, Director of Admissions
- Kevin Basile, MD, PT, Principal Faculty, Academic Coordinator
- Kimberly Erikson, MSPAS, PA-C, Principal Faculty, Clinical Coordinator
- Allison Ermol, MMS, PA-C, Principal Faculty, Academic Coordinator
- Jodi Freeman, MMS, PA-C, Principal Faculty, Academic Coordinator
- Kerry Gregory, MS, PA-C, Principal Faculty, Clinical Coordinator
- Elizabeth Masten, MS, PA-C, Principal Faculty, Clinical Coordinator
- Amanda Seymour, MSPAS, PA-C, Principal Faculty, Academic Coordinator
- Zach Weik, MHS, PA-C, Principal Faculty, Clinical Coordinator
- Erin Wolf, BSN, MS, PA-C, Principal faculty, Academic Coordinator
- Irwin Wolfert, MD, FACFP, Medical Director
About the Program
The PA program is in the Department of Medical Science, in the College of Health Sciences. The College of Health Sciences also includes the departments of Physical Therapy, Public Health, and Genetic Counseling.
Arcadia University’s Physician Assistant Program is dedicated to training highly competent, globally aware physician assistants who are prepared to be life-long learners. The Program is committed to fostering excellence in patient care and promoting professionalism, leadership, cultural competency, scholarship, and service.
The master’s degree program in Medical Science (MMS) at Arcadia University is designed to produce graduates who are well-equipped to deliver high-quality, cost-effective health care in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics and other community settings.
The Arcadia University PA program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission of Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The ARC-PA only accredits physician assistant programs.
The first three semesters of the program consist of didactic and laboratory coursework in the basic and clinical sciences, including an 8-week anatomy course with cadaver dissection. First-year students are introduced into clinical settings as part of the Medical Interview and Counseling course in the summer semester and these encounters continue into the clinical year. At the conclusion of the didactic year, students complete their core competency examinations, receive training in clinical procedures and participate in standardized patient simulation experiences.
During the clinical year, in addition to completing 11 four-week supervised clinical practical experiences, students return to campus for call back weeks every three months to participate in assessments, formative standardized patient simulation experiences and small group activities to facilitate critical thinking and reflection as part of an integrative learning process.
The 11 supervised clinical practical experiences consist of seven core rotations in Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Behavioral Medicine, Internal Medicine, Women’s Health, Pediatrics, and Surgery. In addition, there is a Core Elective where students spend an additional four weeks in one of the seven core disciplines. Students also complete 12 weeks of clinical electives as three distinct supervised clinical practical experiences. During clinical rotations, PA faculty members perform site visits to ensure clinical placements offer equivalent learning experiences.
The Arcadia University Department of Medical Science opened a campus in Christiana, Del., in the fall of 2006. The Christiana Campus is located in an executive center in the growing Newark area and provides an adult learning environment. The campus is immediately adjacent to the Christiana Hospital and the Delaware Academy of Medicine Library, which provides access to all students. The campus includes classrooms and laboratory spaces, a Student Center, offices and meeting rooms.
The Glenside campus is the historic home of Arcadia University and serves both undergraduate and graduate students. The Physician Assistant program is located in Brubaker Hall, which offers dedicated classrooms, laboratory space, offices and a student resource room. Students at the Glenside campus have access to student services on the campus, including the Landman Library. The Physician Assistant program faculty are based primarily at one respective campus, but the faculty share teaching and course responsibilities at both campuses.
Both campuses follow the same curriculum and share many lecturers. Students from both campuses attend anatomy class together at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. Combined, the two campuses offer the resources and advantages of a large program with the personal attention of smaller classes. Students come to Arcadia to pursue their careers as Physician Assistants of distinction.
All applications are processed by the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) at www.caspaonline.org. Official transcripts and references are considered part of the CASPA application and should be sent directly to CASPA.
Applicants are required to complete all application components and e-submit their application to CASPA by October 1. Students are accepted on a rolling basis and encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Arcadia students applying for assured admission must submit their application no later than August 1.
A $500 deposit must accompany the acceptance reply. This deposit is applied to the first semester’s tuition, but it is nonrefundable if the student fails to enter the program on the date for which he or she is accepted.
- A Physician Assistant application to be completed through CASPA at www.caspaonline.org.
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a recommended GPA of 3.0 or better.
- One official transcript from each college, university or professional school attended. Transfer credits included on a transcript must include grades earned; if not, an official transcript from the original school must be submitted. Transcripts must be sent from the issuing school in a sealed envelope and contain the appropriate signatures and seals to be considered official. Please send transcripts directly to CASPA.
- Students must have completed the following prerequisites:
- Biological Sciences—five courses to include Anatomy, Physiology, and Microbiology. Biochemistry is recommended.
- Chemistry—three courses to include at least one semester of Organic Chemistry.
- Psychology—one course.
- Statistics—one course.
NOTE: Prerequisites must have been taken within the previous ten years. The program does not allow students to waive courses, nor does it accept students with advanced standing.
- Three letters of recommendation. Ideally, one should be from a professor and one from a practicing licensed physician or physician assistant.
- Test scores from either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), taken within the last five years. (Arcadia’s GRE code is 1578.) These tests are required for all applicants, including those who already have a graduate degree.
- A minimum of 200 hours of patient care experience.
- Students must meet the minimal technical requirements for admission, continuation and graduation. The technical standards are posted on the program Web page at www.arcadia.edu/pa.
- An interview is required and is by invitation only.
- Arcadia welcomes applications from non-U.S. citizens. Applicants must have completed at least one year of study (minimum of 20 credits) in an accredited American or Canadian college or university prior to the application deadline. It is strongly recommended that all science prerequisites be taken at an accredited U.S. institution. The PA program does not enroll international students who have already completed a medical course of study at a foreign institution. Individuals applying for admission to the PA program who have completed their education outside the United States or Canada are required to submit to CASPA a World Education Service (WES) foreign evaluation of their coursework taken outside of the United States or Canada. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of applicants for whom English is not their native language. The scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to CASPA in electronic format and be no more than two years old.
- Arcadia performs a holistic review of each student’s application. The program does not allow students to waive courses, nor does it admit students with advanced standing. However, students who have withdrawn or who have been dismissed from the program may be readmitted with advanced standing.
- Increasingly, clinical facilities require that students seeking placements undergo various criminal background checks, child abuse clearances, and/or drug screens prior to placements. Therefore, students should be prepared to participate in these screenings. Applicants who are unable to pass these clearances may be denied admission into the program.
Professional counseling services are available through the Arcadia University Counseling Center.
Students with suspected or documented disability are recommended to consult with the Office of Academic Development located in Knight Hall.
2018-2019 Tuition: $15,507 per semester tuition charge over 6 semesters.
Fees Not Covered By Tuition
- Technology/Lab Fee (paid over the life of the program): $1,500.
- Registration & Parking: $150/year
- AAPA Student Membership (recommended) (one-time fee that expires four months after date of graduation): $75
- Mandatory clearances, which include criminal background checks, immunization tracking, child abuse screening, etc. Additional costs associated with drug screening varies upon clinical rotation: $225
- Books, supplies and medical equipment Didactic phase: $1,500; Clinical phase: $500
- Students are required to cover housing and transportation costs related to all off-campus and clinical experiences. Travel requirements during both years in the program necessitate that students own a reliable car.
- University provided student health insurance 2018-19 annual premium: $2,317 *
- Additional expenses would be incurred by students electing to participate in global service learning or international clinical experiences.
*Medical Insurance: Upon enrollment into their programs, all students must provide proof of medical insurance and also provide information about their health and medical history. Students who do not provide proof of adequate health insurance will be required to purchase health insurance through the University. Information and applications are available at Student Health Services.
Financial Aid is available to assist qualified students in covering tuition and related expenses, as well as living costs. Upon review for admission, students are automatically considered for merit scholarships and graduate assistantships based on their academic records upon applying for admission to the program. Graduate students who have been accepted into a degree program and are enrolled for at least 6 credits per semester are eligible to apply for financial aid. Please visit www.arcadia.edu/finaid for information regarding available aid options and visit www.arcadia.edu/gradfinaidapply to complete required forms online..
Program-Specific Loan Options: The National Health Service Corps offers loan repayment programs for primary care physician assistants who agree to provide service in a priority health-professional shortage area (HPSA) for a two-year period following graduation. Other loan programs are available through the Allied Health Education Loan Program.
Graduate students are eligible to borrow through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan programs provided they are taking at least 6 credits per semester (in the summer, 6 credits over all summer sessions combined satisfies this requirement). For more information, visit www.arcadia.edu/finaid.
Students are required to bring their own laptop computer to PA classes.
Academic Policies and Procedures
A student accepted into the Physician Assistant program is expected to abide by the regulations set forth by Arcadia University and the written policies of the Physician Assistant program. For a discussion of the general academic policies and procedures for graduate students, see the Academic Policies section in this catalog and the Student Handbook. The policies of the Physician Assistant program are published in the Physician Assistant Policies and Guidelines Handbook, revised annually and provided to students at orientation.
To remain in good academic standing, students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.70 in each semester. Failure to meet this standard for two consecutive semesters will result in the student being dismissed from the program.
All courses in the Physician Assistant curriculum are required and are sequential, and students must receive a minimum grade of “C” in courses before progressing in the program. If a grade lower than a “C” is earned in a course, it is considered a failing grade and the student will be dismissed from the program.
In order to progress to the clinical phase of the program, the student must have no course grades below “C” and a minimum GPA of 2.70 (“B–”). The student also must successfully complete the core competency examination, and obtain permission of the Physician Assistant program. If this minimum GPA requirement has not been met by the end of the didactic phase, students will not be allowed to enter the Clinical Phase and will be dismissed from the program. The student also must meet all compliance issues, which include immunizations and physical examination, criminal background checks and drug screening.
In the second year of the program, the student must continue to maintain a minimum 2.70 cumulative GPA. In addition, students must pass a comprehensive written and practical exam. Students who fail one clinical rotation may be allowed to repeat the clinical rotation and must meet all academic requirements, and receive Department permission before continuing into the next clinical affiliation. Permission to continue is dependent upon the cause of the unsatisfactory performance and is determined by the program in consultation with clinical preceptors, the clinical coordinators, the program director and the student. Failure of an additional clinical rotation experience will result in the student being dismissed from the program. Students who must repeat a rotation will be billed at the prevailing credit fee.
Students who withdraw or are dismissed from the program and who want to re-enter must apply for readmission within six months of departure. Permission to do so will be determined by the Academic Committee after careful, deliberate consideration. Based upon a review of their performance, those students may be readmitted with the possibility of advanced standing.
Student Work Policy: Due to the intensity of the PA programs, students are discouraged from outside employment while enrolled in the PA program. Employment during this program makes it difficult to have time for social activities, hobbies and recreational activities, and rest. Students are prohibited from applying compensated clinical experience toward academic credit.
Additionally, students may not provide services within a preceptor’s practice apart from those rendered as part of the clinical year of the program. Students are not permitted to have clerical or teaching responsibilities within the PA program. Students may not receive compensation for any work performed within the preceptor’s site or practice.
Academic and Clinical Facilities
This program utilizes the extensive academic facilities of Arcadia University and has specialized audio-visual computer-based instructional materials, physical examination equipment and facilities for the first-year didactic and workshop activities. Human cadaver dissection, clinical skills training and standardized patient encounters are conducted at a gross anatomy laboratory at Jefferson Medical College.
Supervised clinical practical experiences take place in hospitals, clinics and physician practices both local and distant to campus. The program has more than 300 clinical affiliations with hospitals, clinics and physicians’ offices both domestically and internationally.
Degree Requirements (116 credits)
The Master of Medical Science degree is awarded after completion of the following requirements:
- The program’s curriculum with a minimum GPA of 2.70 maintained throughout the program.
- All courses and clinical rotations with a grade of “C” or higher.
- Successful completion of core competency exams, comprehensive written and practical exams.
- Meet technical standards for admission, continuation and graduation. (Technical standards are available at www.arcadia.edu/pa.)
Clinical Year (48 credits)
(Summer, Fall, Spring)
Core Rotations (36 weeks of required rotations, 36 credits)
PA 577-579 Clinical Electives I-III (Three rotations, 4 weeks each)
- PA 577 Clinical Elective I (4 weeks)
- PA 578 Clinical Elective II (4 weeks)
- PA 579 Clinical Elective III (4 weeks)
Chosen from the following:
With approval of the program, students may suggest as many as three of their own rotation sites. These external rotations will be arranged by the Program to ensure that the experience meets all clinical rotation objectives.