Jul 17, 2024  
2019-20 Graduate Catalog 
2019-20 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Health/Physician Assistant, M.P.H./M.M.S.

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Administrative Faculty

  • Katie Isselmann DiSantis, Ph.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor and Chair
  • Diana T. Noller,DHSc, MSPT, MMS, PA-C, Department of Medical Science Chair and Physician Assistant Program Director, College of Health Sciences

About the Dual Degree Program

The dual degree offers a synergistic integration of individual patient management with public health promotion and the study of social determinants of health and disease that affect communities and populations domestically and internationally.

Arcadia’s College of Health Sciences has nationally recognized health care, public health, science and business programs that make the world a laboratory by providing real-world, experiential learning. Graduate programs use evidence- based research and project-based learning to prepare health care and business professionals for a rapidly changing global environment. Applied and pro bono clinical research, clinical rotations, public health internships, optional international fieldwork, and multicultural assessment are incorporated into the curricula. Graduate students also have the opportunity to conduct research and may publish with expert faculty in many fields.

Dual degree candidates must be accepted into each of the programs in order to pursue dual degrees: Master of Medical Science (M.M.S.) and Master of Public Health (M.P.H.).

This dual degree program prepares graduates for professional and leadership roles in meeting community health care needs in today’s rapidly changing medical environment. The master’s degree program in Medical Science (M.M.S.) is designed to produce graduates who are well-equipped to deliver high-quality, cost-effective primary health care in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices and other community settings. The Master of Public Health degree offers a concentration in community health which includes a required practitioner focused field placement experience and the Capstone Thesis Seminar which is an integrated learning experience oriented toward a student’s primary area of research interest.

Arcadia has one of the largest Physician Assistant programs in the nation, with campuses in Glenside, Pa., and Christiana, Del. The dual degree program in public health and physician assistant studies is a three-year program.  Students work towards their MPH degree at Arcadia’s Glenside, PA campus primarily during the first year.  Year two and three encompass the physician assistant studies and may be completed at either the Christiana, DE or Glenside, PA campus at the program’s discretion.   

Admission Requirements

  1. A Physician Assistant application to be completed through CASPA at www.caspaonline.org.
  2. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a recommended GPA of 3.0 or better.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Three letters of recommendation. Ideally one should be from a professor and one from a practicing licensed physician or physician assistant. 
  6. Test scores from either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), taken within the last five years. (CASPA GRE Code: 1578, Arcadia U Phys Asst Prog CASPA). These tests are required for all applicants, including those who already have a graduate degree. 
  7. A minimum of 200 hours of patient care experience.
  8. Knowledge of the Public Health profession through work or volunteer experience.
  9. Completion of three public health essay questions upon invitation to interview for admission.
  10. Students must meet the minimal technical requirements for admission, continuation and graduation. An interview is required and is by invitation only.
  11. International applicants should visit  www.arcadia.edu/international for detailed information on admissions requirements and application procedures. Official results from the TOEFL or IELTS are required for all students for whom English is a second language except for non-native speakers of English who hold degrees or diplomas from post-secondary institutions in English-speaking countries (e.g. the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand). A course-by-course evaluation of all transcripts by a independent evaluation service based in the United States also is required.
  12. 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.
  13. Increasingly, clinical facilities are requiring 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 background checks may be denied admission into the program.


2019-20 Tuition: $29,835 year 1: MPH program

  • Full-time PA tuition for years 2 and 3:  $15,507/semester (x 6 semesters)
  • $100 technology fee/semester for year 1                 
  • $250 technology fee/semester for years 2 and 3 
  • $50/semester registration fee
  • $100 annual parking fee

Financial Aid

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. 

Graduate Assistantships/Graduate Student Employment may be available to graduate students registered for at least 9 credits per semester. Students may apply for assistantships/graduate student employment upon acceptance and registration. Questions regarding graduate assistantships should be directed to the Office of Graduate & Undergraduate Studies at 215-572-2925.

Federal Loans

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.   

Dual Degrees Requirements

(152 total credits, with 3 shared credits)

  • Master of Medical Science (Physician Assistant) (116 credits)
  • Master of Science in Public Health (42 credits)


First Year - Fall (15 credits)

Clinical Year Physician Assistant Program

(Summer, Fall and Spring, 48 weeks)


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