Jun 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Pre-Physician Assistant


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by Type

This is an Arcadia University undergraduate pathway that is specially designed to prepare students to apply to the Arcadia University Master of Medical Science (Physician Assistant) program.

About the Pathway


The Master of Medical Science (Physician Assistant) degree is designed to produce graduates who will be well equipped to deliver high-quality, cost-effective health care in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, outpatient offices and community settings. The physician assistant is trained to take medical histories, perform physical examinations, order and interpret diagnostic tests, diagnose, and treat illness, determine treatment, and educate patients regarding their health and medical concerns.

The Pre-Physician Assistant program pathway is four years of undergraduate study that prepares students to apply to the two year graduate Physician Assistant program. A student interested in becoming part of the Physician Assistant program must first earn a bachelor’s degree in a major such as Biology, Chemistry, Public Health, Healthcare Administration, or Psychology that enables completion of the prerequisite courses. Arcadia University undergraduates whose academic records and Graduate Record Examination scores meet the entrance requirements are granted assured admission into the graduate program at the end of their senior year. Transfer students are also eligible for assured admission to the graduate program in Physician Assistant studies if all established criteria are met. However, students that do not meet assured admissions criteria are still welcome and encouraged to submit applications through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) as a general applicant.

The 24-month graduate portion of the PA program combines classroom instruction with extensive clinical experience in a variety of medical specialties. The mission of the program is to train 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.

Students are strongly urged to work closely with the advisers from their chosen majors. They should take prerequisite courses that will prepare them for the graduate-level professional work that will be expected of them upon entering the PA program.

Upon completion of their junior year, students apply to the Physician Assistant program through CASPA, the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants. Given admissions occur on a rolling basis, it is recommended applicants apply early in the admissions cycle (by August 1). To maintain the ongoing quality of the Physician Assistant program and to adhere to accreditation standards, the University reserves the right to limit the enrollment in all its offerings.

Minimum Requirements for Assured Admission


Prerequisite courses must be taken through the appropriate department, e.g. Biology, Chemistry or Psychology.

Requirements for Students Who Begin Their Undergraduate Education at Arcadia University as Freshmen

  1. Students must have completed the following prerequisite courses: 
  • Biological Sciences: five courses with labs.
    • BI 101 General Biology 1
    • BI 102 General Biology 2
    • BI 211 Comparative Anatomy and Physiology
    • BI 206 Human Physiology
    • BI 323 Microbiolog​
  •  Chemistry: three courses with labs
    •  CH 101 General Chemistry 1 or CH 111 Conceptual Chemistry 1

    • CH 102 General Chemistry 2 or CH 112 Conceptual Chemistry 2

    • CH 201 Organic Chemistry
  • Psychology: one course
  • Statistics: one course

NOTE: Students may have only one prerequisite course outstanding by the end of the fall semester of their senior year.

2. Students must have a minimum 3.4 overall GPA and a minimum 3.4 overall GPA in prerequisite courses. A grade of “C” or better must be earned in each prerequisite course. (A grade of “C–” is unacceptable for prerequisite credit.) When calculating the prerequisite GPA, the University includes all courses in the various areas. Courses taken in prerequisite areas that were graded on a pass/fail basis will not be calculated into the prerequisite GPA. 

3. Students must have knowledge of the profession through work or volunteer experience in a clinical setting. A minimum of 200 hours of patient care experience is required. (see FAQs for examples of patient care [1] [JH2] )

4. Students must obtain three letters of recommendation. Ideally, one should be from a professor and one from a practicing licensed physician or physician assistant.

5. Students must meet the Minimum Technical Standards for Admissions, Continuation and Graduation.

Requirements for Students Who Enter Arcadia University as Transfer Students

Transfer students are also considered for assured admission provided that they meet all the criteria for freshmen as well as the following:

**Please be aware that transfer students may have difficulty meeting the assured admission requirements if they only attend Arcadia for a minimum of four semesters.

  1. Students must complete a minimum of 15 credits per semester and no fewer than 64 credits over the last four semesters of work at Arcadia University, excluding summers.

  2. Students must earn a bachelor’s degree from Arcadia University.
  3.  Students must have a minimum 3.4 overall GPA and a minimum 3.4 overall GPA in prerequisite courses. A grade of “C” or better must be earned in each prerequisite course. (A grade of “C–” is unacceptable for prerequisite credit.) When calculating the prerequisite GPA, the University includes all courses in the various areas. Courses taken in prerequisite areas that were graded on a pass/fail basis will not be calculated into the prerequisite GPA.

  4. Students must take five of the prerequisite science courses at Arcadia University.

     Biological Sciences: three courses with labs,.

o    BI 101 General Biology 1

o    BI 102 General Biology 2

o    BI 206 Human Physiology

·         Two additional science courses with labs that fulfill prerequisites.

NOTE: Students may have only one prerequisite course outstanding by the end of the fall semester of their senior year.

 

5. Students must have knowledge of the profession through work or volunteer experience in a clinical setting. A minimum of 200 hours of patient care experience is required (see FAQs for examples of patient care).

6. Students must obtain three letters of recommendation. Ideally, one should be from a professor and one from a practicing licensed physician or physician assistant.

7. Students must meet the Minimum Technical Standards for Admissions, Continuation and Graduation. [2]

 

Students whose credentials do not meet requirements for assured admission to the master’s program are welcome and encouraged to  apply for admission into the PA program  through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). They will, however, be considered in relation to other qualified candidates in the general applicant pool.

While an interview is not required for acceptance to the program, we do offer several opportunities for accepted students to speak with faculty and current students in person or virtually prior to the deposit deadline.

Please be aware that transfer students may have difficulty meeting the assured admission requirements if they only attend Arcadia for a minimum of four semesters.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by Type