Preparation for Careers in Today’s Rapidly Changing Medical Environment
Arcadia’s Physician Assistant (PA) program provides students from across the country with the foundation for professional growth through personal attention, diverse clinical experience, and a commitment to excellence. With quality instruction and clinical opportunities, the program continues to enjoy an overall exceptional pass rate on the National Commission on the Certification of PAs board examinations.
The program produces graduates well-equipped to deliver high-quality, cost-effective healthcare in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, physicians' offices and other community settings. Arcadia’s program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission of Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).
What to Expect
The PA program is within the College of Health Sciences which also includes the departments and programs in Physical Therapy, Genetic Counseling and Public Community and Global Health
Information for students intending to apply via the assured admissions process.
Tuition and Fees
Year one and year two tuition for 2014-2015 is $38,250 per year. More information.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Students are automatically considered for merit scholarships and graduate assistantships based on their academic records upon applying for admission to the program. More information.
Minimum Technical Standards for Admissions, Continuation and Graduation
Technical standards are defined as the attributes considered necessary for students to complete their education and training and subsequently enter clinical practice. These standards are prerequisites for entrance to, continuation within, and graduation from the Arcadia University Physician Assistant program. They are also prerequisites to licensure by various state professional boards. Reasonable accommodation will be offered for persons with disabilities in conjunction with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. View standards.
Enrolled Student Profile
Class of 2016
Total number of applications: 2876
Total number enrolled: 100
Average Overall GPA: 3.71 (range 3.3-4.0)*
Average Science GPA: 3.67 (range 3.3-4.0)*
Average GRE (new): 310 combined-verbal and quantitative, 4.12-analytical
Average GRE (old): 1217 combined-verbal and quantitative, 4.12-analytical
*Approximately 95% of admitted students have GPAs that fall within this range. Applicants with exceptional clinical experience, defined as working three years or longer as a health professional (i.e. RN, PT, OT, Pharmacist) with a GPA outside of this range are also encouraged to apply.
Arcadia University has articulation agreements with four other institutions. Interested students should contact the specific institution for details.
The first three semesters of the program consist of didactic and laboratory coursework in the basic and clinical sciences, including a 9-week anatomy course with cadaver dissection at Jefferson Medical College. First-year students are introduced into clinical settings as part of the Physical Diagnosis I course in the fall semester. At the conclusion of the didactic phase of the program and prior to the start of the clinical rotations, students participate in a transitional phase. During several weeks, students complete their core competency examinations, receive training in clinical procedures and participate in standardized patient simulation experiences. The transitional phase concludes with student attendance at the AAPA National Conference. The conference is expected to be held in San Francisco in 2015. Most of the costs associated with attending the conference are included in the tuition.
The clinical phase consists of seven required rotations including Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Community Medicine, Internal Medicine, Women’s Health, Pediatrics, and Surgery. In addition, there are 12 weeks of clinical electives. During the clinical rotations, the students are visited by a faculty member to ensure that they are getting an appropriate learning experience. Every 12 weeks, the students return to campus for exams and professional practice lectures.
Master of Public Health Dual Degree Option
Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) prepares graduate Physician Assistants for leadership roles in meeting community healthcare needs. The M.P.H. program focuses on population health and includes the disciplines of epidemiology and biostatistics with an in-depth fieldwork thesis project oriented toward a student’s primary area of research interest. Students complete the coursework for the M.P.H. in the year prior to entering the Physician Assistant program. More information.
Online Textbooks and Journals
All students enrolled in Arcadia University's Physician Assistant program (both campuses) have access to an extensive array of online full-text medical journals and textbooks.
Student Work Policy
Due to the intensity of the Physician Assistant program, students are discouraged from outside employment while enrolled in the PA and dual-degree programs. Employment during these programs 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 clinical site or practice.
The Physician Assistant (M.M.S.) degree is awarded after completion of 116 credits and 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[LINK] for admission, continuation and graduation.
Summer (18 credits)
PA 509A Professional Practice I (1 credit)
PA 510 Medical Interview and Counseling Skills (2 credits)
PA 517 Human Gross Anatomy (5 credits)
PA 522 Microbiology and Immunology (3 credits)
PA 524 Mechanisms of Disease (6 credits)
PA 526A Pharmacology and Therapeutics I (1 credit)
Fall (25 credits)
PA 504 Evidence-Based Practice (2 credits)
PA 509B Professional Practice II (1 credit)
PA 514 Physical Diagnosis I (5 credits)
PA 526B Pharmacology and Therapeutics II (3 credits)
PA 528 Behavioral Health
PA 532A Diagnostics and Clinical Procedures I (3 credits)
PA 536A Medicine I (8 credits)
Spring (25 credits)
PA 509C Professional Practice III (1 credit)
PA 526C Pharmacology and Therapeutics III (3 credits)
PA 530 Physical Diagnosis II (3 credits)
PA 532B Diagnostics and Clinical Procedures II (3 credits)
PA 536B Medicine II (6 credits)
PA 540 Emergency Medicine (3 credits)
PA 541 Surgery (3 credits)
PA 542 Clinical Decision Making in Primary Care (3 credits)
Clinical Skills and Simulations
National PA Conference
48 credits, Summer, Fall, Spring
Core Rotations (36 weeks of required rotations, 36 credits)
Other medical and surgical subspecialties may be arranged. With approval of the program, students may suggest as many as two of their own rotation sites. These external rotations will be arranged by the clinical coordinators to ensure that the experience meets all clinical rotation objectives. The program does not allow students to waive courses, nor does it accept students for advanced standing. Curriculum is subject to change.
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 is conducted at a gross anatomy laboratory at Jefferson Medical College.
Clinical training is conducted in required and elective clinical rotations in area hospitals and physician practices. The program has more than 300 clinical affiliations with hospitals, clinics and physicians’ offices. Below is a partial list of clinical affiliations:
Abington Memorial Hospital
Albert Einstein Medical Center
Bayhealth Medical Center
Christiana Care Medical Center
Cooper University Hospital
Crozer-Chester Medical Center
Deborah Heart and Lung Center
Holy Redeemer Hospital
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Jefferson University Hospital
Lehigh Valley Medical Center
Our faculty are nationally-know clinicians and educators.