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 in the Department of Medical Science, in the College of Health Sciences which includes the departments of Physical Therapy, Public Health, and Genetic Counseling.
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Arcadia University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Arcadia University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.
Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2028. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.
Prerequisites for Admission
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a recommended GPA of 3.0 or better. The prerequisites listed below must have been completed within the previous ten years. The program does not allow students to waive courses, nor does it accept students with advanced standing.
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.
Applying for Admission
All applications are processed by the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA, www.caspaonline.org).
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 2019
Total number of applications: 2417
Total number enrolled: 100
Average Overall GPA: 3.62 (range 3.25-3.99)
Average Science GPA: 3.55 (range 3.14-3.98)
Average GRE: 310 combined-verbal and quantitative, 4.32-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 Arcadia's Enrollment Management office for details.
West Chester University
Chestnut Hill College
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 supervised clinical experiences, students participate in standardized patient simulation experiences and return to campus periodically for professional development days.
This is a 24-month program. At the discretion of the program director, students in the clinical phase may take up to a three-month leave of absence only. All degree requirements must be completed within 27 months.
The clinical phase consists of seven required rotations including Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Behavioral 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 development experiences.
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.
Students are required to bring their own laptop computer to PA classes.
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.
Our faculty are nationally-know clinicians and educators.