Program Goals

Recruitment and matriculation of highly qualified applicants.

The average GPA of matriculating applicants for the Fall of 2012 was a 3.55 with a science GPA of 3.51.  All matriculating students (including those from the 5 year accelerated track) averaged 400 hours of health care experience; however, external matriculating applicants averaged 2400 hours of patient contact experience prior to application.

  2011 2012 2013 (TBA)


  Applications Received 1100 1300 1800
  Matriculated 52 50  


  Overall GPA 3.45 3.55  

Health Care Experience

  Total average hours 1715 400  
  Ave CASPA applicant hrs.   2440  


Maintain a comprehensive didactic curriculum that will prepare students for their clinical experiences.

During the didactic curriculum there are 10 credit hours devoted to a building a strong scientific foundation in courses such as Anatomy A & B, Medical Physiology and Pathophysiology, and Immunology, Microbiology, and Genetics.  This then gives the foundation for the additional 29 credit hours of clinically oriented courses such as Physical Diagnosis and Medical History Taking, Clinical Medicine, Clinical Reasoning, and Clinical Disciplines Overview.

Students are required to successfully pass all didactic coursework prior to entering the clinical year. The program utilizes various methods of assessment to ensure students are well prepared for clinical rotations including simulation, standardized patients, and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE).

Provide a high quality clinical curriculum that will prepare students to pass the national certification exam and be competent entry level physician assistants.

All students must pass a summary evaluation process at the end of the clinical which includes written final summary exams and OSCE examinations in order to ensure adequate preparation for entry into clinical practice.  In 2011, 96% of students passed their summary testing on the first attempt and 100% passed within 2 attempts.  This same year, 100% of students passed their OSCEs on the first attempt.  In 2012, 100% of students passed both their summary exam and their OSCE exam on the first attempt. 

Since its inception in 1995, the composite pass rate for the PANCE National Certification Exam for all Philadelphia University first time test takers has been 95%.  This compares to a composite national pass rate during the same period of 92%.

Recruit and mentor a group of highly qualified faculty and staff dedicated to the delivery of an excellent curriculum, continuous self and program improvement, and lifelong learning.

Courses are taught by full time faculty with 78 years of cumulative experience in the physician assistant profession and 35 years of experience educating physician assistants.  All fulltime faculty continue to work clinically to bring the most up to date information to the curriculum and attend educational conferences to stay abreast of changes affecting PA education.  In addition, guest instructors are utilized who are experts in their field.  All fulltime and adjunct faculty are master’s degree or doctorate level scholars.  In addition, the fulltime faculty have the following degrees currently in progress: Doctorate in Ministry, Master’s of Business Administration, and Post-Master’s Certificate in Midwifery. 

Develop and maintain state of the art facilities for student instruction.

The Program is housed in Hayward Hall and the Tuttleman Center on the University’s main campus. The space between the two buildings consists of three classrooms: the main hi-tech lecture hall with seating for 56 which opened in 2001; an 870 sq. ft. physical diagnosis/technical procedures laboratory with eight tables and 3 medical simulators, which has been utilized by the program since its opening in 1995 and updated in 2010, and a ten-table, technology-equipped cadaver lab that was added in 2005. In addition Philadelphia University partners with the Thomas Jefferson University Clinical Skills and Simulation Center to utilize state of the art assessment lab for evaluation of the students through OSCE examinations. 

Maintain accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).

The Philadelphia University PA Program has been continuously accredited by the ARC-PA since 1996.