Undergraduate Entry Program Description

The Undergraduate Entry option is designed for students who have found their niche in health care as a physician assistant early in their academic career. 

There are two undergraduate entry options:

3+2 entry

Applicants to this program should have no, or few college credits (less than 16 credit hours).  It is designed as a full-time, accelerated, five-year course of study.   This program awards a B.S. in Health Sciences at the conclusion of the seventh semester and a M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies at the conclusion of the entire 5 year program.  The program admits students for Fall enrollment only.

Transfer students with more than 16 credits will not be considered for this combined program but are welcome to apply to the B.S. in Health Sciences.

Curriculum Overview

The Pre-Professional Phase is comprised of the first 6 semesters of undergraduate study.  The Pre-Professional Phase consists of medically related science and psychology prerequisite courses, along with all of the components of the College Studies Program.  The goal is to prepare students for the Professional Phase. 

The Professional Phase is a continuous 25 months of study and includes the Didactic portion and Clinical portions.  The Didactic year consists of three semesters of medically-related classroom and laboratory work, with limited clinical experience. The B.S. in Health Sciences in granted after the first semester of the Professional Phase.  The remaining courses in the Professional Phase are graduate courses.  Students must successfully complete all Didactic courses before entering the Clinical year.  The Clinical year consists of extensive clinical experience through ten 5 week rotations at a variety of medical facilities such as hospitals and medical offices.

Upon completion of the full five-year program, graduates will receive a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, be eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and may participate in the Physician Assistant Program Completion Ceremony in August, as well as the commencement ceremony in May.

Progression Criteria

Successful completion of the Pre-Professional Phase includes:

  • Completing all required Pre-Professional courses, with a grade of C or better in all core classes.
  • Maintaining the required grade point averages of 3.25 cumulative and 3.25 core at the end of each Spring semester
  • Submitting a CASPA application
  • Completing a state certification as an EMT-B or CNA
  • Gaining 200 hours of direct patient contact
  • Acquiring 3 satisfactory letters of reference
  • Completing a personal essay
  • Obtaining approval of the PA Program Admissions Committee

With successful completion of these requirements, students are guaranteed admission to the Professional Phase.   

Successful completion of the Professional Phase includes:

  • Completing all required Professional Phase courses and rotations
  • Maintaining a 3.0 grade point average
  • Successfully passing Summary Testing
  • Meeting all standards listed in the Thomas Jefferson University Graduate Catalog and Physician Assistant Studies Handbooks 

 

4+2 entry

The 4+2 program option is not completed in an accelerated format.  Completing the B.S. Health Sciences in four years provides greater flexibility in completing undergraduate degree requirements over a longer period of time with more opportunity to incorporate experiences like study abroad or additional participation time in intercollegiate athletics.  The degree requirements for the M.S. Physician Assistant Studies program are the same for the five-year and 4+2 options and completed in the same amount of time.

Students in the five-year option are assured a seat in the graduate portion of the B.S. Health Sciences/M.S. Physician Assistant Studies program provided they meet progression criteria set for their enrollment term.  Students in the 4+2 option are not guaranteed admission to the M.S. Physician Assistant Studies portion of the program.  3+2 option students and 4+2 option students must complete an application using CASPA (Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants) by the stated deadline the year prior to their desired master’s enrollment date.  All 4+2 option applicants with a CASPA calculated cumulative GPA and science GPA of 3.25, as well as at least 200 direct patient contact hours will be invited for an admissions interview.  Admission to the M.S. Physician Assistant Studies program is selective.

Progression Criteria

Successful completion of the Pre-Professional Phase includes:

  • Completing all required Pre-Professional courses, with a grade of C or better in all core classes.
  • Maintaining the required grade point averages of 3.25 cumulative and 3.25 core at the end of each Spring semester
  • Submitting a CASPA application
  • CASPA-calculated overall GPA and science GPA of 3.25
  • Completing a state certification as an EMT-B or CNA
  • Gaining 200 hours of direct patient contact
  • Acquiring 3 satisfactory  letters of reference
  • Completing a personal essay

With successful completion of these requirements, students are offered an interview for the Professional Phase.  

Successful completion of the Professional Phase includes:

  • Completing all required Professional Phase courses and rotations
  • Maintaining a 3.0 grade point average
  • Successfully passing Summary Testing
  • Meeting all standards listed in the Thomas Jefferson University Graduate Catalog and Physician Assistant Studies Handbooks 

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