Information about: Admissions | Pre-professional Phase | Professional Phase | Clinical


What component of the application is most heavily weighed upon evaluation for admission into the B.S. Health Sciences/M.S. Physician Assistant Studies Program?

We look at SAT and/or ACT scores, cumulative and science GPAs, rigor and type of academic experience with an emphasis on science courses, amount and type of hands-on patient care experience, letters of recommendation, the personal essay, and a possibly a phone interview with an Admissions Counselor.

Do you accept AP, IB, or transfer credits?

Yes, we accept transfer credits (less than 16), AP credit, and IB credit for certain courses.  Core science classes are excluded.  Please see the University catalogue for more information.

When is the due date for application?

December 15.

When can I be expect to be contacted about an interview?

Applications for the Undergraduate entry options will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the January 31 deadline for that current year. Qualified individuals will be contacted to schedule an interview one to two weeks after submitting a complete application. These interviews can be done by telephone or in conjunction with a campus visit. 

Do you offer an option for transfer students?

No. Students who have completed college credits but do not have a Bachelor's degree must complete an undergraduate program at Thomas Jefferson University or another accredited institution prior to applying to the M.S. Program. Thomas Jefferson University has a BS in Health Sciences that contains all the needed prerequisite courses.

Pre-Professional Phase

If I am admitted as a 3+2 B.S./M.S. Freshman Admission Option, am I guaranteed a space in the Professional Phase of the program?

Yes. However, it is up to the individual student to fulfill the necessary requirements, called progression criteria, which includes:

  • Completing all required courses
  • Maintaining a cumulative grade point average and science grade point average of at least 3.25
  • Completing a CASPA application
  • Obtaining (3) three acceptable letters of reference from University personnel and/or health care supervisors
  • Completing a personal essay
  • Completing 200 hours of health care experience
  • Becoming a state-certified emergency medical technician (EMT) or certified nursing assistant (CNA)

If I am admitted as a 4+2 B.S./M.S. Freshman Admission Option, am I guaranteed a space in the Professional Phase of the program?

No. Students in the 4+2 option are not guaranteed admission to the M.S. Physician Assistant Studies portion of the program.  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.  

Where do students traditionally do their required health care experience?

As part of two undergraduate courses, Introduction to Healthcare and Clinical Interactions, students must complete 50 then an additional 150 hours.  Most students choose to complete these hours closer to home over the summer due the intensity of the standard semesters.  If a student lives in or chooses to complete all or a portion of their experience in the Philadelphia area, the Pre-Professional Coordinator will help students identify various options locally.

What types of experiences are acceptable to fulfill the required 200 hours of health care experience?

Any paid or volunteer experience that is completed after graduation from high school in which a student participates in, or observes, the hands-on care of patients will count toward the requirement. Many students use their required EMT/CNA course as a jumping off point to gain their experience.  Other options include volunteering in a medically-related setting, or working with patients in their homes.  All experiences must be approved by the Pre-Professional Coordinator and logged on the appropriate log sheets. Click here to download a log sheet.

Where do students traditionally do their EMT/CNA training?

Most students choose to complete the program closer to home over the summer due the intensity of the standard semesters.  If a student lives in or chooses to complete the training in the Philadelphia area, the Pre-Professional Coordinator will help students identify various options locally.

Can I participate in Athletics while in the PA Program?

Pre-professional students have participated in a variety of sports in years 1-3.  During the professional phase, students can only participate during the 4th year (didactic year).  Students have successfully been student-athletes in previous years, however, it poses a significant time management challenge.  As long as students recognize the ultimate importance of their academic experience in relation to their athletic experience, it is possible.  During the Professional phase (years 4-5), no accommodations will be made to the PA Program attendance policy for students to participate in practices or games. 

Professional Phase

Can I work while I am in the PA program?

Our faculty strongly recommends students do not work during the PA program. The curriculum is very demanding in the Professional Phase and does not allow extra time for employment. In the second year, you will be in full-time clinical rotations in various locations, making employment impractical.

Do I need a car while I am in the PA program?

Students will require reliable transportation while in the Professional Phase, especially during the second year, as rotation sites may not be easily accessible from public transportation routes.

What should I budget for the PA Program Professional Phase?

See costs


Where are the clinical sites during the second year?

In the past, we have had hundreds of sites located in the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley area and all across the country. Students can expect to travel to clinical rotations. Of course, it is difficult to foresee exact future rotation sites availability.

Is housing provided for students at all clinical sites?

Some housing is provided for students free of charge, but in most cases, students will be responsible for finding and securing housing at clinical sites. Students are encouraged to budget for this expense when planning for their clinical rotations.

Will I have input to where my clinical rotations will be?

The clinical coordinators meet with each student to discuss certain site preferences. The clinical coordinators will attempt to take those requests into consideration when planning the clinical year. However, due to increasing demand and competition for clinical rotation sites, no guarantees can be made that requests will be fulfilled.


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