Physician Assistant Program
Program Contact: Terry O'Donnell 203-582-5329
The Physician Assistant program, which leads to a Master of Health Science, educates qualified individuals to be highly skilled licensed health care providers who practice team-based medicine in collaboration with physicians, in a number of health care facilities ranging from private practices to tertiary care hospitals. This program fosters the development of compassionate and professional health care providers who embody the competencies of the PA profession. These competencies include “the effective and appropriate application of medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, patient care, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, systems-based learning as well as an unwavering commitment to continual learning, professional growth and the physician-PA team, for the benefit of patients and the larger community being served.”1
The vision of the Physician Assistant program at Quinnipiac University is to create a PA workforce that provides high-quality, affordable health care that is accessible to all people in all settings by fostering teamwork, critical-thinking skills, high ethical standards and respect for diverse populations.
Quinnipiac is a member of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) and accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA).
Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession. National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (2012).
MHS Physician Assistant Program of Study
|PY 501||Human Physiology||4|
|PY 503||Principles of Interviewing||3|
|PY 507||Principles of Electrocardiography||1|
|PY 508||Diagnostic Methods I||2|
|PY 515||Clinical Pathology||3|
|PY 519||Human Anatomy||3|
|PY 519L||Human Anatomy Lab||1|
|PY 505||Clinical Pharmacology I||2|
|PY 506||Principles of Internal Medicine||6|
|PY 514||Diagnostic Methods II||1|
|PY 518||Physical Diagnosis||3|
|PY 518L||Physical Diagnosis Lab||1|
|PY 520L||Clinical Decision Making||1|
|PY 572||Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases||3|
|PY 504||History, Roles and Responsibilities of the PA||1|
|PY 509||Principles of Obstetrics and Gynecology||3|
|PY 510||Principles of Pediatrics||3|
|PY 511||Principles of Surgery and Emergency Medicine||4|
|PY 512||Psychosocial Issues in Health Care||2|
|PY 513||Behavioral Medicine||3|
|PY 516||Clinical Pharmacology II||2|
|PY 526||Principles of Epidemiology||3|
|PY 548||Ethics in Health Care Delivery I||2|
|PY 650||Medical Writing Workshop/Journal Club||1|
|PY 611||Clinical Residency I||3|
|PY 612||Clinical Residency II||3|
|PY 613||Clinical Residency III||3|
|PY 614||Clinical Residency IV||3|
|PY 615||Clinical Residency V||3|
|PY 616||Clinical Residency VI||3|
|PY 617||Clinical Residency VII||3|
|PY 618||Clinical Residency VIII||3|
|PY 619||Clinical Residency IX||3|
|PY 608||Graduate Seminar||3|
|PY 676||Comprehensive Examination||2|
|PY 648||Ethics/Health Care Delivery II||1|
In addition to the intensive classroom study during the first year, students are introduced to the clinical application of their training by being paired with a graduate physician assistant or physician one half day a week. This is designed to facilitate application of the skills and knowledge acquired in the classroom setting to the care of the patient.
Requirements for Graduation
Upon successful completion of the 27-month Quinnipiac University Physician Assistant program, students are granted a Master of Health Science and a certificate of completion as a physician assistant. Students must meet all of the following requirements in 27 months:
- Satisfactory completion of the PA curriculum requirements (including academic, clinical, medical writing, clinical logging, professionalism and community service requirements).
- Satisfactory completion of the PA program core competencies and essential learning outcomes.
- Satisfactory completion of all PA course requirements.
- Satisfactory completion of the capstone comprehensive examination.
- A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0/4.0.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Physician Assistant program, students will demonstrate the following competencies:
- Medical Knowledge: Demonstrate a knowledge of biomedical and clinical sciences and apply this knowledge to patient care in a variety of clinical setting as an entry-level practitioner.
- Interpersonal and Communication Skills: Possess the ability to safely and effectively communicate with various populations, including but not limited to other health care providers, members of the health care team, patients and their families.
- Patient Care: Be able to provide cost-effective, equitable, high-quality patient care in a variety of settings as an entry-level practitioner.
- Professionalism: Demonstrate the attributes of a high-quality health care provider, and be able to apply an ethical framework in medical decision-making, practice evaluation, and their altruism to their profession, community and society.
- Practice-Based Learning and Improvement: Be able to evaluate, assess and critically analyze their patient care practices.
- Systems-Based Practice: Demonstrate an awareness and responsiveness to all aspects of the health care system.
The mission of Quinnipiac University's Physician Assistant program is to increase access to quality health care through the education and development of caring, knowledgeable and competent physician assistants who are dedicated to:
- Clinical Competence—Developing highly qualified health care providers who demonstrate an investigative and analytic approach to clinical situations and provide care that is effective, safe, high quality and equitable.
- Professionalism—Providing care with respect, compassion and integrity with a commitment to excellence and ongoing professional development.
- Interprofessionalism—Preparing students for a team-based care system through interprofessional education.
- Leadership—Working effectively with health care professionals as a member or leader of a health care team or other professional/community group. Mentoring and developing future leaders within the profession and the community.
- Community Outreach—Demonstrating responsibility and accountability to patients, society and the profession through active community involvement and volunteerism.
- Cultural Humility—A state of openness toward understanding and respecting important aspects of other people’s cultural identities. This requires an awareness of one’s personal and professional beliefs, biases, attitudes and actions that affect patient care and a commitment to ongoing professional development. (PAEA Core Competencies for New Physician Assistant Graduates, 2019).
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion—Demonstrating awareness, acceptance and accountability in creating a diverse, inclusive, equitable and just community, built upon awareness, acceptance, respect and compassion toward others.
To create a PA workforce that provides high-quality, affordable health care that is accessible to all people in all settings by fostering teamwork, critical-thinking skills, high ethical and professional standards and respect for diverse populations.
The PA program core values reflect a commitment to the ethical concepts that guide the PA profession. They stand as the program’s pledge to the profession as well as the patients, families, and communities with which the PA students engage.
These core values include:
Excellence—A commitment to teaching excellence and championing quality, patient-centered, evidence-based health care in an innovative and supportive learning environment that fosters the student’s personal effectiveness.
Accountability—Demonstrating responsibility to students, the University, patients, society and the PA profession utilizing a continuous process improvement system.
Integrity—Honesty and adherence to the highest standards of professional behavior and ethical conduct.
Teamwork and Collaboration—Building respectful partnerships within the University and the community to transform the health care system.
Advocacy and Equity—Seeking to eliminate disparities and barriers to effective, quality health care through patient advocacy and advocacy of the PA profession.
Intellectual Curiosity—Exhibiting self-reflection, intellectual curiosity and initiative, critical thinking and the enthusiastic pursuit of lifelong learning within a supportive environment that encourages research and scholarly work.
The Quinnipiac University Physician Assistant program is committed to accepting a diverse group of qualified individuals from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. The program selects students who reflect varied social, economic, ethnic, educational and health care experience backgrounds. The program seeks students who possess intellectual capacity, personal maturity, communication and interpersonal skills.
Interested students must possess, at a minimum:
- A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a nationally recognized institution
- Four semesters of courses in biology with labs (credits must be in mammalian or human biology), including one semester of microbiology (with lab) and two semesters of anatomy and physiology (with labs)
- Three semesters of courses in chemistry with labs, including one semester of organic chemistry (with lab) or biochemistry
- One semester of pre-calculus, calculus or statistics
- All prerequisites must be completed at a regionally accredited institution in the United States or nationally recognized institution in Canada
- Prerequisite labs must be completed through an on-campus course (not online)
- COVID exception (starting spring 2020, until labs resume on-ground)
- All academic requirements must be completed prior to December 31 of the year of application
- Scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) if the applicant received a bachelor's degree from a non-English speaking country
- Scores from Graduate Record Examination are not required
The most competitive applicants typically possess at a minimum:
- A cumulative GPA of 3.3 and science GPA of 3.3
- A minimum of 2,500 hours direct patient care experience in the U.S. health care system
The Physician Assistant program is a full-time program. There is no part-time status. The program does not accept: transfer credits, advanced placement to the program, applications for challenge examinations and/or credits for experiential learning. Admission to the program is highly competitive. Applications are reviewed relative to undergraduate, post-bachelor’s and graduate cumulative and science GPA, direct patient care experience, completion of narrative and letters of reference. Personal interviews, required for admission, are offered to the most qualified individuals.
Quinnipiac University has a designated undergraduate feeder program for the Master of Health Science Physician Assistant program, known as the Entry-Level Master’s Physician Assistant program (ELMPA). Students who have successfully completed all requirements of the ELMPA program as well as the admissions requirements listed above, will be granted admission to the Master of Health Science Physician Assistant program.
The Quinnipiac Physician Assistant program participates in the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Go to caspa.liaisoncas.com for more information regarding the application process and fees. All applications, transcripts, references and other supporting materials are submitted directly to CASPA. Applicants may contact CASPA or the Office of Graduate Admissions for more information.
PA Program Technical Standards
The Physician Assistant program is a rigorous and intense program that places specific requirements and demands on the students enrolled in the program. The PA certificate/master of health science degree signifies that the holder is prepared for entry into the practice of medicine. It follows that the graduate PA student must have the skills and knowledge to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. The technical standards set forth by the physician assistant program establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to this program to achieve the knowledge, skills and competencies of the physician assistant profession as well as to meet the expectations of the program’s accrediting agency:
Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, INC. (ARC-PA)
12000 Findley Road, Suite 150
John’s Creek, Georgia 30097
All students entering the graduate Physician Assistant program at Quinnipiac University must be able to meet the established abilities and expectations of the PA program technical standards. Students must possess ability, aptitude and skills in the following areas: observation, communication, motor, intellectual-conceptual-integrative, behavioral, social and physical. PA students must be able to meet the requirements and worker attributes of a physician assistant as defined by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration’s Occupational Information network (O*NET) Handbook. In the event a student is unable to fulfill these technical standards, he/she will not be admitted or may be dismissed from the program.
Students matriculating into the PA program are required to verify they understand and meet the technical standards. Verification of understanding includes the student reading, thoroughly reviewing with their medical provider, signing and returning a copy of the Technical Standards Agreement to the program prior to arrival on campus in the summer semester.
A listing of the technical standards for the PA program can be found on the program’s website. Both the student and medical provider must sign the document and return it to the PA program prior to the start of class.
Background Check and Drug Screen
To ensure their safety and maintain high quality care of patients, clinical affiliates of the university require students to have a criminal background check. All students entering the Quinnipiac University PA program are required to undergo a criminal background check (through the university vendor) prior to beginning classes and prior to beginning the clinical year. This is a mandatory component of the program. In addition, PA students may be required to undergo a criminal background re-check and/or a drug screen prior to any of their clinical rotations. The results are made available to the student through their own personal and secure online portal. Whenever a Quinnipiac PA student may need proof of criminal background check for pre-clinical clerkships or clinical rotations, the student will release the information directly from their personal portal to the clinical site. The cost of the criminal background check and any re-checks and/or drug screens is the responsibility of each individual student.
The curriculum for the professional courses in the program are subject to modification as deemed necessary to maintain a high-quality educational experience and keep current with best practices in the profession.
Additional Program Costs
As a clinical education programs, the Physician Assistant programs require some expenses that go beyond standard university tuition and fees. Most of these costs can be included in your financial aid requests and awards. Some of these costs include:
- Clinical Education Travel (gas, parking, public transportation) – Costs for transportation, vehicle maintenance, parking, travel and housing are the responsibility of the student. Costs: variable
- Immunizations – Consistent with the School of Health Sciences policy, all students must have a full battery of immunizations and in some cases titer affirmation of immunity for common diseases including but not limited to: MMR, HepB, varicella, polio, TDAP, TB and influenza. These must be documented prior to the start of clinical experiences during the sophomore year and must be maintained through the undergraduate education. Costs: variable (please check with your insurance carrier)
- Background Check – All students must undergo an initial background check prior to entry into the program and updated prior to the start of, and periodically thereafter at the request of clinical sites during the clinical phase of the graduate program.
– Initial background check cost is $63 for all domestic addresses for the past seven years or $158 for students who have resided in New York State in the last seven years due to NY state surcharge.
– After the initial background check, the cost for each recheck required is $32.
- Drug Screening – Students are required to obtain a drug screen prior to entry into the pre-clinical experience, clinical phase, and periodically thereafter at the request of clinical sites, during the graduate program. Cost: $42.25
- Liability Insurance – All students have liability insurance coverage through the university, free of charge, while performing required clinical activity. Students may choose to purchase additional coverage at their own expense.
- EXXAT and APPROVE – Students enrolled in the Physician Assistant programs (ELMPA and graduate) must enroll in EXXAT and APPROVE. Please note that EXXAT database is different for each program. Students who matriculate from the ELMPA program into the graduate program will be required to sign up and pay for the graduate EXXAT program upon entry to the graduate program.
– EXXAT is the clinical tracking and assessment program used by the School of Health Sciences. Cost: one-time payment of $150 per student for the current major (students are responsible for this cost)
– APPROVE is the program within EXXAT that tracks all student health and safety records, provides documentation to prospective clinical sites, and provides notification of impending expiration dates. Cost: $35 for first year, $10 per year thereafter
- Professional Association Membership – All students are required to maintain active memberships in the Connecticut Academy of Physician Assistants (ConnAPA), and The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) while enrolled in the program. The cost for membership is the responsibility of the student.
- Certification Examination Costs – Upon successful the completion of the program (after graduation), students will be eligible to register for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), administered through the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Students may register for this during the final months of the program and are responsible for the registration fees associated with the exam.
- Other Costs – There are other costs associated with the Graduate PA program. Information regarding additional costs can be found on the program’s website.
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Physician Assistant program sponsored by Quinnipiac 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 2023. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the accreditation standards and ARC-PA policy.
Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (arc-pa.org)
12000 Findley Road, Suite 150
John’s Creek, Georgia 30097