Entry-Level Master's Physician Assistant

Program Contact: Johanna D'Addario 203-582-3882

The Entry-Level Master's Physician Assistant (ELMPA) program offers the qualified pre-physician assistant students an opportunity to pursue a Master of Health Science in the Physician Assistant program at Quinnipiac University. The program is divided into a four-year preprofessional component and a 27-month professional component. To progress to the professional phase, all ELMPA courses and program requirements must be completed within four years. Following successful completion of the preprofessional component, students receive a Bachelor of Science in Health Science Studies.

The preprofessional component provides students with a well-rounded education and a strong focus in biological and health science studies. This very structured and organized undergraduate program not only prepares students for the rigors of the professional component of the program, but also introduces students to the role and responsibilities of physician assistants as well as the six competencies for the physician assistant profession. The program addresses the need for medical experience by providing students with emergency medical technician (EMT) training (PY 388/PY 389) as well as extensive time shadowing practicing physician assistants (PY 397/PY 400). EMT ride time and preclinical experiences take place at off-campus sites, and students are responsible for transportation to and from all off-campus sites beginning in the sophomore year. In addition, students must meet specific program health and immunization requirements for participation in the preclinical experiences. Program costs associated with the preclinical affiliations and EMT course, including uniform, parking, certification exam, health requirements documentation, background check and additional program fees are the responsibility of the student.

Entry-level Master’s Physician Assistant Curriculum

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterCredits
BIO 101
101L
General Biology I
and General Biology I Lab
4
EN 101 Introduction to Academic Reading and Writing 3
MA 141 Calculus of a Single Variable I 3
CHE 110
110L
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Lab
4
FYS 101 First Year Seminar 3
 Credits17
Spring Semester
BIO 102
102L
General Biology II
and General Biology Lab II
4
EN 102 Academic Writing and Research 3
UC Disciplinary Inquiry (Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences) 3
CHE 111
111L
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Lab
4
PY 104 Physician Assistant Seminar I - Orientation to the Profession 1
 Credits15
Summer Semester
Patient Contact Hours  
 Credits0
Second Year
Fall Semester
BIO 211
211L
Human Anatomy & Physiology I
and Human Anatomy & Physiology Lab I
4
CHE 210
210L
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
4
PHY 110
110L
General Physics I
and General Physics I Lab
4
PY 388
388L
Clinical Training I
and Clinical Training I Lab 1
3
 Credits15
Spring Semester
BIO 212
212L
Human Anatomy and Physiology II
and Human Anatomy and Physiology II Lab
4
CHE 211
211L
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry II Lab
4
PY 397 Prehealth Professions Clinical Affiliation 3
PY 389
389L
Clinical Training II
and Clinical Training II Lab 1
3
HSC 202 Medical Terminology 2
 Credits16
Summer Semester
Patient Contact Hours  
 Credits0
Third Year
Fall Semester
BMS 318 Pathophysiology 3
BMS 370
370L
General Microbiology
and General Microbiology Lab
4
BIO/BMS Core science elective 3-4
UC Disciplinary Inquiry (Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences) 3
UC Disciplinary Inquiry (Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences) 3
 Credits16-17
Spring Semester
BMS 200 Biology of Aging 3
CHE 315
315L
Biochemistry I
and Biochemistry Lab I 2
3-4
BIO/BMS Core science elective 3-4
BIO/BMS/HSC Science elective 3-4
UC Personal Inquiry 1 (Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences) 3
 Credits15-18
Summer Semester
Patient Contact Hours  
 Credits0
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
PY 400 Pre-Physician Assistant Clerkship 3
PY 401 Introduction to Clinical Problem Solving 3
BIO/BMS Core science elective 3-4
UC Personal Inquiry 1 (Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences) 3
UC Personal Inquiry 2 (Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences) 3
 Credits15-16
Spring Semester
PY 204 Physician Assistant Seminar II -- The Interdisciplinary Team 1
BMS 332 Histology 4
BIO/BMS/HSC Science elective 3-4
UC Personal Inquiry 2 (Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences) 3
QU 420 Integrative Capstone 3
 Credits14-15
 Total Credits123-129
1

If student has current EMT licensure on admission to the program, two additional science electives are taken instead of PY 388 and PY 389

2

 CHE 315L (Biochemistry Lab) is optional. Students who are pursuing a minor in chemistry are required to complete CHE 315L.

Total number of credits required for completion of the preprofessional component = 123

Students who have earned advanced placement credit or other college credit in an introductory-level science course are encouraged to still take BIO 101/BIO 102 and CHE 110/CHE 111 at Quinnipiac. Students opting out of those courses are required to take the equivalent number of hours at a higher level in the same area of course work. Students with AP credits in nonscience courses may elect to take only 14 credits in the fall semester of the first year.

Acceptable Core Science Electives

Select three of the following courses:
BMS 310Neuroanatomy3
BMS 320Pharmacology3
BMS 325Toxicology3
BMS 330Endocrinology3
BMS 372
372L
Pathogenic Microbiology
and Pathogenic Microbiology Lab
4
BMS 375
375L
Immunology
and Immunology Lab
3-4
or HSC 375 Immunology
BIO 350Cardiovascular Physiology3

Additional Science Electives

Select two courses from core science electives OR from the following:
BIO 282
282L
Genetics
and Genetics Lab
4
or BIO 471 Molecular Genetics
BIO 298Research Methods in Biology3
or BMS 278 Research and Technology
BIO 317
317L
Developmental Biology
and Developmental Biology Lab
4
BIO 328
328L
Human Clinical Parasitology
and Human Clinical Parasitology Lab
4
BIO 329Neurobiology3
BIO 346
346L
Cell Physiology
and Cell Physiology Lab
4
BIO 365Cancer Biology3
BIO 382
382L
Human Genetics
and Human Genetics Lab
4
BMS 276Drug Development3
BMS 378Vaccines and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases3
BMS 470Virology4
BMS 473Infections of Leisure3
or BMS 474 Power of Plagues
BMS 475Special Topics in Microbiology4
BMS 482Independent Study in Microbiology 12-4
BMS 498Independent Study in Biomedical Sciences I 12-4
BMS 499Independent Study in Biomedical Sciences II 12-4
BMS 525Vaccines and Vaccine Preventable Diseases 13
BMS 595Transplantation Immunology 13
HSC 220Health Care Essentials: Structure, Policy and Professionalism3
HSC 225Writing in the Health Professions3
HSC 262Nutrition in Health and Illness3
HSC 270Pillars of Public Health: Saving the World on a Population Level3
HSC 315Bioethical Issues in the 21st Century3
HSC 322Health Care Law (LE 322)3
HSC 498 Independent Study in Health Sciences
HSC 499Independent Study in Health Sciences II2-4
1

With permission. Students who complete an independent study course for 2 credits must also complete a 4-credit science elective course in order to have at least 6 credits of science electives.

Acceptable UC Social Sciences (Disciplinary Inquiry/Personal Inquiry 1)

PS 101Introduction to Psychology3
PS 232The Concept of Personality and Its Development3
PS 261Social Psychology3
PS 262Psychology of Women (WS 262)3
PS 272Abnormal Psychology3
SO 101Introduction to Sociology3
SO 280Illness and Disability3

Acceptable UC Elective (Personal Inquiry 2)

BMS 200Biology of Aging3

Preprofessional Component

The mission of the Quinnipiac University Entry-Level Master’s Physician Assistant (ELMPA) program is to begin the education and preparation of master’s-level physician assistants who practice medicine with physicians and other members of the health care team. The program has been designed to benefit from faculty expertise in both the graduate and undergraduate divisions as well as practitioners from a variety of clinical settings and specialties. These collaborative strategies are intended to prepare graduates to enter the physician assistant profession and ultimately become outstanding health care providers.

Admission to the Program

Candidates applying for admission to the ELMPA Program must have: a minimum of three years of high school mathematics including geometry, algebra and precalculus; one year of biology; one year of chemistry and one year of physics. In addition, advanced electives in the biological sciences are recommended. Related health care experience and shadowing is highly desirable.

Prospective candidates must also satisfy the admission requirements of Quinnipiac. Transfer students are not admitted to the entry-level master’s physician assistant program. Admission into the preprofessional component of the program does not guarantee admission into the professional component of the program.

Technical Standards

All students entering the Graduate Physician Assistant program at Quinnipiac University must be able to meet the established abilities and expectations of the graduate PA program technical standards, which can be found on the program’s website. Upon admission to the ELMPA program, students are required to review and verify that they understand the technical standards requirement. Prior to participation in the preclinical experiences, the student’s primary care provider must verify, based on a complete history and physical examination, that the student meets the technical standards of the graduate PA program. In the event that a student is unable to fulfill these technical standards, he/she may not be able to participate in preclinical affiliations and may not be able to progress to the graduate PA program.

Background Checks/Drug Screens

Students should be aware that certain preclinical sites may require a criminal background check and/or urine drug screen before a student is placed in the clinic or intern site. The university has procedures to assist students in obtaining these requirements. The cost of the background check and drug screen is the responsibility of each individual student. All students are required to have a new or updated background check upon progression to the Graduate Physician Assistant program.

Program Requirements

Formal evaluation of the pre-physician assistant student by the Review and Evaluation Committee takes place at the end of the spring semester of the second year. To continue in the program, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a minimum cumulative science GPA of 3.0. Following the initial evaluation, students are evaluated after completion of each semester. Failure to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a minimum cumulative science GPA of 3.0 results in dismissal from the program. In addition, a minimum GPA (both cumulative and science) is required for participation in preclinical affiliations. All required courses must be completed with a course grade of C- or better.

By February 1 of the fourth year, students are required to have accumulated at least 1,000 hours of documented direct patient contact through paid and/or volunteer experiences (e.g., certified nurse’s aide, medical assistant, phlebotomy technician, emergency room technician, EMT). While patient contact hours must be preapproved by program faculty, students are responsible for making their own arrangements to obtain these direct patient contact hours. In addition, all students are required to obtain student membership in the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA).

Requirements for Progression to the Graduate Physician Assistant Program

For a student in the Entry-Level Master’s Physician Assistant program to progress to the Graduate Physician Assistant program at Quinnipiac University, the student must successfully complete all requirements to obtain a BS degree in Health Science Studies, including all prerequisite courses for the PA program admission. Students progressing to the professional phase of the program may not have any course failures or grades of incomplete, and no outstanding academic integrity or professionalism issues at the time of progression. In addition, students must meet the established requirements for direct patient contact hours and EMT certification. Prior to beginning the Physician Assistant program, students meet with a faculty member from the Department of Physician Assistant Studies for a final academic review. The student must meet all academic, curricular, professional, health and immunization, background check and technical standards requirements of the PA program to matriculate into the program.

For information on the professional component of the entry-level master’s physician assistant program, please see the Graduate Studies section.

PY 104. Physician Assistant Seminar I - Orientation to the Profession.1 Credit.

This course is for ELMPA majors only. Students gain a basic knowledge of the fundamentals of the physician assistant profession and are introduced to the competencies of the PA profession. PA education, role expectations and practice settings are examined. In addition, historical information on the profession is presented. Students must have active AAPA student membership.

Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 204. Physician Assistant Seminar II -- The Interdisciplinary Team.1 Credit.

In this seminar course, students explore the roles of those professionals who are part of the health care team and learn how team practice affects patient care. Experts from a variety of health care fields explore the relationship of the practicing PA in each professional domain.

Prerequisites: Take PY 104 PY 397;
Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 388. Clinical Training I.3 Credits.

This course is for ELMPA majors only. It includes classroom and clinical experiences and provides students with an opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills required for Emergency Medical Technician National Certification. Emphasis is placed on patient assessment, clinical signs and symptoms, pathophysiology and the practical skills necessary to manage the pre-hospital care of patients. Clinical rotations on an ambulance service are required. At the discretion of the course instructor, students may be required to meet for additional practical sessions outside of class time. Successful completion of the PY 388-389 sequence and fulfillment of state-mandated hours of instruction are required to be eligible for certification.

Prerequisites: Take PY 104;
Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 388L. Clinical Training I Lab.0 Credits.

Lab to accompany PY 388. (3 lab hrs.)

Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 389. Clinical Training II.3 Credits.

This course is a continuation of PY 388.

Prerequisites: Take PY 388;
Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 389L. Clinical Training II Lab.0 Credits.

Lab to accompany PY 389. (3 lab hrs.)

Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 397. Prehealth Professions Clinical Affiliation.3 Credits.

The pre-clinical experience pairs an undergraduate student who displays maturity, dedication and sensitivity with a physician assistant for a 12-week period. The affiliation is designed to provide the student with the opportunity to observe PA practice and the competencies of the PA profession in a clinical setting. Students may register for the course according to the following criteria: permission of faculty; completion of a minimum of three semesters at Quinnipiac; satisfactory GPA; compliance with preclinical health and uniform requirements.

Prerequisites: Take PY 104;
Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 400. Pre-Physician Assistant Clerkship.3 Credits.

Pre-physician assistant students participate in a mentoring program that provides the opportunity to gain knowledge through direct observation. Each student spends time with three physician assistants who specialize in different areas of medicine.

Prerequisites: Take PY 104 PY 397;
Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 401. Introduction to Clinical Problem Solving.3 Credits.

This course offers the pre-physician assistant student the tools necessary for developing a systematic approach to the patient and his or her medical condition. Students learn to access and evaluate the medical literature for identification of the signs and symptoms of disease presentation, the components of a history and physical, and the understanding of a differential diagnosis. In addition, students are taught the basis for developing a patient assessment plan.

Prerequisites: Take PY 104 PY 397;
Offered: Every year, Fall