In this 3+2 program, students complete a pre-professional phase for the first three years, and a professional phase (didactic and clinical years) for the last two. Entrance to the professional phase requires selection into the major. The first selections for admission to the professional phase of the B.S./M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies major will take place in June 2020 for a Fall 2020 semester start. Prospective students may apply for admission to Penn College prior to the Fall 2020 semester to complete pre-professional coursework. Please refer to the Special Admission requirements for high school students and transfer students below.
Program highlights include:
State-of-the-art. Gain hands-on experience in state-of-the-art labs, including the on-site cadaver lab with a 5:1 student to cadaver ratio.
100%. Historically, Penn College physician assistant graduates have earned 100% job placement within the first six months.
Intensive learning. Clinical rotations are designed to give students extensive experience outside of the classroom. Rotations includes: family practice, pediatrics, psychiatry, emergency medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, internal medicine, surgery and elective.
Board-certified faculty. Learn from experienced and knowledgeable faculty who incorporate the latest technologies and practices into the curriculum.
93% pass rate. Penn College first-time test takers achieved a 93% pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).
Small class sizes. This guarantees that students receive individualized attention and more hands-on time in labs. Penn College is proud to offer a 10:1 lab ratio and a 1:1 clinical rotation ratio.
About Physician Assistants
Physician assistants (PAs) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. The clinical role of physician assistants includes primary and specialty care in medical and surgical settings in rural and urban areas. Students will learn to work successfully in the health care environment, provide treatment for patients, problem solve, and value their professionalism.
The role of the physician assistant demands intelligence, sound judgment, intellectual honesty, appropriate interpersonal skills and the capacity to react to emergencies in a calm and reasoned manner. An attitude of respect for others, adherence to the concepts of privilege and confidentiality in communicating with patients, and a commitment to the patient's welfare are essential attributes. Individuals who can meet those requirements and become physician assistants will be able to provide the following services:
- Patient Education
About the curriculum
View the classes you will be attending in the College Catalog.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for physician assistants during the time frame of 2014-2024 is projected to increase by 30% (much faster than the average of 7% growth rate for all occupations). Physician assistant was added to the high priority occupations in Pennsylvania and by the Central Workforce Investment Board in 2015. Pennsylvania is listed as one of the states with the highest number of employed physician assistants. Certified physician assistants (PA-C) are employed in a variety of settings nationwide, including (but not limited to): family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, gastroenterology, plastic surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, oncology and hematology, emergency medicine, orthopedic surgery, general surgery, cardiovascular surgery, correctional medicine, urology, and pediatrics.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for physician assistants was $108,610 in May 2018. The top 10 percent earned more than $151,850.
Industries with the highest published employment for this occupation are:
|Industry||Employment||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage|
|Offices of Physicians||64,540||$52.01||$108,180|
|General Medical and Surgical Hospitals||28,050||$52.47||$109,140|
|Outpatient Care Centers||8,910||$56.15||$116,780|
|Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools||2,620||$49.21||$102,370|
Statistics reported in May 2018
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Pennsylvania College of Technology Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Pennsylvania College of Technology. 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 September 2027. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.
- View the Physician Assistant program goals.
NCCPA Pass Rates
The NCCPA 5-year pass rate summary compares the pass rate of Penn College first time takers (PANCE) to the national average. Read More
Special Admissions Requirements
To view acceptance criteria, testing requirements, performance expectations, and the admissions ranking system, consult the Physician Assistant selective admissions information.
This major is subject to the transfer standards established by the College (see http://www.pct.edu/catalog/TransferringCredits). Exceptions must be approved by the school dean.
International health credentials/licensure, sciences courses, and most math courses will not be accepted to satisfy requirements of this major. Please see additional information for international students applying to the School of Nursing & Health Sciences majors.
Estimate of Expenses
Special Equipment Needs
Students accepted into the Physician Assistant major will incur expenses for tools/instruments, uniforms, malpractice insurance, clearances and certifications, etc. See the complete list.
Clubs & Activities
Notice of Conviction
Child-abuse clearance, criminal background checks, and drug screens are required. Students desiring entrance into the Physician Assistant major should be aware that clinical institutions could bar them from their sites if a criminal record exists or if a positive drug test is noted. (By virtue of contract for Penn College students to be at clinical sites, agencies have the right to ask for drug testing and background checks.)
Inability to gain clinical education experience results in inability to meet program objectives and outcomes. The presence of a criminal record can result in agencies refusing to issue credentials necessary for employment.
Students enrolled in the Pre-PA Program or the PA Program cannot apply for work study jobs in the program.
Physician Assistant Advisory Committee
- Ms. Beth Baylor, PA-C, '03, Physician Assistant, Geisinger Medical Center Department of Orthopedics
- Praful U Bhatt, M.D., F.A.A.P, Physician Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Lock Haven
- Mr. Ricardo C Calla, PA-C, '00, Physician Assistant, PA Neurosurgery & Neuroscience
- Dr. Robert A Donato, DO, Physician OB/GYN, A Woman's Health Center
- Dr. Duane R Donmoyer, Physician, Miller Family Health Center
- Dr. Gregory R Frailey, FACOEP, Medical Director, Prehospital Services, Susquehanna Regional EMS
- Gary D Kanouse, M.D., Physician, Medical Administrator, Kanouse Medical Group PC
- Mr. Ronald Mezick, PA-C, Physician Assistant/Partner, Lycoming Medical Associates
- Stephen Paolucci, M.D., Chairman, Division of Psychiatry, Geisinger Medical Center
- John F Turner, MD, FACS, Physician, Central Susquehanna Surgical Specialists
- Mr. Donald Wieder, PA-C, '15, Physician Assistant, Geisinger Medical Center
Advisory committees, which act as recommending bodies to the faculty and administration, consist of in-field professionals who act as partners in the development of curriculum. Their curricular and equipment advice as well as their industry connections and internship opportunities are invaluable to our students and to the growth of our institution.