(Effective Fall 2018)

Physician assistants (PAs) are health professionals authorized by the state to practice medicine with the supervision of a licensed physician. Physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of services. The role demands sound judgment, intellectual honesty, and the capacity to react to emergencies in a calm and reasonable manner.  Courses in the didactic year of the Physician Assistant major build a strong foundation upon which the students develop and strengthen their knowledge base about normal physiologic and disease processes. This is reinforced by hands-on skill training in the laboratory environment. The clinical year solidifies the didactic year preparation by providing the students with a variety of clinical settings ranging from primary care to surgical and medical specialties. The program prepares graduates to become competent and caring practitioners who can perform diagnostic and therapeutic services. Upon successful completion of our ARC-PA accredited PA Program, graduates will be eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). For further information on PA certification, explore the resources at the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

Online master's degree options are offered through cooperative agreements with NOVA Southeastern University and Marywood University.

Recommended High School Subjects

High school students should focus their academic course work on written and oral communication, upper level mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics courses with labs.

Special Equipment Needs

Students accepted into the Physician Assistant major are required to have a laptop and will incur expenses for medical instruments, uniforms, malpractice insurance, clearances and certifications, etc. See the complete list on the program website.

Remediation Strategies

All developmental course remediation must be completed during the pre-PA curriculum.

Program Goals

Graduates of this major should be able to:
  • use the skills necessary to become certified physician assistants;
  • work as compassionate, ethical, and culturally competent health care providers;
  • communicate professionally with patients, families and other members of the health care team;
  • demonstrate the technical skills for patient-centered care, including aspects of evidenced-based medicine, patient education resources, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness; and
  • demonstrate critical thinking, analysis, scientific inquiry and problem-solving abilities.

Curriculum

First Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
FYE101 First Year Experience 1 .50 1.50 S REQ
BIO115 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4 3 3 S REQ
CHM111 General Chemistry I 4 3 3 S REQ
ENL111 English Composition I 3 3 S REQ
SPC Speech Elective 3   S SPC
CSC124 Information, Technology, and Society 3 3 S REQ
TOTAL CREDITS 18
Second Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
BIO125 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4 3 3 S REQ
CHM210 Organic Chemistry I 3 3 S REQ
MTS Math Elective (MTH160 or Higher) 3   S MTS
ENL121 English Composition II 3 3 S REQ
or
ENL201 Technical and Professional Communication 3 3 S REQ
PSY111 General Psychology 3 3 S REQ
TOTAL CREDITS 16
Third Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
BIO108 Principles of Biology I 4 3 3 M REQ
MTS Math Elective (MTH160 or Higher) 3   S MTS
HUM Humanities Elective 3   S HUM
SSE Social Science Elective 3   S SSE
TOTAL CREDITS 13
Fourth Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
BIO201 Microbiology 4 3 3 S REQ
BPA Directed Physician Assistant Elective 3   S BPA
ART Art Elective 3   S ART
HUM Humanities Elective 3   S HUM
or
SSE Social Science Elective 3   S SSE
or
ART Art Elective 3   S ART
or
FOR Foreign Language Elective 3   S FOR
or
AAE Applied Arts Elective 3   S AAE
or
IFE International Field Experience Elective 3   S IFE
FIT Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 2   S FIT
TOTAL CREDITS 15
Fifth Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
PHA301 Professionalism and Ethics in Physician Assistant Practice I 1 1 M REQ
PHA311 History Taking/Interviewing Techniques 2 1 3 M REQ
PHA316 Medical Physiology/Pathophysiology 5 5 M REQ
PHA322 Pharmacology I 2 2 M REQ
PHA326 Clinical Procedures I 1 3 M REQ
PHA347 Principles of Clinical Medicine I 5 3 6 M REQ
PHA375 Human Cadaver Anatomy 4 3 3 M REQ
TOTAL CREDITS 20
Sixth Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
PHA302 Professionalism and Ethics in Physician Assistant Practice II 1 1 M REQ
PHA305 Clinical Laboratory Medicine 3 2 3 M REQ
PHA336 Clinical Procedures II 3 1 6 M REQ
PHA339 Physical Assessment I 3 1 6 M REQ
PHA342 Pharmacology II 2 2 M REQ
PHA348 Psychopathology 1 1 M REQ
PHA358 Pediatrics 1 1 M REQ
PHA369 Principles of Clinical Medicine II 6 4.50 4.50 M REQ
TOTAL CREDITS 20
Summer Session Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
PHA303 Professionalism and Ethics in Physician Assistant Practice III 1 1 M REQ
PHA352 Community and Public Health 2 Writing Enriched Requirement &
Cultural Diversity Requirement
2 M REQ
PHA353 Issues in Physician Assistant Practice 1 1 M REQ
PHA359 Clinical Procedures III 3 Science, Technology and Society Requirement 1 6 M REQ
PHA362 Pharmacology III 1 1 M REQ
PHA372 Principles of Clinical Medicine III 5 3 6 M REQ
PHA371 Physical Assessment II 2 1 3 M REQ
PHA380 Principles of Emergency Medicine and Surgery 1 1 M REQ
TOTAL CREDITS 16
Seventh Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
PHA411 Family Practice Internship 4 M REQ
PHA412 Internal Medicine Internship 4 M REQ
PHA421 Pediatrics Internship 3 M REQ
PHA409 Physician Assistant Internship Seminar I 1 1 M REQ
TOTAL CREDITS 12
Eighth Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
PHA415 Emergency Medicine Internship 4 M REQ
PHA416 Psychiatry Internship 3 M REQ
PHA419 Obstetrics and Gynecology Internship 4 M REQ
PHA422 Physician Assistant Internship Seminar II 1 1 M REQ
TOTAL CREDITS 12
Summer Session Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
PHA417 Surgery Internship 4 M REQ
PHA418 Elective Internship 3 M REQ
PHA490 Clinical Preceptorship 4 M REQ
PHA496 Senior Capstone 1 Writing Enriched Requirement 1 M REQ
PHA PA Completion Requirement   M PHA
TOTAL CREDITS 12

See the full listing of Directed Physician Assistant Electives.

Additional Information

Employment While Enrolled in the PA Major
Students will find that maintaining employment while enrolled in the Physician Assistant major is extremely difficult and can have detrimental effects on their academic performance.  Because of the rigorous program of study, students are strongly advised not to maintain outside employment while enrolled in the Physician Assistant major.  Students who choose employment in addition to their academic responsibilities should be aware that work responsibilities are not an acceptable excuse for absenteeism or incomplete/late assignments. 

Additional Information
Rigorous and intense didactic course work will take place on campus during the first 12 months of the Physician Assistant major (shown above as the fifth, sixth, and first summer semesters).  In the second 12 months of the Physician Assistant major, clinical rotations, involving 40 (or more) hours per week, are designed to provide a variety of experiences for the Physician Assistant student.  It is highly likely that the student will have to temporarily relocate during some clinical rotations.  It is the responsibility of the student to secure housing. All expenses associated with each clinical rotation are the sole responsibility of the student. 

Notice of Conviction

Child-abuse clearances, 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.

Accreditation

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.