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Physician Assistant (MHS)

Fully licensed by the state of Connecticut, Quinnipiac's physician assistant program leads to an MHS degree and provides the clinical and academic preparation needed for the diverse responsibilities undertaken by physician assistants. 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). The program is ranked 5 out of 190 programs nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

In hospitals, private practices, clinics and health maintenance organizations, physician assistants take patient histories, perform routine diagnostic studies, assist in emergency medicine, monitor patient progress and manage therapeutic plans – all under the supervision of a physician. In recent years, the role and importance of the physician assistant have grown dramatically, and qualified PAs are among the most sought-after professionals in health care.

Quinnipiac's 27-month program provides intensive course work in biology and the applied sciences and involves students in an extensive network of fieldwork experiences – including in hospitals, medical centers, extended-care facilities and nursing homes.

The mission of Quinnipiac'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:

  1. 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.
  2. Professionalism - Providing care with respect, compassion and integrity with a commitment to excellence and on-going professional development.
  3. 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.
  4. Community Outreach - Demonstrating responsibility and accountability to patients, society and the profession through active community involvement and volunteerism.
  5. Cultural Competence - Enhancing sensitivity and developing the ability to function effectively to meet the needs of a diverse patient population.

Learn more about our mission, vision and core values.

To Apply for Admission to the Physician Assistant Program:
Quinnipiac University's PA program participates with the Central Application Service for PA (CASPA). Apply now.

The deadline for a complete application is Sept. 1. (The PA program begins in late May/early June.) The application process does not require submission of scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

For more information, please review our FAQ page or contact:
Graduate Health Sciences Admissions
Phone: 203-582-8672 or 1-800-462-1944

Admission Requirements

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 candidates must possess, at a minimum:

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a nationally recognized institution
  • Four semester 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 semester courses in chemistry with labs, including one semester of organic or biochemistry (with labs) 
  • One semester course in pre-calculus, calculus or statistics
  • All academic prerequisites should be completed prior to application, although applicants with no more thant two academic prerequisites pending may apply, if the course is completed no later than Dec. 31 of the year of application and notated as a course in progress/pending on the CASPA application
  • All prerequisites must be completed at a regionally accredited institution in the United States
  • Prerequisite labs must be completed through an on-campus course (not online)
  • Scores from the tests of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) if the applicant is from a non-English speaking country
  • Scores from the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) are not required

The most competitive applicants should possess at a minimum:

  • A cumulative GPA of 3.20 and a science GPA of 3.20
  • A minimum of 2,500 hours of direct patient care experience in the U.S. health care system

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.

The physician assistant program does not accept transfer credits, does not accept applications for challenge examinations and does not accept credits for experiential learning.

All incoming students are required to undergo a criminal background investigation prior to entering the program. The University must be able to assure the clinical facilities that our students have been through a criminal background check.

Quinnipiac has a pre-PA 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 also be granted admission to the master of health science physician assistant program.

To Apply for Admission to the Physician Assistant Program:
Quinnipiac's physician assistant program participates with the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Apply now.

The deadline for a COMPLETED application to CASPA is Sept. 1. (The PA program begins in late May/early June.) The application process does NOT require submission of scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

For more information on the physician assistant program, please refer to our FAQ page.

For additional information about the program or to arrange a campus tour or visit, call the Graduate Admissions Office at 203-582-8672 or 800-462-1944.

Curriculum + Requirements

This program educates qualified individuals to be highly skilled licensed health care providers who practice team-based medicine in collaboration with physicians. Currently there is tremendous demand for this sought-after professional who works in a number of health care facilities ranging from private practices to tertiary care hospitals. Graduates of this program are able to do the following:

  1. Manifest critical and creative thinking, display effective communication skills, make informed value judgments and possess an educational foundation for continued growth.
  2. Elicit a detailed and accurate history and perform the appropriate physical examination; record and present pertinent data, including interpretive recommendations, in a manner meaningful to the physician.
  3. Perform and/or interpret routine diagnostic studies such as common radiologic studies, routine laboratory procedures and electrocardiographic studies.
  4. Perform such routine procedures as injections, suturing, wound management, incision and drainage of superficial infections, cast application and simple fracture follow-up.
  5. Assist the physician by performing patient rounds, recording patient progress notes and pertinent case summaries, determining and implementing diagnostic procedures and therapeutic plans at the direction of the physician-supervisor.
  6. Prescribe medications.
  7. Instruct, counsel and prescribe for patients regarding physical and mental health, including proper diet, disease prevention, therapy, normal growth and development, family planning, lifestyle risks, situational adjustment reactions and other health care matters.
  8. Deliver or assist in the delivery of services to patients requiring continuing care in homes, nursing homes and extended care facilities, including reviewing and monitoring treatment and therapy plans.
  9. Perform independent evaluation and initiate therapeutic procedures in life-threatening events.
  10. Facilitate referral to community resources, health facilities and agencies and arrange appropriate patient follow-up.
  11. Critically evaluate medical literature, policies and systems to enhance their leadership qualities in community and professional endeavors.

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).

The physician assistant program is a full-time program. There is no part-time status.

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 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.  In order for a PA student to be eligible for the certificate of completion as a physician assistant and the master of health science degree, the student 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 3.00/4.00.
First Year
Summer Session
Course Title Credits
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 517 Human Anatomy 4
Total 17
Fall Session
PY 502 Physical Diagnosis 4
PY 505 Clinical Pharmacology I 2
FY 506 Principles of Medicine 6
PY 514 Diagnostic Methods II 1
FY 572 Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases 4
Total 17
Spring Session
PY 504 History, Roles & Responsibilities of the Physician Assistant 1
FY 509 Principles of Obstetrics & Gynecology 3
FY 510 Principles of Pediatrics 3
PY 511 Principles of Surgical & Emergency Management 4
PY 512 Psychosocial Issues in Health Care 2
PY 512 Behavioral Medicine 3
PY 516 Clinical Pharmacology II 2
Total 18
Second Year
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
Total 27
Third Year
PY 526 Principles of Epidemiology 3
PY 536 Biostatistics 3
PY 546 Ethics in health Care Delivery 3
PY 608 Graduate Seminar 4
PY 676 Comprehensive Examination 2
Total 15

Physician assistant program ranked No. 5 in the nation

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Quinnipiac’s physician assistant program the best in the state of Connecticut and in the top five nationally for 2017 Best Graduate Schools. Quinnipiac was tabbed at No. 5 when the magazine released its rankings March 16.


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