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Entry-Level Dual-Degree BS/Master’s Physician Assistant

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Introduction

Whether prescribing medication for a child who is sick with the flu or assisting a surgeon who is repairing a broken leg, physician assistants are highly sought-after members of the medical community. They can be found working in every health care setting, from private practice to large hospitals.

Program Overview

A student wearing a lab coat holds an oxygen mask on a mannequin.

Life-saving skills

Kyle Liang, MHS ’19, provides oxygen to stabilize a patient mannequin in the Simulation Suite.

Become a leader in any clinical setting

As a physician assistant, you may perform a wide range of duties, such as suturing wounds, developing treatment plans and assisting in surgery. You’ll prescribe medications, educate your patients and interpret medical tests. You’ll learn what a day in the life of a PA entails through first-hand experience in a wide variety of specialties and clinical settings.

Our entry-level Dual-Degree BS in Health Science Studies/Master's Physician Assistant program takes you through four years of preprofessional undergraduate training and a 27-month professional component that leads to your master of health science degree. Our program is nationally recognized with almost all of our graduates securing their first-choice jobs within months of graduation.

Not only will the professional component of your training give you experience in core areas of medicine, but you’ll have an opportunity to designate a wish list for two elective rotations. This may include further experience in a core rotation, such as emergency medicine, surgery, or pediatrics, or placement in a specialty practice of interest to you.

Curriculum and Requirements

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 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 and Physiology I
and Human Anatomy and 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 Pre-Health 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 and Experience of Human Aging 3
CHE 315
& 315L
Biochemistry I
and Biochemistry Lab I 2
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
 Credits16-18
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 Credits124-129
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 and Experience of Human Aging3

MHS Physician Assistant Program of Study

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Summer SemesterCredits
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
 Credits17
Fall Semester
PY 502 Physical Diagnosis 4
PY 505 Clinical Pharmacology I 2
PY 506 Principles of Internal Medicine 6
PY 514 Diagnostic Methods II 1
PY 572 Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 4
 Credits17
Spring Semester
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
 Credits18
Second Year
Summer Semester
PY 526 Principles of Epidemiology 3
PY 536 Biostatistics 3
PY 546 Ethics in Health Care Delivery 3
PY 650 Medical Writing Workshop/Journal Club 1
 Credits10
Clinical Rotations  
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
 Credits27
Third Year
Summer Semester
PY 608 Graduate Seminar 3
PY 676 Comprehensive Examination 2
PY 648 Ethics/Health Care Delivery II 1
 Credits6
 Total Credits95

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:

  1. Satisfactory completion of the PA curriculum requirements (including academic, clinical, medical writing, clinical logging, professionalism and community service requirements).
  2. Satisfactory completion of the PA program core competencies and essential learning outcomes.
  3. Satisfactory completion of all PA course requirements.
  4. Satisfactory completion of the capstone comprehensive examination.
  5. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0/4.0.

Additional course details
Explore descriptions, schedule and instructor information using the Course Finder tool.

PA-Prep Track

Physician Assistant-Prep track

For students who are not accepted into the Dual-Degree BS in Health Science Studies/Master's Physician Assistant program, you may be invited into the phsician assistant-prep (PA-Prep) track. Enrolled students will complete a bachelor’s degree in health science studies, and the top candidates will have the opportunity to be considered for limited spaces available in the Quinnipiac graduate physician assistant program.

As a PA-prep student, you will follow a curriculum that provides a parallel education to the entry-level Dual-Degree BS in Health Science Studies/Master's Physician Assistant program, and will be closely advised by faculty in the School of Health Sciences. Top candidates within the PA-Prep track will have the opportunity to be considered for limited spaces available in Quinnipiac’s graduate PA program during their junior year (end of the fall semester) by invitation and an interview process.

Students not accepted into the Quinnipiac graduate PA program will have plenty of time during their senior year to fulfill prerequisites needed for other graduate PA programs. At the end of four years, PA-Prep students will be extremely competitive candidates for CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants).

Included in PA-Prep track are:

  • The basic prerequisites in biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, as well as science electives
  • PA-prep specific courses, such as clinical problem solving and PA seminars, which discuss the history and roles of PAs, and how they interact with the health care team
  • Two semesters of courses that allow opportunities to shadow PAs in multiple fields as well as EMT licensure that will assist you in obtaining direct patient care hours

You will also have the opportunity to participate in the PA-prep club, leadership opportunities and community service and build a robust e-portfolio. 

PA-Prep and Dual-Degree curricula


The PA-Prep track and entry-level Dual-Degree BS in Health Science Studies/Master's Physician Assistant program run parallel until junior year. Those accepted from the PA-Prep track into the dual-degree program in their junior year will complete their graduate PA studies at Quinnipiac. The rest of the PA-Prep track students will complete their Bachelor of Science in Health Science Studies from Quinnipiac and be strong candidates for PA programs across the country.

  • Core prerequisites: biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, organic chemistry, microbiology, medical terminology
  • PA seminar courses
  • 2-semester EMT course
  • Pre-clinical shadowing experiences with practicing PAs
  • Introduction to Clinical Problem-Solving course, which prepares students to think like clinicians
  • 1,000 hours of direct patient care hours (need to be completed by February 1 of senior year)
  • 10 required hours per academic year of community service for a total of 40 hours by end of four years
  • Minimum GPA of 3.2
  • No failing grades (D or F) in core and elective science classes 
  • PA-prep track: Opportunity to transition into dual-degree BS/MHS program by spring semester of junior year for direct admission to the Quinnipiac graduate PA program
  • Entry-level Dual-Degree BS in Health Science Studies/Master's Physician Assistant program program: Direct admission into the Quinnipiac graduate PA program