Quinnipiac University

Entry-Level Dual-Degree BS in Health Science Studies / MHS in Physician Assistant (4+27 months) Curriculum

Our curriculum builds industry-specific knowledge and skills while giving you the flexibility to customize your schedule based on your needs. Below are the course requirements for the Entry-Level Master's Physician Assistant program, and an example of what your academic experience might look like.

Curriculum and Requirements

Policies and Requirements

Initial evaluation of the pre-physician assistant student by the Academic Progression and Retention 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 3.2 and a minimum cumulative science GPA of 3.2. Following the initial evaluation, students are evaluated after completion of each semester. Failure to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 and a minimum cumulative science GPA of 3.2 results in dismissal from the program. In addition, a minimum GPA (both cumulative and science) is required for participation in preclinical affiliations.

By the fourth year, students are required to have accumulated at least 1,000 hours of documented direct patient contact through summer paid and/or volunteer experiences. While patient contact hours must be pre-approved by program faculty, students are responsible for making their own arrangements to obtain these clinical hours.

Direct patient contact hours include experiences such as, but not limited to: 

  • Athletic training aide

  • Camp or school nurse aide

  • Certified nurse’s aide (CNA)

  • Chiropractic aide

  • Electrocardiograph (EKG) technician

  • Emergency medical technician (EMT)

  • Emergency room technician

  • Home health aide

  • Hospital or nursing home volunteer

  • Lab technician

  • Lifeguard

  • Medical assistant

  • Medical office assistant

  • Medical scribe

  • Military medic

  • Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) camp counselor

  • Occupational therapy aide

  • Paramedic

  • Patient transporter

  • Personal care aide

  • Pharmacy technician

  • Phlebotomy technician

  • Physical therapy aide

  • Registered or licensed practical nurse (RN or LPN)

  • School nurse aide or camp aide

  • Ski patrol

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 dual-degree BS/MHS 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.

Students should be aware that certain preclinical sites may require a criminal background check before a student is placed in the clinic or intern site. The university has procedures to assist students in obtaining such a background check. The cost of the background check 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.

The program offers the qualified pre-physician assistant student the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree in the physician assistant program at Quinnipiac. The program is divided into a four-year pre-professional component and a 27-month professional component. Following successful completion of the pre-professional component, students receive a Bachelor of Science in Health Science Studies.

The pre-professional 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. The program addresses the need for medical experience by providing students with emergency medical technician (EMT) training as well as extensive time shadowing and mentoring with practicing physician assistants. EMT ride time and shadowing experiences take place at off-campus sites, generally within 50 miles of the Mount Carmel Campus. Students are responsible for transportation to and from all off-campus sites. In addition, students must meet specific program health requirements for participation in the shadowing 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.

In order for a student in the entry-level Dual-Degree BS in Health Science Studies/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 in Health Science Studies, including all prerequisite courses for 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.

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.