Physician Assistant Studies Overview
Physician assistants (PAs) are valued and vital members of physician-directed teams, licensed to practice medicine and prescribe medication in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In 2011, U.S. News and World Report named PA as one of America’s top jobs with a 39 percent increase in job availability predicted in the coming years.
Pursuing a degree in Physician Assistant Studies at USciences is an optimal path for students with a strong science aptitude seeking an exciting yet challenging education to prepare for an extremely rewarding career.
Choice at Every Level
Our undergraduate pre-professional program provides the academic grounding and hands-on experience needed to progress and thrive in any graduate PA program. With our focus on socialization into the profession, we provide shadowing and patient contact sites where you will gain exposure to medical practice. You will also take classes in history taking and physical assessment.
More importantly, you have choices. You can earn your undergraduate degree through a rigorous three-year track in conjunction with our affiliated graduate professional programs or in traditional semesters over four years.
After meeting all the requirements for the pre-professional program, you’ll be eligible to the professional phase. You then have two options for earning your master’s degree in PA Studies:
- A 34-month track at USciences with summers off—providing time for mission trips abroad, service learning, research, family vacations or working
- A continuous 27-month track available through our partnership with the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
As part of our Graduate Professional Program, you’ll study alongside an invigorating mix of students from our pre-professional program as well as professionals with years of health-related experience.
USciences offers more clinical rotation hours in our 34-month track than most graduate programs in PA Studies. These hours—including exposure to geriatric medicine and two five-week electives—will assist you in becoming an exceptional contributor to any healthcare team.
Preparation and the opportunity to choose your own path are just a few advantages offered by USciences’ Department of Physician Assistant Studies. You’ll benefit from a new, state-of-the-art facility and leading-edge resources, including video-capable exam rooms and a simulation lab with realistic manikins that respond to treatment.
Our students are also drawn to the vibrancy of an urban campus in the middle of Philadelphia’s “University City.” We share library resources with Drexel and Penn—and we’re just minutes away from the wealth of history that only Philadelphia can provide. Combine this with more than a century of distinguished pharmacy and science achievements at USciences, and there is no better place to put down roots and grow as a medical professional.
David R. Leonard, DHSc, MMS, PA-C
Chair, Department of Physician Assistant Studies
As a physician assistant (PA), you become part of the future of healthcare. More than critical members of physician-directed teams, today’s PAs offset the worsening physician shortage, provide valuable patient education and extend access to quality healthcare.