Physician Assistant Progression Standards

Requirements for Pre-professional Students:

Prior to entering into the fall semester of the first undergraduate pre-professional year, students must have a minimum of 50 hours of documented shadowing/patient contact experience.

First year students must earn a “B” or better in PHA 100 or HS 111 in order to remain in the pre-professional PA program.

Students must achieve a “B” or better in all subsequent courses with the prefix PHA (Physician Assistant specific courses). 

  • A student who receives a B-, C+ or C in a PHA required course must retake the course and earn a B or better.  A student may take the PHA course a maximum of two times to meet the required standard. 
  • If a student fails to meet this requirement after two attempts the student will be dismissed from the undergraduate pre-professional program.
  • If a student earns a C- or lower in a PHA course on their 1st attempt at any PHA course they will be dismissed from the undergraduate pre-professional program.

Grades of “C” or better are required for all natural science courses in Biology (BS), Chemistry (CH), Physics (PY), and Psychology (PS). 

  • Students who earn a C- or lower have the opportunity to retake the course once in order to earn a C or better.  Students who fail to meet this requirement will be dismissed from the undergraduate pre-professional program.

To progress to the second year of the undergraduate pre-professional program, the student must achieve a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) AND a natural science GPA of 3.00 or higher AND demonstrate at least 150 hours of patient contact.

To progress to the third year of the undergraduate pre-professional program and earn the opportunity to interview for a seat in the USciences or PCOM graduate professional physician assistant (PA) programs, the student must achieve a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) AND a natural science GPA of 3.20 or higher AND demonstrate at least 400 hours of patient contact.

  • The student must also complete the clinical skills competency assessment with a grade of 85% or higher within two attempts to advance to third year status. 
  • Students who do not demonstrate 85% competency within 2 attempts will be required to retake PHA 206 & PHA 208, the courses which teach these skills.  Failure to achieve the 85% prohibits the student from advancing in the program.
  • Students must achieve and maintain a 3.20 or higher cumulative AND natural science GPA through the end of their third year in order to remain eligible for the USciences or PCOM graduate level programs.

Transfer Students to Undergraduate Pre-professional Program:

Transfer students will only be accepted into the fall semester of the first or second year of the pre-professional program to allow for socialization into the major.  Transfer students are held to the same academic standards as entry level students. 

Transfer credit will not be given for any of the following courses: Organic Chemistry I and II, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Biochemistry, Hematology, Immunology, Scientific Writing, PA Shadowing & Physical Exam I & II and Medical Terminology I and II.  The student may apply for elective credit if these courses have been taken elsewhere. 

Transfer credit will be accepted for natural science courses only with a B or better.  Transfer credit in English, math, social sciences, and electives will be accepted with a C or better.

Students who are admitted into the first year must complete and document 50 hours of patient contact prior to the start of classes.  Students admitted into the second year must complete and document 150 hours of patient contact prior to the start of classes.

Progression to Graduate Professional PA programs:

Students in the undergraduate pre-professional PA program have the option of applying to the USciences or PCOM graduate level professional PA programs.  Application to either must be made through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).

A student must earn a 3.20 both overall & natural science GPA and meet the progression standards to be eligible to interview for progression to either program. 

If a third year USciences student enrolled in the pre-professional program completes all required courses and meets the progression standards, the student will be granted an interview invitation for the USciences and PCOM programs. 

USciences Accreditation Status

Unsuccessful Progression to Professional Graduate PA programs:

A third year student in the accelerated track with a science and overall GPA above a 3.20 who is denied progression to USciences  or PCOM due to an unsuccessful interview and/or interpersonal or maturity issue may remain at USciences and attempt to improve their requirement profile.

However, should this occur they must change their major.  Health science or biology are recommended. 

Students will have the opportunity to make a second application and be granted a second interview invitation to USciences or PCOM prior to their fourth year ONLY if they remain at USciences as a full time student, complete all required courses, and meet all progression standards.

*PCOM Accreditation Status

Students accepted to USciences or PCOM in the third or fourth year must maintain the required 3.20 academic standards throughout their final semesters at USciences.  Students who fail to maintain the required standards will have their admission rescinded.