Feb 23, 2024  
2019-2020 Course Catalog 
2019-2020 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physician Assistant Studies, M.S.

Mission statement

The Physician Assistant Studies program will foster the development of engaged learners into well-qualified Physician Assistants. Intellectual rigor in a spiritually enriched environment will cultivate competent, ethical members of the health care team who demonstrate the highest level of integrity and a commitment to life-long learning. Graduates will exemplify a sense of social responsibility through service to the community and their profession.

Program goals

The USJ Physician Assistant Studies Program (PA) strives to achieve the following goals:

1. Graduate highly competent PA’s prepared to enter clinical practice upon graduation

2. Cultivate a spiritually enriched learning environment

3. Provide a learning atmosphere imbued with intellectual rigor

4. Emulate the values that result in the formation of ethical physician assistant graduates

5. Prepare graduates who are collaborative members of the health care team, and provide patient-centered care in an inter-professional context

6. Develop an atmosphere that exemplifies the highest level of professional Integrity

7. Foster the development of the skills required for life-long learning, scholarly inquiry and professional development

8. Promote an appreciation for social responsibility that is inherent to PA practice

9. Model and encourage the importance and the value of service to the profession and society


The Physician Assistant Studies Program at University of Saint Joseph has received Accreditation-Provisional status from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.


Physician Assistant Education Association

PA Department contact

Program director and department chair:  Carrie Walker, MPAS, MS, PA-C

Contact: 860-231-5420 or pastudiesprogram@usj.edu

Admission criteria

  • Baccalaureate degree (no preferred major) completed by December 15 of the year preceding matriculation
  • Cumulative overall 3.0 GPA at the time of application
  • Ability to meet program technical standards with or without reasonable accommodation as described by the ADA
  • Ability to successfully pass a criminal background check and urine drug screen, if admitted
  •  Review of the program immunization and health requirements required before application

You must have completed these prerequisites:

Coursework Credits
Biology with lab 8
Chemistry with lab 8
Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab 8
Organic chemistry with lab, or Biochemistry 4/3
Microbiology 3
Statistics 3
Psychology 3










For each course:

  • Grade of “C” or better
    •  AP scores of 4 or 5 will be counted for completion of a course, but will not be factored into GPA calculations
  • Completed at a regionally accredited U.S. institution
  • Cumulative prerequisite 3.0 GPA at the time of application


The program normally takes 28 continuous months: spring, summer and fall semesters. To progress, a student must earn a “B-” or better in all PA courses and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA in all PA Studies program courses of 3.000 or greater on a 4.000 scale at the end of each semester. Failure to maintain a 3.000 or better cumulative GPA at the end of any semester will result in probation/remediation (first incidence) or dismissal (second incidence) from the program. Degree candidates must also have a 3.000 or better cumulative GPA on a 4.000 scale for all PA Studies courses attempted at USJ to progress to the clinical phase of the program. The student must successfully complete all PA Studies courses within five years (60 months) of matriculation. The student must successfully complete all PA Studies coursework (103 credits) to earn a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.

Graduation requirements

• Complete all PA Studies program courses and SCPE (a total of 103 credits) with a grade of “B-” or better. A course may be repeated once, as approved, if a grade below a “B-” was earned. Students are limited to a maximum of 2 repeats across the PA Studies curriculum. Course repeats will result in student deceleration.

• Earn a cumulative PA Studies GPA of 3.000 or better (if a course is approved for repeat, the most recent grade, regardless of whether it is higher or lower, will be used to calculate the cumulative PA Studies GPA)

• Be in good academic standing

• Be in good professional standing

• Successful passage of a summative experience and final evaluation at end of program

• Recommendation for graduation by the program, the department and the University

• Satisfaction of all financial obligations to USJ

• All courses offered in the curriculum are required and all of these courses and requirements must be successfully completed (as detailed above) to meet eligibility for graduation

• All requirements must be completed within a five-year (60-month) period beginning with the first graduate PA Studies course taken at USJ

• Completion of formal application to graduate sent to registrar, including payment of graduation fee

• It is the student’s responsibility to complete all degree/certificate requirements and to comply with the University’s graduation requirements

Course sequence