Jul 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Course Catalog 
2023-2024 Course 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 diverse and inclusive 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 Accreditation Review Commission of Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the University of Saint Joseph Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the University of Saint Joseph. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2031. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

The programs accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-university-of-st-joseph/


Physician Assistant Education Association

PA Department contact

Program director and department chair:  Tricia Marriott, PA-C, MPAS, MJ Health Law, CHC, DFAAPA

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.

Policy for Deceleration

Students who decelerate and are readmitted to a subsequent cohort, will be required to register and pay tuition and fees for all required program courses upon return, including any courses that may have been successfully completed the first year.  Repeated course grades will be used for ongoing and final GPA calculations.  Returning students will be subject to the full tuition and fees for the new cohort for which they are enrolled. Returning/readmitted students who have decelerated from a previous cohort, and again meet the criteria for deceleration, will be dismissed, as students are only allowed to be readmitted once to the PA Studies Program.

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.

• 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