Top 15 Physician Assistant (PA) Schools in Pennsylvania

If you live in Pennsylvania, there’s no need to look out of the state for a Physician Assistant (PA) Program. Penn State has some of the best schools in the state offering PA programs. This post provides you with the best PA schools in Pennsylvania along with their requirements.

The physician would always need an assistant to help them discharge their duty effectively. For this reason, the demand for PAs is increasing and students are beginning to appreciate the program more than before. However, the desire to become a PA shouldn’t lead you to apply for admission blindly.

PA is a highly professional career and so requires you to get a degree from the best PA schools in the world. You have to ensure that the school you’re applying for is accredited before applying if you hope to build a wonderful PA career.

Before diving into the top PA schools in Pennsylvania, let’s take you on a short ride to some relevant information you need to know.

Physician Assistant Program

This is the higher institution academic coursework that offers you the degree to become a Physician Assistant. PA schools offer this program for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The Undergraduate coursework takes two to five years, while the postgraduate takes two to three years to complete.

Physician Assistant is a medical professional with a license who is trained in a medical school model curriculum.

They work under the supervision of a Physician to perform physical examinations on patients. They also diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medication, assist in surgery, and provide patient education and counseling.

The PA average annual wage is $108,430. Also, the employment of PAs is expected to grow by 38% from 2012 to 2022, which is higher than the average for all occupations.

PA Accreditation

A good PA school must have accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission for The Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).

The ARC-PA offers Accreditional-Provisional, which is an accreditation status, to qualified PA schools. This status shows that the school’s PA program meets the ARC-PA standards. It also shows that the school demonstrates continued progress in complying with the standards.

The top PA schools in PA which we are sharing with you all have the ARC-PA accreditation. This is part of the reason why they make the list, as well as why you should apply to them.

Applying for PA Schools – CASPA

All the Penn state PA schools we’ll discuss requires you to apply for admission using the Central Application Services for Physician Assistants (CASPA) portal.

However, it is expected that you first visit your preferred school site to view their requirements before proceeding to CASPA.

If you meet your school’s requirement, then hurry on to the CASPA official site and create an account.

After the account creation, you should complete the “college attended section”, as well as the “evaluations section.”

Follow through with all the requirements on the portal, then submit your application.

After that, your completed and verified application will be reviewed.

Finally, you will get a call for an interview if you qualify for it.

PA Schools in Pennsylvania 

Here are the top PA schools in Penn State with their program, ranked in no particular order, all of which are accredited. We also give a brief overview of their PA programs as well as their tuition and entry requirements.

#1. Arcadia University PA Program

Address: 450 S. Easton Rd. Glenside, PA.

This is a program provided by Arcadia University’s Department of Medical Science for Master’s students. It is available for study in the university’s two campuses – Glenside and Christiana.

Acardia’s PA program provides you with the foundational knowledge for professional growth through a commitment to excellence.

They also groom you through personal attention and diverse clinical experience.

Graduates get a dual degree after participation in this program, the other of which is in Public Health.

Entry Requirements:

To be eligible for this Penn state PA program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. They should also have a GPA of at least 3.0.

Tuition: 

This PA school’s tuition is $15,507 per semester or $31,014 per year.


#2. Drexel University PA Program

Address: 245 North 15th St. MS 504, Philadelphia, PA.

This is a program provided by Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health profession for Master’s students.

It educates primary care physicians as well as improve health care delivery in underserved areas.

This PA school in Pa develops graduates who are competent, caring, and able to adapt to a changing medical environment.

In addition to these, graduates who successfully complete this program are eligible for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).

Entry Requirements:

To be eligible for this Penn state PA program, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.

In a case where you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, 90 specific semester credit hours will suffice. You should also have a GPA of at least 3.0.

Tuition: 

This PA school’s tuition is $786 per credit hour, excluding the general fee.


#3. Duquesne University PA

Address: John G. Rangos Sr. School of Health Sciences, Duquesne University. 405 Health Science Bldg. Pittsburgh, PA.

This is a program provided by Duquesne University’s School of Health Science for Master’s students. However, the period of study is for five years, which the school refers to as Freshmen Masters.

This Penny state PA school grooms you with the knowledge and skills required to perform your role reliably. It also instills professionalism in your mind while expanding your knowledge beyond primary care.

In addition, this PA school in Pa instills in your heart responsibility for ongoing learning and progress in the field.

Generally, the PA program prepares you through quality academic and clinical training to be a PA with a license.

Entry Requirements:

To be eligible for this Penn state PA program, you must enroll as a freshman.

Also, your minimum Q.P.A should be 3.0, of which you are to score higher to increase your chances of admission

Additionally, you must also have a minimum of seven units of maths and science, as well as evidence of extracurricular activities and leadership.

Tuition: 

This PA school’s tuition is $46,090 annually.


#4. Gannon University PA

Address: 109 University Square, Erie, PA.

This is a program provided by Gannon University’s Physician Assistant Department for Master’s students. Just like Duquesne University, this PA program is a five-year Master’s program.

This PA school in Pennsylvania combines the bachelor and master’s program together to build you into a formidable PA professional.

In other words, you will earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree and a Master of Physician Assistant Science degree after completion.

This PA school program grooms you into a qualified primary care provider as well as a leader in the field.

Entry Requirements:

To be eligible for this Penn state PA program, you must be through with high school.

You also need to have a minimum GPA grade of 3.2 as well as a letter of recommendation.

In addition to these, you should have an SAT score of 1140 or an ACT score of 23, as well as a recommendation from a high school counselor.

Tuition: 

This PA school’s tuition is $16,530 annually, excluding other fees.


#5. King’s College PA

Address: 133 North River Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA.

This is a PA program provided by King’s college’s Department of Physician Assistant studies for both Undergraduate and Master’s students. There is a BS/MS program as well as an exclusive master’s program. The BS/MS program lasts for five years, while the Masters lasts for two years.

If you are enrolling for the BS/MS five year program, you get two certificates after completion of the first four years. You will have a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical studies and well as a Minor in biology.

At the end of the fifth year, you’ll receive a Master of Science Degree in Physician Assistant Studies (M.S.P.A.S).

Entry Requirements:

To be eligible for this Penn state PA program, you must have a bachelor’s degree at least or be completing a bachelor’s degree before the next semester.

Also, you must not have a science course whose grade is less than C. If you have such, you’ll have to repeat them.

In addition to this, you should have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 and two letters of reference.

Tuition: 

This PA school’s tuition is $14,192.00 annually, excluding other fees.


#6. Penn State College of Medicine

Address: 500 University Dr. Route 130, Hershey, PA.

This is a program provided by Penn State College of Medicine for Master’s students. It is a two-year program that takes 30 students annually.

This PA school in Pennsylvania builds you to be academically, clinically and culturally fit for the profession. You would also learn to think critically and develop your application skills.

At the end of the program, you will be capable of improving the health of patients in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Entry Requirements:

To be eligible for this Penn state PA program, you should have a major in health sciences, even though this is not mandatory.

You should also have a CASPA-calculated GPA of at least 3.0 overall and in science.

Tuition: 

This PA school’s tuition is $36,576 annually, excluding other fees.


#7. Misericordia University PA

Address: 301 Lake St. Dallas, PA.

This is a program provided by Misericordia University’s College of Health Science and Education for Master’s students.

The PA school in Pennsylvania delivers an outstanding curriculum that builds graduates to possess the knowledge and skills for clinical practice.

With this Pa school, your chances of scoring a 90% PANCE rate as a first-time-taker is almost certain.

Entry Requirements:

To be eligible for this Penn state PA program, you should have a bachelor’s degree from any regionally accredited university or college.

If you’re an International student, you must meet the English Language Proficiency requirements.

You should also have a CASPA-calculated GPA of at least 3.2 overall and in science.

Tuition: 

This PA school’s tuition is $12,360 annually, excluding other fees.


#8. Marywood University PA

Address: 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA.

This is a program provided by Marywood University’s Physician Assistant Department for Master’s students. This program lasts for two years and has a seat for 60 students annually.

This Penn state PA program involves a Didactic and a Clinical year of twelve months each.

The Didactic year is the first year and it includes classroom and laboratory work. Meanwhile, the second year is the clinical year and it gives you the clinical experience of a ten, 5-week rotations.

Entry Requirements:

To be eligible for this Penn state PA program, you should either be a Pre-PA student, a graduate with a bachelor’s degree, or a student with a Bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation.

In whichever case, you must have credit in sciences courses at a Science Major Level. You must also score a GPA of at least 3.0. In addition to this, you will have to present three letters of recommendation.

Tuition: 

This PA school’s tuition is $79,000 throughout the period of the Masters, excluding other fees.


#9. Mercyhurst University PA

Address: 501 East 38th Street, Erie, PA.

This is a program provided by Mercyhurst University’s Physician Assistant Studies Department for Master’s students. This program lasts for two years.

This Penn state PA program involves a Didactic and a Clinical year of twelve months each, just like Marywood.

This PA school in Pennsylvania will also educate you to become an advocate of just practices in the profession while grooming you to offer good healthcare to society.

Entry Requirements:

To be eligible for this Penn state PA program, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. or Canadian university or college.

You should also have an overall GPA of 3.2 or more, as well as 200 hours of healthcare experience. In addition to this, you will have to present three letters of recommendation.

Tuition: 

This PA school’s tuition is $875 per credit hour.


#10. Lockhaven University PA

Address: 432 Railroad St. Room 213, Lock Haven, PA.

This is a program provided by Lockhaven University’s Department of Physician Assistant Studies for Master’s students. This program lasts for two years and it takes place in four locations namely:

  • Lock Haven University-Main Campus in Lock Haven, PA
  • Clearfield Branch Campus in Clearfield, PA
  • Charles Cole Memorial Campus in Coudersport, PA, and
  • Dixon University Center Campus in Harrisburg, PA.

At this PA school in Pennsylvania, you’ll be groomed to be able to work in various clinical settings including Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties.

Entry Requirements:

To be eligible, you must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Also, you should have satisfactory completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within the past three years. Furthermore, you should score a cumulative grade point of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Tuition: 

This PA school’s tuition for residents is $33,089 for the first year and $46,988 for non-PA residents. However, the second year tuition is $28,327 and $39,937 respectively.


#11. Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) PA

Address: 4190 City Avenue, Suite 207, Philadelphia, PA.

This is a program provided by PCOM’s Physician Assistant Studies Department for Master’s students and it lasts for twenty-six months.

This Penn state PA program consists of fourteen months of classroom instruction and twelve months of clinical rotations in multiple medical disciplines.

Interestingly, this PA school in Pennsylvania has a record of 100% success rate for first-time writers at the National certifying exam.

Therefore, you can be assured of getting certification after studying here.

Entry Requirements:

To be eligible, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S., UK or Canadian university or college. It will be preferable for this degree to be in a science or health-related field

Surprisingly, this PA school in Pa does not require a standardized test score, except TOEFL if you have an English language barrier.

Therefore, you’ll need a TOEFL score of 79 with a minimum of 26 in the speaking segment of the test.

Tuition: 

This PA school’s tuition is $49,830 for the first year, $40,202 for the second, and $9,259 for the remaining months.


#12. Saint Francis University PA

Address: PO Box 600, Loretto, PA.

This is a program provided by Saint Francis University’s School of Health Sciences and Education for bachelors and Master’s students. This program lasts for either five years or two years.

This Penn state PA program involves a Didactic and a Clinical, whereby you undergo classroom and practical experience.

This PA school in Pennsylvania will also train you to become a PA who is competent, compassionate, and capable of providing comprehensive health to people and communities.

Entry Requirements:

To be eligible for this Penn state PA program, you must have at least a high school diploma even though you don’t have prior work experience.

You should have a GPA Score of 3.7 or more and a 3.2 science GPA, as well as a SAT score of 1150 to 1220 to be eligible. Furthermore, you should be able to meet the department’s technical standards.

Tuition: 

This PA school’s tuition is $1,142 per credit hour.


#13. Salus University PA

Address: 8360 Old York Road, Elkins Park, PA.

This is a program provided by Salus University’s College of Health Sciences for Master’s students. This program lasts for twenty-five months.

Also, this Penn state PA program employs clinical training, small group, and case-based learning to transform you into a professional who not only cares for the patient but also about the patient.

Furthermore, you’ll receive a Master of Medical Science degree (MMS) upon successful completion of the program.

Entry Requirements:

To be eligible to attend PA school in Pennsylvania, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited academic institution.

You should also have an overall GPA of 3.0 or more, as well as 300 hours of direct patient care experience.

In addition to this, you will have to present three letters of recommendation – one of which must be from a Physician Assistant.

Tuition: 

This PA school’s tuition is $750 per credit hour, excluding other costs of attendance.


#14. University of Pittsburg PA

Address: 3010 William Pitt Way, Building A7, Suite 216, Pittsburgh, PA.

This is a program provided by the University of Pittsburg’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences for bachelors and Master’s students. This program lasts for two years.

This Penn state PA program involves a year of didactic and a year of clinical learning.

This PA school in Pennsylvania will also train you to become a licensed health care professional practicing primary as well as specialty patient care.

Entry Requirements:

To be eligible to attend this PA school in Pennsylvania, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited academic institution.

You should also have an overall GPA of 3.0 or more, as well as 500 hours of direct “hands-on” patient care experience.

In addition to this, you will have to obtain a valid Healthcare Provider BLS certification from American Heart Association (AHA).

Tuition: 

This PA school’s tuition and other fees for the duration of the program is $85,246 for PA residents. Whereas, for out-of-state residents, the cost of attendance is $101,482.


#15. Seton Hill University PA

Address: Seton Hill Drive, Greensburg, PA

This is a program provided by Seton Hill University’s Physician Assistant Program Faculty for Master’s students and it lasts for two to five years.

This Penn state PA program offers you the opportunity of entering as freshmen to earn a B.S. and M.S. in PA in only five years.

Interestingly, U.S News & World Reports ranks Seton Hill’s PA graduate program as the best in SouthWestern Pennsylvania.

Entry Requirements:

To be eligible to attend this PA school in Pennsylvania for the 2-year Master’s program, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college.

Also, this PA school in Pa requires you to have a GPA of 3.2 or more. Furthermore, International students are expected to have good TOEFL and IELTS scores.

Tuition: 

This PA school’s tuition is $1,067 per credit hour. 


Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a physician assistant make per hour?

Honestly, the median Physician Assistant Salary is $106,860 per year ($60.00 per hour) according to the 2018 AAPA Census data report.

How many years will it take to become a physician’s assistant?

Actually, before you can become a physician assistant, you must earn a bachelor’s degree, which takes roughly four years. You will also complete a physician assistant training program, which takes two years.

How much does it cost to go to a Physician Assistant school?

The Average Cost Across all PA Schools for the 2017 Application Cycle is as follows: theaverage cost of resident tuition for a 27-month physician assistant program is: $71,369; the average cost of non-resident tuition for a 27-month physician assistant program is: $89,975.

Is a physician assistant higher than a nurse practitioner?

While a nurse receives training in accordance with the nursing model, a physician assistant attends programs more in line with the medical model. Nurses follow a patient-centered model, while physician assistants adhere to a disease-centered model.

Can I become a Physician Assistant online?

Yes. For students with a bachelor’s degree in another subject, it can be possible to attend an online PA program to enter the field. Some programs to get a Master of Science will require some on-campus learning, but there are some 100% online options for working Physician Assistants to upgrade their degrees.

How can I become a physician’s assistant?

However, there are five steps to becoming a PA. They are as follows:
1. Complete your bachelor’s degree (a science or healthcare related major is usually best).
2. Gain experience either working or volunteering in a healthcare setting.
3. Apply to ARC-PA accredited physician assistant programs.
4. Complete a 2-3 year, master’s level PA program.
5. Pass the PANCE licensing exam.

At what age can I apply for a PA school?

The average age of first-year students range between 25 and 28 for all categories. The median age at application is 26 years old.

Conclusion

The Physician Assistant profession is too important a profession to risk studying in any tertiary academic institution.

Thus, before applying for a PA course, you have to check that it is accredited. In this light, Pennsylvania is one of the states with the best PA schools in the US and the wider world.

Therefore, you need not take the pains to look for schools in other states if you’re residing in Pa. However, we also recommend this our list of the best PA schools in Pennsylvania to International students.

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