There are very good medical schools in the U.S that train Physician Assistants. However, Pennsylvania has some of these top PA schools that train Physician Assistants in the U.S. Learn about the best schools in Pennsylvania where a Physician Assistant acquires PA programs.
Additionally, these PA schools in Penn state will teach you everything that concerns healthcare delivery. You’ll surely make lots of money by becoming a Physician Assistant anywhere in the world.
The aim of creating Physician assistants was to provide healthcare to rural areas of the United States. This was done as a result of the shortage and maldistribution of primary care physicians. Dr. Eugene Stead, who was the chairman of Duke Department of Medicine, founded a program to formally train “physician assistants” in 1965.
Presently, Physician Assistants practice medicine throughout the United States as well as in many countries in the world. They are licensed to prescribe medications in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam. Research from the NCCPA shows that there are over 110,000 professional PAs in the United States.
Who is a Physician Assistant?
A Physician Assistant or PA is a medical personnel that has the license to diagnose and treat illness and disease and to prescribe medication for sick persons. In the same vein, PAs work in physician offices, hospitals, and clinics.
The duties of a Physician Assistant include:
Furthermore, graduates of PA schools in Pennsylvania train to work in hospitals, clinics, academic administration, and other types of health facilities. They also help physicians in the practice of primary care such as emergency medicine, surgery, and cardiology.
How long will it take me to study at a PA School in Pennsylvania?
In order to become a PA, you must earn a bachelor’s degree which will take you roughly four years to complete. Afterward, you will complete a physician assistant training program which will take you an additional two years to complete as well.
Many physician assistants go to PA schools in Pennsylvania with a working experience in health care such as a nurse or paramedic. As a result of this, some years will be added to the timeline as well.
How much will it cost me to study at a Physician Assistant (PA) School in Pennsylvania?
Just like every other college and advanced degree programs in the U.S, the cost of acquiring a PA degree program in Pennsylvania is increasing.
Below is the current report of tuition fees which was supplied by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), The Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), and the most recent NCCPA Statistical Report:
Then, in comparing the average cost of PA program fees in a public and private school, we will have:
What is the salary and job outlook of Physician Assistants?
The average salary for physician assistants is $108,610 per year. However, the lowest 10 percent made less than $69,120, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $151,850.
On the other hand, the BLS is projecting the job of physician assistants to grow by 31% before the next ten years. This will have about 37,000 jobs to be added by that time. When you compare it with those in the health diagnosing and treating practitioner positions, there will be a 13% growth for the PA job role.
List of the Top Physician Assistant (PA) Schools in Pennsylvania
#1. Arcadia University
Arcadia University is a private university in Glenside, Pennsylvania that was founded in 1853. It has an enrollment of approximately 4,000 students.
The Department of Medical Science for Master’s students at Arcadia University administers the PA program. Upon completion of the program, the students obtain a dual degree, with a degree in Public Health as one of the degrees.
To be eligible for the PA program at Arcadia University, the applicant must possess a bachelor’s degree as well as a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Arcadia University has an acceptance rate of 62% and a graduation rate of 59%. The student-faculty ratio is 12:1 while the tuition fee for the PA program is $15,507 per semester or $31,014 annually.
It is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Address: 450 S Easton Rd, Glenside, PA 19038, United States
#2. Saint Francis University
Saint Francis University is a private Catholic liberal arts university in Loretto, Pennsylvania that was established in 1847.
The School of Health Sciences and Education for bachelors and Master’s students administers the Physician Assistant program here. Here, students undergo classroom teaching and practicals in the didactic and clinical levels.
For a student to be eligible for admission into the PA program at Saint Francis University, the applicant must do the following:
- Applicants should have at least a high school diploma
- Candidates must possess a GPA of 3.7 or more and a 3.2 science GPA, as well as an SAT score of 1150 to 1220.
Furthermore, Saint Francis University which is among the top PA schools in Pennsylvania has an acceptance rate of 76% and a graduation rate of 71%. The student-faculty ratio is 14:1 while the tuition fee for the PA program at the university is $1,142 per credit hour.
Saint Francis University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Address: 117 Evergreen Drive, Loretto, PA 15940, United States
#3. Duquesne University
Duquesne University is a private Catholic university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States that was founded in 1878.
The School of Health Science for Master’s students at Duquesne administers the PA program. Here, the program is popularly called Freshman Masters. It takes five (5) years of intensive study and research to complete the program afterward, the student becomes a licensed Physician Assistant.
The admission requirements stipulate that the applicant enrolls as a freshman and must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and above. In addition, the applicant should possess at least seven units of maths and science plus extracurricular activities and leadership.
Duquesne University which is among the top PA schools in Pennsylvania has an acceptance rate of 72%, a graduation rate of 74%, and a student-faculty ratio of 14:1. The tuition fee for the PA program at Duquesne University is $46,090 per year.
Address: 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15282, United States
#4. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that was established as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787.
The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Pittsburgh administers the PA program. However, this program lasts for two (2) years with one year for didactic and another year for clinical training.
The entry requirements for the PA program at this top PA school in Pennsylvania stipulates that the applicant possess a bachelor’s degree. Then, the candidate must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or more plus 500 hours of direct “hands-on” patient care experience. The applicant must also obtain a valid Healthcare Provider BLS certification from American Heart Association (AHA).
On the other hand, the tuition fee for the PA program at Pittsburgh is $85,246 for residents. The tuition fee for out-of-state residents is $101,482.
Address: 4200 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, United States
#5. Philadelphia University
The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that was established in 1740.
The PA program at UPenn is administered by the PCOM’s Physician Assistant Studies Department for Master’s students. Additionally, the PA program comprises of fourteen (14) months of classroom teaching and twelve (12) months of clinical rotations in various medical disciplines.
Interestingly, first-time writers at this PA school in Pennsylvania always record a 100% success in PANCE.
Moreover, the admission requirements for UPenn’s PA program include:
- Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S, U.K or Canadian college or university preferably in a science or health-related discipline.
- Candidates should have a TOEFL score of 79 with at least 26 in the speaking section of the test.
UPenn has an acceptance rate of 9%. a graduation rate of 95%, and a student-faculty ratio of 6:1. The tuition fees for the PA program at Upenn are $49,830 for the first year, $40,202 for the second, and $9,259 for the remaining months.
Address: Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States
#6. Drexel University
The University of Drexel is a private research university that was established by Anthony .J. Drexel in 1891.
The College of Nursing and Health profession for Master’s students at Drexel administers the PA program. Upon completion of the PA program, students will be eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).
To be eligible for the PA program at Drexel, the student must have a bachelor’s and a minimum GPA of 3.0. In a situation whereby the applicant does not have a bachelor’s degree, 90 specific semester credit hours will serve as a replacement.
Furthermore, Drexel University which is among the best PA schools in Pennsylvania has an acceptance rate of 79%, a graduation rate of 68%, and a student-faculty ratio of 11:1. In addition, the tuition fee for the PA program at Drexel is $786 per credit hour.
Drexel University holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Address: 3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States
#7. Chatham University
Chatham University is a private university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that was founded in 1869. It has coeducational academic programs through the doctoral level.
This PA school in Pennsylvania has an acceptance rate of 55%, a graduation rate of 55%, and the student-faculty ratio is 10:1. The tuition fees at Chatham is $37,611.
Address: 1 Woodland Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15232, United States
#8. DeSales University
DeSales University is a private Catholic university in Center Valley, Pennsylvania that was established in 1964. It offers traditional, online, and hybrid courses and programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The PA program at DeSales is an intensive discipline that requires a minimum of 18 credit hours per semester. It takes a duration of five years to complete. In the same vein, the Physician Assistant program holds accreditation from the Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP).
DeSales gains accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
Address: 2755 Station Ave, Center Valley, PA 18034, United States
#9. Gannon University
Gannon University is a private Catholic university in Erie, Pennsylvania.
The Physician Assistant Department for Master’s students at this Pennsylvania school administers the PA program. Besides, the duration of the program is for five (5) years.
In addition, the institution combines the bachelor and master’s programs together. Upon completion, the student earns a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science and a Master of Physician Assistant Science degree.
However, the admission requirements include:
Firstly, the applicant must be a high school graduate.
Secondly, the candidate must possess a GPA of at least 3.2, an SAT score of 1140 or an ACT score of 23.
Thirdly, the student should provide letters of recommendation.
On the other hand, Gannon which is among the top PA schools in Pennsylvania has an acceptance rate of 80% and a graduation rate of 65%. The tuition fees for the PA program at Gannon University is $16,530 each year.
Gannon University gains accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
Address: 109 University Square, Erie, PA 16541, United States
#10. Misericordia University
Misericordia University is a private Catholic liberal arts university in Dallas, Pennsylvania that was established in 1924 as College Misericordia. However, the institution changed its name to Misericordia University in 2007.
Meanwhile, Misericordia University’s College of Health Science and Education for Master’s students administers the PA program here. This Physician Assistant (PA) school is one of the best because a student’s chances of scoring a 90% PANCE rate as a first-time-taker is highly possible.
Furthermore, the admission requirement for the PA program at Misericordia stipulates that the applicants possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited regionally college or university. In addition, the student must have a CASPA-calculated GPA of at least 3.2 overall and in science and show proficiency in English.
The acceptance rate of Misericordia University is 79%, the graduation rate is 72%, and the student-faculty ratio is 11:1. The tuition fee for the PA program at the university is $12,360 every year excluding other fees.
Address: 301 Lake Street, Dallas, PA 18612, United States
#11. University of the Sciences
The University of the Sciences is a private university in Philadelphia, the United States that was founded in 1821.
The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in pharmacy and other health-related programs. It has three colleges including the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Samson College of Health Sciences, and Misher College of Arts & Sciences.
USciences has an acceptance rate of 61% and a graduation rate of 72%. Its student-faculty ratio is 6:1 while the tuition fees at USciences is $25,000.
The university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Address: 600 S 43rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States
#12. Lock Haven University
Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania is a public university in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania that was established in 1870. The university offers 69 undergraduate and 4 graduate programs.
Meanwhile, the Lockhaven University’s Department of Physician Assistant Studies for Master’s students administers the PA program here. The PA program lasts for two years at this Pennsylvania school. In addition, students will be required to work in several clinical settings such as Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties.
The admission requirements for the PA program here include:
- Applicants should a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
- Candidates must have completed the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within the past three years.
- Finally, applicants must possess a cumulative grade point of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
Furthermore, the tuition fees for a first-year resident is $33,089 and $46,988 for non-PA residents. However, the second-year tuition fee for a resident is $28,327 and $39,937 non-PA residents respectively.
Address: 401 N Fairview St, Lock Haven, PA 17745, United States
#13. Marywood University
Marywood University is a Catholic liberal arts university in Scranton, Pennsylvania that was founded in 1915 by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The university has an enrollment of over 2,800 students. It offers a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs out of which a Physician Assistant is among.
However, the Physician Assistant (PA) program at Marywood comprises of the didactic and the clinical levels. Both of them lasts for a year each, thereby making the duration of the PA program to be two (2) years.
The admission requirements for the PA program at Marywood include:
- Applicants 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.
- Candidates must have credit in science courses at a Science Major Level.
- Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0.
- Prospective PA students should provide three letters of recommendation.
Additionally, this school in Pennsylvania that offers a PA program has an acceptance rate of 75% and a graduation rate of 67%. The tuition fees for the PA program at Marywood is $79,000.
Address: 2300 Adams Ave, Scranton, PA 18509, United States
#14. Seton Hill University
Seton Hill University is a Catholic liberal arts university in Greensburg, Pennsylvania that was established in 1885. Initially, the university was a women’s college but in 2002, it became a coeducational university.
The admission requirements for a PA program at this school in Pennsylvania include:
- Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college
- Candidates must have a minimum GPA of 3.2 and above
- International applicants must provide good TOEFL and IELTS scores
On the other hand, Seton Hill University has an acceptance rate of 75% and a graduation rate of 59%. The tuition fees for a PA program at this institution is $1,067 per credit hour.
Address: 1 Seton Hill Dr, Greensburg, PA 15601, United States
#15. King’s College
King’s College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
It has an enrollment of 2,025 undergraduate students. Popular majors at King’s College include Accounting, Health Professions, and Business.
Furthermore, the school has an acceptance rate of 71% and a graduation rate of 65%. The student-faculty ratio at King’s College is 14:1.
The tuition fees for at King’s College are as follows:
- Students entering the professional phase of the Physician Assistant Program pay $45,318
- Didactic/Clinical year costs $45,318
This school in Pennsylvania that offers PA programs gains accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Address: 133 N River St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711, United States
Becoming a Physician Assistant is usually a great way to render healthcare services to humanity. However, you must have to consider several factors before deciding which Physician Assistant (PA) school to attend in Pennsylvania.
But first, you should find out if the program you’re enrolling for is fully accredited.
Hence, you can find some of the best PA schools in Pennsylvania in this article. This Physician Assistant (PA) schools in Pennsylvania ranks among the best in the world.
FAQs on the Best Physician Assistant (PA) Schools in Pennsylvania
At what age can I apply for a PA school?
The average age to apply for a PA program is 26 years old.
What average GPA do I need to apply to a PA school?
You will need an average GPA of 3.36 to 3.47. Most PA schools will require the above GPA.
Is a PA higher than an RN?
Yes. This is because as physician assistants carry out many of the same duties as doctors, so they are required to acquire more education and training than compared to most RNs.
Can a Physician Assistant perform surgery?
If the doctor the Physician Assistant is working with certifies that the PA can perform certain surgical procedures, the PA will be allowed to do so. Generally, physician assistants may take may assist a doctor during surgery. Surgeons will perform complex procedures while PAs will perform preoperative care and care for the patient after the procedure during the patient’s recovery.
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