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Entry-Level Master's Physician Assistant

As medical providers, physician assistants perform physical examinations, order laboratory and diagnostic testing, make diagnoses and prescribe medicines to treat various diseases with the supervision of a physician.

The mission of the Quinnipiac University entry-level master's physician assistant program is to begin the education and preparation of masters-level physician assistants who practice with physicians and other members of the health care team. The program has been designed to benefit from faculty expertise in both the graduate and undergraduate divisions as well as practitioners from a variety of clinical settings and specialties. These collaborative strategies are intended to prepare graduates to enter the physician assistant profession and ultimately become outstanding health care providers.

The program offers the qualified pre-physician assistant student the opportunity to pursue a master's degree in the physician assistant program at Quinnipiac. The program is divided into a four-year preprofessional component and a 27-month professional component. To progress to the professional phase, all ELMPA courses and program requirements must be completed within four years. Following successful completion of the preprofessional component, students receive a bachelor of science in health science studies.

This program is not available to undergraduate transfer students.

Watch a video about the ELMPA program on the University's YouTube Channel.

Requirements and Standards

The program offers the qualified pre-physician assistant student the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree in the physician assistant program at Quinnipiac. The program is divided into a four-year pre-professional component and a 27-month professional component. Following successful completion of the pre-professional component, students receive a bachelor of science in health science studies.

The pre-professional component provides students with a well-rounded education and a strong focus in biological and health science studies. This very structured and organized undergraduate program not only prepares students for the rigors of the professional component of the program, but also introduces students to the role and responsibilities of physician assistants. The program addresses the need for medical experience by providing students with emergency medical technician (EMT) training as well as extensive time shadowing and mentoring with practicing physician assistants. EMT ride time and shadowing experiences take place at off-campus sites, generally within 50 miles of the Mount Carmel Campus. Students are responsible for transportation to and from all off-campus sites. In addition, students must meet specific program health requirements for participation in the shadowing experiences. Program costs associated with the preclinical affiliations and EMT course, including uniform, parking, certification exam, health requirements documentation, background check and additional program fees are the responsibility of the student.

Program Requirements
Initial evaluation of the pre-physician assistant student by the Review and Evaluation Committee takes place at the end of the spring semester of the second year. To continue in the program, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a minimum cumulative science GPA of 3.0. Following the initial evaluation, students are evaluated after completion of each semester. Failure to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a minimum cumulative science GPA of 3.0 results in dismissal from the program. In addition, a minimum GPA (both cumulative and science) is required for participation in preclinical affiliations.

By the fourth year, students are required to have accumulated at least 1,000 hours of documented direct patient contact through summer paid and/or volunteer experiences (e.g., certified nurse’s aide, phlebotomy technician, emergency room technician). While patient contact hours must be pre-approved by program faculty, students are responsible for making their own arrangements to obtain these clinical hours.

Technical Standards
All students entering the graduate physician assistant program at Quinnipiac University must be able to meet the established abilities and expectations of the graduate PA program technical standards, which can be found on the program's website. Upon admission to the ELMPA program, students are required to review and verify that they understand the technical standards requirement. Prior to participation in the preclinical experiences, the student's primary care provider must verify, based on a complete history and physical examination, that the student meets the technical standards of the graduate PA program. In the event that a student is unable to fulfill these technical standards, he/she may not be able to participate in preclinical affiliations and may not be able to progress to the graduate PA program.

Background Checks
Students should be aware that certain preclinical sites may require a criminal background check before a student is placed in the clinic or intern site. The University has procedures to assist students in obtaining such a background check. The cost of the background check is the responsibility of each individual student. All students are required to have a new or updated background check upon progression to the graduate physician assistant program.

Requirements for Progression to the Graduate Physician Assistant Program
In order for a student in the entry-level master's physician assistant program to progress to the graduate physician assistant program at Quinnipiac University, the student must successfully complete all requirements to obtain a BS degree in health science studies, including all prerequisite courses for PA program admission. Students progressing to the professional phase of the program may not have any course failures or grades of incomplete, and no outstanding academic integrity or professionalism issues at the time of progression. In addition, students must meet the established requirements for direct patient contact hours and EMT certification. Prior to beginning the physician assistant program, students meet with a faculty member from the Department of Physician Assistant Studies for a final academic review. The student must meet all  academic, curricular, professional, health and immunization, background check and technical standards requirements of the PA program to matriculate into the program.

Admission to the Program

Candidates applying for admission to the entry-level master’s physician assistant program are required to have: a minimum of three years of high school mathematics including geometry, algebra and precalculus; one year of biology; one year of chemistry and one year of physics. In addition, advanced electives in the biological sciences are recommended. Related health care experience is highly desirable.

Prospective candidates must also satisfy the admission requirements of Quinnipiac. Transfer students are not admitted to the entry-level master’s physician assistant program. Admission into the pre-professional component of the program does not guarantee admission into the professional component of the program.

Please see the physician assistant program curriculum for information relative to the professional component of the program. Applicants to the program must be able to meet the technical standards set forth by the graduate physician assistant program.

Requirements for Progression to the Graduate Physician Assistant Program
In order for a student in the entry-level master's physician assistant program to progress to the graduate physician assistant program at Quinnipiac University, the student must successfully complete all requirements to obtain a BS degree in health science studies, including all prerequisite courses for PA program admission. Students progressing to the professional phase of the program may not have any course failures or grades of incomplete, and no outstanding academic integrity or professionalism issues at the time of progression. In addition, students must meet the established requirements for direct patient contact hours and EMT certification. Prior to beginning the physician assistant program, students meet with a faculty member from the Department of Physician Assistant Studies for a final academic review. The student must meet all academic, curricular, professional, health and immunization, background check and technical standards requirements of the PA program to matriculate into the program.

Curriculum

First Year

Fall Semester
Course Title Credits
BIO 101 General Biology I (UC) 4
EN 101 Elements of Composition I (UC) 3
MA 141 Calculus of a Single Variable (UC) 3
CHE 110 General Chemistry I 4
QU 101 The Individual in the Community 3
Total 17
Spring Semester
BIO 102 General Biology II (UC) 4
EN 102 Elements of Composition II (UC) 3
UC Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Science 3
CHE 111 General Chemistry II 4
PY 104 PA Seminar I 1
Total 15
Summer I, Patient Contact Hours


Second Year

Fall Semester
Course Title Credits
BIO 211 Anatomy & Physiology I 4
CHE 210 Organic Chemistry I 4
PHY 110 General Physics 4
PY 388 Clinical Training (EMT)* 3
Total 15
Spring Semester
BIO 212 Anatomy & Physiology II 4
CHE 211 Organic Chemistry II 4
PY 397 Pre-Health Clinical Affiliation 3
PY 389 Clinical Training II (EMT)* 3
QU 201 National Community 3
Total 17
Summer II, Patient Contact Hours


Third Year

Fall Semester
Course Title Credits
BIO/BMS Core Science elective 3-4
BMS 318 Pathophysiology 3
BMS 370 General Microbiology 4
UC Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Science 3
UC Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Science 3
Total 16-17
Spring Semester
BMS 203 Introduction to Medical Terminology 2
BMS 304 or CHE 315 Biological Chemistry 3-4
BIO/BMS Core Science Elective 3-4
PY 400 Pre-Physician Assistant Clerkship 3
QU 301 Global Community 3
Total 14-16
Summer III, Patient Contact Hours


Fourth Year

Fall Semester
Course Title Credits
BIO/BMS Science elective 3-4
BIO/BMS Core Science elective 3-4
PY 401 Introduction to Clinical Problem Solving 3
BMS 200 UC Elective (Biology of Aging) 3
UC Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Science 3
Total 15-17
Spring Semester
PY 204 PA Seminar II 1
BMS 332 Histology 4
BIO/BMS Science Elective 3-4
UC UC Elective 3
UC Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Science 3
Total 14-15

Total number of credits required for completion of the preprofessional component: 122
* If student has current EMT licensure on admission to the program, two additional science electives are taken in place of PY 388 and PY 389.

Students who have earned advanced placement credit or other college credit in an introductory-level science course are encouraged to still take BIO 101/102 and CHE 110/111 at Quinnipiac. Students opting out of those courses are required to take the equivalent number of hours at a higher level in the same area of course work. Students with AP credits in non-science courses may elect to take only 14 credits in the fall semester of the first year.

Acceptable Core Science Electives (must take at least three of the following):

  • BMS 310 Neuroanatomy I (3 credits)
  • BMS 320 Pharmacology (3 credits)
  • BMS 325 Toxicology (3 credits)
  • BMS 330 Endocrine Physiology (3 credits)
  • BMS 372 Pathogenic Microbiology (3 credits)
  • BMS 375 or HSC 375 Immunology (3-4 credits)
  • BIO 350 Cardiovascular Physiology (3 credits)

Additional Science Electives - take two courses (can choose from core science electives or from this list):

  • BIO 282 or BIO 471 Genetics (3-4 credits)
  • BIO 298 Research Methods in Biology or BMS 278 Research and Technology  (3 credits)
  • BIO 328 Human Clinical Parasitology (4 credits)
  • BIO 329 Neurobiology (3 credits)
  • BIO 346 Cell Physiology (4 credits)
  • BMS 378 Vaccines and Vaccine Preventable Diseases (3 credits)
  • BMS 473 Infections of Leisure or BMS 474 Power of Plagues (3 credits)
  • BMS 482 Independent Study (with permission) (2-4 credits)
  • BMS 595 Transplantation Immunology (with permission) (3 credits)
  • HSC 262 Nutrition in Health and Illness (3 credits)

Acceptable UC/Social Sciences

  • PS 101 Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)
  • PS 232 The Concept of Personality and Its Development (3 credits)
  • PS 261 Social Psychology (3 credits)
  • PS 262 Psychology of Women (3 credits)
  • PS 272 Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
  • SO 101 Introduction to Sociology (3 credits)
  • SO 280 Illness and Disability (3 credits)

Acceptable UC elective Outside Major

  • BMS 200 Biology of Aging (3 credits)
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Senior citizens learn about fall prevention from students

Sixty-four senior citizens from the area visited Quinnipiac University's Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences on the North Haven Campus on Tuesday, Sept. 23 to learn about fall prevention. Sept. 23 was National Falls Prevention Awareness Day.

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Simulation teaches students how to respond to medical errors

The University recently held a daylong training exercise to help students—future health professionals from several fields—learn how to work together to disclose an error to a patient and family member and make a plan to correct it.

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Information session for graduate PA program Nov. 8

The University will host an information session for prospective students interested in the graduate physician assistant program on Saturday, November 8 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the North Haven Campus.