College of Health Sciences

Physician Assistant

College of Health Sciences

Colleges / Schools

Medical Science



Program Types

Preparation for Careers in Today’s Rapidly Changing Medical Environment

Arcadia’s Physician Assistant (PA) program provides students from across the country with the foundation for professional growth through personal attention, quality instruction, diverse clinical experience, and a commitment to excellence. To that end, the program continues to enjoy an overall exceptional pass rate (A3.12c) on the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) board examinations, with a five-year first-time taker average pass rate for the program of 99%. 

The program's mission and goals produce graduates that are well-equipped to deliver high-quality, cost-effective health care in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, physicians' offices, and other community settings. Arcadia’s program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission of Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).

The Arcadia University Physician Assistant Experience

  • The PA Program is in the Department of Medical Science, in the College of Health Sciences which includes the departments of Physical Therapy and Public Health
  • One program with two campuses: Glenside, Pa., and Christiana, Del.
  • Option for Dual Degrees of Master of Medical Science—Physician Assistant and Master of Public Health (M.M.S., M.P.H.) at Glenside Campus
  • Technologically advanced 3D anatomy visualization tables for anatomy and physiology education that complements the protected human cadaver experience 
  • Clinical simulation experiences including standardized patients, training models, and multiple clinical skills and procedures training opportunities throughout the two years
  • Service and global opportunities in the didactic and clinical phases of the program
  • Advanced technology to enhance the educational experience including video capture lecture for synchronous and asynchronous learning and electronic note service to promote a collaborative learning environment
  • Eleven second-year program-secured clinical rotations consisting of seven required rotations (one of which is repeated) and three elective rotations


The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Arcadia University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Arcadia University (A3.12a). 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 2028. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy. The program’s accreditation history can be viewed when you can click on the "document" on the ARC-PA website.


(A3.12d) The first three semesters of the program consist of didactic and laboratory coursework in the basic and clinical sciences, including a 12-week anatomy course with a prosected cadaver experience. First-year,  didactic phase, students are introduced into clinical settings as part of the Medical Interview and Counseling course in the summer semester and these encounters continue into the clinical year. At the conclusion of the didactic phase, students complete their core competency examinations, receive training in clinical procedures and participate in standardized patient simulation experiences. During the clinical phase, in addition to coursework, students participate in supervised clinical experiences, standardized patient simulation experiences and return to campus periodically for exams and professional development days.

This is a 24-month program. At the discretion of the program director, students in the clinical phase may take up to a three-month leave of absence only. All degree requirements must be completed within 27 months.

Clinical Rotations

(A3.12d)The clinical phase consists of eleven rotations. There are seven required rotations (one of which will be repeated) in Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Behavioral Medicine, Internal Medicine, Women’s Health, Pediatrics, and Surgery. In addition, there are three clinical electives. Prospective and enrolled students are not required to solicit clinical sites or preceptors. Students are still allowed to suggest clinical sites or preceptors, as long as the program evaluates and approves those suggestions for educational suitability. All clinical preceptors and sites must meet the requirements of the program. Each student’s clinical year schedule is at the discretion of the program.  Changes to rotation schedules are not made at student’s request.” Faculty members perform site visits while the students attend their supervised clinical practical experiences. Every 12 weeks, the students return to campus for exams and professional development experiences.

Master of Public Health Dual Degree Option

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) prepares graduate Physician Assistants for leadership roles in meeting community healthcare needs. The M.P.H. program focuses on population health and includes the disciplines of epidemiology and biostatistics with an in-depth fieldwork thesis project oriented toward a student’s primary area of research interest. Students complete the coursework for the M.P.H. in the year prior to entering the PA program. More information.

The Arcadia University Physician Assistant Program graduates students who may sit for licensure in all 50 states.