College of Health Sciences

Physician Assistant Academic Policies and Procedures

A student accepted into the Physician Assistant (PA) program is expected to abide by the regulations set forth by Arcadia University and the written policies of the Physician Assistant program. For a discussion of the general academic policies and procedures for graduate students, see the Academic Policies section and the Student Handbook. The policies of the PA program are published in the Physician Assistant Policies and Guidelines Handbook, revised annually and provided to students at orientation.

(A3.15a/A3.15b) To remain in good academic standing, students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.70 in each semester. Failure to meet this standard for two consecutive semesters will result in the student being dismissed from the program.

All courses in the PA curriculum are required and are sequential, and students must receive a minimum grade of “C” in courses before progressing in the program. If a grade lower than a “C” is earned in a course, it is considered a failing grade and the student will be dismissed from the program.

In order to progress to the clinical phase of the program, the student must have no course grades below “C” and a minimum GPA of 2.70 (“B–”). The student also must successfully complete the core competency examination, and obtain permission of the PA program. If this minimum GPA requirement has not been met by the end of the didactic phase, students will not be allowed to enter the clinical phase and will be dismissed from the program. The student also must meet all compliance issues, which include immunizations and physical examination, criminal background checks and drug screening.

In the second year of the program, the student must continue to maintain a minimum 2.70 cumulative GPA. In addition, students must pass a comprehensive written and practical exam. Students who fail one clinical rotation may be allowed to repeat the clinical rotation and must meet all academic requirements, and receive departmental permission before continuing into the next clinical affiliation. Permission to continue is dependent upon the cause of the unsatisfactory performance and is determined by the program in consultation with clinical preceptors, the clinical coordinators, the program director and the student. Failure of an additional clinical rotation experience will result in the student being dismissed from the program. Students who must repeat a rotation will be billed at the prevailing credit fee.

(A3.15d) Students who withdraw or are dismissed from the program and who want to re-enter must apply for readmission within six months of departure. Permission to do so will be determined by the Academic Review Committee after careful, deliberate consideration. Based upon a review of their performance, those students may be re-admitted with the possibility of advanced standing.

Student Work Policy

(A3.15e) Due to the intensity of the PA program, students are discouraged from outside employment while enrolled in the PA program. Employment during this program makes it difficult to have time for social activities, hobbies and recreational activities, and rest. Students are prohibited from applying compensated clinical experience toward academic credit. 

(A3.05) Additionally, students may not provide services within a preceptor’s practice apart from those rendered as part of the clinical year of the program. Students are not permitted to have clerical or teaching responsibilities within the PA program. Students may not receive compensation for any work performed within the preceptor’s site or practice.