Department Detail

Physician Assistant

Our Physician Assistant Program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).  Unique to the program is our non-competitive team approach and our specialized clinical tracks.

Visit Website



The Physician Assistant (PA) Program at Marywood University is committed to providing students with an exceptional education in a supportive and nurturing environment.

This professional education will include the knowledge necessary to diagnose, treat, educate, and empower patients in a variety of settings, across the lifespan.

We acknowledge that patients are more than their physical bodies and so the program is dedicated to teaching students the appreciation of the patients' spirit, as well as caring for their bodies.

This program is committed to preparing the student to deal with the changing health care environment while promoting the PA  profession.

Marywood’s PA Program will emphasize the importance of sharing knowledge with future PA students, while providing leadership in the community. The Marywood University PA Program has an awareness of the need for quality health care, both regionally and globally: and this program will assist our students in carrying out Marywood’s goal for all students — learning to live and practice responsibly in an interdependent world.

PA Program Objectives:

  1. To provide students with the knowledge, skills and experience to be successful, competent Physician Assistants.
  2. To prepare students to participate as effective members of an interdisciplinary healthcare team in the promotion of health, prevention of illness, and care of diverse populations across the lifespan.
  3. To develop effective interpersonal and communication skills within the medical community.
  4. To encourage students to incorporate Marywood University's goal of learning to live and practice medicine responsibly in an interdependent world.
  5. To develop as professionals and leaders at local, state, and national levels, shaping future policy and legislation to promote Physician Assistant practice.

Academic Flexibility

Multiple Points of Entry:

  • Enter as a Freshman – Five-year program
  • Enter as a Transfer – Two- to five-year program based on approved credits for advanced standing
  • Enter as a Graduate Student – Those with a B.S. may earn their master’s degree in PA studies after 24 months.

Program Overview 

The five-year program consists of two distinct phases: The Pre-Professional Phase (years 1-3), and the Professional Phase (years 4 -5). The curriculum for the Professional phase is further divided into a Didactic and Clinical period. 

The Pre-Professional Phase 

During this phase of the program students undertake a period of study to meet the liberal arts core requirements and the science requirements to prepare for admittance to the Professional phase of the program. A description of this program can be found in the undergraduate catalog. 

The Professional Phase 

This consists of 24 months of continuous study in the clinical sciences. The first 12 months are didactic and include classroom and laboratory work in basic and applied medical science. The final 12 months are clinical rotations. These are performed at local, regional, and national clinical sites such as hospitals and medical offices, providing experiences in the areas of pediatrics, surgery, orthopedic surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and emergency room medicine. During this phase students will be required to complete a Professional Contribution paper/project or Thesis. 

Clinical Concentration/SpecialtyTrack Options 

In the fifth year of the program, eligible students will be able to apply for specialty tracks to focus their clinical exposure and acumen. These tracks are General Medicine (Primary Care), Orthopedics/Sports Medicine, Hospitalist (In-patient Medicine), Pediatrics, General Surgery, and Emergency Medicine. Students will have to apply to the Specialty track of interest, and enrollment will be limited. The tracks serve to allow students an opportunity to refine their clinical abilities within an area of specialization. These tracks do not make a student a specialist. No certification is conferred beyond that of the M.S. in PA Studies. 

The Professional Phase Requirements: 

The successful completion of the Pre-Professional Phase at Marywood University or a bachelor’s degree from another college or university. 

  • A minimum overall QPA of 3.00
  • A minimum overall QPA of 3.00 in the following required science courses:
    • 2 semesters of General Chemistry with labs
    • 2 semesters of General Biology with labs
    • 1 semester of Microbiology with lab
    • 2 semesters of Anatomy and Physiology with labs
    • 2 semesters of Organic Chemistry with labs
    • Medical Terminology course
    • In most cases these courses must have been completed within the last seven years
  • GRE scores
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A minimum of 500 documented direct patient care hours
  • A minimum of 50 hours shadowing a PA is recommended
  • Completion of Technical Standards (upon acceptance to the program)
  • Submission of an application through CASPA (Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants). The application deadline is November 1.
  • Successful interview by the Physician Assistant Selection Committee. Final acceptance to the Professional Phase is ultimately based not only on performance in the prerequisite sciences and overall academic performance but also on the student’s desire for and understanding of the profession, clinical experience, demonstration of maturity, self-confidence, and good interpersonal skills.
  • Marywood University currently does not accept transfer credits from other Professional PA Programs nor does Marywood offer advanced placement or credit for experiential learning.
  • Due to Affiliation Agreements with clinical sites, several background checks and screenings are required.

Degree Conferral and Certification

Those students entering the program as undergraduates will be awarded the B.S. in Pre-Physician Assistant Studies upon successful completion of the PA curriculum through year four. Students successfully completing the Professional Phase (years four and five) of the PA Program are awarded the Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies and are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Once a candidate passes the examination, he/she is certified to perform a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services under the supervision of a licensed physician.

Accreditation and Memberships

Marywood University’s Physician Assistant Program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). We are institutional members of the Association of Physician Assistant Programs (APAP) and The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the only national organization that represents physician assistants in all specialties and all employment settings.

Year 4 – PA Didactic Phase


PA 510 Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis I
PA 522 Medical Anatomy and Physiology (at the Commonwealth Medical College)
PA 540 Medical Microbiology
PA 503 Culturally Competent Medicine and Underserved Populations
PA 542 Laboratory Medicine I
PA 530 Clinical Medicine I


PA 501 Clinical Correlations I
PA 511 Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis II
PA 520A Pathophysiology I
PA 531 Clinical Medicine II
PA 550  Pharmacology I
PA 571  Pediatrics I
PA 532  Orthopedics
PA 545  Laboratory Medicine II
PA 543 EKG Interpretation


PA 502 Clinical Correlations II
PA 533 Clinical Medicine III
PA 551 Pharmacology II
PA 521A  Pathophysiology II
PA 547  Critical Care
PA 552 Emergency Medicine
PA 553 General Surgery
PA 554 Medical Nutrition
PA 563 Professional Practice
PA 512 Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis III
PA 573 Pedriatrics II

Year 5 – PA Clinical Phase


PA 600 Clinical Rotation 1
PA 601 Clinical Rotation 2
PA 602 Clinical Rotation 3


PA 603 Clinical Rotation 4
PA 604 Clinical Rotation 5
PA 605 Clinical Rotation 6


PA 606 Clinical Rotation 7
PA 607 Clinical Rotation 8
PA 608 Clinical Rotation 9
PA 609 Clinical Rotation 10

Physician Assistant Website