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Master of Science in Health Sciences Physician Assistant Studies (MS)

PCOM's Physician Assistant program is designed to prepare the student for comprehensive practice in a variety of clinical settings following completion of the second year of the program. The goals and objectives of our program are guided by the criteria set forth by the Standards and Guidelines for an Accredited Education Program for the Physician Assistant. The program has received full accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), and graduates are eligible to sit for the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) examination for national certification and regional, local and national licensure.


PCOM participates in the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). You may obtain additional information about CASPA and apply online at www.caspaonline.org. CASPA applications become available for 2013-2014 enrollment on April 17, 2013. All applications must be esubmitted, completed and verified by CASPA no later than December 1, 2013, along with CASPA's required processing fee. Upon the receipt of your released CASPA application by the Office of Admissions, a required supplemental application will be sent to each candidate via email.

The final deadline to submit the completed supplemental application and required $50 fee is January 3, 2014. However, we recommend that you submit it as soon as possible as we use a rolling admissions process. Interviews are typically conducted between the months of September through February.

Applicants must send official transcript from all colleges and universities attended directly to CASPA. Only once enrolled at PCOM must a candidate submit official copies of all college transcripts directly to the PCOM Office of Admissions.

Applicants must also submit three letters of recommendation to directly to CASPA. Others may be sent to PCOM's Office of Admissions directly. Regardless, ONE recommendation MUST be from a Physician, Physician Assistant, or Nurse Practitioner.

Standardized test scores are not required for admission.

When all credentials are on file with CASPA, they will be verified, processed and sent to PCOM. Supplemental applications will then be added to the processed CASPA file and the complete application file will be evaluated for admission. Interviews will be offered to those who qualify.

Selection for the PA program at PCOM is very competitive. The following requirements represent the minimum criteria for consideration for admission. Successful applicants will generally exceed the minimum criteria. At the time of application, candidates must have the pre-requisites completed or be able to provide a plan in writing that demonstrates the completion of the pre-requisites prior to enrollment in the program (this can be achieved by completing the "Planned or In Progress Coursework" section of CASPA).


It is the responsibility of each applicant to meet the following minimum requirements:

General Biology I 4 Lab required
General Biology II 4 Lab required
Other Biology Coursework 3 examples: Microbiology, Genetics, Cell Biology, etc.
Anatomy and Physiology 8 Can be taken as separate courses or combined as Anatomy and Physiology I & II. Lab required.
General Chemistry I 4 Lab required
General Chemistry II 4 Lab required
Other Chemistry Coursework 3 examples: Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry
Health related Science Course or Physics 3 examples: Physics, Nutrition, Immunology, Virology, Microbiology, Genetics, Cell Biology, etc.
Social Sciences 9 examples: Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, etc.
Math 6 Statistics is considered an acceptable Math course

Competitive applicants must:

  • Have completed all the above prerequisite coursework prior to enrollment with a grade of at least a "C" or 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Have all science and math prerequisites completed within the last 10 years.
  • Have obtained a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher on a 4.0 scale (as calculated by CASPA) for all undergraduate coursework completed.
  • Have documented through CASPA 200 hours of direct patient contact experience in volunteerism or employment in the health care industry.
  • Completed a baccalaureate degree preferably in science or a health-related field, from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom prior to matriculation.

Other considerations:

  • Applicants with graduate degrees and/or five years of health care experience and/or other unique circumstances or qualifications may be considered on an individual basis for waiver of selected published requirements. However, all candidates must have earned a bachelors degree prior to enrollment, excluding dual-degree candidates.
  • Waiving of any criteria can only be assessed during the formal application review.
  • Standardized test scores are not required for admission with the following exception for English language testing. Fluency in written and spoken English is essential for success in the program and to ensure patient safety. Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate objective competency in English within the past two years by satisfactory performance on the TOEFL and TSE examinations. The minimum required score for the IBT (Internet Based Testing) is 79 and a minimum score of 26 is required for the speaking component.
  • Applications are not accepted from individuals ineligible to be licensed as a Physician Assistant under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

To ensure that students accepted to PCOM will be permitted to perform clerkships during their second year of study, and thus ensure them the opportunity to successfully complete their MS degree requirements, PCOM requires all first year PA students to complete a criminal background check prior to matriculation. All students must have their criminal background checks processed through PreCheck. The Admissions Office will send notification of the process after confirmation of enrollment and must have this information on file prior to orientation; students will not be allowed to start classes without this information.

International Applicants
An international applicant is an applicant who is not a United States citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) and requires a student visa (F-1) to study in the United States.

Once an international applicant is accepted and confirmed in a program, he/she must submit an affidavit of Financial Responsibility and all original bank and financial documentation to the PCOM Registrar. The international applicant must document that he/she has sufficient funds to cover tuition, room and board (in U.S. dollars) for the entire length of his/her program. 

If the applicant has been admitted to either the D.O. or PA program, he/she is required to deposit the necessary funds into a U.S. bank account. If using a sponsor, funding must be in a U.S. bank account under the applicant’s name. These funds must be sufficient to cover costs of the entire program before an I-20 is issued. The U.S. bank account funds must be physically located inside the United States.
Upon receipt of all required information in the PCOM Registrar’s Office, it will be presented to the PCOM Office of Finance (CFO) for verification and is subject to the approval of that office prior to the issuance of the I-20 by the Registrar.

It is the sole responsibility of the confirmed applicant to determine if the degree received from PCOM and any licenses obtained in the United States will enable the applicant to practice a particular profession in his or her home country (or in any other country in which he/she desires to practice).  PCOM does not guarantee that any particular country (other than the United States) will allow the practice of the profession for which a PCOM degree is received and United States licensing is obtained.

The Physician Assistant program does not offer advanced placement based upon transfer of credits for academic work completed at other institutions of higher learning or upon credit from experiential learning. Applications are not accepted from graduates of medical schools.

The Admissions Committee reserves the right to accept or reject applications to the chosen program based on merit. Following completion of the admissions process, applicants will be notified of the Admissions Committee's decision in writing, including any conditions that must be satisfied prior to or following enrollment. Once admitted, candidates who wish to enroll are asked to review and acknowledge PCOM's Technical Standards for Admission and Matriculation along with a $500 non-refundable deposit. The acceptance packet will contain all materials required for enrollment.

For questions regarding submission of the CASPA application, contact CASPA directly at caspainfo@caspaonline.org or 617-612-2080.

For questions regarding the PCOM application process contact us via email at PAadmissions@pcom.edu or call 215-871-6700.

PCOM Admissions Office
4170 City Avenue, Evans Hall
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19131
Telephone: (215) 871-6700
Fax: (215) 871-6719


Last Updated: 10/13/14