Physician Assistants (PAs) are health professionals who practice medicine with supervision by licensed physicians.
PCOM has collaboration agreements with three undergraduate programs: University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia, and Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia. All schools offer programs of undergraduate preparation for the physician assistant profession. The undergraduate phase at each university includes solid grounding in natural and social science courses preparing the student for progression into the graduate phase, if progressive requirements are met. Candidates who are successful in the first phase of the undergraduate institution will be granted an interview for admission into PCOM's PA program. However, admission to PCOM’s PA program is not guaranteed.
Candidates from other institutions do not need to complete their prerequisite coursework at any of the aforementioned institutions in order to qualify for admission. The associations are useful to those looking to complete a bachelor's degree program, as either a first or second degree, that provides both the core science as well as a clinical foundation prior to entering an MS program in Physician Assistant Studies.
PCOM offers six-week rotations in the following disciplines: emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, prenatal/gynecology, general surgery, pediatrics and behavioral medicine. In addition to those seven core rotations, we offer the opportunity to students to select their own four-week elective rotation. PCOM has established affiliations across the country with hospitals, clinics and private practices.
PCOM encourages and is proud of its diverse PA class. The students vary in age, from students who are coming into the program directly from undergraduate studies to students that are pursuing second careers. Our students come prepared with a solid foundation in the biological, chemical and social sciences but have degrees ranging from bachelor's degrees in Biology to master's degrees in Public Health. Our students and alumni represent many different states around the United States.
Our program involves an intensive course of didactic and clinical medical education. It is extremely difficult to work during the didactic and/or the clinical phase of the program due to the intensity of the coursework. During the clinical preceptorship year, most of our students will average 50 or more hours per week in clinical learning activities.
There are a variety of housing options in the area available to our students. There is no on-campus housing.
There is a mandatory orientation that occurs a few days prior to the start of the academic year. Typically orientation is held in early June.
Information on the cost to attend PCOM's PA program. Information on tuition refund policies at PCOM can be found through the Bursar's Office Refund Policy page.
The Office of Admissions at PCOM offers visit events throughout the year as well as online information sessions.
Only selected applicants are interviewed. Admission to the PCOM PA program is very competitive. Interviews are scheduled from September through February each application cycle.
Yes, but in order for a candidate to be admissible to PCOM's PA Studies program, one must have a bachelor's degree completed prior to enrollment in the summer term (early June start).
Candidates complete the requirement in a variety of ways, some of which include: working as a certified nursing assistant, phlebotomist, LPN, EMT paramedic, etc. Many have experienced medicine overseas as volunteers in clinics. Any volunteer work or paid work in a clinical setting wherein candidates are either providing hands on care or witnessing care first hand can be acceptable, depending on the nature of the role. Shadowing experiences are counted and recommended.
Shadowing includes observing a PA in their daily clinical practice and offers the student the opportunity to understand the role and responsibility of a PA. The experience is extremely useful and should be obtained if possible. The experience should be documented and included in your application.
Along with a bachelor’s degree, candidates need to have completed the following with a grade of C or better:
Generally, it is acceptable to have 1-2 of those courses “in progress” so long as the acceptable grade of C or better is earned prior to the start of classes in June. All science and math prerequisites must have been completed within the last 10 years. Applicants with graduate degrees and/or over five years of health care experience may be considered on an individual basis.
The wait list is utilized to fill seats that open after interviews have concluded in February. The wait list is not ranked or ordered. Typically, candidates are selected as seats become available from February until classes begin in June. After all expected candidates arrive for orientation in June, those not selected will be sent a final decision letter.
CASPA allows candidates to apply beginning in mid-April for admission the following summer. Applications MUST be submitted through CASPA by Dec. 1 for Summer enrollment. Supplemental applications are sent via email to each candidate once PCOM receives the upload from CASPA. Supplemental applications are due no later than Jan. 1, however, applicants are reviewed for admission on a rolling basis, so it is strongly encouraged that candidates apply early. All degree candidates begin their studies in the summer term (mid-June start). Candidates are not permitted to begin out of sequence and may not reduce their course load.
Yes. Candidates must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (as calculated by CASPA) to be considered. Every candidate for admission is reviewed on an individual basis and GPAs of admitted candidates vary. However, the average for those admitted in 2012 was 3.47. Applicants with graduate degrees and/or over five years of health care experience may be considered on an individual basis.
Yes. Candidates may not apply for admission in any other manner. If a candidate is reapplying for admission, he/she must apply through CASPA again and the old file will be married with the new one, once received in the Office of Admissions.