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Frequently asked questions regarding Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine's Physician Assistant Studies program:REQUEST PROGRAM INFORMATION
Physician Assistants (PAs) are health professionals who practice medicine with supervision by licensed physicians.
For more information on the physician assistant profession, visit American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA).
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 is a mandatory orientation that occurs a few days prior to the start of the academic year. Typically orientation is held in early June.
The Office of Admissions at PCOM offers visit events throughout the year as well as online information sessions.
The PA program's rigorous curriculum contributes to our graduates' success. For additional
details regarding academic requirements, click on the topics listed below.
A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for progression from the didactic phase to the clinical preceptorship phase.
Failure to achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0 during the didactic or clinical phase could result in academic probation and the potential for dismissal from the program.
Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better to graduate.
All requirements for graduation must be completed within 4.5 calendar years from the first date of matriculation, regardless of whether any leave of absence was taken.
Any course failure makes the student liable for dismissal. In select situations, the student may be granted approval to remain enrolled in the program by completing a specially designed remediation program.
No, any course that is six (6) credit hours or more does not qualify for remediation and must be repeated at its next offering. This does not apply if the student has a previous course failure.
Students will have six (6) weeks from the first day of the next term to successfully complete remediation of the failed course.
Our admissions process is highly competitive.
We seek to identify the most qualified applicants with the prerequisite academic background, a strong interest in the PA career, excellent interpersonal skills, and the maturity necessary for Physician Assistant education. Click on the links below for additional information.
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.
Please visit the Physician Assistant Studies application requirements page for information regarding prerequisite coursework.
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. There is no supplemental application. However, when applying to PCOM through CASPA, you will be required to complete PCOM-specific questions before submitting your application.
All required application materials, including the $75 PCOM application fee (one fee per campus), must be received by the Office of Admissions no later than December 15 for PCOM and PCOM Georgia in order to be considered for admission.
Note that the application fee can only be paid online through the link sent via email at receipt of a verified and completed CASPA application. 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. Applicants must obtain an undergraduate science and cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale (as calculated by CASPA). Every candidate for admission is reviewed on an individual basis and GPAs of admitted candidates vary. To view recent class statistics, visit the Physician Assistant Studies application requirements page. Applicants with graduate degrees and/or more than 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.
PCOM Physician Assistant Studies program collaborates with one partner institution: the University of the Sciences (Philadelphia, PA) and its Physician Assistant, Undergraduate, Pre-Professional Program.
Students following this pathway matriculate into a physician assistant pre-professional program, leading to a Bachelor of Science degree from the undergraduate institution. 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 the aforementioned institution in order to qualify for admission. The association is 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.
For requirements and details on the programs, please contact the undergraduate institution or follow the links below.
For more information, visit the University of the Sciences website.