The DeSales University Physician Assistant program has a graduation rate exceeding both the regional and national averages.

Medical Studies is an intensive, “honors” type program that completes the undergraduate requirements in three years and leads directly without further application to the two year Physician Assistant Program.  This is designed for high-achieving students who are confident of their career choice and enjoy the challenge of rigorous scientific studies.  The curriculum has at least 18 credit hours per semester and is closely monitored by their advisor, a PA Program faculty member, so that the student receives all the required courses.

The deadline to complete your application file for the Medical Studies major is December 15.
All interviews must be completed by January 15.



Students are encouraged to apply early in their senior year.  The student must first be accepted by the University and identify themselves as interested in the Medical Studies major.  If minimum GPA and SAT/ACT requirements are met, an interview is then scheduled with the PA Program.  The deadline for application to the Medical Studies major is December 15 and all interviews must be completed by January 15.  The PA Program faculty individually select all candidates for this major and, once in the program, a seat in the graduate PA Program is reserved for the student.  Candidates are selected based on their academic record, their motivation for health care, and their potential for future growth.  DeSales University welcomes applications from all qualified students regardless of race, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin. 

There is no single, preferred high school course of study or specific classes required, but a college preparatory curriculum is highly recommended. 

To continue in the Medical Studies major, the student must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in the required sciences and overall each semester.  To matriculate in their senior year to the PA Program, the student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 overall and in the required sciences and have completed at least 250 healthcare hours.  If the GPA requirement is not met in any semester, the student is placed on probation.  The second time this is not met the student loses his/her guaranteed seat in the PA Program and must change into another major.  If the student still wishes to pursue the PA degree at DeSales University, transition into the BA in Biology major is recommended and application to the Master’s PA Program in their senior year through CASPA is necessary. 

Learn more about the Graduate Program

DeSales Physician Assistant Program News

Housing Available for Graduate Students Next Fall

by Katherine Bortz '15 | Nov 21, 2013

DeSales University Heights 1 through 6
With the rapid construction of the Upperclassmen Village on campus, a few members of the DeSales community will now have the chance to fully integrate as residents. Upon completion of the Village, Heights one through six (pictured above) will be renovated and converted into graduate housing for up to 24 students.

“We’re starting to become committed to graduate housing, and not only because we have the extra space,” said Dr. Gerard Joyce, vice president of student life. “It’s about time that [the University] gave graduate students the option to live on campus.”

Each of the six Heights will be able to house four graduate students who will have their own rooms. Alongside this, they will be able to share a communal kitchen and living space. The Heights will be available on a one-year lease program, with rooms going on a first-come-first-serve basis.

“We’re really excited to move into graduate housing,” said Joyce. “We’ve gotten a lot of demand for graduate housing in the past, and we’ve had to turn the students away because we didn’t have the room.”

Joyce, along with Linda Zerbe, dean of students, and Katy Kregse, director of housing operations, hope to have housing available for graduate students by August, but are aware that some programs begin in the summer. Accommodations would be made for those participating in these programs in other dorms until the Heights are complete.

Graduate students who decide to live in the Heights will also have the option to receive a modified meal plan, where they will be able to purchase meals at the DeSales University Center and supplies at the Bishop McShea Student Union.

The applications and forms to complete for graduate housing are still in the works, but should be available in the near future. For more information, feel free to contact Kregse at

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The DeSales Free Clinic at the Allentown Rescue Mission

The DeSales Free Clinic at the Allentown Rescue Mission opened in January 2007 in an effort to bring healthcare to the homeless. The clinic is staffed by DeSales students and faculty and has treated more than 900 patients since it opened. No patient is ever turned away or charged for services, and the operation is run entirely on donations. 

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