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

B. Braun Medical, Inc., Donates Medical Equipment to Healthcare Programs

by Tom McNamara | Dec 04, 2013

Fr. O'Connor and Caroll Neubauer Check Presentation

Caroll H. Neubauer, chairman and chief executive officer of B. Braun Medical, Inc. (right) presents a check to Fr. Bernard F. O’Connor, OSFS, president of DeSales University (left), representing the value of medical equipment and surgical instruments that the company donated to the school. The in-kind gift, valued at $140,000, is the largest donation that B. Braun has made in the history of the company.

The presentation was made in the clinical skills nursing laboratory in the Gambet Center for Business and Healthcare. Staff members from B. Braun and faculty and administrators from DeSales, including all the directors of the University’s healthcare programs, were present. The B. Braun group then received a tour of the building and stops included the simulation laboratories, standardized patient areas, and the gross anatomy laboratory.

Equipment donated to DeSales by B. Braun will be used primarily for skills training programs for nursing, nurse practitioner, and physician assistant students. In addition, B. Braun equipment is used in the major hospitals and health networks where DeSales nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants have their clinical placements. Having the opportunity to be trained on B. Braun products (such as the smart pumps) will greatly enhance students' skills and better prepare them for real life medical scenarios.

“DeSales is grateful to be able to partner with B. Braun to better prepare our healthcare students for their careers,” said Fr. O’Connor. “That’s what partnerships do, they enrich each of the participants.”

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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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