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

DeSales Students to Participate in Mass Casualty Training, October 26

by Maggie McNichol '16 | Oct 22, 2014

On Sunday, October 26, starting at 9:30 a.m., DeSales University will host a mock emergency event—the aftermath of exposure to a hazardous chemical.

The simulation will help develop the skills of the students who are in the University’s nursing and physician assistant programs as well as DeSales’ student-run emergency medical service (EMS).

2013 Emergency Drill A "casualty" from the 2013 drill is being triaged.

"The goal of the drill is to provide all participants the opportunity to utilize and enhance the skills acquired in the classroom and apply these skills in a real world setting," said Dennis Rasley, director of emergency services, “They are then better prepared for their post-graduate careers.”

The simulation, set in and outside of the Hurd Science Center at the University’s Center Valley Campus, will focus on the triage and treatment of multiple victims of a mock exposure to hydrogen sulfide.

In addition, treatment in this simulation will involve a working decontamination unit. Three mock victims will go through the decontamination process.

Working with the University, Lehigh Valley Health Network will set up a mobile field hospital in the Chappuis Hall parking lot. Students will learn how to treat patients in a field hospital setting, extending their skills beyond what they learn in a traditional classroom.

Members of the DeSales community will act as victims. They will be triaged and treated according to their assigned injuries, which will be created through the use of theatrical make-up.

In addition to the DeSales EMS team, local EMS organizations that are also participating include the Upper Saucon Township Ambulance Corps; Macungie, Ambulance Corps, Emmaus Ambulance Corps, and the St. Luke’s University Health Network Emergency Transport Service.

At the completion of the drill, a debriefing discussion will be held to review the strengths and weaknesses of the event, which will assist in planning for future drills.

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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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