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

Nursing and Physician Assistant Students and Standardized Patients Participate in Emergency Triage Exercise

by Tom McNamara | Oct 21, 2015


Gambet Center Interior 

On Sunday, October 25, starting at 9:30 a.m., DeSales University will host a triage training exercise for its nursing and physician assistant students in the Gambet Center for Business and Health Care.

For the exercise, five groups of two students each will have approximately 10 minutes to run through each scenario and provide the necessary triage. Scenarios will include victims of chemical burns, lightning, a deck collapse, a gunshot wound, and a motor vehicle accident.

Standardized patients (SPs) will act as victims in each of the scenarios. Assigned injuries will be created through the use of theatrical make-up. Standardized patients are individuals from the community who are trained to portray a patient with a specific medical condition. By interacting with SPs, students gain experiential skills by performing physical examinations and other clinical skills in our simulated clinical environment. SPs provide valuable feedback and can help to evaluate student performance.

This feedback will be part of the debriefing held after each scenario. At each scenario station, there will be a facilitator as the students conduct their triage assessment.

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.

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

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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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