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

Community Partnership Grant from the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation to Fund Free Clinic Supplies

by Tom McNamara | Jan 07, 2016

DeSales-Free-ClinicDeSales Free Clinic (File Photo) 

DeSales University received a Community Partnership grant from the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation that will be used to purchase medical supplies for the University’s student-run Free Clinic that serves homeless men in the City of Allentown.

The supplies will include inhalers and nicotine replacement materials, which are crucial because the homeless population has a high incidence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and asthma.  Without regular medical care and inhalers, patients cannot manage these chronic conditions. Both conditions are worsened by smoking and nicotine replacement therapy would help patients with smoking cessation.

“This grant has come at the perfect time as we head into a long winter where chronic lung illnesses get worse,” says Corinne Feldman, PA-C, assistant professor of physician assistant studies and executive director of the clinic. “Many of these inhalers cost $300-$400 per inhaler and our patients have no means to pay that cost. The nicotine replacement tools will really help us facilitate smoking cessation in many of our patients.”

Lehigh Valley Community Foundation LogoThe DeSales Free Clinic at the Allentown Rescue Mission, opened by the DSU Physician Assistant Program in 2007, provides completely free primary and acute care, laboratory services and medications to the men seeking shelter or enrolled in a recovery program at the Mission. DeSales nursing students also participate at the Clinic offering screening procedures.

The Clinic has served more than 1,537 individual patients from 2007 to 2015. More than 50 local physician assistants, doctors, and health providers who act as preceptors, providing student supervision, and who volunteer alongside the students support the Clinic. In 2014, the direct care at the Clinic equated to over $110,000 in free medical care based on Pennsylvania reimbursement rates.

The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation promotes philanthropy in order to improve the quality of life in the region and strives to be a major force in the development of philanthropy the region. The Foundation promotes and encourages collaboration among area philanthropists, and is a source of information and expertise regarding charitable giving.

For more information about the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, click here.

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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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