The DeSales Difference

  • Won the Pennsylvania Medical Challenge Bowl eleven times 

  • Winners of three Regional Challenge Bowls (46 Programs in Region)

  • National Challenge Bowl Champions 2010, 2009, 2008, 2004 & 2002 

Unique Curriculum

Our PA Program prepares you for your role as a practicing physician assistant.

The curriculum is unique in that clinical medicine, pathophysiology and pharmacology are fully integrated, so you learn the entire spectrum of disease processes rather than learning about diseases in different classes at different times.

In the first (didactic) year, you'll have the ability to broaden your clinical experiences by interacting with patients immediately upon matriculation through our "Friday morning rotations." Each week you'll attend a rotation site for four hours to enhance your classroom instruction.

Human Gross Anatomy Lab & Advanced Simulation Labs

The Gambet Center, our newest academic building, has some of the most exciting and cutting-edge technology in available for health care eduction. To better replicate real-world healthcare setting, most labs are shared with our acclaimed Nursing program. 

DeSales University has the area’s only human gross anatomy laboratory as well as simulation laboratories.

In these labs, advanced technological mannequins allow students to perform various medical procedures while receiving real-time feedback in much the same way they would from a human patient. The mannequins breathe, have a pulse, have eyes that dilate, and can react to various drugs. There are four adult mannequins, including one that gives birth to an infant mannequin, and three pediatric mannequins, including two babies and one 6-year-old.

The building also features a standardized patient area. This suite mimics a functioning healthcare office, complete with a waiting room and fully equipped examination rooms.

Standardized patients are people who are specially trained to act as patients for the instruction, practice, and assessment of the medical examination skills of medical students, nurses, physician assistants, and other health care providers. They will be treated by DeSales nursing and physician assistant students and provide feedback.

Strong Relationships with Faculty and Staff

DeSales University has a faculty-to-student ratio of 12:1 and a strong support staff.

Full-time faculty are dedicated to the clinical year and visit with each student during every mandatory rotation (9 times per year). Plus, our students return to campus after every 5-week rotation for "Senior Day."

DeSales University's faculty are experienced clinicians. In fact, most of the faculty continue to practice one day per week in order to maintain their clinical skills.

DeSales Physician Assistant Student Society

Our Physician Assistants’ student society is part of the Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (SAAAPA).  

The student society is self-governed and comprised of officers who are elected by the class. There are many other unique opportunities for students within the Society such as community outreach chair, diversity chair, class mentor, historian, and social chair.

As a benefit of joining the Society, students also receive membership to the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants.  Our student Society brings the class together as a family — they hosts various social events, participate in community outreach service projects, and fundraise for local charities.

The Society also provides mentorship to the undergraduate medical studies majors through a club called PUPS, or PA Undergraduate Pack (and a play on our school mascot, the French bulldog).  The graduate mentor the undergrads by hosting clinical pearl labs, which gives undergrads exposure to physical exam skills early on, and thus helps to cement their desire to enter the medical profession as physician assistants. 


Physician Assistant students: to receive full consideration for the next academic year, your CASPA application must be verified by CASPA no later than December 1.

Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA)

DeSales University Information Sessions

Program Information