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FAQs

The technical standards for the DeSales University Physician Assistant Program have been established to ensure than students have the ability to demonstrate academic mastery, perform clinical skills, and communicate clinical information.

Are DeSales University PA graduates working?

DeSales University graduates are highly sought after. The average student receives two job offers during the clinical year and, on average, 100% of our graduates are employed as physician assistants within four months of graduating. Additionally, approximately 50% of students have already obtained jobs by graduation.

We gladly help place our graduates in jobs and maintain a DeSales-only job list.

Do I need to complete a Supplemental Application to be considered for admission to DeSales?

No, DeSales does not require a Supplemental Application.

Do you have graduate housing?

Limited graduate housing is available on campus. Accepted students may complete an online housing application beginning in the spring term. Housing is assigned based on a lottery system. For more information inquire with the Office of Graduate Admissions at gradadmissions@desales.edu.

Does DeSales have a cadaver lab?

Yes! The Human Anatomy Lab opened in 2013 and is currently in use by students.

How do I apply?

Apply directly through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Once DeSales receives your CASPA application, we will send you a confirmation letter indicating the next steps.

How much is the application fee?

CASPA employs a two-tiered fee structure; applicants applying prior to September 1st pay a lower application fee to CASPA. DeSales does not require a separate application fee.

How well do DeSales University PA students and graduates perform when compared to other programs? 

We benchmark our students' academic performance against all other programs in the nation based upon their performance on national standardized examinations. We administer the national standardized examination known within our profession as PACKRAT (Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge Ratings Assessment Tool) for both our first year and second year students where our students are compared against students from across the nation. Students are provided their scores in order to guide their studying.

The Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE) is another means by which the Program can benchmark our success. Our board results have consistently been among the highest in the nation.

View our PANCE Scores table

Despite our high academic standards, DeSales PA students have a very low rate of attrition due to academic or disciplinary dismissals. Since our program began, we have had a 4% attrition rate for students due to academic or professional reasons.

I have all of my science pre-requisites completed, but I did not take a lab with them. Do I need to take the lab?

No, if you have already taken the course, you do not need to repeat the course with the lab component. But, if you are enrolling in a science course, it is highly recommended that you take one with a lab. Your application and performance in the course will be strengthened by taking an accompanying laboratory experience.

Is a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Score necessary?

Since we believe that verbal and written communication is a vital part of taking care of patients, we require the TOEFL test for any applicant that has completed their undergraduate degree outside of the United States. DeSales recommends a minimum of 100 on the internet-based test.

Note: we are currently not accepting the IELTS in place of the TOEFL.

DeSales University's School Code: 2021

Is the GRE required for admission? What about alternate standardized tests?

Yes, the GRE is required for admission. However, MCAT scores will be accepted in place of GRE scores. No other standardized test scores will be accepted.

You can register for a test date by visiting www.gre.org.

Is the meal plan available if I live on or off campus?

Meal plans are available to both residents and commuters. Graduate students are not required to participate in a University meal plan.

In addition to the main dining facility in the DeSales University Center, students may use their DeSales meal plan to purchase food in the Gambet Center cafe.

Must all patient care hours be completed prior to applying through CASPA? What types of positions will count toward patient care hours?

Applicants must complete the minimum required number of patient care hours (500) before matriculation into the program (late August each year). We recommend having completed at least 50% of the minimum required hours by the time you submit your application.

The most useful health care hours relate to direct patient contact, i.e., EMT, surgical technician, dietitian, campus health center volunteer, Certified Nursing Assistant, etc. -- paid or volunteer. Usually, the more diverse the experience, the better for incoming students. Shadowing of clinically active physician assistants is encouraged in order for you to gain an understanding of their role. Hours should be documented by a supervisor.

Must all prerequisites be completed prior to applying through CASPA?

No, prerequisites must be completed before matriculation (late August each year). If you are missing courses, please make a plan as to how you will complete the courses prior to matriculation in August. If you are accepted into the Program, you will be given a "conditional" letter of acceptance, requiring successful completion of those required courses prior to matriculation.

In order for us to perform a thorough and fair review of your application, we encourage you not to submit your application if you have yet to complete more than three pre-requisite courses.

What is DeSales University's GRE School Code?

When submitting your GRE scores, please use the program code 0540.

What is DeSales University's Physician Assistant U.S. News & World Report ranking?

DeSales University's Physician Assistant Program is ranked #25 by U.S. News & World Report in 2011. The basis for these rankings comes largely from peer evaluations completed by other graduate level Physician Assistant Programs. There is currently no ranking system available based on objective data or a combination of objective and subjective data. DeSales recommends greater exploration and research into finding a program that best meets each student's needs beyond any ranking system.

What is the deadline for application to DeSales University's PA Program?

All applications must be received and verified by CASPA by December 1.

CASPA will accept applications for DeSales until the deadline. We process and review applications and arrange interviews as the applications are received, so early application is encouraged.

Where do I send additional documents needed for my admissions file?

All transcripts, standardized test scores, hours completed, recommendation letters and personal statement must be sent directly to CASPA. However, after your application has been verified by CASPA and DeSales has confirmed receipt with you via email, any updates to your application may be sent directly to The Office of Graduate Admissions at the address below.

The Office of Graduate Admissions

DeSales University

2755 Station Avenue

Center Valley, PA 18034

gradadmissions@desales.edu

Why should I attend DeSales University's PA Program?

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 that students learn the entire spectrum of disease processes rather than learning about diseases in different classes at different times.

Students in the first (didactic) year also have the ability to interact with patients immediately upon matriculation through our "friday morning rotations". Each Friday, students attend a rotation site for four hours to enhance the didactic instruction that they are learning in the classroom. This broadens the clinical experiences that our students obtain and reinforces their desire to become PA's.

DeSales University has a student-to-faculty ratio of 12 to 1, along with three full-time administrative staff members. We have five full-time faculty who are dedicated to the clinical year. In fact, we visit each student during every mandatory rotation (9 times per year), plus the 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. We have more than 100 years of clinical experience among our 13 full-time faculty members.

Contact Us

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS)
Gambet Center

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