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

  • Why should I attend DeSales University's PA Program?

    There are many reasons why the DeSales University PA program is considered one of the best programs in the nation.

    Please see the "Overview" tab on our program page to learn more.

  • What is the job outlook for DeSales MSPAS graduates?

    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.

  • 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.

  • Do you require MSPAS students to have the COVID-19 vaccine?

    Please note that our major healthcare partners require full COVID-19 vaccination for clinical placement, therefore, all students must abide by their policies.
  • When do interviews begin? When do students start receiving acceptances?

    Interviews and acceptances generally begin in the summer and generally continue until early in the year.
  • How long is the program? When does the program begin?

    This is a 24-month program, with each cohort beginning every August.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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?

    The most useful health care experiences relate to direct patient contact (i.e., EMT, Certified Nursing Assistant, Medical Assistant, Patient Care Technician, Medical Scribe, Surgical Technician, Dietician, Athletic Trainer, Physical Therapist Assistant, Mental Health Worker, etc.).  Usually, the more diverse the experience, the better for incoming students.  Shadowing of clinically active physician assistants is encouraged in order to gain an understanding of the role.  

    Applicants must complete the minimum requirement of patient care hours (500) prior to matriculation into the program (late August every year).  
  • 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.

    You may submit your application while completing prerequisite courses, however only two of the three outstanding courses can be completed after the deadline.

  • 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.

  • 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


Contact Us

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