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  • 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.

    Review 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 67% of students have already obtained jobs or fellowships 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 pass rates 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.

  • Does DeSales have a cadaver lab?

    Yes! The Human Anatomy Lab is an important component and unique advantage to our program.  MSPAS students have access to first dissection, with hands-on experience that creates an active learning environment.  Students are provided with a real understanding of the human body, including the effects of diseases beyond a textbook description or digital/virtual anatomy platforms.
  • How long is the program? When does the program begin?

    This is a 24-month program, with each cohort beginning every August.
  • What is the deadline for application to DeSales University's PA Program?

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

  • What is the timeline for interviews, receiving acceptances, and final decisions?

    Interviews and acceptances generally begin in the summer and generally continue until early in the year.  All final decisions are made no later than February of the year students would matriculate into the program.

  • Is there a difference in the curriculum since DeSales is a Catholic institution?

    Students are taught to provide highly effective care to a diverse patient population.  Our student body consists of those with differing religious and spiritual beliefs, experiences, and values, enabling us to engage in rich dialogue in our medical ethics discussions.  While students are not directly involved with certain types of procedures, including abortion, they are taught how to best care for all patients, in any situation. 
  • 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.
  • Does DeSales offer scholarships or financial assistance to MSPAS students?

    While we do not offer scholarships at this time, we encourage you to compare the total expense of our program during your evaluation.  Our tuition is already highly competitive, and our professional fees include, but are not limited to, all of your textbooks/medical resources, lab equipment and fees, technology and education fees.

    In addition, our students save time and money without having to absorb the significant cost of travel to clinical sites, as all of our clinical locations are less than 60 minutes away (with the vast majority only approximately 20 minutes away).  No significant travel expenses (flights, hotels, gas, etc.), no worrying about changing your lease in your second year – so students can focus on their priorities.  Students also have the added benefit to participate in “Friday Morning Rotations” starting early in the didactic year, allowing students to become very familiar with the locations, parking, processes, etc., with their second year clinical rotation experiences. 

  • 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. Additional information regarding both on-campus and off-campus options is provided to students upon acceptance into the program. 
  • 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 the GRE required for admission? What about alternate standardized tests?

    Yes, the GRE is required for all applicants.  MCAT scores will be accepted in place of GRE scores, provided the applicant scored a minimum of 500 on the exam.  No other standardized tests will be accepted.

  • What types of positions will count towards the direct patient care hour requirement?

    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. 
  • Must all patient care hours be completed prior to applying through CASPA?

    Applicants must complete the minimum requirement of 500 patient care hours prior to matriculation into the program (late August every year).  Competitive applicants have already met the minimum requirement upon application submission, however you may submit your application with 250 hours completed.

  • Must all prerequisites be completed prior to applying through CASPA?

    You may submit your application while completing prerequisite courses, however only two outstanding prerequisite courses can be carried over into the year of matriculation into the program.

  • What is DeSales University's GRE School Code?

    When submitting your GRE scores, please use the program code 0540.
  • Where do I send additional documents needed for my admissions file?

    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


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