Physicians Assistant Studies Program - Curriculum & Duration

Comprehensive Career Preparation

During your first three semesters, your didactic education will focus on clinical medicine for every system of the body. Then, under the guidance of a physician or a licensed PA, you will put what you learn into practice. While many programs offer between 38 and 50 weeks of clinical practice experiences, the USciences graduate program offers 55 weeks of 11 clinical rotations. These five-week rotations encompass:

  • Primary care (two rotations)
  • Internal medicine
  • Emergency medicine
  • Geriatrics
  • Pediatrics
  • Women’s health
  • Behavioral medicine
  • Surgery
  • Electives (two rotations)

Upon completing your studies, you will be prepared to sit for the NCCPA national certifying exam, which explores all aspects of medicine. Moreover, you will be ready to contribute to a healthcare team in any medical field or specialty.

Each Physician Assistant Program has unique requirements.  Please review the requirements for USciences Graduate Professional Physician Assistant Program below.

Prerequisite Coursework

All prerequisite science courses must be completed within seven (7) years of application. Therefore, for the 2016 CASPA application cycle, courses taken prior to 2009 will not be accepted towards the requirements.

  • Two General Biology courses with lab (8 credits)
  • General Chemistry with lab (4 credits)
  • Organic Chemistry with lab or Biochemistry with lab (4 credits)
  • Microbiology with lab (4 credits)
  • Statistics* (3 credits)
  • Psychology (3 credits)
  • Human Anatomy**  (3 credits)
  • Human Physiology** (3 credits)

* Business Statistics will not be accepted.
**Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II will satisfy these requirements in lieu of separate courses. In addition, please know that we are not able to accept mammalian, vertebrate, exercise, or any other non-human coursework for these requirements.

Additional Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree completed by June 1, 2017
  • Healthcare Experience – 400 hours (For more information please consult our PDF)
  • GPA – 3.2 overall and 3.2 overall science as calculated by CASPA are suggested. Applicants with lower than a 2.75 overall or science GPA may not be considered for an interview.
  • Grades for prerequisite courses must be 'C' or better.
  • Official results from a TOEFL or IELTS are required from all students for whom English is a second language. The University of the Sciences’ code for TOEFL is 2663. TOEFL scores are good for two years. Applicants must have earned a minimum score of 90 on the TOEFL iBT examination (IELTS minimum of 6.5) to be considered for admission into a graduate program at USciences.
  • International students will be required to provide a course-by-course evaluation of all transcripts by an independent evaluation service based in the United States. University of the Sciences prefers the World Education Services (WES) evaluation when possible.
  • Interview is required and is by invitation only based on meeting the listed admission criteria. Interviews are granted on a rolling basis based on completion date of application

If any courses, degree completion, or healthcare experience hours are in progress at time of application they must be completed by June 1st of the admission year. Documentation will need to be submitted as requested by the program.

Applicants with less than a 2.75 overall or science GPA may not be considered for an interview. Additionally, applicants with less than 100 hours of patient care experience at time of application may not be considered for an interview.

Meeting the minimum recommended requirements does not guarantee receipt of the supplemental application, an interview, or acceptance into the program.

Advanced Standing

Under no circumstances will a student be given credit toward the courses in the Graduate Professional Physician Assistant Program.


Year 1

Fall Spring
Human Anatomy 4 Pathophysiology 3
Human Physiology 3 History/Physical II and Clinical Skills 3
History/Physical I 3 Clinical Medicine I 4
Pharmacology I 3 Pharmacology II 3
PA History 1 Diagnostics I 2
Genetics 1 Introduction to Research/EBM 2
Psychosocial Medicine 2    
Total Fall Year 1: 17 Total Spring Year 1: 17

Year 1 Total: 34  

Year 2

Fall Spring
Clinical Medicine II 4 5 week Primary Care Rotation 4
Diagnostics II 2 5 week Primary Care Rotation 4
Research Methods, Designs and Implementation 3 5 week Internal Medicine Rotation 4


5 week Pediatrics Rotation 4
Emergency Medicine 2 Professional Practice Issues I 1
Surgery 2    
Women’s Health 2    
Total Fall Year 2: 17 Total Spring Year 2: 17
Year 2 Total: 34

Year 3

Fall Spring
5 week Women’s Health Rotation 4 5 week Geriatrics Rotation 4
5 week Behavioral/Mental Health Rotation 4 5 week Elective Rotation 4
5 week Surgery Rotation 4 5 week Elective Rotation 4
5 week Emergency Medicine Rotation 4 3 week Capstone 2
Issues in Geriatrics I 1 Issues in Geriatrics II 1
Professional Practice Issues II 1 Professional Practice Issues III 1
Year 3 Fall Total: 18 Year 3 Spring Total: 16
Year 3 Total: 34 Total Curriculum: 102

Accreditation Provisional Statement

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Graduate Professional Physician Assistant Program sponsored by University of the Sciences.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.