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Physician Assistant Studies

Become a Physician Assistant

Whether you’re a high school student looking to take our combined Physician Assistant (PA) Studies program, which includes a Bachelor of Science in Biology Health Professions concentration and a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, or you already hold a bachelor’s degree and are just looking to complete your master’s degree, Etown's PA program is flexible to suit your needs. We provide a comprehensive curriculum that incorporates hands-on learning in state-of-the-art laboratories.

We also work to ensure that you, as a future health care provider, are equipped with an education that is centered on service and integrates interdisciplinary learning. Our small class sizes promote individualized attention for our students that help to build strong mentoring relationships with our faculty throughout your time on campus and beyond.

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What can I do with a degree in Physician Assistant Studies?

When you’re looking at colleges with PA programs, you want to ensure that they meet you where you are in your educational journey. Etown provides first-year entry or direct entry as a student into our BS/MS Physician Assistant program for students looking to get both a bachelor's and master's degree. Students will complete their bachelor’s degree in Biology Allied Health and then work toward their master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies. This program can be completed in a total of five years, culminating in sitting for the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam.

  • Number of Jobs Nationally:
    129,400 (2020) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics ©
  • Median Pay (annual):
    $115,390 (2020) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics ©
  • Median pay (hourly):
    $55.48 USD USD (2020) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics ©
  • Projected 10-year growth:
    31% (2020) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics ©
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Two Pathways, One Program

There are two pathways available for individuals interested in pursuing the Physician Assistant program. The first pathway is a BS/MS program and the second pathway is a standalone Master's program.

BS/MS Physician Assistant Program

When you’re looking at colleges with PA programs, you want to ensure that they meet you where you are in your educational journey. Etown provides first-year entry or direct entry as a student into our BS/MS Physician Assistant program for students looking to get both a bachelor's and master's degree. Students will complete their bachelor’s degree in Biology Allied Health and then work toward their master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies. This program can be completed in a total of five years, culminating in sitting for the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam.

Timeline for BS/MS Students:

  • August 2020
    First cohort of students enter the BS/MS Physician Assistant Program
  • July 2023
    First cohort of BS/MS students begin the graduate portion of PA program
  • Fall 2025
    First cohort of BS/MS students graduate with a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Elizabethtown College is a standalone master’s degree program, spread over 26 months for students with a bachelor’s degree from Etown or another institution. The PA program has been approved for a total of 30 students for each graduate cohort. At the culmination of the program, students will sit for the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE). After successful completion of the exam, graduates will be able to work as a physician assistant in medical facilities across the nation in specialized areas of clinical practice, as well as in research occupations or academia.

First Year: A didactic year of classroom and laboratory experience. Laboratory facilities will include cadaver, assessment and simulation labs.

Second Year: Students will complete eight (8) clinical rotations, in the fields of Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Behavioral Health, Surgery, Emergency, and an elective. These rotations will occur in various settings including inpatient and outpatient.

Timeline for Graduate Students:

  • June 2021
    Application due to the ARC-PA
  • September 2021
    Initial Site Visit
  • March 2022
    The ARC-PA decides on Provisional Accreditation
  • July 2022
    First PA program cohort
  • August 2024
    First PA program cohort graduates with a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

Program Accreditation

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Elizabethtown College Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Elizabethtown College.

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.

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website.

Elizabethtown College Physician Assistant Advisory Board

  • Luke Bingaman, MPAS, PA-C, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital
  • Mrs. Barbara Blouch, PA-C, Retired
  • Kelly Bonneville, MHS, PA-C, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital
  • Christina Broomell, MS, PA-C, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital
  • Madison Carey, PA-C, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital
  • Erin Colello, MHS, PA-C, UPMC Pinnacle
  • Kevin Hickman, MJ Health Law, MHA, PA-C, Neurosurgery
  • Sarah Pelletier, MHS, PA-C, UPMC Pinnacle
  • Chase Schaeffer, MSPAS, PA-C, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital
  • Dr. Christopher Wenger, DO, FACC, FNLA, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital

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