Physician Assistant Program Details
The Physician Assistant program at Elizabethtown College provides a diverse curriculum that includes the sciences, hands-on learning, and the true art of medicine.
Vision & Mission
The vision of the Elizabethtown College Physician Assistant Program is to provide an innovative and supportive environment that elevates the standard of PA education through the utilization of an evidence-based curriculum that is continuously assessed and adapted to address emerging challenges in healthcare while fostering a collegial environment amongst students and faculty.
College Mission Statement: Elizabethtown College provides a transformative educational experience that cultivates personal strengths and develops a passion for lifelong learning and purposeful work.
PA Program Mission: The mission of the Elizabethtown College Physician Assistant Program is to educate and matriculate motivated students who will provide high-quality healthcare as skilled Physician Assistants. Through a transformative educational experience and evidence-based curriculum that emphasizes purposeful work, cultivates personal strengths, and develops a passion for lifelong learning, students will be prepared to Educate for Service. Upon graduation, our students will provide individualized healthcare to diverse patient populations while simultaneously working as a member of an interdisciplinary care team.
- Provide an environment for all students with multicultural educational opportunities inclusive of underrepresented groups and diversity in healthcare.
- Achieve a first-time PANCE pass rate at or above the national average.
- Obtain a job placement rate of over 80% in a variety of clinical specialties in the six months following graduation.
- Provide all students with an opportunity to perform community service while in the didactic and clinical years of the program.
- All faculty will maintain a professional development plan that addresses teaching, scholarship, and service as well as diversity, equity, accessibility, and justice.
- The PA program will post outcomes related to the achievement of our goals by February 2025.
BS/MS Physician Assistant Program Students
Students applying for the BS/MS Physician Assistant Program will need an academic GPA of 3.5, which will be recalculated using academic course work and an SAT score of 1100 or an ACT of 22. Applications to the program must be complete and submitted by December 1.
As a result of the competitive nature of the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program, not all students meeting the minimum requirements will be offered an interview, and not all those interviewed will be offered a place in the BS/MS Physician Assistant Program. Students who have graduated from Elizabethtown College and meet all of the application requirements will be offered a mandatory interview. An interview does not guarantee admission to the program.
2023-24 BS/MS Program Interview Dates:
- Jan. 9
- Jan. 16
- Jan. 23
- Jan. 30
- A minimum of 6 credits in General Biology with labs
- A minimum of 6 credits in Anatomy and Physiology with labs
- A minimum of 3 credits in Microbiology with a lab
- A minimum of 3 credits in General Chemistry with a lab
- A minimum of 3 credits in Organic Chemistry with a lab
- A minimum of 3 credits in Statistics
- A minimum of 3 credits in General/Introductory Psychology
A bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. College or University is required. Pre-Requisite GPA must be at least 3.0 with a desired overall GPA of 3.0 and no course grade below a C. Students applying to the Physician Assistant program as Graduate Students are required to submit GRE. Ideally, a student should have a composite score of 300. The MCAT can be submitted in place of the GRE, with an ideal score of 500. GREs are not required for any applicant that has a completed Master's or Doctorate Degree. Students must also complete a minimum of 200 healthcare exposure hours (including PA-C shadowing). Due to the competitive nature of the Physician Assistant Program, not all candidates will be offered an interview or admission into the Elizabethtown College program.
2023-24 Graduate Program Interview Dates:
- Oct. 6
- Oct. 9
- Oct. 13
- Oct. 23
- Oct. 27
For 2024 application information, please visit: https://admissions.etown.edu/apply/. The Graduate Application Deadline is September 15, 2023 for the July 2024 cohort.
Health Care Exposure Information
Healthcare exposure can be paid or a volunteer experience. A variety of healthcare exposures are accepted and considered. A minimum of 200 hours of patient care exposure is required, with a minimum of 20 hours of shadowing a certified Physician Assistant. The healthcare experience hours must be satisfied for the application to be considered complete. Download the full Health Care Exposure Information document.
Admission & Enrollment Practices Favoring Specified Individuals or Groups
Students who have graduated from Elizabethtown and meet all of the application requirements will be offered additional points to obtain an interview for admission. The Elizabethtown Physician Assistant Program is also dedicated to recruiting and accepting veterans into the program. Qualified veterans, who served in a medical capacity in the military, meet the minimum admission criteria, and have applied to the program will be guaranteed an interview. All applicants, regardless of their military affiliation, must meet the admissions requirements outlined on our website.
The faculty and staff of the Elizabethtown College Physician Assistant Program recognize their responsibilities to present candidates for graduation with a PA degree who have met the program’s graduate competencies and the recommended competencies of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) for new graduates to provide a broad spectrum of patient care in a variety of clinical situations.
Successful candidates for the completion of the Elizabethtown College Physician Assistant Program must have the abilities and attributes necessary to be able to perform the following skills required for integration into clinical practice, either with or without accommodation.
- Tolerate the emotional, mental, and physical stress associated with PA training and providing patient care
- Adaptable, flexible, and able to function within a team setting despite uncertainty or adversity
- Recognize, understand, and demonstrate professional behaviors
- Obtain information from patients using speech, active listening, and observation of non-verbal communication
- Utilize oral, written, and electronic forms of communication with patients, caregivers, and members of the healthcare team
- Follow HIPAA guidelines convey sensitivity and respect to all communication with patients, caregivers, and members of the healthcare team
- Apply knowledge learned and critical reasoning to solve problems as required by the program curriculum
- In a variety of educational settings, students must be able to collect, prioritize, organize, analyze, integrate, and apply complex and detailed information in a time-sensitive manner
- Synthesize information appropriately for problem-solving and decision-making
- Coordinate gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and sensation to provide acute, chronic, preventive, and emergent care to patients
- Apply skills learned to correctly utilize instruments and equipment to perform and interpret basic laboratory and medical procedures required to attain goals set forth by the program curriculum
- Utilize vision, hearing, and somatic sensation to observe patients and their families closely and at a distance
- Utilize audiovisual and palpable sensation in a lecture and laboratory setting
- Apply skills learned to correctly perform a physical examination by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other components as needed
- Accept constructive criticism and respond appropriately with behavior modification
- Display integrity, compassion for others, and motivation to serve
- Possess the ability to participate in self-assessment processes and recognize implicit bias
- Develop an appropriate interpersonal and interprofessional relationship with patients and colleagues
The Physician Assistant Faculty Committee is responsible for adhering to all technical standards listed above during the selection of Physician Assistant students for admission and matriculation into the program.
First-time PANCE results will be published after the first graduating class completes the exam.
The PA program curriculum is offered in two phases, didactic and clinical compartments, which is centered upon the concepts of adult-centered learning and professional education. The program curriculum will focus on enriching the students learning to develop a mastery of knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to meet the competencies for integration into clinical practice as defined by the NCCPA, ARC-PA, PAEA, and AAPA. Please note that the PA program curriculum is subject to change.
|Term||Course ID||Course Name||Credit|
|Summer||MPA 500||Medical Terminology||1 credit|
|MPA 504||Introduction to Clinical Studies||4 credits|
|MPA 505||Introduction to Anatomy||3 credits|
|Fall||MPA 501||Foundation of Health Sciences I||4 credits|
|MPA 511||Clinical Medicine I||6 credits|
|MPA 521||Pharmacology I||3 credits|
|MPA 531||Physical Assessment and Procedures I||3 credits|
|MPA 541||Clinical Reasoning I||2 credits|
|MPA 551||Patient Communication and Education I||2 credits|
|Spring||MPA 502||Foundations of Health Sciences II||3 credits|
|MPA 512||Clinical Medicine II||6 credits|
|MPA 522||Pharmacology II||3 credits|
|MPA 532||Physical Assessment and Procedures II||3 credits|
|MPA 542||Clinical Reasoning II||2 credits|
|MPA 552||Patient Communication and Education II||2 credits|
|Summer II||MPA 503||Clinical Health Sciences||3 credits|
|MPA 513||Clinical Medicine III||6 credits|
|MPA 523||Pharmacology III||3 credits|
|MPA 533||Physical Assessment and Procedures III||3 credits|
|MPA 543||Clinical Reasoning III||3 credits|
|MPA 600||Transitions to Clinical Practice||1 credit|
Preceptorship Opportunities (Four Credits Each):
- MPA 611 - Internal Medicine Preceptorship
- MPA 612 - Women's Health Preceptorship
- MPA 613 - Pediatrics Preceptorship
- MPA 614 - Family Practice Preceptorship
- MPA 615 - Emergency Medicine Preceptorship
- MPA 616 - Surgery Preceptorship
- MPA 617 - Behavioral Medicine Preceptorship
- MPA 618 - Clinical Specialty Preceptorship
Other Clinical Year Courses:
|Term||Course ID||Course Name||Credit|
|Fall II||MPA 601||Education and Research I||2 credits|
|MPA 603||PANCE Prep I||.5 credits|
|Spring II||MPA 602||Education and Research II||2 credits|
|MPA 604||PANCE Prep II||.5 credits|
|Summer III||MPA 605||PANCE Prep III||1 credit|
|MPA 699||Culminating Experience||3 credits|
PA students are not required to work for the program. Students must not substitute or function as instructional faculty. Students must not substitute for clinical or administrative staff during supervised clinical practical experiences.
Due to the extensive training and time commitments within the program, it is recommended that students not be employed during the PA program. If a student does choose to work during either the didactic or clinical year of the program, the following must be taken into consideration:
- Students may not identify themselves as a physician assistant student associated with Elizabethtown College during their employment hours, including not wearing their name badge or program patch.
- No special concessions will be made for missed classes, assignments, exams, or clinical rotation requirements.
- The liability insurance offered for clinical work that is associated with the education experience at Elizabethtown College does not cover a student during outside employment.
Tuition for the first 3 years of the BS/MS physician assistant program can be found here: Etown Tuition.
Elizabethtown PA program graduate tuition will be a total of $108,150.
|Year 1 – 66 credits||Year 2 – 41 credits||Total|
|Welch Allen Package***||$996||--||$996|
|Sim Vivo Suture Kit||$60||--||$60|
|Sim Vivo Tie Kit||$50||--||$50|
|Elizabethtown PA Patch x 2||$20||--||$20|
|White Coat – Long||--||$40||$40|
|Scrubs x 2||$50||--||$50|
|White Coat - Short x 2||$50||--||$50|
*Program Fee includes: AAPA membership, PSPA membership, Clinical Placement Fees, Site Registration Fees, Typhon Student Fee, PAEA Exams, PACKRAT, PA equipment/supplies, ACLS, PALS, Malpractice Insurance
|Year 1 – 14 months||Year 2 - 12 months||Total|
|Clinical Site Travel (estimated)||--||$5,000||$5,000|
**Housing and clinical year travel is a responsibility of the student and is not included in tuition or the program fee.
Other costs not included in tuition:
***Equipment List: Students are encouraged to wait until orientation to purchase equipment (not including smart phone/PDA, laptop, or wrist watch). If students already own any of the medical equipment below (i.e. stethoscope or otoscope/ophthalmoscope), approval on the equipment must first be obtained from the PA program director.
Welch Allen Package through the Medical Store (included list below) – Total (estimated) $996.00
- Welch Allyn Classic 3.5V Diagnostic Set
- Welch Allen Adult and pediatric blood pressure cuff
- Pocket Eye Card with Ruler
- Tuning Forks
- LED Penlight
- Reflex Hammer
- Dissection Kit
- Tape Measure
- Protective Eye Wear
- Medical Bag
***The College subscribes to Access Medicine for online student textbook (approximately $217 per student). This estimation includes textbooks other than those available through Access Medicine and if the student chooses to not use online version of the textbooks.
Background Checks/Health Screenings:
FBI Criminal Background Check - $63 every 5 years
Child Abuse Clearance - free
Drug Testing: $30 - $50 annually
Health Physical/Immunizations Titers/Drug Screen - varies by insurance carrier****
****All students are required to carry adequate health insurance throughout their enrollment in the PA program. Cost varies per insurance carrier.
Frequently Asked Questions
BS/MS Physician Assistant Program:
There are two pathways for students to apply to Elizabethtown’s Physician Assistant program. High school seniors can apply for our BS/MS Physician Assistant Program option that provides a provisional seat in the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program. Students will be required to complete a series of required academic courses and maintain a minimum science and cumulative GPA to remain in the program.
- Completing the combined program allows a student to complete the Master of Physician Assistant Degree in a shorter period of time with less cost.
- Foundational coursework taught by Elizabethtown College faculty.
- Physician Assistant faculty are the advisors starting the second semester of their first year.
- First-year, provisional acceptance into the Master of Physician Assistant Program, as long as criteria are maintained.
Students applying for the BS/MS Physician Assistant Program are required to have an academic GPA of 3.5, which will be recalculated using only academic course work, and an SAT score of 1100 or an ACT of 22.
As a result of the competitive nature of the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program, not all students meeting the minimum requirement will be offered a place in the BS/MS Physician Assistant Program. Selected candidates will be invited for a mandatory interview.
Students must submit a completed application by December 1.
No, the BS/MS Physician Assistant Program does not offer rolling admissions.
Admissions decisions related to admission to the College, merit scholarship, and admission to the BS/MS Physician Assistant Program will be released by the end of each January.
Around 20 students will be accepted to the BS/MS Physician Assistant Program each year.
The BS/MS Physician Assistant track and the Master of Physician Assistant Studies programs are competitive. Some applicants may be offered the option to be on a waitlist. As places in the BS/MS program become available, students on the waitlist may be offered a place in the program. Once the program is full, we will communicate this with students on the waitlist.
Yes, AP and dual enrollment courses will be accepted; however, students who are accepted to the BS/MS Physician Assistant Program are required to still take science and math courses at Elizabethtown.
Yes, students are able to study abroad provided they do so within the first six semesters of the undergraduate program.
Yes, students in the BS/MS program are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities like varsity athletics, clubs, organizations, music, and community service.
Students will need to maintain a 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.0 overall math/science GPA to maintain their seats. Students also need to complete two-hundred healthcare exposure hours (with a minimum of twenty hours shadowing a PA-C) before the end of their sixth semester. They cannot withdraw from any prerequisite classes and all prerequisite classes need to be taken at Etown. A grade of 'C' or better in all prerequisite courses is required to enter the graduate program. Leave of absence will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
No, transfers are not able to apply to join the BS/MS program. However, transfer students can pursue a degree in Biology, Health Professions Concentration, and apply for the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program.
While completing undergraduate courses, students will pay undergraduate tuition for the first six semesters. Students will begin to pay graduate course tuition and any additional program fees at the start of their seventh semester.
Master of Physician Assistant Studies Graduate Program:
Applications will be completed online through the Elizabethtown College website.
- General Biology – a minimum of 6 credits with labs
- Anatomy and Physiology – a minimum of 6 credits with labs
- General Chemistry – a minimum of 3 credits with lab
- Organic Chemistry – a minimum of 3 credits with lab
- Microbiology – a minimum of 3 credits with lab
- Statistics – 3 credits
- General/Introductory Psychology – 3 credits
A bachelor's degree from an Accreditation U.S. College or University is required. Pre-Requisite GPA must be at least 3.0 with a desired overall GPA of 3.0 and no course grade below a C. Students applying as Graduate Students to the Physician Assistant program are required to submit GRE. Ideally, a student should have a composite score of 300. The MCAT can be submitted in place of the GRE, with an ideal score of 500. GREs are not required for any applicant that has a completed Master's or Doctorate Degree. Students must also complete a minimum of two-hundred healthcare exposure hours (including PA-C shadowing).
Due to the competitive nature of the Physician Assistant Program, not all candidates will be offered an interview or admission into the Elizabethtown program. Candidates that are offered an interview will be invited to campus in late fall.
Admissions decisions will be released by January.
Some applicants may be offered the option to be on a waitlist. As places in the accelerated program become available, students on the waitlist may be offered a place in the program. Once the program is full, we will communicate this with students on the waitlist.
Courses will be evaluated for transfer from all colleges and universities, including community colleges.
Yes, students are welcome to take classes at Elizabethtown that fulfill the required prerequisites for the Master’s program.
Yes, you can still apply if you have outstanding prerequisites or have not graduated with a bachelor’s degree; however if offered an interview and acceptance, the acceptance will be a conditional acceptance upon completion of pre-requisite coursework and/or bachelor’s degree following grade/GPA criteria.
- June 2021 - Completed application materials submitted to the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA)
- September 2021 - Initial provisional site visit to verify Elizabethtown’s ability to begin a program in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards and the program’s readiness to matriculate students.
- March 2022 – Commission review of the program and eligibility to receive accreditation – provisional
- February 2024 – Provisional monitoring site visit verifying that Elizabethtown College and the provisionally accredited program’s progress in delivering the program is in compliance with the Standards and the ability to continue to do so.
- 2026 – Final provisional site visit verifying that Elizabethtown College and the program’s demonstration of compliance with the Standards, including the ability to incorporate and report the findings of a robust self-assessment process as required by the ARC-PA.
- After commission review, the program is eligible for an accreditation status of accreditation – continued.
The Master of Physician Assistant Studies program is 26 consecutive months. The BS/MS physician assistant program is 5 years with students entering the Master's program during the spring of their senior year. The spring semester of the senior year also counts towards the undergraduate degree.
- Offices of physicians 56%
- Hospitals; state, local, and private 23%
- Outpatient care centers 8%
- Educational services; state, local, and private 3%
- Employment services 3%
Clinical Rotation placement will be based on multiple variables. All students will complete seven core rotations and one elective rotation. Students will be exposed to multiple specialties, locations, and communities. Students are not able to set up their own rotations and any costs associated with travel and housing are the student’s responsibility. Rotation sites include, but are not limited to, settings in Lancaster County and all of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.
Students who have graduated from Elizabethtown, meet all of the application requirements, and are invited for an interview may be awarded additional interview points.