Doctor teaching students about x-ray results

Become a Physician Assistant

Apply for SRU's New Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

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Doctor discussion results with patient in hospital room

Affordability and Job Security

SRU's PA program is the most affordable in Western Pennsylvania

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Doctor educating students about x-ray results

Faculty Expertise

Our faculty have years of clinical experience and are trained as effective PA educators

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Physician Assistant Studies (Master of Science)

Offered by: Physician Assistant Studies

The Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies program at SRU prepares students for a rewarding career in a high-demand area of health care, Physician Assistant (PA). PA's are trained and licensed to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment. Recently, there has been an unprecedented growth in the PA profession secondary to the increasing need for healthcare providers. This innovative PA Program will prepare students to enter one of the fastest growing professions in the nation by offering an interactive curriculum during the first year of study and unique experiences during the second year.


SRU's Physician Assistant Studies 24-month program is a combination of academic and clinical instruction, blended course delivery (onsite and online), team instruction, and collaborative outreach taught in unique learning environments. Academically and professionally qualified faculty, clinicians, and experts will provide a strong foundation in evidence-based practice, direct patient/client management, and prevention and wellness services that focus on the life cycle needs of the U.S. population.

The program provides an emphasis on special needs populations interwoven throughout academic and clinical years, which makes SRU's Physician Assistant Program unique. Successful graduates will be nationally certified and become competent, compassionate professionals with sound ethical values. SRU graduates will learn to adapt to the ever-changing medical profession, while becoming gainfully employed as mid-level medical care providers and filling the medical needs of the region.


SRU's Physician Assistant Studies program offers the following highlights:

  • Affordability - SRU's PA program is the most affordable in western Pennsylvania. Graduates' starting salaries can be more than the cost of their educational investment.
  • Job Security - According to the most recent statistics, at least 50% of PA students are offered three or more jobs before they even graduate. 
  • Faculty Expertise - SRU's PA faculty not only have years of experience in the clinical setting, but also have training and experience to be effective PA educators. In addition, faculty are engaged in research, presentations, and publications.
  • Unique Curriculum - SRU's unique curriculum will expose students to clinical practice in the first year and train students to be competent in helping individuals with special needs.
  • Practical, Hands-on Experience - Learn through innovative and active learning modalities in a facility modeled to offer a top-notch PA education. Students will participate in interactive lectures and hands-on labs including rounds at the hospital, equestrian therapeutics, simulation labs, and cadaver labs.
  • Clinical Rotations - Students are trained as primary care providers with the ability to specialize in any area of medicine. All students will rotate through family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, women's health, emergency medicine, surgery, and behavioral medicine. In addition, students will have the opportunity to pick an elective rotation in any area of medicine or Physician Assistant specialty field. During this elective rotation, students can learn to be PA educators or researchers, become involved in public or community health or healthcare policy, train in a medical specialty field, engage in opportunities to travel abroad on medical mission trips, create a new type of rotation, or repeat an enjoyable rotation. In addition, students will have unique rotations with opportunities to actively engage with special needs populations.
  • Faculty/Student Research - PA faculty are actively involved in research. Students will have the opportunity to conduct and present faculty-student research at conferences or submit an article for publication; thus, helping to pave the way for future healthcare and PA education.
  • Travel - Opportunities will arise for students to participate in medical mission trips abroad or within the U.S. Trips will be organized and lead by PA faculty and will focus on teambuilding, leadership, and life experience while providing care to those in medically underserved regions.


To apply, complete the Online Application. Applications will be accepted from May 1 to December 1.

  1. A minimum of a baccalaureate degree or completion of the first three years of the SRU 3+2 Pre-PA Concentration AND the following prerequisites:

    • Biology
      • General Biology with lab (3-4 credits)
      • A&P I with lab (3-4 credits)*
      • A&P II with lab (3-4 credits)*
      • Microbiology with lab (3-4 credits)
      • Genetics (3-4 credits, lab recommended but not required)
      • Highly Recommended: one upper-level biology or biochemistry course with or without lab in addition to the required biology courses listed above.
    • Chemistry
      • General Chemistry I with lab (3-4 credits)
      • General Chemistry II with lab (3-4 credits)
      • Organic Chemistry I (3-4 credits, lab recommended but not required)
    • Math
      • Inferential statistics course (3 credits, any statistics course with inferential statistics embedded)
    • Psychology
      • Psychology course (3 credits, introductory, developmental, or abnormal psychology)
    • English
      • College writing or composition course (3 credits)
      • College literature course (3 credits)
    • Medical Terminology (at least 1 credit)*
  2. A grade of "C" or better will be required for all prerequisite biology and chemistry courses. 
  3. Official transcripts from any college/university where credits have been earned.
  4. Completion of 100 hours or more of community service and/or service learning satisfied through any type of purposeful VOLUNTEER activity or event that benefits the community. Hours MUST be completed prior to submission of application. Community Service Form (Electronic Form)
  5. Completion of 40 hours or more of clinical experience, exposure, or shadowing. Of these hours, at least 16 must be with at least two different Physician Assistants in at least two different areas of medicine. Hours MUST be completed prior to submission of application. Clinical Experience Form (Electronic Form)
  6. At least two letters of recommendation (one from a health care provider, particularly a Physician Assistant, highly recommended).
  7. An essay on why applicant wants to be a Physician Assistant (5000 character limit = approx. 625 words. Characters include spaces, carriage returns, numbers, letters, etc.)
  8. Post-secondary cumulative, prerequisite, and science (biology and chemistry courses only) grade-point averages (GPAs) of at least 3.00 on a 4.000 scale. 
  9. A successful Interview (the most highly-qualified applicants will be invited for an interview).
  10. Students enrolled in the PA 3+2 or 4+2 programs are allowed to take courses at other universities, according to University policy. However, the view is that it is best based on course content and preparation that the students take the courses at SRU. 

Applicants who are offered and accept admission will be required to submit a deposit of $500 within 2 weeks of notification to hold a seat in the upcoming class.

*taken within the past 10 years

Please note, if you are an international applicant that requires an F-1 Student Visa it is recommended that you do not apply. Slippery Rock University does not have approval to create I-20 Visa's for the Physician Assistant Studies Program. 

Accreditation Status and Licensure Information

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Slippery Rock University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Slippery Rock University.

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.

Slippery Rock University is approved to offer programs that may lead to licensure/certification in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. SRU cannot confirm that the PA program meets the requirements for licensure/certification in any other state or commenwealth. If you are considering to enroll in the PA education program and be certified/licensed in a state other than Pennsylvania, please check the specific requirements for licensure in your state. if you are considering to work as a PA in other states that may require certification/licensure, you should first seek guidance on your state's requirements. For more information, please consult the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) on the specific state information.

The Slippery Rock University PA Faculty give us a first hand look at the newly renovated Harrisville building. The Physician Assistant Studies is a 24 month program that trains and licenses students to exam, diagnose, and treat patients. Students have access to advanced technology and hands on learning experience.