The Physician Assistant Life

Direct Entry and Dual Degree BS/MS Pre-Physician Assistant Programs

There are 33 direct entry, dual degree BS/MS physician assistant (PA) programs in the United States.

These programs offer the opportunity for early provisional acceptance to exceptional high school students wishing to accelerate their academic and career paths to become  physician assistants.

Application for the program is usually made during the senior year of high school.

Most often accepted applicants go on to  complete a five-year (3+2) Bachelor of Science program in biological sciences/Master of Science program in physician assistant  studies.

There are multiple variations on this theme which are reflected on the pre-physician assistant program websites which I have linked to below.

The programs are competitive and space is limited.

This direct entry admission option  to the PA programs are often (although not always) available only to first-year students.

33 Direct Entry and Dual Degree BS/MS Pre Physician Assistant (PA) Programs

The following table and legend were last updated 3/28/2016 and are based on the PAEA Guide to Physician Assistant Programs with Pre-Professional Phases. If you are aware of additional programs offering pre-professional, dual degree or direct entry BS/MS programs please let me know in the comments section.

Programs labeled “competitive” may require that the student reapply for entry into the professional or graduate phase of the PA program or interview or obtain the recommendation of their program. Generally, it means that acceptance into the professional phase is not guaranteed upon successful completion of the pre-professional phase.

Name of Program and MS/BS Weblink State Pre-Professional Phase (years/degree) Competitive Process for Advancement (yes/no) Professional Phase (years/degree)
1. Arcadia University PA Four years/ bachelor’s degree in major such as biology, chemistry, or psychology No Two years/ Master of Medical Science
2. Butler University IN Two years No Three years/ Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and Master of PA Studies
3. D’Youville College NY 4.5 years, combined pre- professional and professional phase/Bachelor of Science No Master of Science
4. Daemen College NY Four to five years, combined pre-professional and professional phase/ no single degree conferred No 33 months/ Bachelor of Science in Health Science and Master of Science in PA Studies upon completion of all requirements
5. DeSales University PA Three years/ Bachelor of Science in Medical Studies No Two years/ Master of Science in PA Studies
6. Drexel University PA Three years/ bachelor’s degree Yes 27 months/ Master of Health Science
7. Duquesne University PA

Three years/ Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences

(5-year complete program)

No 27 months/ Master of PA Studies
8. Gannon University PA 3 + 2 combined pre- professional and professional phase

(5-year complete program)

No Master of PA Science
9. Hofstra University NY Three years No 28 months/dual degree: Bachelor of Science in PA Studies/Master of Science in PA Studies
10. Kettering College OH 3 + 2 program

Three years/ Bachelor of Science in human biology

Yes Two years/ Master of PA Studies
11. King’s College PA 3 + 2 program

Three years/Bachelor of Science in Medical Studies

No Two years/ Master of Science in PA Studies
12. Le Moyne College

 

NY Three years/ Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts Yes Two years/ Master of Science
13. Lock Haven University PA Three years/ Bachelor of Science in Health Science; prepares students for application to a number of PA programs across the country and to the LHU PA program Yes Two years/ Master of Health Science
14. Marquette University

 

WI Two years/ Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences Yes Three years/ Master of PA Studies
15. Marywood University

 

PA Three years (sometimes two)/bachelor's degree Yes 27 months/ Master of Science in PA Studies
16. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Boston

 

MA 30 months/ Bachelor of Science in Premedical and Health Studies Yes Two years/ Master of PA Studies
17. Misericordia University (losing ARC-PA accreditation 2017)

 

PA Three years/ Bachelor of Science in Medical Science Yes 24 months/ Master of Science in PA Studies
18. University of New England ME Three years/Bachelor's in Biological Sciences -- does not guarantee admission to UNE's PA program Yes Two years/Master of Science PA degree
19. New York Institute of Technology

 

NY Three years/ Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences Yes Three years/ Master of Science in PA Studies
20. Pennsylvania College of Technology (PCT) PA One year of pre-professional preparation recommended at Penn College (one of PCT’s academic schools)/Bachelor of Science 27 months at PCT/Option for a Master’s in Health Science available through Nova Southeastern University in Florida
21. Philadelphia University

 

PA Three years/ Bachelor of Science in Health Science No 25 months/ Master of Science in PA Studies
22. Quinnipiac University CT Four years/ Bachelor of Science in Health and Science Studies No 27 months/ Master of Health Science
23. Rochester Institute of Technology NY Two years Yes Three years/ Combined Bachelor of Science/ Master of Science in PA Studies
24. University of St. Francis–Ft. Wayne IN After completing bachelor's degree, students move directly into PA master's degree curriculum with no additional application process No 27 months/ Master of Science in PA Studies
25. Salus University (pre-professional phase completed at Brigham Young University in Idaho and Western New England University)

 

PA Three years/bachelor’s degree from BYUI Yes Two years/Master's of Medical Science in PA Studies
26. Seton Hill University PA 2.5 years No 27 or 29 months/ Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science upon completion of program
27. Springfield College

 

MA 33 months/ Bachelor of Science in Health Science Yes 27 months/ Master of Science
28. Union College (UC) NE Three years/ Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in biology, chemistry, or psychology; or Bachelor of Science in international rescue and relief; prepares students for application to a number of PA programs across the country and to the UC PA program Yes 33 months/ Master of PA Studies
29. University of Detroit Mercy

 

MI Three years/ Bachelor of Science in Biology Yes Two years/ Master of Science in PA Studies
30. Rutgers NJ 3 + 3 program

Three years/ Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts

Yes Three Years Master of Science
31. University of the Cumberlands

 

KY Three years as pre-PA biology major/ Bachelor of Health Science Yes Two years/ Master of Physician Assistant Studies
32. Wagner College NY Two years Yes Three years/ Bachelor of Science/ Master of Science in Advanced PA Studies and a PA Certificate of Completion
33. Our lady of the Lake College Early admission will be considered for students enrolled in, and in good standing in OLOL College's 3+2 Biology degree program. All 3+2 applicants must meet all other PA program criteria.  Yes Two years/Master of Physician Assistant Studies

Legend and Notes:

  • Programs labeled “competitive” may require that the student reapply for entry into the professional or graduate phase of the PA program or interview or obtain the recommendation of their program. Generally, it means that acceptance into the professional phase is not guaranteed upon successful completion of the pre-professional phase.
  • Degrees earned for completion of the pre-professional phase are frequently not awarded by the programs until students successfully complete the first year of the professional phase or upon graduation from the program’s professional.

Do you have an opinion about direct entry PA programs or  a PA program update you would like to share? If so, just let me know down below in the comments section below.

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