There are 40 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 BSHS/MSPA Programs are rigorous and admission is highly competitive. Successful applicants are typically strong students academically, especially in the sciences. Often, to be considered for admission, the applicant should be a high school senior in the top 10% of his or her class with an SAT score (Critical Reading and Math) of 1220 or higher with a Math score of 570, or a Combined ACT score of 24 or higher.
Healthcare experience is not required but is of benefit. An understanding of the role of the physician assistant is expected.
This direct entry admission option to the PA programs are often (although not always) available only to first-year students.
40 (and growing) Direct Entry and Dual Degree BS/MS Pre-Physician Assistant (PA) Programs
The following table and legend were last updated 03/2019. 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 below.
Programs labeled “competitive” may require that the student reapplies 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)|
|Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences||NY||Three years||No||Offering a 28-month Physician Assistant program leading to a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies.|
|Arcadia University||PA||Four years/ bachelor’s degree in majors such as biology, chemistry, or psychology||No||Two years/ Master of Medical Science|
|Butler University||Closed to new applicants|
|Chatham University||PA||Highly qualified first-year applicants to Chatham University are eligible for guaranteed or preferred admission to Chatham's integrated undergraduate and graduate degree programs||Yes||24 months / Masters of Physician Assistant Studies|
|College of Saint Mary||NE||3 + 2 program
Three years/ Bachelor of Science in human biology
|Yes||Two years/ Master of Medical Science|
|D’Youville College||NY||4.5 years, combined pre-professional and professional phase/Bachelor of Science||No||Master of Science|
|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|
|DeSales University||PA||Three years/ Bachelor of Science in Medical Studies||No||Two years/ Master of Science in PA Studies|
|Drexel University||PA||Three years/ bachelor’s degree||Yes||27 months/ Master of Health Science|
Three years/ Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences
(5-year complete program)
|No||27 months/ Master of PA Studies|
|Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University||LA||
Early admission will be considered after completion of 3.5 years of biology-human medicine curriculum / Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology-Human Medicine Track
|Yes||26 months /Master of Medical Science Degree in Physician Assistant Studies|
|Gannon University||PA||3 + 2 combined pre-professional and professional phase
(5-year complete program)
|No||Master of PA Science|
|Jefferson University||PA||Three years/ Bachelor of Science in Health Science||No||25 months/ Master of Science in PA Studies|
|Hofstra University||NY||Three years||No||28 months/dual degree: Bachelor of Science in PA Studies/Master of Science in PA Studies|
|Kettering College||OH||3 + 2 program
Three years/ Bachelor of Science in human biology
|Yes||Two years/ Master of PA Studies|
|King’s College||PA||3 + 2 program
Three years/Bachelor of Science in Medical Studies
|No||Two years/ Master of Science in PA Studies|
|Le Moyne College||NY||Three years/ Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts||Yes||Two years/ Master of Science|
|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|
|Marquette University||WI||Two years/ Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences||Yes||Three years/ Master of PA Studies|
|Marywood University||PA||Three years (sometimes two)/bachelor's degree||Yes||27 months/ Master of Science in PA Studies|
|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|
|New York Institute of Technology||NY||Three years/ Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences||Yes||Three years/ Master of Science in PA Studies|
|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|
|Quinnipiac University||CT||Four years/ Bachelor of Science in Health and Science Studies||No||27 months/ Master of Health Science|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||NY||Two years||Yes||Three years/ Combined Bachelor of Science/ Master of Science in PA Studies|
|Rutgers||NJ||3 + 3 program
Three years/ Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts
|Yes||Three Years Master of Science|
|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|
|Seton Hall University||PA||3 years / Bachelor of Sciences in Biology||Yes||3 year Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies|
|Seton Hill University||PA||2.5 years||No||27 or 29 months/ Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science upon completion of the program|
|Slippery Rock University||PS||3 years Bachelor of sciences||Yes||2 year Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies|
|Springfield College||MA||33 months/ Bachelor of Science in Health Science||Yes||27 months/ Master of Science|
|St. Francis University||PA||Physician Assistant Science Program, B.S. in Health Science + Master of Physician Assistant Science (5-year)||Yes||Master of Physician Assistant Science (2-year)|
|Stockton University||NJ||Three years/ Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS)||No||Master of Physician Assistant Studies (2-year)|
|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|
|University of Detroit Mercy
|MI||Three years/ Bachelor of Science in Biology||Yes||Two years/ Master of Science in PA Studies|
|University of the Cumberlands||KY||Three years as pre-PA biology major/ Bachelor of Health Science||Yes||Two years/ Master of Physician Assistant Studies|
|University of the Sciences (USP)||PA||Three years||Yes||Three Years Master of Science - Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) Graduate PA Program|
|University of St. Francis–Ft. Wayne||IN||After completing a 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|
|Valparaiso University||IN||Three years / Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree||Yes||Two years / Master of Science in Physician Assistant|
|Wagner College||NY||Three years||Yes||Three years/ Bachelor of Science/ Master of Science in Advanced PA Studies and a PA Certificate of Completion|
Legend and Notes:
- Programs labeled “competitive” may require that the student reapplies 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.