Jul 21, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Interdisciplinary Health Care Studies, B.S., Pre-Physician Assistant Concentration

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study by School & Department

Department Contact:

Chair: Dr. Theresa Horner, thorner@francis.edu, 814-472-3357

Program Description:

The Bachelor of Science in Health Care Studies is designed to provide a degree pathway for students interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree in a health-related field. This program incorporates a solid health studies core with a general education curriculum reflecting the Goals of Franciscan Higher Education. Completion of this degree will prepare students to pursue a graduate professional health care degree or enter the workforce. Students may choose a Pre-Physician Assistant Concentration. 

The Pre-Physician Assistant Concentration is designed to serve as an excellent preparation for application to a graduate Physician Assistant program. Students in this concentration will take four Introduction to Medicine courses (PA 201, 202, 301, and 302). An opportunity may exist for early application to the Saint Francis University accelerated Physician Assistant 3+2 program, if space allows, and the student meets early entrance requirements during the second semester of the sophomore year. Students who meet the early entrance requirements will need to complete a Physician Assistant Program Application as well as interview with members of the Physician Assistant Admissions Committee. NOTE: Achieving the minimum early entrance requirements only qualifies the student to apply for internal transfer into the 3+2 Physician Assistant program. It does not guarantee acceptance into the 3+2 program.

It is recommended that students who plan to apply to a graduate physician assistant program carefully review the admission requirements to ensure that they meet all requirements prior to applying.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will appreciate the value of an interdisciplinary approach to health care.
  • Students will think critically as they address health related issues.
  • Students will communicate effectively in verbal and written formats.
  • Students will employ moral and ethical decision making as a health professional.

Progression and/or Retention Criteria:

Early Entrance Requirements into 3+2 Physician Assistant Program

Listed below are early entrance requirements for the Physician Assistant Program. These requirements are subject to change based on possible future changes that may occur in the admission criteria for the programs.

Students may apply into the 3+2 Physician Assistant program no later than March 15 of the sophomore year, if there are an adequate number of seats available in the cohort. To apply, students must meet the following criteria by/during spring semester of sophomore year:

  • Minimum 3.20 cumulative GPA;
  • Minimum 3.00 major/science GPA;
  • Successful completion with a “C” or higher in BIOL 111 (lecture and lab), BIOL 205 and BIOL 206 (lectures and labs); CHEM 121; and CHEM 122; (for any courses that are in progress at the time of application, the student must have a grade of “C” or higher at mid-semester);
  • Obtain a minimum 2.666 GPA (‘B-‘) average in a combined GPA of BIOL 205/205L and BIOL 206/206L;
  • *Successful completion with a “B” or higher in PA 200, PA 201, and PA 202 (or enrolled spring semester sophomore year with a “B” or higher at mid-term). NOTE: To take these courses, students must earn a “B” or higher in each of the previous “PA” course to progress in the sequence;
  • Completed 50 hours of clinical shadowing experience (minimum 20 hours completed by directly shadowing a PA in clinical practice);
  • Ability to meet PA Program Technical Standards, with or without reasonable accommodations.

*Transfer students who wish to be considered for Early Entrance into the 3+2 Physician Assistant Program must be enrolled as a Saint Francis University student by the beginning of Fall semester sophomore year and are required to take BIOL 205 and BIOL 206 at this institution. Any transfer student admitted after that time will need to complete the BS in Health Care Studies degree and apply as a graduate applicant.

Any student who wishes to apply as a graduate applicant to the Master of PA Science (MPAS) program must submit an application through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). This is typically done in the Spring semester of the student’s junior year (the portal usually opens beginning in April). The Saint Francis University deadline for applications for the following Summer start is located on the Program’s web page.

Estimated Completion Time:

Typically, 4 years of full-time study

Total Credits Required:

128 credits

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study by School & Department