2020-2021 University Catalog 
    Mar 01, 2021  
2020-2021 University Catalog

Physician Assistant, M.S.


  • Crystal Trasoline, M.Ed. PA-C
  • James France, M.D., Program Director
  • Richard Hutchinson, B.S.N., M.P.A.S., PA-C
  • Bobbie Leeper, Ph. D.
  • Rachel M. Sharan, DHSc., PA-C, M.P.A.S.
  • Theodore Stem, M.D., Medical Director
  • Jason Thomas, M.P.A.S., PA-C
  • Allison Turgeon, M.P.A.S., PA-C
  • Bethany Vargo, M.P.A.S., PA-C

The Master of Science Program in Physician Assistant educates students to practice medicine with the supervision of licensed physicians. Graduates function as effective team members in the delivery of primary care in a variety of health care settings. The Seton Hill program is fully accredited by the Academic Review Commission on Education of the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Applicants apply to the Seton Hill program through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).

The Master of Science curriculum consists of 15 months of intensive course work followed by 12 months of full-time supervised clinical experiences (rotations).

The Seton Hill University Physician Assistant Program is dedicated to providing students a quality academic and clinical education. Compassion and respect are the cornerstones of all clinical work. Students receive primary care training and are encouraged through the graduate program design to delve deeply into selected clinical or professional issues, to gain an understanding of the value and need for research, and to communicate their knowledge to others.

Educational Objectives

  • Communicate effectively and respectfully with others including patients, family members, office staff, other members of the healthcare team, classmates, and instructors.
  • Actively engage in discussion and perform effectively as a team member in both large and small groups.
  • Elicit a medical history and perform an appropriate physical examination regardless of the patient’s age, gender, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, socioeconomic standing, ethical code, or level of compliance and summarize that information in both oral and written form.
  • Perform and interpret routine laboratory and diagnostic procedures and integrate medical information to develop accurate differential diagnoses and working problem lists.
  • Develop patient management plans, prescribe appropriate medications, and record progress notes.
  • Assist in the provision of quality health care in a variety of settings.
  • Perform emergency procedures and manage emergency situations by incorporating various sources of information into a changing clinical picture.
  • Instruct and counsel patients and family members about compliance with prescribed therapeutic regimens, normal growth and development, reproductive issues, health maintenance, and the emotional problems of daily living. 
  • Identify and respond to the special needs of the underserved in any practice setting.
  • Identify cultural differences and recognize the impact of culture on the delivery of health care.
  • Accept supervision and apply feedback.
  • Think critically and reason diagnostically integrating theory, research, medical content knowledge, patient presentation, and current best practices to accurately diagnose various disease states and to create optimal, individualized treatment plans.
  • Utilize self-directed research of the medical literature to maintain a current, operational knowledge of medical conditions, treatments, and the state of health care.
  • Use directed clinical practice to further individual content knowledge and then disseminate that knowledge to others.

Students who earn a Master of Science degree will be eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE) to become certified.

Admission Requirements

Applicants with a baccalaureate degree:

  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.2
  • Minimum grade point average for prerequisite courses of 3.2
  • Completion of prerequisite courses at an accredited institution within the past 7 years


  • biochemistry
  • medical terminology
  • human anatomy and physiology I and II with laboratories
  • chemical principles I and II with laboratories
  • principles of organic chemistry I and II with laboratories
  • microbiology with laboratory
  • lifespan development or abnormal psychology (or equivalent courses in psychology)
  • statistics
  • completion of at least 300 hours of health care experience involving direct patient contact 
  • three shadowing experiences of physician assistants in different specializations 
  • demonstrated skills in oral and written language 
  • evidence of ability to complete intensive program of study and training 
  • demonstrated maturity and professional qualities required for the physician assistant profession as outlined in the Technical Standards

Applicants without a baccalaureate degree:

Students may be accepted into the BS/MS physician assistant program only directly from high school. They must complete all courses required for the Liberal Arts Curriculum and meet the admission requirements listed above. See Undergraduate Majors, Physician Assistant  for details. IB, CLEP, Advanced Placement course credits are not accepted for any of the PA Program prerequisite courses.

Students who do not complete the Master of Science program requirements must choose and complete the requirements for another undergraduate major to earn a Bachelor’s degree. This will delay the student’s graduation for a year or more.

Physician Assistant Curriculum

Master of Science

Total Credits: 94