Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (M.S.P.A.S.)
Students may enter the Professional phase of the PA Program as graduate students into the two-year master’s (M.S.P.A.S.) degree program. The term “professional phase” refers specifically to the full time 24 month training program during which the student trains to be a physician assistant. The professional phase consists of twelve months of didactic instruction followed by twelve months of clinical instruction. Upon completion of this phase, students will graduate with a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies and are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) through the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). The term “PA Program” refers only to the professional phase of the training at King’s College.
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation - Continued status to the King's College Physician Assistant Program sponsored by King's College. Accreditation - Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.
Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program will be March 2027. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.
The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-kings-college/
The King's College Physician Assistant Program will not be opening graduate applications for the class entering in the fall of 2021 or the fall of 2022. If seats do become available, we will notify applicants on this webpage.
Application to the Two-Year Master’s Program in Physician Assistant Studies
Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (M.S.P.A.S.)
Seat availability is determined by the number of undergraduate BS/MS students who matric-ulate successfully into the professional program. If seats are available, students may apply into the Professional Phase of the PA Program as graduate students into the two-year master’s (M.S.P.A.S.) degree program when the application process is published as opened to all graduate students.
Enrollment through the Centralized Application System for Physician Assistants (CASPA) may be opened based on the number of seats available. If CASPA enrollment is opened, this will be posted on the PA Program Website. When opened, the deadline for final CASPA application to King’s College is October 1st. Applicants are strongly encouraged, however, to apply as early as possible, since it may take CASPA up to four-six weeks to process an application and forward it to King’s. If enrollment through CASPA is not opened, but there is graduate seat availability, notification of an open graduate application process by completion of the King's application will be posted on the PA Program Website.
For information on CASPA contact:
P.O. Box 70958
Chevy Chase, MD 20813-0958
Applicants who have received a bachelor’s degree from King’s College are not required to apply through CASPA. They will, however, be considered in the same applicant pool with all graduate applicants. If there is seat availability, alumni can call the PA Program at 570-208-8086 to request a King’s Application. These applicants will be required to meet the same minimum criteria as the CASPA/graduate applicants but will be recognized in the initial scoring process. These applicants do not have to pay the CASPA application fee when applying to the King’s Physician Assistant Program. The deadline for these applicants is October 1st. Applications must be addressed to the King’s College PA Program, Admissions.
A notice of seat availability and an application process will be posted on the Physician Assistant Program’s website. Applicants can call the PA Admissions Department at 570-208-8086 for fur-ther information and seat availability.
If CASPA is not opened and seats do become available, an announcement will be placed on the PA Program’s website. Applicants can call the PA Admissions department at 570-208-8086 for an application.
Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree or higher degree or be completing a bachelor’s de-gree or higher degree by the end of the spring semester prior to the start of the program in August.
Candidates must complete all of the following prerequisite science courses, preferably with labs by the end of the spring semester prior to the start of the program in August: anatomy and physiology (8 credits), general biology (8 credits), general chemistry (8 credits), organic chemistry (4 credits), genetics (3 credits), and microbiology (4 credits). If the ap-plicant’s college did not offer labs with these courses or offered 3 credit science courses including a lab, we will accept these courses. No grade less than a “C-” will be accepted for any prerequisite science courses. We will not accept any required science courses that have been taken online. Online science course exceptions will be made for classes taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will also give additional points in our scoring pro-cess for those applicants that have 4 credits in medical microbiology.
Any required science course with a grade less than C- must be repeated; however, both grades will be incorporated into the calculations for the overall science and cumulative G.P.A.s.
Courses will be accepted from any 2- or 4-year accredited US college or university.
Candidates cannot have more than two outstanding prerequisite science courses in the spring semester prior to the start of the program in August. Students must maintain a minimum overall and science G.P.A. of 3.2. G.P.A.S will not be rounded.
Candidates that complete any courses after submitting their application to CASPA/King's ap-plication must forward an official transcript directly to the King’s College Department of Physician Assistant Studies as soon as they receive their spring semester grades.
Candidates cannot have any outstanding courses in the summer prior to the start of the pro-gram in August.
We will consider candidates who possess degrees granted 10 or more years ago, however, we encourage these candidates to retake prerequisite courses, particularly in Anatomy and Physiology and Microbiology.
Candidates must have a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.2 and a cumulative science G.P.A. of 3.2. G.P.A.s will not be rounded.
Candidates must complete 500 clinical hours of health care experience by the CASPA appli-cation deadline. The hours may be voluntary or paid. Of these 500 hours, a minimum of 300 must be Category I while the remainder can be Category II. These hours must also include physician assistant shadowing hours. Please read this document fully describing clinical hour requirements.
2 letters of reference. It is suggested that one letter of recommendation is from a professional that the applicant has worked with clinically and one from someone academic, preferably someone that the applicant has had for multiple science classes.
A personal statement discussing desire to be a Physician Assistant.
We do not require GRE, MCAT, or USMLE scores.
Candidates must have all coursework that was completed at an academic institution outside the U.S. evaluated by WES (World Education Services Inc.) and submitted to the Program by the application deadline of October 1st.
Candidates whose native language is not English must pass the TOEFL exam or complete a bachelor’s degree in a U.S. College or University. The passing score on the TOEFL is listed below. Official TOEFL scores must be submitted by the CASPA application deadline.
*Minimum TOEFL Scores needed to apply: Internet-based Test minimum of 108/120 TOEFL test information may be obtained from ETS, Princeton, New Jersey 08540, or by calling (609) 771-7100.
Once an application is completed, the Admissions and Data Coordinator will review and eval-uate each applicant’s academic transcripts, work experience record, and any other prereq-uisites/requirements.
Candidates selected by the PA Admissions Committee will receive an invitation for an inter-view.
Upon completion of all interviews, the committee, at their sole discretion, recommends to the Program Director the applicants selected for admission to the professional phase.
Graduate Applicant Selection Process
Graduate applications are scored based on G.P.A. (cumulative G.P.A. and overall science G.P.A.). A King’s degree and a science degree is awarded extra points in the scoring process. Additional points are also awarded for advanced degrees and graduate course credits and a com-pleted course in medical microbiology. The quality and quantity of the health care experi-ence/shadowing hours are also scored. Your personal statement, references and other experi-ences (work experience, community service, extra-curricular activities) included on your applica-tion are also scored. Points may also be deducted from scoring for disciplinary actions. A personal interview is required for admission. Selected candidates will receive an invitation for an interview. Selected candidates will be scored during their interview and will be required to do an on-site writing sample. The King’s College Department of Physician Assistant Studies will decide and notify selected candidates within 2-3 weeks of their interview. This interview and selection pro-cess will continue until the class is filled or until July 20th, whichever comes first. Meeting mini-mum prerequisites neither guarantees the applicant an interview nor admission
Experiential Learning Credits and the Professional Phase of the PA Program
The professional program does not allow for exemption from courses, clinical skills, laboratories, or clinical education regardless of prior experience, degree or credential. Students must matriculate through all aspects of the program and successfully complete all program requirements in order to graduate.
- There are written technical standards that all PA students must meet in order to complete professional phase training. Please review these standards before making application to the program.
King’s College Department of Physician Assistant Studies Technical Standards
A candidate for the Physician Assistant Program must have abilities and skills in five categories: observation, communication, motor, intellectual and behavioral/social. Reasonable accommodation for persons with documented disabilities will be considered on an individual basis, but a candidate must be able to perform in an independent manner. Coordination of services is handled through the College's Academic Skills Center. The following skills are required with or without accommodation.
Observation: Candidates must have sufficient capacity to observe in the lecture hall, the laboratory, and the clinical setting. Sensory skills adequate to perform a physical examination are required. Functional vision, hearing and tactile sensation must be adequate to observe a patient's condition and to elicit information through procedures regularly required in a physical examination, such as inspection, auscultation and palpation.
Communications: Candidates must be able to communicate effectively in both academic and health care settings. Candidates must show evidence of effective written and verbal communication skills. Candidates must be able to communicate effectively with patients and their families in order to elicit information, and to describe changes in mood, activity, and posture, and to perceive nonverbal communications. Candidates must be able to process and communicate information on the patient’s status with accuracy in a timely manner to physician supervisors and to other members of the health care team.
Motor: The ability to participate in basic diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers and procedures (e.g., palpation, auscultation) is required. Candidates must have sufficient motor function to execute movements required to provide care to patients. Candidates must be able to negotiate patient care environments and must be able to move between settings, such as clinic, classroom building, and hospital. Physical stamina sufficient to complete the rigorous course of didactic and clinical study is required. Long periods of sitting, standing, or moving are required in classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences.
Intellectual: Candidates must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize. Problem-solving, one of the critical skills demanded of Physician Assistants, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, candidates should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures. Candidates must be able to read and understand medical literature. In order to complete the Physician Assistant degree, candidates must be able to demonstrate mastery of these skills and the ability to use them together in a timely fashion in medical problem-solving and patient care.
Behavioral and social attributes: Candidates must possess the emotional health and stability required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities. They must possess the ability to exercise good judgment, as well as the ability to promptly complete all academic and patient care responsibilities. The development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and other members of the health care team is essential. Flexibility, compassion, integrity, motivation, interpersonal skills, and concern for others are all required along with the ability to function in the face of the uncertainties inherent to clinical practice. Candidates must be able to function effectively under stress and have the ability to accept constructive criticism and handle difficult interpersonal relationships during training.
Students with disabilities should contact the Academic Skills Center at King’s College to help with accommodations that they may need. Disability Services are available to members of the King’s College Community who require assistance in areas including, but not limited to, learning disabilities, mobility, orthopedic, hearing, vision, or speech impairments. Individuals with temporary disabilities are also eligible for services. Reasonable accommodations will be offered to those individuals with documentation of their disability from the appropriate certifying professional. Documentation must include the following: (1) qualifications of the evaluator; (2) date of documentation; (3) appropriate clinical documentation to substantiate the disability; and (4) evidence to establish a rationale supporting the need for accommodations. The goal of Disability Services is to maximize a student’s educational potential while aiding the student to develop and maintain independence. Students do need to meet the technical standards of the King’s College PA Program in order to remain in the program.
Candidates for selection to the PA Program will be required to verify that they understand and meet these technical standards, or that they believe that, with certain accommodation(s), they can meet the standards.
The Disability Services Coordinator will evaluate a student who states that he/she could meet the program’s technical standards with accommodation(s) and confirm that the stated condition qualifies as a disability under applicable laws.
If a student states that he/she can meet the technical standards with accommodation(s), then the College will determine whether it agrees that the student can meet the technical standards with reasonable accommodation(s). This will include a review of whether the accommodation(s) requested are reasonable, taking into account whether accommodation(s) would jeopardize clinician/patient safety, or the educational process of the student or the College, including all coursework, clinical experiences deemed essential to graduation.
The King’s College Department of Physician Assistant Studies complies with federal, state, and university guidelines regarding applicants with disabilities.
Immunization Policy for the Department of Physician Assistant Studies during the Professional Phase*
The King’s College Department of Physician Assistant Studies requires that all students maintain immunizations as recommended by the CDC for healthcare providers (http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2017.pdf) and any state specific mandates. Therefore, all King’s College PA students must have proof of these immunizations prior to admission to the professional phase of the program and yearly thereafter.
- Though not an immunization, students must have a tuberculin skin test or an IGRA (Interferon-Gamma Release Assays) to enter the PA Program. Additional tuberculosis testing may also be required by clinical sites or if there is a known exposure or ongoing transmission. Positive results will require proper evaluation, and documentation must be submitted as instructed by the PA Program.
- Although the meningococcal (meningitis) vaccine is not required by the PA Program, IT IS required by The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for students living in college-owned and operated residence halls. Therefore, students must either provide written documentation of meningitis immunization or sign a waiver to indicate they have been informed about this disease and vaccine and have chosen not to be immunized if they are living on campus. This form is provided by student health. Otherwise, the meningococcal vaccines are only for those that are routinely exposed to isolates of Neisseria meningitidis.
The King's College Department of Physician Assistant Studies strongly encourages students to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine.
Facilities and hospitals often require additional immunizations and titers which students must obtain prior to starting rotations at those sites. Information regarding these additional requirements will be given to students prior to starting rotations.
Failure to comply with the Immunization Policy for the Department of Physician Assistant Studies or any additional immunizations and titers for clinical rotations will result in the inability to enter, continue with or complete the program.
All costs incurred in complying with this policy are the responsibility of the student.
*Policy subject to change at any time to comply with ARC-PA standards, King’s College, the PA Program and Hospital policies. The King’s College Department of PA Studies will make every attempt to notify its students of these changes in a timely manner.
Other PA Program Requirements:
Matriculating students must have yearly physical exams completed and maintain current health insurance and a current driver's license. Students must also have a reliable car to use for clinical experiences during the Program.
Prior to the start of the program and during clinical rotations, the program requires all students to have the following background checks: A Federal Criminal History Record Check (FCHR), a PA State Police Criminal Record Check, and a Child Abuse History Clearance. All costs incurred in complying with these checks are the responsibility of the student.
A student who does not have a clear background check may be denied access to hospitals and/or clinical rotations. This may affect his or her ability to complete the program. A background check which is not clear may also affect one’s ability to sit for the PANCE, obtain professional licenses, or institutional privileges. The Federal Criminal History Record Check (FCHR), PA State Police Criminal Record Check, and The Child Abuse History Clearance must be updated on an annual basis. In an attempt to schedule clinical rotations, any information found on these checks will be disclosed to clinical facilities and preceptors. Background checks which reveal a felony offense may result in denial of admission and/or dismissal from the program.
King's College Physician Assistant Drug and Alcohol Policy
The King's College Department of Physician Assistant Studies follows the policies outlined in the King's College Student Handbook. The use of drugs or alcohol prior to or during any activities pertaining to the program is strictly prohibited. If there is reasonable suspicion of impairment, the student will be removed from that activity/class/rotation immediately.
An institution, clinical site or the PA Program may request or require drug and/or alcohol testing, and/or referral for counseling and treatment. Prior to the start of the professional phase of the program, students will be required to undergo a 10-panel urine drug screen performed at a licensed laboratory. Students are required to have this testing done annually and additional unannounced testing of drug and/or alcohol testing may be required as well. Students will sign a consent form with a waiver of liability releasing this information to the Program and any Clinical Site that may require the reported results. The student is responsible for all associated costs incurred. If the student refuses, they may be unable to complete the requirements of the program. Specific disciplinary actions and/or dismissals will be handled on an individual basis.
Employment during the professional phase of the PA Program
Due to the rigorous nature of the PA program during both the didactic and the clinical phases of training, it is inadvisable for students to hold a job during their professional training. Employment demands will not justify an excused absence from any academic or clinical requirements of the Program nor will any special accommodations be made.
Students are not required to provide or solicit their own clinical sites or preceptors. Students may, however, arrange some of their own rotations. This must be discussed with the Clinical Faculty before arrangements are made and approval is not automatically guaranteed.
Policies subject to change at any time in order to comply with ARC-PA standards, King’s College, the PA Program and Hospital policies. The King’s College Department of PA Studies will make every attempt to notify its students of these changes in a timely manner. The King’s College Department of Physician Assistant Studies reserves the right to alter and or modify policies and curriculum with notification to the affected students.
*Questions can be addressed at the PA office by calling (570) 208-5853 or contact the Admissions Coordinator at PAadmissions@kings.edu