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 ten and one half months of didactic instruction followed by thirteen and one half months of clinical rotations. 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 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remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.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 2017. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.
Students who already have a bachelor’s (or higher) degree apply to the two-year master’s program through the Centralized Application System for Physician Assistants (CASPA). For information Contact:
P.O. Box 70958
Chevy Chase, MD 20813-0958
CASPA will be open April 22, 2015 for Fall 2016 applicants.
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. The enrollment process and seat availability are determined by the number of undergraduate BS/MS students who matriculate successfully. Candidates should check with CASPA for availability of enrollment.
Applicants who have received a bachelor degree from King’s College are not required to apply through CASPA. They can call the PA Program at 570-208-5853 to request a King’s Alumni Application. These applicants will be required to meet the same minimum criteria as the CASPA 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.
- Candidates must have a Bachelor's degree or higher degree (or be completing a Bachelor's degree 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), chemistry (8 credits), and microbiology (4 credits). No grade less than a 1.75 "C-" will be accepted for any prerequisite science courses. We will not accept any required science courses that have been taken online.
- Candidates cannot have more than two outstanding prerequisite science courses in the spring semester prior to the start of the program in August.
- Candidates cannot have any outstanding courses in the summer prior to the start of the program in August.
- Candidates must have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 and a cumulative science GPA of 3.2.
- Candidates must complete 500 clinical hours of health care experience by the CASPA application deadline. The hours may be voluntary or paid. Of these 500 hours, a minimum of 300 must be direct patient care while the remainder can be indirect. These hours must also include physician assistant shadowing hours. Please read the document fully describing clinical hour requirements.
- 2 letters of reference.
- A personal statement discussing desire to be a Physician Assistant.
- We do not require GRE, MCAT, or USMLE scores.
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.
- Candidates must have all coursework that was completed at an academic institution outside the U.S. evaluated by an accredited agency.
- Candidates whose native language is not English must pass the TOEFL exam or complete a bachelor degree in a U.S. College or University. The passing score on the TOEFL will vary depending on the type of exam you take (internet-based, computer-based, or paper-based). TOEFL scores must be submitted by the CASPA application deadline.
*Minimum TOEFL Scores needed to apply:
Internet-based Test minimum of 108/120
Computer-based Test minimum of 270/300 and a 5.5 on the essay
Paper-based Test minimum of 610/677
TOEFL test information may be obtained from ETS, Princeton, New Jersey 08540, or by calling (609) 771-7100.
- 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.
- Once an application is completed, members of the PA selection committee review and evaluate each applicant’s academic transcripts, work experience record, and any other prerequisites.
- Selected candidates will receive an invitation for an interview.
- 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.
- Immunization 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.
- FBI Background Checks and Child Abuse Security Clearance
All PA students are required to have a federal background check prior to starting the program. All Physician Assistant students must be fingerprinted for FBI Background Clearance prior to the first day of classes. This Federal Criminal History Record Check (FCHR) must be completed annually at an approved Cogent site.
Students must complete and submit a Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Form prior to starting the program. The program will supply the student with this form which must be filed and cleared with the Childline and Abuse Registry, Department of Public Welfare, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Students are required to have a PA state background check to be completed by the Program. Social Security numbers for this background check must be submitted to the Program Coordinator in the main PA Program Office prior to the start of rotations.
A student who does not have a clear check may be denied access to hospitals and/ or clinical rotations. This may affect their ability to complete the Program. A check which is not clear may also affect one’s ability to sit for the PANCE exam, obtain professional licenses or institutional privileges. The Federal Criminal History Record Check (FCHR), PA state background check and The Child Abuse History Clearance Form check must be maintained 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. All costs incurred in complying with these checks are the responsibility of the student
- 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 and/or alcohol test performed at a licensed laboratory. Students are required to have this testing done annually and in some cases, testing will be done randomly upon request. 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.
Applicant Selection Process
Graduate applications are scored based on GPA (cumulative GPA and overall science GPA) the level of degree (Bachelors, Masters), King's degree, type of major (science or non-science); and the quality and quantity of the health care experience/shadowing hours. Your personal statement, references, and other experiences (work experience, community service, extra- curricular activities, etc.) included on your application are also scored. A personal interview is required for admission. Selected candidates will receive an invitation for an interview in late January/early February. 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 make a decision and notify the candidates within 2 weeks of their interview. This interview and selection process will continue until the class is filled or until July 20th, whichever comes first.
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.
*Questions can be addressed at the PA office by calling (570) 208-5853 or contact the Admissions Coordinator at PAadmissions@kings.edu