Physician Assistant Studies | Assumption University (2023)


A developing 28-month PA program culminating in a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree.

Physician Assistant Studies

Program Tracks Available

On campus

Admission Deadline

October 1, 2023
All applications will be submitted through CASPA, the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants. The application cycle for the Class of 2026 will open in late April 2023.

Degrees Offered



School of Health Professions


  • Program Overview

    Assumption University is currently in the process of developing a master’s level PA Program in ourSchool of Health Professions. Weanticipate enrolling the first cohort in January of 2024.

    The 28-month Physician Assistantprogram will prepare its graduates, throughout the 12-month didactic and 16-month clinical phases of the program,to enter the health care field with the education and skills required to provide compassionate and highly competent care to every patient they serve. Your Assumption PA education will highlight the empathetic component of health care. The understanding that each patient is an individual to be cared for, and not just a disease, is fundamental to our mission.

    The Important Role of a PA

    PAs are medical professionals who collaborate with physicians as part of the health care team. They conduct physical examinations, diagnose, and treat illness and injury, order and interpret lab and diagnostic tests, perform medical procedures, assist in surgery, provide education and counseling, and make rounds on patients in hospitals and nursing homes. All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow PAs to practice medicine and prescribe medications. PAs work side-by-side with physician team members in all medical specialties.

    Why become a PA student at Assumption University?

    1. State-of-Art Facilities: brand new, dedicated Health Services Building including dedicated PA classrooms, study spaces, physical examination lab, and medical simulation center. Apple Classroom technology in lecture halls and study spaces work with student issued iPads.Human Gross Anatomy will be taught by our experienced faculty at the PC Institute for Medical Education, LLC (PCI) in Fall River, MA, and all PA students will continue to have access to all university resources and services during this course at PCI.
    2. Highly dedicated, renowned faculty: subject matter experts from the local community with extensive experience in their field of practice. Core faculty are dedicated to the University Mission.
    3. ThirteenSupervised Clinical Practice Experiences: 16 months of clinical rotations, expanding time learning to care for patient at the bedside, including a 10 week primary care rotation, and two electives.
    4. Planned overseas rotations: student may participate in a global health experience at an overseas location caring for an underserved population.
    5. Holistic Patient Care: foster an approach to medicine that incorporates the care of the body, mind, and soul.
    6. Clinical Decision Making: a course dedicated to applying concepts learned in didactic classes supervised by currently practicing providers.
    7. Principles of Practice Management & Leadership: A certificate program that prepares graduates to appreciate the complexities of medical practice and supports understanding of leadership traits and roles.
    8. Pre-Clinical Patient Care Experiences: students will start hands on patient care during their didactic phase to better prepare them to start clinical rotations.

Program Contact

Kayla M. Cetrone

Director of PA Admissions, Assessment & Academic, Assistant Professor of Practice, School of Health Professions


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  • The mission of the PA Program at Assumption University embodies the principles of Catholic social teaching, emphasizing the value and dignity of human life, compassion, and empathy, preparing our graduates to provide exceptional, ethical, patient-centered care with a focus on life-long learning, leadership, and service to individuals, families, and diverse communities. Our educational environment fosters the development of confident, competent graduates who practice medical care in a collaborative environment.

  • The Assumption University PA Program strives to imbue our graduates with the clinical knowledge and reasoning needed to practice high quality medicine while serving a diverse population through its emphasis on compassion, empathy, and treating the whole person. As a Catholic institution, Assumption University PA students will honor the value and dignity of human life through community service, compassion, and ethical principles as they enter meaningful careers in healthcare.

    We envision our students to be leaders, significantly impacting their communities in their roles as healthcare professionals. We aim to be distinguished as a premier PA Program in the region, recognized for exceptional PAs in the community. Through the recruitment of a highly qualified pool of applicants that reflect the diversity of the community, we anticipate matriculating and graduating exceptional PA student cohorts.

    1. Graduate students who align with Catholic social teaching by demonstrating concern for the value and dignity of human life as well as ethical, compassionate, and empathetic patient care.
    2. Graduate students who provide exceptional patient care by applying a high level of medical expertise, clinical reasoning, and professionalism during patient encounters.
    3. Through a comprehensive and supportive educational experience, the program will develop PAs well-prepared to enter clinical practice.
    4. Provide an educational environment that fosters life-long learning.
    5. Promote opportunities for community service throughout their educational experience.
    6. Encourage leadership, scholarship, and professional development.
    7. Create opportunities that encourage interdisciplinary collaboration among various healthcare professionals and students.

    The Effectiveness of the Program in Meeting its Goals will be published upon the graduation of the inaugural class in 2026.

    ARC-PA Standard A3.12b

  • Term One

    • PAS 510: Human Gross Anatomy (5 Credits)
    • PAS 511: Applied Lab Medicine(1Credit)
    • PAS 512: Pharmacology(4Credits)
    • PAS 513: Human Physiology & Pathophysiology(4Credits)
    • PAS 514: Research Methods in Medicine(1Credit)
    • PAS 515: Medical Genetics(1Credit)
    • PAS 516: Principles of Practice Management and Leadership I(1Credit)

    Term Two

    • PAS 520: Medicine One(5 Credits)
    • PAS 521: Medicine Two(5 Credits)
    • PAS 522: Physical Diagnosis and Clinical Decision Making(4Credits)
    • PAS 523: Orthopedic Surgery(5 Credits)
    • PAS 524: Psychiatry(2Credits)

    Term Three

    • PAS 530: Medicine Three(6Credits)
    • PAS 531: Medicine Four(5 Credits)
    • PAS 532: Diagnostic Studies(1Credit)
    • PAS 533: Electrocardiography (+ Advanced Cardiac Life Support – ACLS)(4Credits)
    • PAS 534: Clinical Procedures and Clinical Decision Making(4Credits)
    • PAS 535: Legal, Ethical, and Religious Aspects of Healthcare(1Credit)
    • PAS 536: Public Health and Preventative Medicine (+ Dental Medicine)(2Credits)
    • PAS 537: Professional Practice One(1Credit)

    Term Four

    • PAS 540: Medicine Five(5 Credits)
    • PAS 541: Medicine Six(3Credits)
    • PAS 542: Pediatrics (+ Pediatric Advanced Life Support – PALS)(4Credits)
    • PAS 543: Emergency Medicine(4Credits)
    • PAS 544: Surgery (+ Tactical Combat Casualty Care – TCCC Weekend)(5 Credits)
    • PAS 545: Clinical Decision Making(4Credits)
    • PAS 546: Principles of Practice Management and Leadership II(1Credit)
    • PAS 547: Professional Practice Two(1Credit)

    Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences (SCPEs)

    • PAS 610: Primary Care SCPE (Ten Weeks)(8Credits)
    • PAS 611: Inpatient Medicine SCPE (Five Weeks)(4Credits)
    • PAS 612: General Surgery SCPE (Five Weeks)(4Credits)
    • PAS 613: Pediatrics SCPE (Five Weeks)(4Credits)
    • PAS 614: Obstetrics and Gynecology SCPE (Five Weeks)(4Credits)
    • PAS 615: Psychiatry SCPE (Five Weeks)(4Credits)
    • PAS 616: Emergency Medicine SCPE (Five Weeks)(4Credits)
    • PAS 617: Orthopedic Surgery SCPE (Five Weeks)(4Credits)
    • PAS 618: Dermatology SCPE (Five Weeks)(4Credits)
    • PAS 619: Multi-Specialty SCPE (Five Weeks)(4Credits)
    • PAS 620: Elective One SCPE (Five Weeks)(4Credits)
    • PAS 621/622: Elective Two SCPE (Five Weeks)(4Credits)

    Program Credit Hours by Term

    • Didactic Term One: 17 Credits
    • Didactic Term Two: 21 Credits
    • Didactic Term Three:24Credits
    • Didactic Term Four: 27 Credits
    • Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences (SCPEs): 52 Credits

    Total PA Program Credit Hours: 141Credits

    ARC-PA Standard A3.12d & A3.12e

    PA Program Curriculum Components and Academic Credit

  • You are invited to download the below document to learn more about the program required competencies for the PA program at Assumption University.

    ARC-PA Standard A3.12g

    Program Required Competencies

  • All supervised clinical practice experiences, to include both clinical sites and preceptors, will be coordinated by the PA Program. Students are not required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors. Students may request a specific clinical siteor preceptor, however, each site or preceptor must be approved by the Director of Clinical education and must meet all of the requirements of the PA Program. (ARC-PA Standard A3.03)

  • The PA Program will publish its attrition information when the first cohort graduates in May of 2026. (ARC-PA Standard A3.12i)

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  • The PA Program will publish the annual NCCPA PANCE Exam Performance Summary Report Last 5 Years provided by the NCCPA through its program portal when the first cohort graduates and completes their certification examinations, but no later than 01 April 2027. (ARC-PA Standard A3.12c)

  • Class of 2026 (matriculates in January 2024)

    • Tuition: $121,000
    • Fees: $9,000 (approximate, subject to change)

    PA Program Withdrawal and Tuition Refunds

    ARC-PA Standard A3.12f

  • Students must meet the technical standards of the Assumption University PA program with or without reasonable accommodations, consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act upon admission and continue to demonstrate them throughout their participation in the program. The use of a human intermediary to meet these technical standards means that a student’s judgment is guided by another person’s powers of observation and interpretation. Students are, therefore, not permitted to use such intermediaries in meeting the technical standards of the Assumption University PA program. Any student found in violation of technical standards is subject to dismissal.

    ARC-PA Standard A3.13e

    Please download the below document for additional information.

    PA Program Technical Standards

  • PA Program Student Handbook

  • The Assumption University Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program has applied for Accreditation-Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The program anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2024, pending achieving Accreditation-Provisional status at the June 2023 ARC-PA meeting. “Accreditation-Provisional” is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. If the Assumption University is not granted accreditation, no students will be enrolled in the program, and any deposits paid will be refunded. CASPA application fees will not be refunded. (ARC-PA Standard A3.12a)


Christopher A. Ferreira Program Director, Physician Assistant Studies Associate Professor of Practice, School of Health Professions

Wendy L. Buja, M.S. Director of Didactic Education Assistant Professor of Practice, School of Health Professions

Kayla M. Cetrone Director of PA Admissions, Assessment & Academic Assistant Professor of Practice, School of Health Professions

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Robert K. Ferguson, M.D. Medical Director PA Program Associate Professor of Practice, School of Health Professions

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Jeffery J. Giarnese, PA-C, MSPA Director of Clinical Education Assistant Professor of Practice, School of Health Professions

Admission Requirements

Admission Practices Favoring Individuals or Groups:

The Assumption University PA Program will extend a guaranteed interview to any applicant who has earned a degree from Assumption Universityandmeets all admissions requirements. An interview does not guarantee admission to the PA Program. All applicants must meet the same admissions requirements, including academic standards, education requirements, and clinical experience.

The Assumption University PA Program will extend a guaranteed interview to any applicant who is currently serving on active duty in, or is an honorably discharged veteran of, the Uniformed Services of the United States and meets all admissions requirements. An interview does not guarantee admission to the PA Program. All applicants must meet the same admissions requirements, including academic standards, education requirements, and clinical experience.

During the initial development of the Assumption University PA Program, Assumption University undergraduates were offered the opportunity to apply to a “dual degree” program and, if specific requirements were met, were guaranteed admission to the Assumption University PA Program. Students currently enrolled in the “dual degree” program may matriculate, provided they continue to meet all requirements that were previously established at the time of their acceptance to Assumption University; this will reduce the number of available seats in the first cohort. Admission to the “dual degree” program was discontinued in 2020.

ARC-PA Standard A3.13a

Admission Requirements (Education, Experience, and Academic Standards):

  • Application must be completed via the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA)
  • Supplemental Application (completed as part of the CASPA application)
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (as calculated by CASPA)
  • A minimum pre-requisite GPA of 3.0 (as calculated by the PA Program)
  • Scores from theAcuity Insights Situational Judgment Test*
  • TOEFL completion, with a minimum score of 100, within two (2) years of application submission is required for:
    • Applicants for whom English is not their primary language
    • Applicants who have not completed a degree at a US Academic Institution
  • A minimum of 2000 hours of direct patient care
  • Current American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) certification

* The Acuity Insights Situational Judgement Test is a standardized test that evaluates social intelligence and professionalism. Applicants maycomplete the Acuity Insights Situational Judgement Testonline. Note that these tests are offered only on certain dates and it is the applicant's responsibility to ensure the tests are completed prior to the application deadline.

  • Completion of the following courses with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a “C” or better in each individual class*:
    • Biology: 8 Semester Hours (must include labs)
    • Chemistry: 8 Semester Hours (must include labs)
    • Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, or Cell/Molecular Biology (must have one of these courses, biochemistry encouraged): 3 Semester Hours (lab encouraged)
    • Human Anatomy: 4 Semester Hours (must include lab)
    • Human Physiology: 4 Semester Hours (must include lab)
    • Microbiology: 3 Semester Hours (lab encouraged)
    • Genetics: 3 Semester Hours
    • Psychology: 3 Semester Hours
    • Statistics: 3 Semester Hours

*Classes do not expire and will be accepted regardless of when they were taken. The program does recommend that Anatomy and Physiology be repeated if it was taken more than 10 years ago.

  • Ability to meet the Assumption University PA Program Technical Standards with or without reasonable accommodations, consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act upon admission and continue to demonstrate them throughout their participation in the program.
  • At least three (3) professional letters of recommendation (via CASPA).
  • Current and complete curriculum vitae (CV) via CAPSA containing all education and work experience.

Ideal Candidates: Our PA Program mission, vision, and goals reflect our commitment to caring for the whole patient. We aim to help decrease health care disparities and increase health care access to currently underserved populations. We intend to admit and enroll future PAs who have demonstrated commitment to this philosophy.

ARC-PA Standards A3.13b and A3.13d

Practices for Advanced Placement:

The Assumption University PA Program does not accept any Advanced Placement (AP) or CLEP coursework to fulfill prerequisite requirements. All prerequisite coursework must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university. The PA Program does not provide Advanced Placement in the PA Program based on any coursework completed prior to matriculation in the Assumption University PA Program. (ARC-PA Standard A3.13c)

Admission Requirements

Applicationmust be completed via the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).

The New Catrambone Health Sciences Building

The new, 41,000-square foot building features four classrooms, one for 32 students, two for 48 and a large-tiered classroom for 50. Each classroom is fully equipped with a recording system for simulations used during debriefings.

The physician assistant floor features a practice lab with 11 exam tables for teaching how to properly diagnosis a condition. Two simulation labs, comparable to the nursing floor, complement four Objective Structured Clinical Examination rooms where live ‘patient-actors’ dictate a script of medical maladies to teach students how to take a medicalhistory, diagnose a patient and perform a physical exam. The clinical lab space serves as a learning environment for clinical procedures, such as suturing and interventional skills.

Graduate Research Symposium

Assumption University Graduate School Annual Symposium showcases research, innovative projects, successful case study, and creative work of graduate students and recent alums from every graduate program. We offer all graduate students in every program an opportunity to present their excellent work on diverse topics.

Learn more

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Veterans at Assumption

Assumption University recognizes that servicemen and women have demonstratedgreat courage and made tremendous sacrifices in service to our nation and its people. The University has introduced a number of programs and services to assist veterans during the application process and while veterans are attending Assumption.We also have a lounge designated only for our veteran students.Assumption University is committed to maintaining recognition as aMilitary Friendly institution. We strive to eliminate barriers to success for our Service Members, Veterans, and their qualified dependents.

Welcoming Veterans

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