Physician Assistant

  • Master of Physician Assistant Science Post-Baccalaureate 
    Important Note for those interested in the post-baccalaureate option for Fall 2016 and beyond:

    Thank you for your interest in Gannon University.  Unfortunately, we are not anticipating any available seats in The Physician Assistant Program at the graduate level in the foreseeable future. 

    One of the features of Gannon's Physician Assistant program is that it offers a 5-year master's degree that allows students to enter at the freshman level and complete the Masters in Physician Assistant Science without reapplying upon completion of the bachelor's degree.  The PA program is limited in the number of spots we are able to offer due to limitations set by the accrediting body.  Given the overwhelming response to this option, we are not currently able to offer post-baccalaureate spots to students outside of the 5-year program.  We may, in the future, be able to once again offer positions to students pursuing the post-baccalaureate option. 

    • For the 2015 Academic Year, Gannon graduates had a 93-percent first-time pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE).
    • Ninety-nine percent of our graduates from 2000 to 2015 are currently certified.
    • Students train in the Patient Simulation Center of the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences, the largest comprehensive patient simulation center in the region. The Patient Simulation Center uses a multidisciplinary approach, bringing students from a variety of fields together for collaborative learning. 
    • A member of the physician assistant department faculty was honored with the Educator of the Year award given by the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants (PSPA) at the group’s annual conference in 2013.

    You Will Learn

    Physician assistants are skilled, dependent health practitioners who are academically and clinically prepared to provide patient care services under the supervision of a physician. Their specific tasks vary widely due to differences among state laws, hospital policies and utilization preferences of supervising physicians.

    The physician assistant department offers a Master of Physician Assistant Science degree available through a five-year undergraduate admission program. The curriculum is predominantly clinical during the final year of the program. Adjunct regional medical faculty in conjunction with various healthcare institutions introduce the students to professional physician assistant training. Clinical sites are offered primarily in northwestern Pennsylvania, Ohio and western New York, as well as some locations farther afield, presenting an exciting opportunity for a broader clinical exposure. 

    You Will Experience

    Physician assistants may assist in surgery and deliver preoperative and postoperative care. Physician assistants may deliver patient care in any setting in which the physician works. Students will receive a comprehensive, hands-on training in the profession by completing rotations in the following areas:

    • Elective Rotation I and II (the student can choose any specialty area)  
    • Emergency Medicine Rotation  
    • Family Medicine Rotation I, II, III and IV (including experiences in internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics and women’s health)  
    • General Surgery Rotation  

    You Will Achieve

    Employment for physician assistants is expected to grow by 38 percent through 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. There is expected to be a greater need for primary healthcare providers, and physician assistants will have an increasing role in providing routine health care. Such job opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • assisted living facilities  
    • hospitals  
    • private practice  
    • urgent care facilities  

    You will Study

    The physician assistant program curriculum at Gannon University is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc.

    Students will receive outstanding educational preparation through completion of courses including:

    PHAS 414/GPHAS 514: Medical Lecture Series I and II 

    Symptoms, signs and abnormal body function are taught in a problem-oriented manner, including logical method, relevant diagnostic maneuvers, possible therapeutic intervention and patient education. The lectures complement the knowledge acquired in Physical Diagnosis and is correlated with the Pharmacology and Clinical Science courses.

    PHAS 416/GPHAS 516: Physical Diagnosis Lab III 

    This course marks the transition between classroom and clinical learning. In this course, faculty accompany students on their first clinical experience where they take patient histories and perform physical exams at local hospitals, the first encounter students have with actual patients.

    GPHAS 600: Pre-Rotation Lecture Skills Lab 

    In this course, students prepare for their first clinical experience and learn necessary skills essential in clinical practice. Gowning, gloving, giving injections, performing IV insertion, suturing and casting are among the topics of this class. For this class and others, students train in the Patient Simulation Center of the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences, the largest comprehensive patient simulation center in the region. 

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.

    You Will Earn

    Salaries in the field vary depending on the location and type of organization.

    • physician assistant: $90,930  

    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( and/or PayScale (