See the latest updates on Gannon's response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Physician Assistant 5-Year

  • Accelerated
  • Master of Physician Assistant Science
  • Erie, Pennsylvania

  • GU Possibilities
    • For the 2017 academic year, Gannon graduates had a 96-percent first-time pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE).
    • From 2000-2017 the program has an ultimate PANCE pass rate of 99 percent.
    • 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 Gannon physician assistant program has been continually accredited since 1978.
    • Faculty continually engage in scholarly activity and service to the University, profession and community.
    • Students engage in over 1,000 hours of service annually.
    • The Gannon physician assistant program celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017.

    You Will Learn

    Physician assistants (PAs) are medical providers who are nationally certified and state licensed to practice medicine as a member of a team with other healthcare professionals. Their specific tasks vary widely due to differences among state laws and hospital polices.

    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 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
    • Students will also log behavioral health and prenatal experiences

    You Will Achieve

    Upon completion of the physician assistant program the student will be able to:


    • perform a complete and accurate history and physical examination; identify abnormal findings and develop an appropriate differential diagnosis.
    • develop a plan of evaluation in support of the differential diagnosis, including specialized diagnostic imaging and pathologic modalities.
    • develop a treatment plan consisting of surgical and medical interventions including non-pharmacological modalities such as physical therapy, counseling and patient education through analysis of clinical and laboratory data.
    • accurately relate the clinical data to the other members of the health care team, forming a collaborative effort to assure maximal patient benefit through a multiple disciplinary approach.
    • show proficiency in performing clinical skills.
    • identify characteristics of professional and ethical conduct for the physician assistant profession.
    • synthesize theory and research in order to provide advanced care to patients.

    You Will Earn

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

    •  median annual wage for physician assistants: $101,480 

    Employment for physician assistants is expected to grow by 37 percent through 2026, 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

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

    You Will Study

    Example Course Descriptions

    The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Gannon University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Gannon University. 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 by the ARC-PA will be March 2027. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

    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.


    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.