Physician Assistant

COVID-19 Statement: We understand that the current pandemic has affected coursework, shadowing and other components of the application. Please explain in the optional question section of CASPA (Pathway 2 applicants) or send an explanation via email to paprogram@thiel.edu (Pathway 1 applicants). Due to COVID-19, Thiel College is taking every measure to ensure the safety of our physician assistant applicants and the plan is to conduct all interviews virtually for the 2022 admission cycle.

2022 Application Information

The deadline for current Admissions cycle (Academic year 2022-23) is December 1, 2021.

  • Pathway 1 applicants apply directly to Thiel and must submit all application materials by this deadline.
  • Pathway 2 applicants apply via CASPA, and the application must be verified in CASPA by this deadline.

Accreditation Status

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Thiel College Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Thiel College.

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[1]Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class. The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-thiel-college/.

About the Program

Mission Statement

The mission of the Thiel College Master of Science in Physician Assistant program is to graduate physician assistants who have the disciplinary knowledge and skills, clinical preparation and dispositions to provide excellent patient care and serve the needs of their community.

Philosophy

The philosophy of Thiel College’s Physician Assistant Program is to empower individuals to reach their full potential by creating a collaborative and inclusive learning environment that ensures educational excellence, emphasizes service to society, and promotes ethical leadership. The faculty and staff are passionate about helping our students succeed and create a supportive atmosphere to prepare students for careers and lives of meaning and purpose.

Program Details

Thiel's innovative program features two distinct paths to earn a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.

Path 1: Highly motivated high school seniors can enroll in our accelerated five-year program. Students will earn a traditional four-year bachelor's degree and continue at Thiel for a fifth year to complete the master's degree program.

Path 2: Students who have already completed a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree and wish to attain a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Thiel College should explore our 27-month post-baccalaureate program.

Educational Experience

Whether you choose Path 1 or Path 2, you will:

  • Work and study in state-of-the-art facilities, including the new Human Anatomy (cadaver) lab, to provide maximum experience and opportunities to learn
  • Be part of an interprofessional medical education that encourages an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of various healthcare professionals
  • Receive academic knowledge and clinical skills that focus on evidence-based practice to enable you to adapt to the ever-changing healthcare environment.
  • Study in a patient-centered environment that promotes critical thinking and medical problem-solving skills.
  • Develop the professional, moral, and ethical attitudes essential to your role as a physician assistant.

Diversity and Inclusion

Thiel College seeks to identify and eliminate barriers to an equitable and diverse environment.  We strive to create a climate that promotes civility, respect, and sensitivity. Our goal is to foster awareness and understanding of different cultures, lifestyles, and backgrounds, and to celebrate individual differences.

Curriculum

The program features two separate curriculums, the undergraduate portion of Path 1 and the graduate (accredited) program. 

Goals

PANCE Performance and Attrition Rates

Graduates of the PA program must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) to become certified Physician Assistants, and to obtain a permanent state license to practice medicine. Upon graduation of Thiel College’s first cohort, the PANCE Pass Rate Summary Report of the most recent five-year first-time graduate performance will be added here, no later than April first each year.

The program will also publish the most current annual student attrition information, on the table provided by the ARC-PA, no later than April first each year.

Policies

The Thiel College PA program has specific program policies which apply to all students, principal and full-time faculty, and the program director regardless of location. You'll find both policy manuals below.

Professional Credentialing/Licensure

Thiel College is approved to offer programs that may lead to licensure/certification in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Thiel College cannot confirm that the PA program meets the requirements for licensure/certification in any other state or commonwealth. If you are enrolling in the PA education program and anticipate being certified/licensed in a state other than Pennsylvania, please check the specific requirements for licensure in your state. If you are considering working as a PA in another state that may require certification/licensure, you should first seek guidance on that state’s requirements. For more information, please consult the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) on the specific state information on their website.

Student Learning Outcomes

Download the Thiel College PA program's student learning outcomes (SLO) below:

Lynn Williams, MD
Lynn Williams, MD lwilliams@thiel.edu

​Physician Assistant Program Director

724-589-2855

Elizabeth McCurdy
Elizabeth McCurdy emccurdy@thiel.edu

PA Principal Faculty

Ashley Sava
Ashley Sava asava@thiel.edu

PA Principal Faculty

Jen Shellenbarger
Jen Shellenbarger jshellenbarger@thiel.edu

PA Principal Faculty

Alison Wix
Alison Wix awix@thiel.edu

PA Principal Faculty

COVID-19 Statement: We understand that the current pandemic has affected coursework, shadowing and other components of the application. Please explain in the optional question section of CASPA (Pathway 2 applicants) or send an explanation via email to paprogram@thiel.edu (Pathway 1 applicants). Due to COVID-19, Thiel College is taking every measure to ensure the safety of our physician assistant applicants and the plan is to conduct all interviews virtually for the 2022 admission cycle.

2022 Application Information

The deadline for current Admissions cycle (Academic year 2022-23) is December 1, 2021.

  • Pathway 1 applicants apply directly to Thiel and must submit all application materials by this deadline.
  • Pathway 2 applicants apply via CASPA, and the application must be verified in CASPA by this deadline.
  • The Thiel College Physician Assistant program is not accepting International applications at this time. Please check back for any updates.

Application Process

Each year, a total of 40 students may enter the graduate PA training program. Students may be admitted through Pathway 1 (combined undergraduate and graduate training at Thiel) or from Pathway 2 (after receiving a baccalaureate degree from any US regionally accredited college or university). At this time, Thiel is not accepting transfer applications for either pathway. Thiel College will use a rolling admission process and review applications for both pathways on an ongoing basis. Important information regarding Application and Costs can be found below.

Download application checklists to help keep you on track throughout the admissions process.

Admissions Timeline

  • April 30, 2021: CASPA application portal opens for Pathway 2 applicants. Pathway 1 applicants for the 2022-23 academic year may also begin to apply at this time.
  • December 1, 2021
    • Pathway 1 applicants apply directly to Thiel and must submit all application materials by this deadline. See the checklist below for required materials.
    • Pathway 2 CASPA applications and all required materials must be electronically submitted to and verified by CASPA by this deadline. Please allow adequate time before the deadline for submission of all materials. Thiel College does not require a supplemental application for the PA program for Pathway 2.
  • August 2021 - January 2022: There will be several interview sessions scheduled during the admission cycle.
  • July 1, 2022: New cohort enters program.

Requirements

Download the prerequisites and admissions requirements outline today!

Interviews

Due to COVID-19, Thiel College is taking every measure to ensure the safety of our physician assistant applicants. To that end, all interviews will be conducted virtually for the 2022-23 admission cycle.

Based on the screening and scoring of applications, candidates may be invited to an interview. The interview day will give applicants to both pathways an opportunity to learn more about the program and provides a chance for faculty and applicants to become acquainted. Following is what to expect on interview day.

  • The program’s philosophy, curriculum, faculty, technical standards, and other pertinent information will be discussed.
  • Each candidate will have an individual interview and participate in a group activity.
  • Each candidate will be asked to provide a writing sample at the interview.
  • Virtual Campus tours.

Decisions

  • Notification:
    • Pathway 1:
      • All applicants to Pathway 1 - The first notification will be the decision regarding acceptance to Thiel College
      • Those applicants who are interviewed for Pathway 1 - The decision regarding the PA program will be sent after all portions of the application have been received and verified (including SAT and ACT scores, personal statement, letters of recommendation and the accreditation/technical standards acknowledgement form).
    • Pathway 2:
      • Applicants who are interviewed for Pathway 2 will typically be notified of the Committee's decision within three weeks of the interview.
  • Waiting List: Students who are not immediately offered a seat in the program may be wait-listed.   Being wait listed is NOT a rejection and should not be upsetting, as students on the wait list are often ultimately offered a seat in a program.  If a seat becomes available for an applicant on the waiting list, that applicant will be notified as soon as possible.
  • Deposit: Once decisions are made applicants will be informed and required to submit a $500 deposit within 3 weeks of acceptance which will hold the seat for the applicant.
  • Transcript: Applicants who have been selected to enroll in the program after the interview process must submit proof of graduation (high school for Pathway 1 or undergraduate degree and completion of all pre-requisite courses for Pathway 2).
  • Background check: All students accepted into the PA program will be required to complete and pass a background check.

Selection Factors

The Thiel College physician assistant program hopes to recruit a diverse student population committed to providing high quality and compassionate care to all patients, including those in rural and underserved areas of our region. Several items are evaluated and scored when reviewing applications and selecting candidates for interviews.

  • Academic factors such as cumulative and science GPAs are an important component of the application, as this reflects the applicant’s ability to perform successfully in the classroom. For those Pathway 2 (post baccalaureate) candidates with a GPA of 3.0-3.3, the new PA-CAT exam is strongly recommended as an additional measure of preparedness for the rigors of PA training. Though not required or used in selection, the PA-CAT may allow the program to evaluate areas of study in need of remediation prior to matriculation, or to verify the necessary baseline knowledge required for success in PA training.
  • The letters of recommendation will provide additional information to allow us to select candidates who will be effective members of the healthcare team.
  • Involvement in any type of extracurricular activities will be evaluated in the screening process.
  • The requirement for shadowing hours allows us to confirm that the applicant understands the PA profession and has a desire to embark on a career as a physician assistant.
  • While we do not require a specific number of patient care hours, we do want applicants to demonstrate that they have some experience with patients and have a commitment to an increasingly diverse patient population.
  • Pathway 1 applicants: SAT or ACT scores.
  • Pathway 2 applicants: standardized test scores such as the GRE are not required as part of the application process for Pathway 2.

Candidates who are then invited to an interview may use this opportunity to demonstrate their unique qualities and share how their life experiences would enhance the diversity and collaborative environment of the Thiel College and the PA Program.

Cost of Attendance

Did you know that 99% of Thiel College undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid? Below you can find estimated costs, as well as a list of Thiel College financial aid specialists who are available to help answer your questions. Both undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to explore possible financial aid options.

Technical Standards

Students enrolled in Thiel College's PA program will be required to meet certain technical standards. Find a list of those standards below:

Thiel College Anti-Discrimination Policy

Thiel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender (including gender expression and gender identity), sexual orientation, religious belief, national origin, ethnicity, veteran status, age or disability as those terms are defined under applicable law. This policy of nondiscrimination applies in connection with admission to and participation in all programs and activities sponsored by Thiel College and to all employment practices of Thiel College. Inquiries concerning compliance with this policy should be addressed to: ATTN: Jennifer Clark, Human Resources, 75 College Avenue, Greenville, PA 16125; or by calling 724-589-2858.

Apply Now
Lynn Williams, MD

​Physician Assistant Program Director

paprogram@thiel.edu

724-589-2290