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US News Best Grad Schools LogoAs a Seton Hill Physician Assistant Program student you will enjoy wide-ranging academic experiences and hands-on clinical practice. Our faculty are dedicated educators and experienced health care providers. At Seton Hill, we educate students to become clinically competent physician assistants who care for the whole patient - respecting diversity and delivering 'patient-centered' care that is ethically sound.

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Premier Learning Experiences, Clinical Rotations & Research Opportunities

Seton Hill's Master of Science in Physician Assistant Program is a 27 month program that begins in January and graduates in May. During the first 15 months of the graduate program, students benefit from the expertise of Seton Hill's premier faculty through lectures, practical lab sessions, case presentations, problem-based learning sessions and off-campus clinical interactions. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules training and certification is provided to every student. The program concludes with a clinical training year, involving clinical rotations in healthcare facilities. In addition, each student is involved in research.

Why Choose Seton Hill's Physician Assistant Program?

  • U.S. News & World Reports ranks Seton Hill's Physician Assistant Graduate Program one of the best in the nation - and the best in southwestern Pennsylvania.
  • Collectively, Seton Hill's Physician Assistant Program faculty members have more than 120 years of clinical practice experience.
  • 93% of Seton Hill's Physician Assistant Program graduates who have taken the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) in the past five years have passed it on their first attempt. Pass Rate Report (PDF)
  • 99% of Seton Hill Physician Assistant Graduates have passed the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE).
  • Students entering the program as freshmen can earn their B.S. and their M.S. in only five years.
  • Top-notch classroom, lab and clinical learning facilities and resources in the Boyle Health Sciences Center.
  • Small classes allow students to work directly with faculty members in a supportive environment.
  • Seton Hill’s Physician Assistant Student Society provides both undergraduate and graduate students in the Physician Assistant Program with opportunities for community service and attendance at statewide conferences.
  • Seton Hill's program is fully-accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) through March 2024.

Your Career as a Physician Assistant

The job outlook for physician assistants is strong, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects it to grow much faster than the average. In 2018, physician assistants earned an average of $108,610 per year. The job growth outlook for the Physician Assistant profession is projected to be 31% higher than other careers for the period of 2018-2028.

Career Services for LifeCareer Center Graphic

Seton Hill’s award-winning Career and Professional Development Center will work with your faculty advisors to provide you with the career preparation skills and placement services you need. Should you ever need them after you graduate, the Center’s services will remain available to you as a Seton Hill alumni.

Accreditation Status of the Program

ARC-PA Logo The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Seton Hill 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 for the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2024. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

The program's accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website here (PDF).

Program Goals & Outcomes


  1. Obtain a competent medical knowledge base
  2. Become proficient at applying medical knowledge to the clinical setting
  3. Perform a complete and accurate history and physical exam
  4. Develop a differential diagnosis
  5. Choose appropriate diagnostic labs, tests and imaging studies.
  6. Develop appropriate treatment plans including the use of interdisciplinary services such as specialty consults, counseling services, social services, patient education, physical and occupational therapy
  7. Uphold the highest standard of professional and ethical conduct for the Physician Assistant Profession
  8. Become a life-long learner in order to assimilate new research and clinical data into patient care

Evaluation & Outcome of Goals

In the didactic portion of the program, the basic medical knowledge base, history and physical examination, procedural skills, development of a differential diagnosis, use of diagnostic testing, development of treatment plans, and professionalism are assessed by a variety of methods including traditional written tests and quizzes, written papers, as well as oral and practical exams. 

The program goal is to have greater than 85% of students achieve an overall course grade of higher than a 'C' or 76%. 

For the 2018-2020 cohorts, greater than 95% of all didactic courses have successfully obtained the program goal.

Clinical Education

At the completion of each rotation, student performance is evaluated in each of the following categories:

  1. Communication and Interprofessional Skills
  2. History and Physical Examination/Clinical and Technical Skills
  3. Laboratory and Diagnostic Studies
  4. Procedural Skills
  5. Assessment and Treatment Plans/Clinical Reasoning
  6. Professionalism
  7. Overall Knowledge Base

The program uses a 5-point Likert Scale to quantify student performance:

1 - Consistent Unacceptable Performance

2 - Regularly Performs Below Minimal Performance Expectations

3 - Meets Minimum Performance Expectations

4 - Regularly Exceeds Minimum Performance Expectations

5 - Consistently Performs Far Above Minimum Performance Expectations

The program goal is a student score of greater than 3.5 for each of the assessed categories.

For the 2018-2020 cohorts, greater than 95% of all students achieved the program goal with the average score exceeding 4.0

Find Out More

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To learn more about the Master of Science Program, register for a virtual information session: 2/25, 3/18, 5/20

If you're interested in our combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Science Program, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

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