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Optimal Care in an Efficient, Effective & Professional Manner

The Physician Assistant Program at Seton Hill University is dedicated to the use of mobile technology to provide students with a quality academic and clinical education. All students will be trained as effective team members.  Program emphasis is on delivering optimal care in an efficient, effective and professional manner. The Physician Assistant Program at Seton Hill University strives to maintain a first time PANCE pass rate of 90% or greater for all students. 

To achieve this goal the Physician Assistant Program will provide students with:

  • The basic medical sciences needed for subsequent clinical studies and requisite to the role of the physician assistant.
  • Training in the patient assessment, including techniques of interviewing and eliciting a medical history, physical examination, clinical procedures, information organization, and oral and written presentation.
  • Information that presents medical findings from studies that focus on women and that highlight socioeconomic forces which impact on women in the health care system.
  • The principles of clinical pharmacology and pharmaco-therapeutics appropriate to the medical therapy for common problems in clinical medicine.
  • Information about the role of the physician assistant, including health care services delivery and the intra-professional, political, and legal factors of current and potential impact.
  • A forum for discussion of ethical issues as they impact the physician assistant.
  • Instruction in health psychology, behavioral medicine and the psychosocial factors that contribute to health with special attention given to cultural differences among patients.
  • Instruction on how to interpret the medical literature in order to maintain a critical, current and operational knowledge of new medical evidence.
  • Instruction and clinical practice experiences in those clinical disciplines relevant to primary care and major subspecialties. 
  • A clinical practice experience across the full life span.
  • Experience with advanced technologies. (For instance, our radiology module uses a filmless digital program similar to the PAC system used in many hospitals, urgent care centers and doctor's offices. The university continually upgrades its learning management systems to ensure that students and faculty are always fully supported by the resources they need.)

Program Goals & Outcomes


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

Evaluation & Outcome of Goals

Didactic Education

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, and 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


Seton Hill's Physician Assistant Program aspires to have all matriculating students successfully graduate from the program.  The program attempts to identify students who are not meeting academic expectations as early as possible. These students will complete a self-evaluation form and develop a plan of action for achieving academic success. This self-evaluation and plan is reviewed with the student by their faculty advisor. Areas of weakness are identified, and the student can access a robust array of University support services - such as counseling services, disability services, the wellness center and the academic achievement center  - for assistance. Students may also work individually with their instructors when specific areas of content weakness are identified. The program goal is a yearly attrition rate of less than 10%.

3-Year Student Attrition

Class Info Class of 2018 Class of 2019 Class of 2020
Maximum Entering Class Size 41 41 44
Entering Class Size 41 41 44
Graduates 37 38 44
Attrition Rate* 7.3% 7.3% 0.0%
Graduation Rate** 92.7% 92.7% 100%

* Attrition rate calculation:  Number of students who attrited from the cohort divided by the entering class size.

** Graduation rate:  Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size.

To contact the Office of Graduate Admissions, fill out the online Request for Information form. Ready to apply? Apply online now for free! You may also call Graduate Admissions at (724) 838-4208 or email us at