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The Seton Hill University Physician Assistant Program accepts applicants who we believe have the ability to become highly competent physician assistants. Admission and retention decisions are based not only on prior satisfactory academic achievement but also on nonacademic factors outlined in these Technical Standards. Such factors serve to ensure that persons admitted to and retained in our Physician Assistant Program possess the intelligence, integrity, compassion, humanitarian concern, and physical and emotional capacity necessary to practice primary care medicine. 

Technical standards, as distinguished from academic standards, refer to those physical, cognitive, and behavioral abilities required for satisfactory completion of all aspects of the curriculum, and the development of professional attributes required by the faculty of all students at graduation. 

Seton Hill University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, sex, marital, or handicapped status. When requested, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to otherwise qualified students with documented disabilities. 

Applicants, students and graduates must possess the abilities listed in the following areas: 

Motor Skills and Strength

  • Motor skills necessary to elicit information from patients through performance of the physical examination techniques of inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation;
  • Ability to safely perform techniques of physical examination;
  • Motor functions necessary to provide general medical care;
  • Motor coordination to respond quickly in emergent situations and to provide emergent medical care;
  • Ability to work for extended period of time without rest;
  • Ability to lift, carry, push and/or pull up to 50 pounds as required by clinical settings;
  • Sufficient ability to utilize standard medical and surgical equipment, and to perform common diagnostic procedures; and
  • Ability to coordinate fine and gross-motor skills, equilibrium and endurance with concomitant use of vision and touch.


  • Visually obtain information from patients, documents, diagnostic studies, films, slides, videos, etc.;
  • Observe demonstrations provided during lectures and in the laboratory or clinical setting; and
  • Acquire olfactory, auditory, and tactile information to enhance visual interpretation.


  • Communicate effectively and respectfully with patients, family, physician supervisors and other members of health care team;
  • Obtain, process and communicate information succinctly, accurately and in a timely manner to appropriate individuals;
  • Produce complete and accurate written, oral or dictated patient assessments, prescriptions, etc.;
  • Make correct judgments in seeking supervision and consultation;
  • Listen and communicate effectively, responsively, and empathetically in a manner that promotes openness on issues of concern; and
  • Exhibit sensitivity to others including cultural differences.
  • Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities
  • Assimilate technically detailed and complex information presented in teaching and clinical settings;
  • Perceive three dimensional spatial relationships among structures;
  • Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize information across modalities;
  • Interpret information from diagnostic maneuvers and instruments;
  • Interpret x-rays and other graphic images and digital or analog representations of physiologic phenomena such as EKGs, etc.;
  • Integrate visual, auditory, sensory, tactile and spatial information; and
  • Form and test hypotheses required for clinical problem solving.

Behavioral and Social

  • Ability to function with integrity and in an ethical manner;
  • Ability to accept responsibility for learning and to learn in a self-directed manner;
  • Attributes of dependability, flexibility, tolerance, respect and empathy;
  • Emotional stability to function effectively under stress;
  • Ability to adapt to environments that change rapidly without warning and/or in unpredictable ways;
  • Accept supervision and apply feedback.


  • Demonstrate ability to follow standard precautions in clinical settings and during procedures;
  • Comply with requirements for working with hazardous materials in classroom and clinical settings;
  • Comply with confidentiality requirements in the clinical environment;
  • Alert program faculty and supervisors to physical or emotional conditions that place students, patients or others at significant risk;
  • Obtain and provide documentation of routine physical examination annually;
  • Obtain immunizations or provide verification of immune status in regard to Hepatitis B, Rubella, Varicella and Tetanus annually as required;
  • Obtain and provide verification of PPD status annually;
  • Provide verification of continuous health insurance coverage during the program;
  • Provide verification of continuous malpractice insurance coverage during the program;
  • Comply with urine drug screening requirements of the program and clinical sites;
  • Obtain and provide verification of criminal background clearance through Verified Credentials, and Pennsylvania child abuse clearance annually.

To contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, fill out our online Request for Information form. You may also call us any time at (724) 838-4281 or (800) 826-6234, or send an email to