Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Health Professions
Department of Physician Assistant Studies - Center City Campus

Frequently Asked Questions
Center City Campus

About PA Studies

What is the employment trend for PAs?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics places the PA profession 13th on the list of the fastest-growing occupations from 2012 to 2022, projecting that the number of PA jobs will increase by 38.4%.

What is the difference between PAs and NPs?

PAs and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are both defined as mid-level practitioners.

Physician Assistants are individuals trained using the medical school model, which has an expectation of a strong basic science background and clinical experience of between 2,000 to 2,500 hours during their educational program. PA training and certification is in general medicine, allowing PAs to practice in any area of medicine they choose.

Nurse Practitioners are individuals trained using the nursing school model, and are often trained in a specific area such as pediatrics, etc., following their formal training as a nurse. Clinical experience of approximately 500 hours is required during their educational program. 

Program Details - Center City Campus

How long is the PA program?

The program is 27 months long, separated into 15 months of didactic work and 12 months of supervised clinical rotations.

When do classes begin?

Classes will matriculate in the Pre-Fall semester (May) once annually (pending Accreditation-Provisional).

Do you offer a part-time program?

No. Only a full-time program is offered.

Can I work while I'm in the PA Program?

We discourage any employment during your first 15 months of the PA Program and do not permit employment during your clinical phase rotations.

The Thomas Jefferson University PA Program - Center City Campus is an extremely intense and rigorous academic program. We expect that your position here is your primary responsibility and that any outside activity will not interfere with your ability to accomplish your requirements as a PA student.

Program Outcomes

What is your NCCPA pass rate?

The Jefferson - Center City Campus Inaugural Class graduated in August 2016.  We are pleased and honored to announce that our first class has a 100% pass rate for the PANCE. 

Admissions Questions

Does my prerequisite coursework have to be completed before I apply?

No. Applicants may apply with outstanding prerequisite coursework. Applicants will be evaluated based upon the coursework completed at the time of their application and are strongly encouraged to complete no more than two outstanding prerequisite courses in the fall term prior to matriculation into the Program.

All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to matriculation into the Program.

Does it matter how long ago I completed my prerequisite coursework?

Yes. Prerequisite coursework completed more than 10 years ago will not be accepted. 

Is CPR certification required prior to entering the program?

Yes. All students in the PA Program must present proof of child and adult CPR certification upon entry into the Program. It is the students’ responsibility to maintain their BCLS certification throughout the Program.

What are the education and work experience requirements?

Students must have a Bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation into the Program. Applicants are strongly encouraged to obtain patient care hours (EMT, pharmacy technician, CNA, etc.) and PA or other healthcare shadowing hours. The Program does not have a minimum hour requirement for either patient care or PA or other healthcare shadowing hours.

More information about applying to our PA Program.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement to apply?

There is no minimum GPA requirement for applicant eligibility. However, we suggest both an overall cumulative and a combined natural science GPA of no less than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale from all colleges and universities attended. Applicants are recommended to have a GPA of 3.3 or higher to be competitive.

Does the PA Program require GREs or MCATs?

The Program does not require GRE or MCAT testing. However, if you have taken either of these examinations, please submit your score reports during the application process.

Does the PA Program accept AP or CLEP credits?

No. The PA program does not accept Advanced Placement (AP) or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits for any prerequisite requirements.

What is the policy regarding advanced placement?

Advanced placement will not be granted for matriculating students and all PA professional coursework must be completed at Thomas Jefferson University - Center City Campus.

How do I access the supplemental application?

The supplemental application will be sent to each applicant upon receipt of the completed and verified CASPA application. 

More information about applying to our PA Program.

Does your program have any admission or enrollment procedures that favor individuals or groups?

No. Our PA Program does not have admission or enrollment procedures favoring individuals or groups.

Tuition & Fees

Does tuition differ for in-state and out-of-state residents?

No. Tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state residents.

What are the tuition and fees for this program?

Tuition and fees are the same for resident and non-resident students. For detailed expenses, please visit our Registrar’s page.

Clinical Experiences

Students are required to pay for housing and transportation costs related to all off-campus and clinical experiences.

Medical Insurance

View Jefferson's policies for medical insurance on the Student Life website. Please note, in addition to Jefferson's standard policies for medical insurance:

Policies require that all PA students carry major medical health insurance during their education at Jefferson.  Students may indicate that they wish to maintain coverage through a parent, spouse or a private plan.  The student is required to show proof of coverage at the beginning of each school year, and if changes are made they must be reported immediately to the program.  An insurance plan is made available for purchase to all students through the University.

Malpractice Insurance

Malpractice insurance costs are covered by the institution for registered students.

PLEASE NOTE: Tuition and approximate costs are calculated annually. The costs and fees listed below are based upon the latest estimates available at the time of this publication and are subjected to change. They should be used as estimates only.

About TJU + PhilaU

Which institution will confer my degree?

Thomas Jefferson University is the name that will appear on diplomas for students graduating in 2018 or later. We are exploring whether or not students who entered Philadelphia University originally will have the opportunity to choose what goes on their diplomas in 2018. Once we know this information, we will communicate that to graduating students.

What does the combination mean for students entering the M.S. Physician Assistant Studies program in Pre-Fall 2018?

The newly integrated Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) will continue to offer two separately accredited PA programs operating under their existing ARC-PA accreditation.  The former Philadelphia University PA Program will continue to operate two campus locations in East Falls, Philadelphia and New Jersey.  The former Thomas Jefferson University PA program will continue to operate on the Center City, Philadelphia campus.

There is no change in the application process for each of the programs.  For students interested in applying to the pre-integration Thomas Jefferson University PA Program located in Center City Philadelphia, you should apply, via CASPA, to Thomas Jefferson University and select the PA Program in Center City.  For students interested in applying to the pre-integration Philadelphia University PA Program, you should apply, via CASPA, to Philadelphia University (now Thomas Jefferson) and select the campus location(s) you are interested in applying to; the East Falls, Philadelphia campus or the New Jersey campus.

Students accepted to and enrolled in each of these programs will complete the existing ARC-PA accredited program. 

How will the combination affect my didactic education?

For the foreseeable future, Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University Physician Assistant Studies programs will remain separate, each continuing to deliver the curriculum outlined by their respective websites.

How will the combination affect my clinical education?

For the foreseeable future, the Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University Physician Assistant Studies programs will remain separate, each delivering the clinical rotations outlined on their respective websites.  Clinical faculty from both programs are collaborating on new clinical site development to meet each program’s needs.

I am interested in applying to the programs at both institutions. Do I fill out applications for both schools?

Yes, each program will maintain its own application form through CASPA under their current institution names for the 2018 CASPA cycle.   

What tuition rate should i reference to understand the cost?

The integration of our two institutions will be an eighteen month to three-year process.  At this point, you will pay the tuition of the program and campus to which you are accepted.