PA Partner Program

Bachelors' + PA Preferred Admission Partner Program for 4 + 2 Physician Assistant Master of Medical Science Degree Program through Salus University

The Bachelor’s + Physician Assistant Master of Medical Science Degree Program (PA) Preferred Admission Partner Program is a 4 + 2 agreement (four years undergraduate plus two years Master of Medical Science) with Salus University (formerly Pennsylvania College of Optometry) whereby students complete their Bachelor’s degree at Messiah University and then proceed to Salus University to obtain their Physician Assistant MMS degree.  This partnership agreement guarantees qualifying Messiah University students an interview with the PA program at Salus University, thereby significantly increasing the students’ chance of being accepted into this competitive program.   This program is open to all current Messiah University students who have met the qualifications described in this accordion.  This program is comprised of two phases.  Phase I is defined as the years of undergraduate education while at Messiah University.  Phase II consists of the Physician Assistant Master of Medical Science Degree Program while at Salus University and its associated clinical training sites. Phase one is outlined here.

Most PA students major in applied health science, biology, biochemistry, biopsychology or chemistry. With early and careful planning, other major choice may be appropriate. See Martha Stigelman for further details.

Required Undergraduate Courses:

  • Anatomy (with lab)
  • Biology I and II (with labs)
  • English
  • General Chemistry I and II (with labs)
  • Microbiology (lab recommended)
  • Organic Chemistry (lab recommended)
  • Physiology (with lab)
  • Psychology
  • Statistics or Biostatistics


  • All coursework must be completed with a 'C' or better.
  • The time that it takes a student to earn his/her undergraduate degree from Messiah University varies. Some students are able to complete the degree in fewer than four years depending on a variety of factors including summer school attendance, AP test scores and college dual-enrollment during high school.
  • Regardless of the timing, the undergraduate degree must be completed prior to matriculating at Salus University.
  1. Complete a Bachelor’s degree at Messiah, which must consist of a minimum of 120 semester hours of undergraduate education including the required prerequisites.  Typically the Bachelor’s degree is in one of the following disciplines:  Applied Health Science, Pre-Professional concentration; Biology; Molecular Biology; Chemistry, Biochemistry (B.A. or B.S.); or Biopsychology.  However, with careful planning another major may be chosen.
  2. A maximum of one gap year may be taken between graduation from Messiah University and matriculation to Salus University.
  3. Transfer students are eligible for this program.  The majority of the required courses must be taken at Messiah University.
  4. International Students are eligible for this program, pending official documentation to study in the United States. Official foreign credential evaluation and English language proficiency exam may be required.
  5. Students must have an overall GPA of 3.5/4.0 at the time of application. 
  6. Submit a completed application to the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA), including scores results of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and required letters of evaluation (50 percentile rankings or higher recommended on the GRE exam).
  7. A minimum of 300 hours of direct patient care experience is required. This may be a volunteer and/or employment position(s).  In addition, a minimum of 20 hours of PA shadowing is required. Shadowing PAs in various medical disciplines is recommended.
  • Find specific information about the PA program at Salus, here:
  • Find general information about the field of PA, here: