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Accelerated BS/MHS: Physician Assistant Option


Drexel's undergraduate Health Sciences program and graduate Physician Assistant (PA) program have partnered to offer an Accelerated Dual-degree BS/MHS Option available to high achieving students enrolled in the Health Sciences program.

The Accelerated BS/MHS PA Option is an accelerated academic track that enables students to complete their Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Health Sciences, including sitting for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), in 5 ¼ years as opposed to the traditional 6 ¼ years. Students pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences during their first three years of study, and a Master of Health Science degree during the final 2 ¼ years of study.

The Bachelor's degree in Health Sciences is awarded following completion of year four (first year of graduate study), and the Master's degree is awarded following completion of the Physician Assistant program.


A sample Accelerated BS/MHS PA Option schedule would span five and one quarter years as follows:

  • Year One: Undergraduate courses taken Fall Winter and Spring quarters
  • Year Two: Undergraduate courses taken Fall Winter Spring and Summer quarters
  • Year Three: Two quarters on CO-OP, two quarters Undergraduate Courses
  • Year Four: MSH courses taken Fall Winter Spring and Summer quarters
  • Year Five: MSH courses taken Fall Winter Spring and Summer quarters
  • Year Six: Complete MSH courses in Fall Quarter


Drexel's highly regarded Physician Assistant program, founded at the former Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital, is the oldest program in Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the country. It is known for attracting a diverse student body, with more than a quarter of trainees coming from minority backgrounds and medically underserved areas.


The Accelerated BS/MHS Option allows highly qualified students the opportunity to complete an undergraduate degree in Health Sciences and Physician Assistant master's curriculum in 5 ¼ years as opposed to the traditional 6 ¼ years. Students meeting all BS/MHS accelerated track requirements are granted an interview with the Drexel Physician Assistant (PA) program in the fall of their junior year. Accelerated track students who successfully complete the interview process enter the PA program in the fall of their senior year.

Beginning in Fall of 2017, incoming freshmen may elect to enter the undergraduate Accelerated BS/MHS Option.  To remain in the Accelerated BS/MHS Option, students must meet the following criteria:

Accelerated BS/MHS PA Option requirements:

  • Be enrolled in the Drexel Health Sciences Program as a freshman and complete a minimum of 135 quarter credits by the end of junior year.
  • Complete PA program prerequisite courses at Drexel University unless Advanced Placement (AP) credit is granted upon admission.
  • Earn a minimum of "B-" in all PA program prerequisite courses on the first attempt. Repeating courses to obtain a minimum grade is not feasible in the accelerated track. Prerequisite grades  of INC or W must be approved by the Health Sciences accelerated track director and are only  allowed for unforeseen extenuating circumstances.
    • Prerequisite courses: General Biology  ( BIO 122, 124, 126) ; Microbiology for Health Professionals ( BIO 226 ); Anatomy and Physiology ( ANAT 101,102, 103); General Chemistry ( CHEM 101, 102, 103) ; Medical Terminology ( HSCI 125); Genetics ( HSCI 337 or BIO 244) , General Psychology ( PSY 101).
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 and science GPA of 3.5. Minimum GPA requirements must be achieved by the PA program application deadline at the end of the sophomore year.
  • Complete all current PA program admission and application requirements found on the Drexel Physician Assistant Department website for Non-Degreed Applicants. Applications are submitted through CASPA and should include clinical contact hours, recommendation letters, a personal statement and any other requirements set by the PA program.
  • Complete a minimum of 500 hours of clearly documented volunteer or paid direct hands-on patient contact experience, accrued by the time of CASPA application submission and recorded as part of their official CASPA application.
  • Complete a successful admissions interview with the Drexel PA Program and be recommended for admission by PA Admissions Committee. Accelerated students who meet all of the above criteria will be granted an interview in the fall of their junior year for a seat in the Drexel PA program. The interview is a critical part of the PA program admission process and should not be considered lightly. Being granted an interview does not guarantee acceptance into the PA program.
  • Transfer students are not eligible for the Accelerated BS/MHS Option.

Health Sciences accelerated students fulfilling all requirements begin the PA program in the fall of their senior year. Students receive a BS degree in Health Sciences at the end of their senior year (minimum 180 credits) after successful completion of all fall, winter and spring term PA program courses. Students not continuing in the Accelerated BS/MHS Option will continue their studies in the traditional Health Sciences 4-year co-op Degree Program and have the opportunity to apply to the Drexel PA program and other Physician Assistant programs the following year.

For Transferring Students

Transfer students are not eligible to apply.

Tuition and Fee Rates

Please visit the Tuition and Fee Rates page on Drexel Central


The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a compliance process that may be required for every student. Some of these steps may take significant time to complete. Please plan accordingly.

Visit the Compliance pages for more information.


Drexel’s Physician Assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA), and has been fully accredited since 1973. A program must be accredited by ARC-PA for its graduates to be eligible for certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

Program Level Outcomes

At Drexel University we believe that a well-formulated set of Program Level Outcomes [PLO] that support and are consistent with the institutional mission and goals are the building blocks of an effective assessment program. 

Click here to view the College of Nursing and Health Professions Health Sciences Program Level Outcomes.