Majors and Areas of Study
Dr. Nicholas Despo, Adviser
What is a physician assistant?
A physician assistant is a medical practitioner who works under the supervision of a licensed physician but is able to perform many of the duties formerly reserved for physicians. These include evaluating the patient's condition, ordering tests, prescribing medicine (except in Ohio, Indiana, and Louisiana), and assisting in surgery.
What are the career opportunities for a physician assistant?
The opportunities for physician assistants are increasing, largely because they serve as a cost effective way of dealing with routine health care that frees physicians and specialists to deal with more challenging and unique situations. Physician assistants may be employed in hospitals, private and public health clinics, schools, and prisons.
Generally a student can prepare for a career as a physician assistant by completing an
undergraduate program in biology and pursuing a graduate physician assistant degree.
Thiel has an articulation agreement with Chatham University that guarantees a student
an interview for consideration of acceptance during his or her junior year. If accepted,
the student would spend his or her fourth and fifth year at Chatham, which would serve
the dual purpose of completing the B.A. degree from Thiel and constituting the first of
the two years at Chatham. In this case, the student earns a B.A. and M.P.A. in a total of
Conditions of the agreement with Chatham University:
If the following criteria are
met, up to two (2) students will be guaranteed acceptance into the Master of Physician
Assistant Studies Program at Chatham University who has completed requirements for
the degree biology at Thiel in three years and has:
• a minimum of C in each prerequisite course,
• cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better on a scale of 4.0,
• a cumulative science GPA of 3.4 or better with a minimum of 20 science credits
• maintained a good citizenship record,
• successfully completed Chatham University Master of Physician Assistant Studies
admission requirements, including a shadowing form, volunteer hours and
• sent an application for admission to CASPA, the Centralized Application Service for
Physician Assistants, by Dec. 1 of the student’s final year in residence at Thiel
Physician Assistant Program (MPA) 3+2 Program
• B.A. in biology at Thiel awarded after two years at Chatham (student must complete
requirements for biology degree in three years).
• M.P.A. from Chatham awarded after the second year at Chatham