Salus University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania have signed an articulation agreement designed to help qualified students complete studies to become a physician assistant.

Monica Maisto, director of Admissions at Salus, believes this new addition to the already preexisting relationship between the two institutions will be extremely valuable.

“We've had a long-standing 3+4 Optometry Agreement with IUP and the Physician Assistant Program is a nice addition to our existing partnership,” she said.

With the new 4+2 Physician Assistant (PA) Studies Program Articulation Agreement, Salus will now offer select undergraduate students in IUP's John J. and Char Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics a guaranteed interview to continue their education in Salus University's Physician Assistant program, as long as they meet the requirements.

The requirements for a guaranteed interview are:

  • Complete a bachelor's degree in mutually agreed upon majors in the Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at IUP, which must consist of a minimum of 120 semester hours of undergraduate education including the required prerequisites;

  • Maintain a GPA 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale;

  • 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;

  • Acquire at minimum of 300 hours of direct patient care experience;

  • Become familiar with the role of the physician assistant as a member of the healthcare team by obtaining a minimum of 20 hours of physician assistant shadowing;

  • Successful completion of an interview by the Salus Physician Assistant department and Office of Admissions.

“Our region, our commonwealth, and our nation have a critical need for quality health care professionals,” IUP Vice President for Enrollment Management Patricia McCarthy said.

“This agreement helps to address this need, while offering an advantage to our students who qualify for the program. IUP is very proud of its ongoing articulation agreement with Salus University's Osborne College of Audiology, and we are very pleased to add this opportunity for our students for the physician assistant program. This second articulation agreement demonstrates Salus University's continued recognition of the strong academic foundation that IUP provides to our students, and we are gratified by this recognition.”

An articulation agreement bridges two academics programs together and is often appealing to a student as it typically guarantees an interview or a seat into graduate and professional school or allows them to take a year off of their undergraduate program which in turn cuts down on tuition costs, provided that the requirements set forth in the agreement are met by the student.

“The Salus University PA program looks forward to its partnerships with the Indiana University of Pennsylvania to prepare its graduates with the knowledge, skills and attributes essential for the practice of medicine as future physician assistants,” Donna Agnew, Salus University College of Health Sciences interim dean and director of the Physician Assistant program, said.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania is a leading public, doctoral/research university, strongly committed to undergraduate and graduate instruction, scholarship, and public service. IUP is home to more than 12,000 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels who have the opportunity to study in more than 160 undergraduate programs, more than 60 master's programs and 15 doctoral programs.

Students come from almost every state and 60 different countries. IUP welcomes more than 800 international students annually, the largest population of international students in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education, of which IUP is a proud member.

IUP continues to develop new and innovative majors and programs to address current and forecasted workforce needs. Recent program additions include public health, environmental engineering, strategic communications, homeland security, teamwork, community and civic leadership, special event-tourism management, and child and adult advocacy studies. IUP's Ph.D. in business is one of the only programs of its kind in the commonwealth. With an annual budget close to $200 million and 1,400 employees, IUP has an annual economic impact estimated at $650 million (direct and indirect).