The matriculation process begins after an applicant receives notification of his/her conditional acceptance into the Physician Assistant Program. The student must complete the following prior to matriculation:



All students who are admitted must meet certain health, immunization and related requirements prior to matriculation and during the program.


Criminal Background Check

Admitted Physician Assistant students are required to obtain a criminal background check and undergo drug testing. An adverse criminal background check or positive drug screen could have serious consequences for the student including forfeiture of any or all clinical rotations and/or inability to complete the program. The potential to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) may also be impacted. Additionally, many state regulatory and governing organizations will not grant a license, registration or other similar professional practice document if there is a adverse criminal background check or positive drug screen.

A criminal background check is required to ensure patient safety and provide a safe educational environment. Admitted students will be required to work with, the outside agency responsible for completing criminal background checks for the Physician Assistant program. Results of criminal background checks may result in removal from consideration for applicants or dismissal of enrolled students if the documented offense warrants this action.


Drug Screening

Drug screening prior to matriculation as well as periodic urine drug screens are required for all students in the Physician Assistant Program. Admitted students will be required to work with, the outside agency responsible for completing the urine drug screening for the Physician Assistant program.

Emotional and behavioral health required to apply cognitive abilities, exercise appropriate judgment, fulfill responsibilities as a PA student, establish appropriate, ethical, and caring interactions with patients, work effectively in a team, manage stress, and work effectively in situations that are uncertain or ambiguous.


Physical Exam Requirements

ARC-PA Standard: A3.21

Students are required to undergo an annual physical exam to assess the ability to perform educational activities based on the program’s technical standards. By completing and submitting the annual physical exam form, the student authorizes Stephens College to release the information to affiliated hospitals or clinics where a student is rotating.

The student must be released to participate in program activities by a non-relative, licensed health care provider (physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner).


Student Employment

It is the expectation of the administration and faculty of the Physician Assistant program that students will be fully dedicated to their education and training. Because of the time commitment required and the rigorous nature of the program, students should not expect to be employed during the program. If a student decides to work against this recommendation, the student must disclose their work arrangement to the Program Director.

Students are not permitted to work for the Program. Students are not permitted to substitute or function as instruction faculty members. Furthermore, they are not permitted to substitute for clinical or administrative staff during the clinical phase.

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Physician Assistant Studies

Tammy L. Knierim,
Administrative Assistant

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