Physician Assistant Direct Admission Programs

My daughter has been accepted at Duquesne, Quinnipiac, RIT and Le Moyne. We’re having a tough time making a decision. Does anyone have positive or negative experiences they can share to help us in this process? Thanks for your thoughts.

For Q’s ELMPA:

1.) a 6-year program, so it is not the cheap one.
2.) it has new 3.2 GPA requirement for the next class.
3.) The course requirements are way more than that at RIT and Duquesne.

This year, I believe they only accepted 25 students compared with last year’s 70s. Last year, there were about 800 applications, and some enrolled students were accepted by RIT and Duquesne, along with other schools like Northeastern, Johns Hopkins, and some state pharmacy schools etc.

If she is accepted by ELMPA, I would not worry about the courses she is going to take.

Q is close to NYC.

Thanks. I’ve seen some negative posts about the quality of Duquesne’s program, but their ranking would seem to indicate that they do a good job. It’s a tough decision.

Anyone else?

They admit students differently: RIT and Duquesne use waitlist, especially Duquesne has a deadline for admitted students to accept their offers at the end of March instead of May 1. Quinnipiac does not use waitlist – they strictly accept 25 and the rest come from their graduate admissions to make up the 50.

Very few people are accepted this year since they have the new pre-pa program. Very unlikely someone else will come out to comment on this. A 3% admit rate is lower than Stanford admit rate.

A kid I know this year was rejected from quinnipiac, though she has been accepted by several DO direct programs. I know that a sample of size one can’t be generalized.

US World Report updated rankings for Best PA program (Graduate)
Quinnipiac - 15
Le Moyne - 64
Duquesne - 93
RIT - 108

My Daughter is a Freshman ELMPA and she loves QU.
Not sure why Duquesne has dropped to 93. Possibly due to their Accreditation-Probation status by ARCPA.

^ This may exemplify the danger of using ranking to decide where to put your money. There is a reason why a school has low admit rate and high yield, regardless the view of some 3rd class magazine faulty ranking.

I believe that their Probation is due to over-enrollment. RIT’s probation is due to academics.

My son also has been accepted into several direct entry PA programs to include Duquesne, Quinnipiac, and St. Francis. We too are having a tough time making a final decision. The decision is most likely between QU and Duquesne - we were feeling pretty good about Duquesne due to the 5 rather than 6 year program, and the requirements don’t seem as rigorous - but giving it some more thought now that the ranking in US news dropped so dramatically. Wondering if this is due to reasons other than the probation issue? Any help with making this decision would be so appreciated. QU seems to have more rigorous science courses than pre-med programs (my older son is an MD and didn’t take as many rigorous science courses). Does anyone know the retention rate for both programs? Would there be a lot of academic support if needed? Also, they just upped the minimum GPA to 3.2 for this incoming class at QU (a decision made by the new director). I’m wondering if this will impact retention rate. Looking also for happiness factor at both schools and overall college experience in and out of the PA program. Looking for advise and help please!
Thanks in advance.

I am assuming your daughter was admitted to other programs as well. Would you mind sharing why she chose QU and how difficult she is finding the program? Does she have time for a typical college life as well?

1.) A lot of ELMPA students are not happy about the new GPA requirement, but luckily current freshman class is not affected by this, though initially they thought that they were.

2.) The rigor of the courses at QU is the draw for some of the students. You should be fine if you are admitted as ELMPA. At least for last year’s class, many skipped the Calculus, English courses in their freshman years due to their AP scores. A challenging Bio+Chem+Phy is doable as a freshman, as I know at least two students did that last semester.

3.) Those two students got in Duquesne, RIT along with Northeastern (+ scholarship), Rutgers Pharmacy, Johns Hopkins etc.

My general comment is that if you are accepted to ELMPA for academic reasons, you should be fine.

My Daughter was accepted to Drexel, Jefferson (Phila U), Seton Hall, Wagner and Quinnipiac. Rejected by Duquesne. Initially we thought 5 years was a better way to go, especially financially, but now I think it would have been a bit of a struggle from a time management and workload standpoint. ELMPAS don’t start the main coarse work until 2nd year so basically they are adding 1 “Traditional” Freshman Year on the front end. For my Daughter this has been important socially and getting used to college life. She goes to sporting events (Hockey #5 in Nation!), does intramural and is considering a sorority, maybe study abroad. So, for us the more “traditional” undergrad experience outweighed the potential cost savings of an accelerated program. Although when really compared with say Drexel - overall cost for us would have been about the same.

Retention rates are hard to get from the schools. Last year, we spoke to QU staff/students and they said 1 or 2 out of 25 switched majors or schools. Compared to other schools we looked at, QU had a pretty high retention. Yes QU does have rigorous science courses and 2nd year is the hardest, but the students get a lot of personal support with professor hours and peer study groups. QU also has the Learning Commons for tutoring etc. ELMPAS are a pretty close group and are willing to help each other.

I know it sounds corny, but the students at QU all seem very happy.

Thank you very much for your comments. It’s much appreciated. I think that new minimum 3.2 GPA at QU that will only begin with students starting in the fall is what is quite frankly, a bit scary. I’m not sure why it is that this policy was implemented. I do know that there has been some change in staff in the program and I believe the new director is the one that made this decision. The program is rigorous enough without adding that extra layer of pressure to maintain that 3.2 GPA. Also, not sure why the very heavy science load. My older son who is a physician didn’t take that type of coursework as a pre-med before being accepted to medical school.
What is hard to understand about the huge drop in ranking for Duquesne this year is that if it had to do with the probation issue that would be understandable - but they have been on probation since 2016, their rank in 2017 and 2018 was fine, why the drop now?
Any thoughts?
Really appreciate being able to hear from other parents.
Thanks all.

Hi there $$$$$,
Since our kids are in similar situations, I am wondering if you have narrowed down choices? How are you feeling about Duquesne and Quinnipiac in particular? Thought we could bounce some ideas off of each other.

Hi lisaaa123 – This has been agonizing for my daughter. She’s still pretty unsure. Bottom line I believe is that she feels QU is the better choice academically (plus their facilities are amazing) but Duq is more appealing to her for other reasons – location, vibe she got on campus. Still working on it. You?


What do you mean by high yield?

They accepted 70 students last year and 40 enrolled. The yield is 40/70=57%.

Usually the better the school/program, the higher the yield. The admit rate is the opposite, the lower the better. The yield/admit ratio sometimes indicates the school/program – the higher this number, the better the school.

It is all about fit! Obviously I am a elmpa parent, but I don’t want swing anyone in any direction but providing what I know.

Not to be dense ewho? But are you saying that Duq has a high yield? Not sure how the schools compare in this regard. I find the US News ranking so confusing. Not sure who pays attention to it – apart from prospective parents and students — and how much it matters.

Duquesne has waitlist admit, as you know well that you may have to make a decision on them by the end of the month instead of May 1. They never disclosure the info, and neither does anyone else. I just figured out elmpa’s from what I know.

I don’t know Duquesne’s number, but I know some of the bigger name school’s like Northeastern’s yield is about 15%, Stanford’s 81%, Yale’s 60s% etc.

Once again, it is all about fit. For my D18 it was easier choice compared for my other children’s choices.

Gotcha. Thanks!

What is hard to understand about the huge drop in ranking for Duquesne this year is that if it had to do with the probation issue that would be understandable - but they have been on probation since 2016, their rank in 2017 and 2018 was fine, why the drop now?

lisaaa123 - US News does not update the rankings every year for Physician Assistant and I believe the last ranking was 2011.