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Students looking at model bones.

Health Sciences – Physician Assistant

​​​​Versatile and competent, physician assistants can work in an endless variety of health fields: hospitals, educational settings, medical offices, correctional facilities, and even the military. Whichever setting suits your goals, McDaniel can help you get where you’re going.

Degree Types
Major , Specialization
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
Professional Development

The Health Sciences Physician Assistant specialization is designed to launch students into their chosen career as a physician assistant, especially through preparation for graduate study. Through a diverse course of study, physician assistant students are versed in organic and biochemistry, anatomy, and the medical field.

Guidance for Graduate School

McDaniel students have gone on to graduate and professional programs in allied health fields. Allied health advising can begin as early as the first semester on campus or whenever a student first decides to pursue a health-related career. Advisors work individually with students to build their McDaniel Plan.

Graph showing the estimated increase in physician assistant jobs between 2017 and 2025.

Distinctive Courses

KIN 3309 - Practicum in Health

This course will provide practical experience (135 hours or more) in an allied health setting of interest to the student. Students will observe the routines of  practicing professionals to gain a better understanding of the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to be successful in the field. Students will have the  opportunity to develop skills, attitudes, and behaviors that will help them be successful in the future. 

BIO 2212 - Microbiology

A study of structure, metabolism, growth, and reproduction of microorganisms with emphasis on bacteria. Course includes laboratory.

CHE 3321 - Biochemistry I

This course provides an exploration of cellular function on a molecular level. The major focus of the course is on protein chemistry; topics include protein structure, folding, synthesis, and function. Skills such as technical writing, database information retrieval, data analysis, and critical thinking are highlighted. The laboratory is research-based and will primarily explore the relationship between protein misfolding and human disease. Techniques include protein purification, electrophoresis, and spectroscopic characterization.

BIO 2203 - Genetics

A study of the concepts of classical and contemporary genetics. The action of genetic mechanisms at various levels of biological organization (molecular, cellular, organismal, and population) and in a variety of cells and organisms is included.

The McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Haley Jacobs ’17, physician assistant at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

Haley Jacobs, '17

The turning point in Haley Jacobs's career path came during Jan Term her sophomore year, when she completed an internship at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center. In 2019, just two years after graduating from McDaniel, Haley earned her M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and now works as a physician assistant at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

Photo of alumna Alyssa Romasco holding her degree from Quinnipiac University.

Alumni Spotlight Alyssa Romasco ’10 From Athletic Trainer to Physician Assistant

Alyssa Romasco '10 was six years into her career as an athletic trainer when the clinical side of her work inspired her to pursue a second master's degree — to become a physician assistant. Now, she works with young patients in a neonatal intensive care unit. A big change on the surface, in reality her work as an athletic trainer had prepared her to take on the intensity of the NICU.