Students in the Physician Assistant Program at Penn State College of Medicine take part in the White Coat Ceremony in 2016, during which the students receive their white coats signifying the start of their training. Three female students are seen in the foreground, reading from the event program, with a male and female student visible in the background.

Physician Assistant (PA) Program

Student Attrition

In the 5th edition of the Standards, the ARC-PA defines student attrition as the permanent loss of a matriculated student from the course of study in a physician assistant program.

Based on the ARC-PA definition of student attrition, the Penn State PA Program has an all-time attrition rate of 2% (4 out of 210 students have attrited all-time).

The program’s goal is to provide an educational experience that produces compassionate, competent graduates who are practice-ready.

Additional summary data includes the following:

  • The Program has a 0% attrition rate for currently enrolled students.
  • The Program has a 98% retention rate all-time (all current and graduated classes).
  • The Program has a 3% attrition rate for graduated classes (2016-2020).

In accordance with ARC-PA Standard A3.12i , the table listed below is the minimum information required to be published:

Attrition rate calculation per ARC-PA: Number of students who attrited from cohort divided by the entering class size.

Graduation rate per ARC-PA: Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size.

When the entering class size is larger than the approved ARC-PA class size, it is a result of current student(s) continuing in the program by joining the next cohort because of various circumstances as evidenced by the tables at the top of this page.

The program has never exceeded the maximum capacity of 30 students by over-enrolling the class.

See a PDF version of this information here.