QU Physician Assistant program ranking drops from five to 15

Faculty and students alike are still inspired, despite the fall

By on March 26, 2019

The Quinnipiac Physician Assistant program recently dropped in the U.S. News’ rankings from fifth to 15th. Despite this, students have not wavered in their support of the program.

“I don’t look at it as if we really fell,” Dennis Brown, the Program Director and Department Chair of Physician Assistant Studies, said. “We are doing this dynamic dance here with the top people.”

Photo Courtesy of Quinnipiac University
The program is in the top six percent of all Physician Assistant programs in the country, according to Brown, competing with 237 other schools like Duke University (1), University of Iowa (2) and Emory University (5). It is also currently the highest ranked in Connecticut and in the top one percent in the Northeast.

Before Brown joined the Quinnipiac faculty six years ago, the Physician Assistant program was 11th in the country.

“We came down and shared five with a few others for the past four years,” he said. “Now, with this latest rankings, they brought us up to share 15 with a few others.”

It is a very competitive field, according to Brown. Only 54 students are accepted into the graduate Quinnipiac Physician Assistant program every year. Furthermore, accepted students generally have GPAs in the top 10 percent of their high school class, SAT scores over 1400 and ACT scores over 30, according to Brown.

One senior in the Entry Level Physician Assistant Program (ELMPA), Kirsten Gardner, believes the program has not fallen in quality, despite the fall in rankings.

“In my opinion, 15th is still a great ranking considering all the PA schools there are in the country,” Gardner said. “It’s definitely a little upsetting to have dropped, but the reputation of the QU PA program is still exceptional. Quinnipiac has had a 100 percent pass rate of the certifying exam for the past several years.”

Gardner said this program has continued to live up to her hopes.

“The ELMPA program especially is amazing because we are automatically accepted to grad school, which very few schools offer,” she said. “Graduate school is extremely rigorous, in attempt to prepare us for the real medical world.”

Freshman PA (ELMPA) major Pratibha Thippa was surprised by the drop in rankings, but doesn’t believe the goal is to just compete with other schools.

“I think our school is doing really well to prepare our students and the rankings merely represent that the U.S. is opening up more and more PA schools every year and each one is getting more and more advanced in the preparation of its students,” Thippa said.

Regardless of the ranking drop, Quinnipiac is still producing great results that yield students desired by physicians all over the country, according to Brown.

“We do a great job,” Brown said. “We have great graduates that we put out into the workforce and the faculty is totally into getting the students what they need and graduating quality ones. Rankings are nice, our students are still a top choice for employers. Almost all of them get their first choice of a job.”

Brown said he gets calls from all over the country from employers, asking for his students in their programs.

“The fact that most students are offered multiple jobs before they even graduate from PA school also shows our maturity and readiness to participate in the clinical setting,” Thippa said.

Gardner was not deterred by Quinnipiac’s drop to 15th.

“I’ll still be extremely proud of saying I’m a Quinnipiac PA grad, no matter our ranking,” she said.

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