Campus Safety Policies and Procedures (partial compliance of A1.02g)
The institution addresses the safety of students on campus through the Safety and Security Department.

University of Dubuque also publishes their annual safety reports in compliance on the Jeanne Clery Act website.

Safety and security for students on clinical rotations are addressed during clinical phase orientation and relies on the personal safety and security measures in place for the staff at each clinical facility as documented on Site Visit Forms. The facility at which the rotation/experience takes place shall provide PA students access to the facility's rules, regulations, policies and procedures with which the PA students are expected to comply, including, the facility's OSHA standards, personal and workplace security and personal safety policies and procedures for all PA students and any instructors on site.

Personal safety measures also include student instruction in the application of universal precautions and risks of bloodborne pathogens during the program's didactic phase prior to potential exposure.

All policies apply to all PA students (A3.01): The institution addresses the program's policy regardless of location.

  • All student program policies apply to all PA students regardless of location.
  • All faculty/administrative program policies apply to all principal PA faculty regardless of location.
  • All faculty/administrative program policies apply to the program director/medical director regardless of location.

Informed policies (A3.02): The PA program will inform students of its polices in accordance with ARC-PA standards.
PA students will be informed of program policies and practices in multiple ways:

  • Program policies are posted on the PA program website and in the MSPAS Student Handbook.
  • During orientation, the student didactic handbook and policies are discussed. Students sign attestation of review to document their awareness of the policies and practices.
  • During clinical orientation, the student clinical handbook and policies are discussed. Students sign attestation of review to document their awareness of the policies and practices.

Student recruitment of clinical sites and preceptors (A3.03): The institution addresses clinical sites and preceptor policies in accordance with ARC-PA standards.

  • Students are not required to solicit or recruit clinical sites and/or preceptors.
  • Refer to the Clinical Sites and Responsibilities section in the MSPAS Student Handbook for more information.

PA student employment policy (A3.04, A3.05): The institution addresses student employment.

  • Training to become a PA demands a full-time commitment. Due to the rigorous nature of the curriculum, it is recommended students not engage in outside employment. If a student chooses to work during the program, the work schedule must not interfere with class performance or clinical rotation schedules.
  • Students are not allowed to work on behalf of the MSPAS program in any clerical, administrative, or instructional capacity.
  • While students may be asked to volunteer for a particular task or activity, students are not obligated to do so. Students who choose to volunteer do not receive remuneration for the task completed. Some students with significant experience or skill may function as a peer tutor during laboratory sessions; however, they will not function as instructional faculty for student assessment or employment.
  • During clinical rotations, students are not allowed to substitute for, or function as, clinical or administrative staff. Refer to the Clinical Sites and Responsibilities Section in the MSPAS Student Handbook.

Health, health insurance and immunizations (A3.07): The institution addresses health, insurance, and immunizations according to ARC-PA standards.

Once students have successfully been admitted to the MSPAS program, they are provided with a list of the mandated requirements which are expected to be maintained including a yearly physical examination, antibody titers, current immunizations, drug screening, and background checks. Students are given deadlines to submit the required documents prior to the commencement of classes in order to comply with matriculation standards. All students are required to have proof of current health insurance coverage and should consider current long-term disability insurance as well.

The physical examination, Interferon-Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) tuberculosis screening, and influenza vaccination are required annually for continued enrollment in the program. Students who do not meet the mandated requirements are not allowed to register for classes or participate in a clinical setting. Students who fail to comply with program requirements are not eligible to attend off-campus clinical activities or clinical rotations until all requirements are met.


The MSPAS program developed its policy and immunization guidelines based on the guidelines issued by our affiliated clinical education sites and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that apply to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students attending any public or private university in the State of Iowa, specifically those involved in health care.

All immunization forms must carry the original signature of a physician or a licensed medical practitioner and the license number or office stamp with address.

Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
State of Iowa pre-matriculation immunization requirements include documentation of measles, mumps, and rubella immunity for all students prior to registration for classes. As a prerequisite to matriculation or registration, the State of Iowa requires all students born after 1956 to present documented proof of immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella. Consistent with Department of Health guidelines and Veteran Affairs requirements, acceptable proof of immunity constitutes documentation of a blood antibody titer verifying immunity.

Students who cannot prove immunity must begin the two shot MMR vaccination series prior to the start of the program.

Students must show documentation of at least a single dose of Tdap and current Td/Tdap vaccination. For students who have never received Tdap, a single dose of Tdap can be given at any time, regardless of the time since their most recent Td vaccination. This should be followed by either a Td or Tdap booster every 10 years. Students are required to keep this current.

Hepatitis B
Students must show documented proof of vaccination AND immunity to Hepatitis B, as described below. Students must document Hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) titer status.

  • If the titer is positive, no further action is necessary
  • If the titer is negative, the following steps are required:
    • Begin required 2 or 3 dose hepatitis B series immediately. Proof of receipt of at least the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine is required prior to the first day of classes. The remainder of the 2 or 3-dose series must be completed 8 weeks prior to beginning the clinical phase
    • Repeat titer six weeks after completing the 2 or 3-dose series. This must be completed prior to beginning the clinical phase.
      • If the hepatitis B surface antibody titer is still negative, the student is considered a non-responder
  • Students who continue to have a negative hepatitis B surface antibody titer receive individual counseling on how best to protect themselves and prevent hepatitis B infection and special procedures to follow should a needle stick injury occur.

Chickenpox (varicella)
Proof of positive (immune) varicella antibody titer is required. If immunity is not shown, completion of the 2-shot series 4-8 weeks apart is required and documentation must be submitted.

Students are required to maintain full and up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination per the CDC guidelines and provide documentation to the program. This recommendation may be pre-empted by clinic and hospital policies of clinical sites requiring vaccination.

Students are required to receive the seasonal flu vaccine annually and provide documentation to the program by November 1.

Highly recommended for anyone with a risk factor (medical, occupational, lifestyle, or other indication), according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. We recommend discussing your meningococcal vaccine status with your health-care provider. This recommendation may be pre-empted by the clinic and hospital policies of the clinical rotation sites.

Polio (IPV)
Proof of vaccination must be provided. Students should consult with their healthcare provider.

Screening for Tuberculosis (TB)
Students are required to have an annual Interferon-Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) to document absence of TB infection. Commercial names for these tests are QuantiFERON TB Gold or T-SPOT.

  • If the blood test is negative, students must repeat the IGRA annually
  • If the blood test is positive, students must follow up with their healthcare provider and submit documentation of chest x-ray results and tuberculosis questionnaire, as well as a latter of clearance and/or recommendations to return to program activities.

Exposure to infectious and environmental hazards (A3.08): The program addresses its policies regarding infectious and environmental hazards.
The MSPAS program follows the MSPAS Student Handbook guidelines regarding exposure to infectious and environmental hazards while on campus and the institutional policies of its clinical affiliates regarding exposure to infectious and environmental hazards while at clinical sites. The MSPAS program is diligent in educating students about precautionary infection control measures for airborne and bloodborne pathogens prior to students' first contact with patients and first contact with human tissue, blood products, and body fluids. Ultimately, each student is responsible for his/her health and safety in the clinical/educational setting; therefore, it is the goal of the MSPAS program that all students learn appropriate policies and procedures to follow in the event that they are injured or potentially exposed to bloodborne pathogens or other communicable diseases.

All MSPAS students are required to take the designated bloodborne pathogen and OSHA training upon matriculation into the program. Students may be required to take additional training at the discretion of a clinical rotation site, as their policies and procedures warrant. MSPAS students should understand site-specific policies prior to their work at each clinical affiliate site and should follow the established protocols at that site for immediate care and treatment after exposure.

All students with communicable diseases or conditions are not permitted to engage in patient care until such conditions have been treated and cleared as documented by a provider. A student who has a communicable disease or is unsure whether he/she should participate in patient care should seek medical care by a private medical provider.

The student's personal health insurance plan is ultimately responsible for coverage of any incident that occurs during the pre-clinical or clinical phase of the program.

During the pre-clinical phase, students should notify the PA faculty in attendance immediately and be referred to the Smeltzer Kelly Student Health Center. Students must complete an Exposure Report Form which will be filed by the program. The PA Program Director should also be notified by the student and faculty member within 24 hours. During open hours the SKHC will facilitate prompt evaluation of the student. Outside of SKHC hours, students should be referred to a local emergency department.

During the clinical phase, students should notify their preceptor and immediately follow the procedures established at the clinical facility where the exposure occurred. Should guidelines not be in place, please refer to Appendix C for procedures for care and treatment after exposure and/or injury. The student must also notify the PA Program Director within 24-hours of the incident and complete an Exposure Report Form which will be filed by the program.

Guidelines are available online at to protect students from the risk of occupational infection with HIV, hepatitis B, or other bloodborne pathogens, and to implement the United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standard 29 CFR Section 1910.1030 Bloodborne Pathogens.

Students are excused from clinical activities in order to seek medical care for bloodborne or airborne pathogen exposure. Should an infected student expose a patient, he/she is ethically obligated to report this as well.

If a student's exposure results in the contraction of a disease or disability, the student is allowed to continue in the program with as little disruption as safely possible depending on the circumstances. The student's specific medical circumstances are evaluated confidentially on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, students may be unable to participate fully in university life or meet MSPAS technical standards because of their illness. As applicable, cases will be reported to the appropriate Public Health Department having jurisdiction over the agency/institution where the exposure occurred.

Faculty as health care providers (A3.09): This policy addresses non-utilization of PA faculty as providers for students.
Principal faculty, the Program Director, and the Medical Director must not participate as health care providers for students in the Program, except in an emergency.

Medical and counseling services (A3.10): This policy addresses access to medical and counseling services.
The Smeltzer Kelly Student Health Center was established to provide timely access for primary health care, brain health and counseling, and dietary and wellness educational services.

Accessibility Services is located in the Academic Success Center and assists students with all disability services at the University by verifying, recommending accommodations, and providing information. Once any student contacts UD's Counseling Services regarding a need for accommodations, this takes precedence and facilitation of an appointment is made as soon as a provider is available and/or an identified off-campus provider is available.

Mistreatment (A3.15f): This policy addresses student mistreatment.

The University of Dubuque does not condone mistreatment of students. Mistreatment includes any student being treated unfairly compared to other students. Mistreatment is separate from grievance and harassment policies. If a student feels they're being mistreated, they should report this to the Academic Director in the didactic phase or the Clinical Education Director in the clinical phase. Should the mistreatment involve the Academic Director or Clinical Education Director, the student should report to the Program Director.

Student grievance and harassment policy (A1.02j, A3.15g): This policy addresses student grievance and harassment.

There may be times when an MSPAS student seeks an investigation and possible resolution to a grievance. MSPAS students are encouraged to informally resolve a grievance as soon as possible through a meeting with the instructor (or the Clinical Education Director during the Clinical Phase). If the matter cannot be resolved, or if the professor cannot be reached, the student should meet with the Program Director. If the student's grievance is against a MSPAS committee, the students must meet with the committee chairperson and the Program Director to attempt an informal resolution. A mutually agreeable resolution to an informal complaint shall be formalized through a notation in the student's file/record that is initialed by the student and the professor or committee chairperson.

Formal Grievance Procedure
In any disagreement over the interpretation of academic regulations or the existence of extenuating circumstances that might justify special consideration, the student may file a formal grievance. Students wishing to file a formal grievance should consult Appendix A of the Graduate Student Catalog & Handbook.

The University of Dubuque strives to foster respect for the dignity and worth of all members of the University community by providing an educational and professional environment free of unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct that is oppressive or intimidating. The University has a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual harassment.

Please refer to the Title IX Policy: Discrimination on the Basis of Sex and Sexual Misconduct, which can be found at: Title IX. Students with questions or concerns about the above issues should immediately consult the Title IX Coordinator (563.589.3619).

Faculty grievance and harassment policy (A1.02i): This policy addresses faculty grievance and harassment policy.
Institutional policies and procedures for processing faculty grievances (Section 2.16) and allegations of harassment (Section 2.9.10) are found in the University of Dubuque Faculty Handbook.

Advanced Placement (A3.13c): This policy addresses advanced placement and experiential learning.

  • The PA program does not offer advanced placement for students with prior graduate or doctoral work.
  • The program does not accept transfer students or provide credit for experiential learning.
  • The program does not give credit for prior student experience working in the health care field.
  • All incoming students will take all the courses outlined in the program curriculum.

Student Identification (A3.06): This policy addresses the dress code of students while in supervised clinical practice experiences.
Students must be clearly identified as PA students in clinical setting at all times. UD PA students must clearly identify themselves as a UD physician assistant student by wearing their UD PA student ID and embroidered lab coat. IDs are to be worn at all Program-related activities (both on and off campus) that relate to training as a UD PA student. PA students must be clearly identified in the clinical setting to distinguish them from physicians, medical students, and other health profession students and graduates. While in the Program, students may not use previously earned titles (i.e. RN, MD, DO, PhD, PharmD, etc) for identification purposes.

It is both a professionalism and curricular expectation that students adhere to the dress code in all settings.