MSPAS Progression Policy
Academic Requirements (A3.17a)
The MSPAS Student Evaluation Committee (SEC) monitors academic progress and notifies students regarding their status if they fail to meet the standards of performance required by the PA Program.
PA Program Retention Standards
The below standards must be met to remain enrolled in the PA Program leading to a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) Degree. Failure to comply with the PA Program Retention Standards will result in dismissal from the program:
- Achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.00 after completion of the didactic phase and by the completion of the degree program; and
- No didactic course failure during the didactic phase of training and no more than one (1) cumulative clinical rotation failure during the clinical phase of training (which must be remediated to a passing grade); and
- Students must have earned a minimum passing final course grade (defined as C+, 77%, or P) in all courses including all remediated courses; and
- Students must comply with all MSPAS and University Policies, unless such policies note the MSPAS program policy supersedes; and
- Students must adhere to MSPAS professionalism standards and University's code of conduct policy; and
- Students must meet all technical standards of an MSPAS student (Technical Standards).
Academic Progression and Completion of the Program (A3.17b, A3.17c)
Students will become eligible to graduate once all of the following conditions have been met:
- SEC confirms all requirements for graduation have been met and they recommend the student for graduation to University Administration and ultimately the Board of Trustees; and
- Successful completion of the MSPAS Program Curriculum with a minimum cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 within (48) months of matriculation, excluding any and all approved Leaves of Absence; and
- The student is in "Good Academic Standing"; and
- Compliance with standards of professional and moral conduct and adherence to all University and clinical affiliate rules and codes of conduct; and
- Payment of all financial obligations; and
- Return of all loaned equipment.
Students who have completed all of the above requirements within 30 days after commencement and verified by the SEC will receive a diploma with the published commencement date. Those completing all requirements greater than 30 days after commencement and within 48 months of matriculation will receive a diploma with the date of late April/Early May, late May, mid-August, or mid-December, with date and year applicable to the academic calendar.
There may be the need for remediation to address and correct deficiencies in a student's knowledge, skills and/or professional behavior. Please refer to the UD MSPAS Student Handbook for specifics.
Graduation is required for students to be eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).
The circumstances listed below will result in dismissal:
- Students who fail to achieve at least a 3.0 GPA after completion of all didactic phase courses; or
- Students who fail to achieve at least a 3.0 GPA at the time of graduation; or
- Students with a course failure during the didactic phase of training or more than one (1) clinical course failure during the clinical phase of training; or
- Remediation failure; or
- Violation of MSPAS Program or University Policies resulting in a dismissal decision by the SEC or the Academic Dean; or
- Failure to meet the technical standards of an MSPAS student; or
- Failure to meet the requirements for graduation outlined above; or
- Students who have a subsequent violation while on probation; or
- Any student who does not finish within the required timeframe is dismissed from the MSPAS Program.
REMEDIATION POLICY (A3.17f)
Didactic Phase Remediation Process
All courses in the didactic phase require a passing grade before a student may progress to the clinical phase of the Program. Students must pass the cumulative final exam in all courses with a final exam, regardless of their overall course grade. A failed cumulative final exam may be retaken once. Failure of the reexamination results in failure of the course and dismissal from the program. Students passing the reexamination are awarded a final exam grade of 77%.
Students are notified of failed course components (unit exams, OSCEs, presentations, assignments) through a Document of Concern (DOC) issued by the course director. The student must develop a plan to address the deficiency (inclusive of a timeline). This plan is reviewed and discussed with the student's course director and advisor to ensure appropriateness. Upon agreement, the plan is approved by the course director and advisor and signed by the student, course director, and advisor and is to be accomplished within the remaining time scheduled for the course.
Clinical Phase Remediation Process
All courses in the clinical phase require a passing grade before a student may progress to graduation in the MSPAS Program. Failure to obtain a passing grade in any clinical course requires successful remediation of the failed course. All clinical courses will include a remediation version of the course. The Course Director determines the content based on the student's identified deficiencies. Students who require remediation will be notified with a Document of Concern issued by the SEC regarding the specifics of the course remediation.
Students have only one attempt to remediate a failed clinical phase course. A minimum of a 4-week Academic Delay will occur due to clinical course remediation. Remediated courses during the clinical phase will be scheduled upon availability and may not occur until the end of the clinical phase of training and following commencement ceremony.
The credit hours and grading assigned for remediation courses will be identical to the original course for which remediation is necessary. Students who successfully complete the remediation course will receive a "Pass" for purposes of GPA calculation in the MSPAS Program. However, the original course's final failing grade will remain on the student's official transcript with an (*), indicating the course was repeated and the original grade will no longer be used in the calculation of the final cumulative GPA.
Deceleration Policy (A3.17f)
The program does not offer deceleration to any students who are not on an approved leave of absence. All students, except leave of absence students, will remain enrolled with their cohort, including those students who require remediation. The date of conferral of degree will differ from the cohort if the student completes all requirements greater than 30 days after commencement, as outlined above in Academic Progression and Program Completion. Those students will still be allowed to walk during graduation with their cohort.
Students may withdraw from a course or courses from the UD MSPAS Program any time after the Add/Drop period up to shortly after the course's midterm point (roughly the 60% mark). The official withdrawal deadline date is maintained in the Registrar's Office. A grade of "W" will be recorded for any withdrawn course and the student will be obligated for paying the tuition costs associated with the course. A "W" grade is not factored into the cumulative GPA. However, a "W" grade is treated as a course failure for progression purposes. A student withdrawing from a course in the didactic phase may finish out the semester with their other courses, but only so with the knowledge they are dismissed at the conclusion of the semester. A student withdrawing from a course in the clinical phase may continue in the program so long as the withdrawal does not result in dismissal due to a second course failure. A student considering to withdraw from a course is encouraged to consult with the Program Director as to the ramification of the decision.
To initiate a withdrawal from the program requires the student notify the Program Director and complete the Withdrawal Form. The Withdrawal Form for the MSPAS Program is found in Appendix H. Final grades of "W" will be assigned to all unfinished courses for the term in which the student withdrew, so long as the withdrawal was initiated before the withdrawal deadline date.
Students who voluntarily withdraw from the program and desire to return to the program, must re-apply, adhering to the MSPAS Admission process outlined on the UD MSPAS website.