Academic Policies and Standards

Requirements for the Successful Completion of the Didactic Year

  1. Follow all policies and procedures published by Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) and the Physician Assistant Program.
  2. Achieve a grade of 79% or higher in all didactic courses.
  3. Maintains a GPA of 3.0 or higher overall.
  4. Successfully complete, with a grade of 79% or higher or as designated in the syllabus, summative examinations (complete physical examination practical, cumulative exams at the end of courses).
  5. Submit documentation of health requirements for the clinical year.
  6. Maintain BLS certification (on their own) throughout the program and obtain or maintain ACLS certification (through the PA program) prior to entering clinical rotations. Students’ ACLS certification must be valid through graduation from the program.
  7. Comply with the professionalism expectations (located in the PA Student Handbook).
  8. Complies with all CUW and Physician Assistant policies and procedures.

Requirements for the Successful Completion of the Clinical Year

  1. Follow all policies and procedures published by CUW and the PA Program.
  2. Achieve a grade of 79% or higher in all clinical rotations.
  3. Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher each term.
  4. Successfully complete written and practical summative evaluations with a grade of 79% or higher or as designated in the syllabus.
  5. Successfully complete the capstone as designated by program requirements.
  6. Comply with the professionalism expectations (located in the PA Student Handbook).
  7. Complies with all CUW and Physician Assistant Program policies and procedures.

Requirements for Graduation

A student will be recommended for the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree provided s/he:

  1. Successfully completes all components of the program (didactic, clinical, and the capstone). The capstone includes the portfolio and multiple written and practical summative exams that will be conducted within the last four months prior to graduation;
  2. Maintains an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher;
  3. Maintains professionalism standards (located in the PA Student Handbook); and
  4. Fulfills all financial obligations to Concordia University Wisconsin.
  5. Complies with all CUW and Physician Assistant Program policies and procedures

Academic Standing

A student who is in good standing in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies will have met the following criteria:

  1. Achieves a grade of 79% or higher in all didactic and clinical courses required by the Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) Physician Assistant (PA) Program;
  2. Maintains a GPA of 3.0;
  3. Meets the CUW and Physician Assistant Program professionalism expectations; and
  4. Complies with all CUW and Physician Assistant Program policies and procedures.

Academic Progression

Progression in the Physician Assistant Program is contingent on continued mastery of program student learning outcomes, course objectives, course content, and the demonstration of professional behavior. To remain in good academic standing, all PA students must maintain a minimum term cumulative GPA of 3.00 and earn a 79% or better in all courses.

  • A grade less than 79% in any course will be reviewed by the Student Progress Committee (SPC)
  • A term/cumulative GPA less than 3.00 will result in a review by the SPC
  • A student will not progress to the clinical year of the program with a cumulative GPA of less than 3.00 at the end of the 2nd summer term of the program
  • Additionally each term, students must earn a grade of 80% or higher on 50% of their exams, failing to do so, will result in a review by SPC

Academic Probation

Students who do not maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher overall or do not meet the Professional Expectations each term, will be placed on Academic Probation and notified in writing by the PA Program Director. In the written notification, the PA Program Director will specify the reason(s) for academic probation, the policy/process for removal from academic probation and the deadline for completing the requirements. Requirements for removal from academic probation include, obtaining a 3.0 the next term (Winterim is not included), and demonstrating professionalism.

Students on Probation:

  • May not hold any student society position
  • Must meet with their mentor a minimum of twice a month and the course directors they have classes with for the upcoming term at a minimum once
  • Must submit a written plan to the Chair of the SPC, Program Director, and to their designated mentor summarizing how they plan to improve their academic performance.
    • The plan must be submitted to the mentor, Program Director, and to the SPC Chair 24 hours prior to this meeting.
    • The plan must be approved by their mentor. If this process is not followed, the student may be dismissed from the program.

If the student does not obtain a GPA of 3.0 the next term (Winterim is not included), and demonstrate professionalism s/he will be dismissed from the program. If a student reapplies to the program and is admitted after failing a course or courses in the program, they will be placed on academic probation. Returning to the program will also require the student to take all courses in the curriculum, including courses previously passed are audited in order to relearn the requisite knowledge needed to progress in the program and to prove competency by successively completing all assessments. The courses that are audited would be on a pass/fail basis. Students auditing courses on a pass/fail basis must achieve a grade of 73% in order to pass the class. If the student fails a course again, they will be dismissed from the program and not allowed to reapply to the program. Students will be required to pay to retake the courses already completed utilizing the auditing fee schedule. The course or courses that must be retaken due to failure will be charged at full tuition.

Dismissal and Withdrawal

The CUW’s PA Program reserves the right to dismiss any PA student at any time prior to graduation. Circumstances warranting such action may be of an academic, legal or professional nature.

Withdrawing from Courses

Students who wish to withdraw from the University during a term must notify the Director of the Physician Assistant Program. If withdrawal is authorized, the student will receive the notation ‘‘W’’ on their permanent academic record for each course in which they are in good academic standing; for each course, in which the student is doing failing work, they receive the notation ‘‘WF.’’ In the event that a student is seriously injured/ill, receives an official leave of absence, or cannot continue for any acceptable reason, the student will receive a ‘‘W’’ in all registered courses. A student who discontinues attending classes without official permission to withdraw will receive a grade of ‘‘WF’’ for all registered courses.

Students must complete an Add/Drop Form through the Office of the Registrar. 

  • If a withdrawal is not made through the Office of the Registrar, a failing grade will be recorded for the affected course(s)
  • Withdrawals may be made without penalty within the first half of a term (please see the current Academic Catalog for current dates)
  • After the beginning of the tenth week of a semester or the second half of a summer session, withdrawals are reported with a grade of WF (Withdraw Fail)
  • Exceptions may be made for withdrawals due to extenuating circumstances such as illness or some other unavoidable occurrence by working with the Professor and Director of Physician Assistant Program.

Students wishing to re-enter the Physician Assistant program after a withdrawal must follow the procedure for re-entry below:   

The student must notify the PA Program Director in writing no later than January 15th of the given year that they will to return to the program. 

The student must be approved by the PA Program Director for return to the program in May of that year.  Medical Reasons: If a student leaves the program due to medical reasons, the readmission request must have a letter from a physician stating the student is cleared for release and will be able to comply with the Technical Standards set by the Physician Assistant Program. Acceptance may be conditional on the length of time the student has been away from the program and space available in the class.

If the Student Progress Committee is recommending that the student be dismissed, the Chair of the Student Progress Committee will inform the PA Program Director of the recommendation as soon as possible. The PA Program Director will communicate with the student who is being dismissed that they must follow the procedures listed above in the withdrawal section.

Fair Practices

PA students have equal access to facilities and programs of Concordia University Wisconsin as students in other programs. CUW is committed to admitting qualified students of any age, sex, race, color, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental conditions, or developmental disability, to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. Concordia University Wisconsin does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, physical or mental condition, or developmental disability in the administration of its admission policies, education policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and extra-curricular programs or other school-administered programs. Concordia University Wisconsin does not discriminate on the basis of handicap. (cf. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973). All policies concerning nondiscrimination, harassment, and conflicts of interest are found in the Concordia University Code of Student Conduct and/or the PA Student Handbook.