Academic and Technical Standards

Academic and Technical Standards

WCHP Academic Policies

The Department of Physician Assistant, the Westbrook College of Health Professions, and the University of New England are committed to offering a quality Physician Assistant education program that complies with the evaluative criteria of the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. The program provides learning experiences to enable graduates to achieve the outcomes required for the practice of Physician Assistant.  Please refer to the WCHP Graduate Program Progression Policies and Procedures for detailed description of academic standards.

Technical Standards

All students must be able to meet the following University of New England Physician Assistant Program technical standards to successfully complete the Physician Assistant Program.  A candidate for the Physician Assistant Program must have abilities and skills in five categories: observation, communication, motor, intellectual, and behavioral/social. Reasonable accommodation for persons with documented disabilities will be considered on an individual basis, but a candidate must be able to perform in an independent manner. The following skills are required, with or without accommodation:

Observation:  Candidates must have sufficient sensory capacity to observe in the lecture hall, the laboratory, the outpatient setting, and the patient's bedside. Sensory skills adequate to perform a physical examination are required. Functional vision, hearing and tactile sensation must be adequate to observe a patient's condition and to elicit information through procedures regularly required in a physical examination, such as inspection, auscultation and palpation.

Communication:  Candidates must be able to communicate effectively in both academic and health care settings. Candidates must show evidence of effective written and verbal communication skills.

Motor:  The ability to participate in basic diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers and procedures (e.g. palpation, auscultation) is required. Candidates must have sufficient motor function to execute movements required to provide care to patients. Candidates must be able to negotiate patient care environments and must be able to move between settings, such as clinic, classroom building, and hospital.

Physical stamina sufficient to complete the rigorous course of didactic and clinical study is required. Long periods of sitting, standing, or moving are required in classroom laboratory, and clinical experiences.

Intellectual:  Candidates must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize. Problem- solving, one of the critical skills demanded of physician assistants, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, candidates should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures. Candidates must be able to read and understand medical literature. In order to complete the Physician Assistant Program degree, candidates must be able to demonstrate mastery of these skills and the ability to use them together in a timely fashion in medical problem-solving and patient care.

Behavioral and Social Attributes: Candidates must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the prompt completion of all academic and patient care responsibilities. The development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and other members of the health care team is essential. Flexibility, compassion, integrity, motivation, interpersonal skills and the ability to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice are all required.

For more information on disabilities and accommodation, please contact the UNE Student Access Center at (207) 602-2815.


Upon completion of a course of study, the faculty member in charge of that course submits the number of hours taught and a grade for each student to the academic coordinator. The MSPA program uses a standard letter grading system.