Frequently Asked Questions
Do students have help finding placement for clinical hours? Is transportation provided?
Students work closely with their undergraduate advisor, SHS advisor and the Student Professional Development Center to identify local organizations at which they can volunteer. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange these opportunities as this helps strengthen organizational and communication skills that are essential for practice in healthcare, but we will assist as needed.
Students have access to the Elon Express which provides free transportation for Elon students and has a line that goes downtown and would take students to a few of the popular locations. However, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for transportation to the sites at which they are working or volunteering.
Do I have to follow a semester-by-semester required course list?
Each student must complete the Elon undergraduate core curriculum requirements in addition to the requirements for their selected major. Accelerated Pathway students participate in an Elon 1010 course during the first semester where you will create a graduation plan to help you achieve your goals of your undergraduate major as well as the requirements for admission into the PA/PT programs. The paths are individualized so that you have opportunities to participate in the liberal arts education that Elon provides.
I do not see Pre-Health as a major option. What should I major in?
We encourage students to identify the major of their choice and work closely with their advisor to ensure graduation and matriculation requirements. The most commonly represented majors offered at Elon for the PA and PT programs are exercise science, biology, biochemistry, psychology, and public health.
Can I double major?
Although it is possible to achieve a double major, the focus is on your personal goals and the experiences you want as part of your undergraduate experience. Your academic advisor can provide guidance if double majoring is your goal.
Is there an option to transfer into this program if I do not begin at Elon in this program?
No. The goals of the Accelerated Pathways Program are aimed at developing essential skills and fluencies, drawn from a liberal arts education, necessary for success as a healthcare provider. The requirements, including programming and advising are designed to provide growth and development opportunities throughout the 3.5 year undergraduate experience and ensure academic and professional readiness for enrollment into the PA and PT programs.
What if I decide I no longer plan to go to PA/PT school? How easy is it to switch out of the program?
Some students may discern a different career than that of a PA or PT or choose to attend a graduate program outside of Elon. We respect this decision and ask that the student notify their undergraduate and SHS advisors in writing of this decision as soon as the decision is made. Advisors will work with the student to achieve the goals of their undergraduate experience and provide the necessary support to provide opportunities for student success.
Do I need to take the GRE?
Accelerated Pathway students must meet the same requirements for matriculation into the Elon University Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (PA) or Doctor of Physical Therapy (PT) programs as other applicants. For students on the PT pathway, this includes taking the GRE. Students on the PA pathway are not required to take the GRE as it is not an admissions requirement for the PA program.
Why do I have to interview again?
Participating in a graduate interview during your fourth year is an important part of ensuring academic and professional readiness for graduate level programming. The interview will serve as a final review that the student is equipped with the skills necessary for success.
Accelerated Pathway students will have a separate interview than that of the general pool of applicants. Interviews are conducted with faculty members from the respective graduate (PA/PT) programs.
What is the process if my GPA dips below the minimum, do I have time to bring it back up?
If your GPA drops below the minimum in the first two years of the Accelerated Pathways Program, you will be given one semester to improve. However, given the rigor of the PA/PT programs, if your GPA falls below the required minimum in the third or fourth years you will be dismissed from the program.
Can I take or retake a prerequisite course at another university?
All course prerequisites must be completed at a regionally accredited institution. Graduate Admissions does not discern between coursework taken at a 4-year institution, community college, or online; all are weighted equally. However, we encourage applicants to take courses in-person and at a 4-year institution whenever possible. All courses taken at another regionally accredited university will be factored into the calculated cumulative and science GPAs. Students work closely with their advisor to navigate their undergraduate course selection.
Is it possible to complete the Accelerated Pathways program and not be admitted into the Elon PA/PT program?
We are confident that if a student participates and engages fully in the Accelerated Pathways Program and meets all of the requirements that they will be academically and professionally ready to enter the PA/PT programs here at Elon. In addition to the Elon undergraduate experience, we carefully constructed programming to support development of the skills necessary for success and admission into the PA/PT programs. The PA/PT programs reserve spaces for Accelerated Pathways candidates who successfully complete the program requirements (including the final interview).
Can a student be denied admission into the PA/PT program if they meet all of the Accelerated Pathway Program requirements?
If a student meets all of the Accelerated Pathways Program requirements, they will participate in an interview in the Fall of their fourth year that will serve as a final review for admission. If students have not met the requirements, they will not be allowed opportunity for admission into the PA/PT programs. It is possible, yet highly unlikely that a student would be denied admission if they participate and engage fully in the Accelerated Pathways Program.
Why do you all require these extra steps when other programs are direct entry?
An Elon education transforms the student into an outstanding professional who is ready to serve others with a respect for human differences, a passion for lifelong learning, personal and professional integrity, and an ethic of work and service. We believe that fostering these principles early in the undergraduate experience through the Accelerated Pathways Program will ensure that students entering our highly selective graduate programs will be prepared both academically and professionally and will have the greatest opportunity for success.
At what rate do Elon PA/PT students pass the Board Exams?
The average Elon PA PANCE pass rate for first-time takers is 96 percent.
The ultimate pass rate of graduates who passed the National Physical Therapy Examination from 2020 to 2021 is 98.9 percent.
How long are the graduate programs?
Elon’s PA curriculum is 24 months long. The first 12 months, or the didactic phase, consists of on-campus instruction and hands-on patient simulations. During the second 12 months, or the clinical phase, students participate in clinical rotations: primary care, pediatrics, emergency medicine, inpatient medicine, surgery, women’s health, behavioral medicine, and one elective.
Elon’s PT curriculum is 36 months long. The Elon DPT program entails 36 months of full-time study. Didactic education (which includes classroom and laboratories to practice procedures on classmates and clients) with integrated clinical education assignments in a variety of clinical settings occurs throughout the three years.
How many students are in the graduate programs?
The PA program enrolls a class of 38 total students each January.
The PT program enrolls a class of 46 total students each January.
What is the job outlook for PA/PT?
Elon’s PA and PT programs have a 96-100% job placement rate.