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Student Policies

Processing Student Allegations of Harassment Policy and Procedures (A1.02 j*)

The University of Iowa has a set policy on Sexual Harassment and Consensual Relationships that originates from the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity.  Information regarding sexual harassment is found online at https://diversity.uiowa.edu/division/office-equal-opportunity-and-diversity-eod/policies-laws-and-related-resources/sexual.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

Refunds of Tuition and Fees Policy and Procedures (A1.02 k*)

The deadline dates set by the University of Iowa will also apply to physician assistant students.  The significant deadline dates, along with the tuition and fee responsibility chart, can be found at https://registrar.uiowa.edu/sites/registrar.uiowa.edu/files/wysiwyg_uploads/financialconsequenceswhenstudentdropsorwithdraws.pdf.

Please remember that all policies and procedures regarding registrar functions for the PA Program are administered by the Director of Administrative and Student Services.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

Program Policy Application (A3.01*)

Program policies apply to all students enrolled in the UI PA program, its principal faculty and the program director, regardless of location. In some circumstances a clinical affiliation agreement or memorandum of understanding may specify additional policies or policies that supersede those of the program.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

Program Policy Application (A3.02*)

Program policies apply to all students enrolled in the UI PA program, its principal faculty and the program director, regardless of location. In some circumstances a clinical affiliation agreement or memorandum of understanding may specify additional policies or policies that supersede those of the program.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

Prospective and Enrolled Students Must Not be Required to Provide or Solicit Clinical Sites or Preceptors Policy (A3.03*)

Prospective and enrolled students are not required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors.  Students may provide suggestions, but all sites and preceptors will be vetted by the program in order to make sure the site provides the instructional objectives and learning outcomes required by the program.  Preceptors will be met with to discuss their ability to meet our programs instructional objectives and learning outcomes and then vetted to determine appropriateness for a clinical rotation.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

PA Students Must Not be Required to Work for the PA Program Policy (A3.04*)

At no time during the time in the PA Program will any student be asked to work in any capacity for the PA Program, the Carver College of Medicine, or the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

PA Students Must Not Substitute for or Function as: a) Instructional Faculty and b) Clinical or Administrative Staff Policy (A3.05*)

Students will not substitute for or function as instructional faculty, clinical staff, or administrative staff.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

PA Students Must be Clearly Identified in the Clinical Setting to Distinguish Them from Other Health Profession Students and Practitioners Policy (A3.06*)

When the UIHC photo ID badge is issued, it is expected that the badge is worn at all times that the student is on educational assignment with the Hospital and while on all rotations.  Badges are not to be carried in wallets or pockets during this time.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

Immunization and Health Screening of Students Policy (A3.07 a*)

The University of Iowa follows the most current CDC guidelines for healthcare provider immunizations.  Students will be required to follow all immunization requirements for healthcare workers.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

International Travel Health Policy (A3.07 b*)

During the clinical year, if a student chooses to partake in an international elective, the program will require the student to follow current CDC recommendations for international travel and the additional vaccinations therein.  Further details are found in the Clinical Year Handbook or through discussion with the Director of Clinical Education.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

Student Exposure to Infectious and Envionrmental Hazards Before Students Undertake Any Educational Activities Which Would Place Them at Risk Policy (A3.08*)

The University of Iowa provides education and training about infection risk and infection prevention procedures.  It adheres to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommendations, standards, and regulations regarding bloodborne pathogens.  Annual training follows the CDC and OSHA standards and is mandated for all members of the University community whose employment places them at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens.  This same training is also provided to students whose academic programs place them at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens.  Training for PA students will occur during orientation week to the CCOM. Further education is provided prior to clinical year rotations and may be site specific. Information is found in the Clinical Year Handbook. Questions related to occupational safety may be referred to the Environmental Health and Safety Office.

Injuries and Accidents

Injuries and accidents of all kinds during regular class periods or required and elective clinical rotations should be brought to the attention of your instructor promptly.  In the event of an accident or injury during instructional time in the basic science curriculum, students should go to the Student Health Service if treatment is necessary.  If the accident or damage occurs during hours when the Student Health Service is closed, advice or treatment may be obtained at the Emergency Treatment Center of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC).

Exposure to a Contaminated Needle or Exposure to Blood or Other Bodily Fluids While Engaged in a Learning Experience at UIHC

The University of Iowa Student Health Service will provide initial screening, evaluation, testing, and initiation of necessary prophylaxis, follow-up, and referral when indicated for students who have had an exposure to blood or body fluids.  In this process, Student Health Service will rely on the student’s supervisor for information on the source; will consult with other caregivers when the student chooses or is located off-campus; and will consult with the Division of Infectious Diseases (Internal Medicine) as needed and for annual program review.  The complete Blood and Body Fluid Exposure reporting for physician assistant students at UIHC protocol can be found online at https://studenthealth.uiowa.edu/services/blood-and-body-fluid-exposure.


* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

Preclude Prinicpal Faculty, the Program Director and the Medical Director from Participating as Health Care Providers for Students in the PA Program, Except in an Emergency Situtation Policy (A3.09*)

No healthcare services can be provided to a student enrolled in the PA Program by any PA Department faculty or staff members.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

Timely Access and/or Referral of Students to Services Addressing Personal Issues Procedure (A3.10*)

The MPAS curriculum encompasses a large amount of material that is presented at a rapid pace.  Students may find that the study technique, which was suitable at the undergraduate level, may not be sufficient for the PA Program curriculum.  New techniques for organizing notes, test-taking strategies, reduction of test anxiety, and time management may benefit some students.  The backgrounds of our students vary so much in any given area, and it is important to know the strengths and abilities of yourself and your fellow physician assistant/medical student classmates.  The concept of collaboration is key to student success, and we encourage you to work with both your physician assistant and medical student classmates throughout the curriculum.

Faculty advisers are assigned to all students at the beginning of the program and meet at least once a semester with their advisees, or more often as needed.  Academic monitoring and routine review of course exam results take place for all basic sciences courses and the clinical rotations by PA Program Administration and Faculty.  This review may be the basis for outreach contacts for academic counseling or advising sessions with the program faculty.  Tutorial assistance is available in the basic science courses for students who are experiencing academic difficulty.  If interested, contact the appropriate Course Director or appropriate PA Program or OSAC personnel.  Students are welcome to discuss ideas, personal issues, or general concerns about student life with any member of the PA Program Administration or Faculty.  Appointments can be made by contacting any member of the PA Program Administration or Faculty.

Medical Student Counseling Center (Office of Student Affairs and Curriculum)

The Medical Student Counseling Center (MSCC) provides quality services and support to physician assistant and medical students in the following areas.

  • Personal Counseling
  • Assessment and Accommodations Services
  • Academic Advising
  • Career Development

In addition to counseling and advising, the staff provides regular programming and workshops aimed at enhancing personal and professional development, academic performance, career decision making, and mental, emotional, social, and physical well-being.  Tutoring services and the Mentor Program are also run through the MSCC.  All services are free to medical and physician assistant students, and clinical services are strictly confidential.  Information can be found on their website at https://medicine.uiowa.edu/md/student-support/student-counseling.

Appointments with a MSCC counselor can be made by contacting the MSCC at (319) 335-8056.  However, students should feel free to drop in at any time during office hours if they would like to speak with a counselor.  Every effort will be made to meet with a student as soon as possible. If a student’s concern is beyond the scope of the services the counseling center can provide, counselors will find appropriate resources for the student within the University or community.   Medical and Physician Assistant students can be referred to and meet with a UIHC psychiatrist if it appears that medication may be an appropriate course of treatment.

Personal Counseling

Personal counseling is available to individual students, couples, and families within the University and community.  As in all professional counseling relationships, information disclosed in counseling sessions is confidential and not entered in a student's academic record.  You are urged to speak with one of the faculty or staff and they will refer you to appropriate counseling services.  You may also self-refer for any of these services.  It is considered good judgment--not a weakness--to seek help when needed.  The following are resources that are available to assist with counseling needs.

  • Office of Student Affairs and Curriculum – Counseling Services
  • University of Iowa – Counseling Services
  • Local Agencies in the Greater Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Community
Mental Health Care Services

In addition to the short-term counseling provided by the staff of the Office of Student Affairs and Curriculum and the psychiatric consultation available through Student Health Service [(319) 335-7294, Westlawn Building], several counseling services are available within the University.  Both services will provide referral as needed.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

Required Academic Standards (A3.15 a*)

Promotion from one grading period to the next is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of courses in each preceding grading period. Satisfactory completion is met by achieving a (P) pass in each course which defines the academic standard required for all of the UI PA Program courses.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

Progress in and Completion of the PA Program Requirements and Deadlines (A3.15 b*)

For a student to remain with their class cohort, it is the general expectation that students will complete the first four semesters of the curriculum within five semesters and the entire curriculum within three years.  All changes to the schedule are made by the Promotions Committee and at their sole direction.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

Remediation and Deceleration Policy and Procedures (A3.15 c*)


The Promotions Committee will make and approve any remediation plans as appropriate.  In some cases remediation will need to be completed the following year due to the sequential nature of the material.  On occasion alternative processes/timelines have been recommended and are unique to each learner and their situation.


The Promotions Committee will make and approve any deceleration plans as appropriate.  In all cases deceleration will be completed the following year due to the sequential nature of the material.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

Withdrawal and Dismissal Policy and Procedures (A3.15 d*)


No physician assistant student is permitted to drop courses before or after the deadline established by the Carver College of Medicine unless that student has received the permission of the Program Director to drop the class.  Students who receive permission to drop a course after the deadline shall receive a grade of “W” unless the entire registration is canceled.  Students who drop a course without obtaining the permission of the Program Director shall receive a grade of “F” unless the whole registration is canceled.

A student may withdraw from the Department of Physician Assistant Studies and Services upon approval of a written request submitted to the office of the Program Director and approved by the Promotions Committee.

If a student withdraws for any reason, academic deadlines for a refund of tuition and fees are set by the Registrar’s Office at the University of Iowa.  These can be found at https://registrar.uiowa.edu/academic-calendar.  The Director of Administrative and Student Services works with the student so that the proper procedure is followed.


As noted, the Promotions Committee has the authority to dismiss a student that has not achieved knowledge, skills, or attitudes needed to become a practicing physician assistant.  Decisions are based on multiple factors and are specific to each individuals situation.  Decisions are based on, but not limited to, the number of course failures, professionalism lapses, inability to perform skills competently, honor code violations, and ethics violations as examples.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

Student Employment While Enrolled in the Program Policy (A3.15 e*)

The intense schedule of educational activities and responsibilities associated with the completion of the program constitute a very rigorous set of events with hefty time demands.  It is for this reason that the program advises against attempting to work while enrolled in the program.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

Allegations of Student Mistreatment Policy and Procedures (A3.15 f*)

The Carver College of Medicine provides students the highest quality education in the state’s premier academic medical center.  Students at the Carver College of Medicine can excel because the College maintains and expects an academic environment that is free from student mistreatment.  The Carver College of Medicine seeks to eliminate the mistreatment of medical and physician assistant students, and to promote and support a welcoming and professional environment for students in the Carver College of Medicine and associated educational and clinical settings.  The Honor Council is available to hear, evaluate, and respond to reports concerning mistreatment.  If you are uncertain whether an incident should be reported, you can contact the Honor Council for consult and assistance.

Defining Mistreatment

On the behavioral level, mistreatment may be operationally defined as behavior by healthcare professionals and students, which is exploitive or punishing.  For this policy, examples of mistreatment include the following:

  • physical punishment, physical threats, or violence;
  • sexual harassment or sexual assault;
  • discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity;
  • repeated episodes of psychological punishment of a student by a particular superior, such as public humiliation, threats, intimidation, or removal of privileges;
  • grading used to punish a student rather than to evaluate objective performance;
  • assigning tasks for punishment rather than educational purposes;
  • requiring the performance of personal services;
  • taking credit for another individual's work;
  • intentional neglect or intentional lack of communication.

Additional information about examples of mistreatment:

Reporting Mistreatment (A3.15f) and Grievances (A3.15g)

Mistreatment and grievances can be reported to any of the following.

  • CCOM Faculty Member
  • Course or Clinical Preceptor
  • Faculty Learning Community Director
  • PA Program Director
  • Collegiate Dean
  • Medical Student Counseling Center

Student mistreatment should be reported as follows.


Students who are the victims of misconduct that is also a crime are encouraged to contact the University’s Department of Public Safety.

Students should call 911 in an emergency.

The Carver College of Medicine may refer allegations of mistreatment that may constitute criminal behavior to DPS.


Students are encouraged to report incidents of violence to the Carver College of Medicine or the University’s Department of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (“EOD”).

The Carver College of Medicine may refer allegations of mistreatment that may constitute a violation of the University’s violence policy to EOD for investigation and resolution.

Sexual Harassment/Assault

Students are encouraged to report criminal incidents of sexual harassment or sexual assault to the University’s Department of Public Safety.

Complaints may also be forwarded to the PA Program, Carver College of Medicine, University’s Department of Equal Opportunity and DiversityOffice of the Dean of Students, or Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator.  The Carver College of Medicine will refer allegations of sexual assault to the appropriate University office for investigation and resolution.  The Carver College of Medicine may involve allegations of sexual harassment to the appropriate University office for investigation and resolution.

Other Mistreatment

All other types of mistreatment covered by this policy will be investigated and resolved by the PA Program or the Carver College of Medicine.

All students are asked as part of the clinical clerkship evaluation to report mistreatment they experienced or witnessed during that clerkship.  The University’s Operation Manual of policies can be found at https://opsmanual.uiowa.edu/community-policies/violence.

Investigating and Resolving Mistreatment

Any student complaint concerning mistreatment should ideally be reported within 15 days of the event in question or within 15 days of completion of the clerkship/rotation/course, whichever is shorter.  The student may bring the mistreatment complaint to the attention of any Carver College of Medicine faculty member, a course or clinical preceptor, Faculty Learning Community Director, PA Program Director, or a collegiate dean.  All allegations of mistreatment received by a course or clerkship director of mistreatment will be subsequently reported to the Student Dean for appropriate action.

The Dean of the Carver College of Medicine, or the Dean’s designee, shall investigate a complaint of mistreatment according to this policy or will make a referral to an appropriate University office for investigation of the mistreatment complaint.  When the Carver College of Medicine investigates matters, the Dean or the Dean’s designee will promptly issue a response to the student. It will determine whether it is more likely than not that mistreatment occurred.  When possible, the response to the student will be issued within 10 working days after the complaint is received by the Dean of the Caver of College of Medicine or the Dean’s designee.  Investigations of mistreatment handled by other University departments may take longer to resolve.

Whenever possible, the report and any subsequent investigation will be handled confidentially.  Unless requested by the student, the process of the inquiry and resolution will attempt to avoid meetings between the student and the respondent.  Some forms of mistreatment will require the program to report to the appropriate official/University and the student will be notified of this at the time.

Students willing to report incidents of abuse have significant control over the investigation and resolution process.  They are also protected from retaliation by the University of Iowa Policy.  Perpetrators of mistreatment of students may face stiff penalties, including criminal prosecution, administrative probation, or termination.

Appealing a Finding of Mistreatment (A3.15f-g)

A student who is dissatisfied with the outcome of an academic complaint against a faculty member at the collegiate level may ask the Office of the Provost to review the matter.  At any time, the student may also file a formal complaint with the University that will be handled under the procedures established for dealing with alleged violations of the Statement on Professional Ethics and Academic Responsibility, as specified in section III-15 of the University Operations Manual.  A description of these formal procedures, found in section III-29 and following of the University Operations Manual, can be obtained at https://opsmanual.uiowa.edu.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.

Student Grievances and Appeals Policy and Procedures (A3.15 g*)

Students desiring to appeal a Promotions Committee decision shall submit such appeal in writing to the Program Director of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies and Services within ten business days after the date of written receipt of the decision.  Students are allowed to continue in the curriculum until a final decision is rendered by the Senior Associate Dean unless their actions are considered of a nature that would create a potentially harmful situation for the faculty, staff or other students.  All appeals will be heard by, and decisions rendered by, the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education.  The Senior Associate Dean will have 2 calendar weeks to consider the appeal and deliver a decision unless an alternate time is mutually agreed upon by the student and the Dean.  Students may request a meeting with the Senior Associate Dean prior to rendering a decision.  Students who wish to request a meeting with the Senior Associate Dean must do so in writing at the time they request an appeal.  All decisions by the Senior Associate Dean are final without further opportunity for appeal and are effective immediately.  Students will be given an opportunity to appear in person before the Promotions Committee to make a statement and to answer questions.  Legal representation or recording of the session is prohibited.

* Indicates ARC-PA Standard number.