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New director of the Pathologists' Assistant Program

Assistant Professor and Gross Room Supervisor Michelle Costas, M.H.S., P.A. (ASCP), has been named director of the Pathologists' Assistant Program.

Class of 2013

Class of 2012

2011 AAPA conference

Kara Satterfield presenting a poster at the 2011 AAPA conference in San Francisco, CA.

AAPA conference lectures

Tori, Heather, Allison, Brian, and Britt at the AAPA conference lectures.

ASCP National Student Honor Award

Jamie Wilson, Class of 2011 receiving ASCP National Student Honor Award

PA Class of 2014 and 2015

Students enjoying the lectures at the conference.

Allison, Brian, Britt, and Jennifer enjoying the lectures at the conference.

Class of 2011 Convocation

The Class of 2011 at Convocation with Dr. MaryBeth Mandich and Cherie Germain.

summer vacation

Lucas H., Class of 2012, hard at work on summer vacation.

Summer Vacation

Ashley H. Class of 2012, on summer vacation at the beach, where the studying is good!



Application Period:

The next application period extends from January 1-May 31, 2015 for the class beginning in January, 2016 (Class of 2017).  

Electronic Admissions Instructions:

Applications are now strictly electronic.  No paper applications or recommendations will be accepted (exception: Direct Admit students from the WVU CLS program.  Please see the Program Director in 2146H or e-mail at

Please click on "Admission Process" in the menu bar to the left and scroll down to "Application Instructions".  If you have any problems or questions, call the Program Director at 304-293-0734 or the Clinical Coordinator at 304-293-3357.

Shadowing Rules for WVU students and potential WVU PA students:

At WVU, we believe that you should have a good overview of the Pathologists' Assistant career before you spend thousands of dollars and hours of effort in a rigorous program. We require job shadowing in Surgical Pathology prior to application. For more information on how to shadow, please click here .

Why Choose WVU Pathologists’ Assistant Program ?

  • Student focused, with individualized attention
  • Highest level of accreditation achieved on first time application to NAACLS- full 5 years, and most recently accreditation of 7 years.
  • The most up-to-date comprehensive curriculum in the country- molecular diagnostics, advanced forensic photography, disease mechanisms….
  • Modern, newly renovated facilities and equipment with progressive faculty…..
  • Varied clinical experiences at world-renowned sites such as UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA….
  • Student participation in the annual AAPA conference for lectures and networking….
  • View our brochure ( Front | Back )


The Pathologists’ Assistant program at West Virginia University's School of Medicine was approved and founded in 2007, with the first class beginning in January, 2008. The program is an intensive 24-month curriculum, culminating in a Master’s degree in Health Science. The first year is an intense didactic schedule, with some “hands on” experience in the Surgical Pathology Gross Room and Autopsy Suite. The second year is clinical practice, with rotations in various medical settings for a wide-ranging experience prior to employment. Students are required to have a Bachelor’s degree and come from a wide variety of science-related backgrounds, including Medical Technology, Pre-Professional Biology, and Forensic Science.

Our Graduates

Each class has up to 16 students. Graduates are eligible to sit for the ASCP (American Society of Clinical Pathologists) exam, earning the designation of “P.A. (ASCP)” upon passing. In addition, graduates are eligible to become fellows of the AAPA (American Association of Pathologists’ Assistants), the governing agency for Pathologists’ Assistants. Certified Pathologists’ Assistants from accredited training programs are in high demand as Allied Health Professionals across the U.S. and can be found in Canada, Australia, and Denmark as well. An above average salary is earned by graduates of these programs.

Where do our students obtain jobs? All over the US!

Our graduates have had placements including:

  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • CVPath, Gaithersburg, MD
  • Baptist Medical Center, Jacksonville, FL
  • Providence Hospital, Washington, D.C.
  • Providence Health Services, Portland, OR
  • Clinical Pathology Associates, Austin, TX
  • University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL
  • Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
  • St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO
  • Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Mt. Carmel Health System, Columbus, OH
  • Aurora Diagnostics, Greensboro, NC
  • Georgetown University Hospital; Washington, DC
  • George Washington University Hospital; Washington, DC
  • Vanderbilt University; Nashville, TN
  • Mt. Sinai Medical Center; NY, NY
  • Southern Ohio Pathology Consultants (Tri-Health); Cincinnati, OH
  • Pathology Associates; Clovis, CA
  • Ohio State University; Columbus, OH
  • Strong Memorial Hospital; Rochester, NY
  • Pathology Group of Louisiana; Baton Rouge, LA
  • Amarillo Pathology Group; Amarillo, TX
  • University Pathologists; Providence, RI
  • Hardin Memorial Hospital; Elizabethtown, KY
  • Medical Center Central, Macon, GA
  • Carolinas Pathology Group; Charlotte, NC
  • Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC); Charleston, WV
  • West Virginia University/ Ruby Memorial Hospital; Morgantown, WV
  • Lewis Gale Hospital; Salem, VA
  • Kings Daughters Medical Center; Ashland, KY
  • St. Luke's Hospital; Bedford, MA
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Pittsburgh, PA
    • UPMC-Magee-Womens'
    • UPMC-Presbyterian
    • UPMC-Shadyside
    • UPMC-Horizon


The goal of the program is to educate and train qualified Allied Health Professionals as Pathologists’ Assistants, with the objective also being that the graduates pass the national certifying exam. Successful completion of the program enables alumnae to obtain employment in hospital laboratories, clinical laboratories, research facilities, and academic centers.


Although our objective is to academically prepare students to pass the national certifying exam, granting of the Master's degree in Health Science is not contingent upon passing any external certification exam, only successful completion of the approved program curriculum.