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master of physician assistant studies



Admissions and Application

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students in lab coats

Entry into the 29-month St. Ambrose Physician Assistant program will be a competitive process. Applicants must have earned their undergraduate degree; successfully completed specific prerequisite courses; and gained at least 500 hours of health care experience.

Thirty-member cohorts will begin with classroom and laboratory studies including anatomy, pathology, physical examination and clinical medicine during the first 14 months, followed by 15 months of clinical rotations under the supervision of physicians and other specialists in required and elective practice areas of clinical specialization. Based on projected needs in rural states, the program will emphasize primary care. Graduates will be eligible to seek licensure to practice in one or more of the 50 states.

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the St. Ambrose University Physician Assistant Program.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status. The status indicates that the plans and resource allocation for the proposed program appear to demonstrate the program's ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards, if fully implemented as planned. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

Online applications will be accepted through CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants). 


Admissions Requirements

Candidates for admissions must meet the following criteria:

  • Earned bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution (in major of choice)
  • Completion of on-line CASPA application including personal statement and references
  • Completion of all prerequisite classes with a grade of "C" or higher
  • Required course work graded Pass/Fail or credit obtained by CLEP examination or Advanced Placement (AP) will not be accepted.
  • Minimum of 3.0 cumulative GPA on 4.0 scale
  • Graduate Record Exam Scores (The test scores must be within five calendar years prior to the term of intended enrollment)
  • SAU Supplemental Application
  • Document at least 500 hours of health care experience with direct patient contact
  • Campus Interview 

Prerequisite Classes

  • 16 credit hours in biological sciences with labs covering general biology (4 hrs), human anatomy (4 hrs), human physiology (4 hrs) and microbiology (4 hrs) (anatomy and physiology classes may be taken separately or together if part of a two course section - if transferring these credits, take both at same college or university)
  • 15-16 credit hours in chemistry with labs to include general chemistry (8 hrs - 2 semester sequence), biochemistry (3-4 hrs) and organic chemistry (4 hrs) (biochemistry lab recommended if available - other labs required)
  • 3 credit hours in statistics or biostatistics (additional mathematics class may be needed as prerequisite for science and statistics)
  • 9 credit hours in psychology to include general psychology (3 hrs), abnormal psychology (3 hrs) and either lifespan or developmental psychology (3 hrs)
  • 6 credit hours in English composition to include introductory course and additional writing course
  • Medical terminology (graded) 

Other Recommended Courses

  • Oral communication
  • Biomedical ethics