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master of physician assistant studies



students in lab

Program Characteristics:

  • 29 month graduate program, comprised of 14 months didactic and 15 months of clinical rotations
  • Curriculum totals 124 semester credit hours
  • A new class of 30 students will be accepted each year through a competitive application process and begin each summer.
  • Students will enroll after earning a bachelor's degree, successfully completing specific prerequisite classes, and gaining at least 500 hours of health care experience.
  • Students will complete didactic and laboratory classes in subjects including anatomy, physiology, 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, primary care will be an emphasis of the program. Graduates will be eligible to seek licensure to practice in one or more of the 50 states.

Program Goals:

  • Train physician assistants to utilize evidence-based medicine to provide high quality, compassionate care to a diverse population.
  • Prepare physician assistants to practice in a cost-effective and socially responsible manner.
  • Provide graduates the skills necessary for life-long learning.
  • Prepare physician assistants who demonstrate the highest standards of professionalism.
  • Encourage the assumption of leadership roles within the profession and the community.
  • Incorporate interdisciplinary approaches to education which prepare physician assistants to participate in the healthcare team.
  • Prepare physician assistants to meet the primary care work force needs - especially in rural and underserved populations.
  • Develop competence in oral and written communication skills in order to be an effective communicator with patients and families.

History and Projected Timeline:

May 2012: Master of Physician Assistant program development announced
July 2012: Clare Kennedy, MPAS, PA-C, begins official duties as the MPAS founding director
March 2014: ARC-PA provisional accreditation meeting
June 2014: first cohort begins studies
June 2015: second cohort begins studies

Dec. 2016: first cohort graduates