Master of Physician Assistant Studies


Whether you want to provide healthcare to residents in rural America or work in internal medicine at an urban hospital in New York, St. Ambrose has a program to help you achieve - and exceed - all of your goals. 

Our graduates work at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston, and Lower Manhattan Hospital in New York.


Ambrose Advantages

  • 96% First-time Pass Rate on NCCPA Exam
  • Only MPAS Program In QC and Western Illinois Region
  • We Invest In Your Success

Students Practice Exam

Exam Observation

Student and Patient in exam room

At SAU, we prepare highly qualified and compassionate Physician Assistants by providing deep learning opportunities in the classroom and in communities. You will work side-by-side with experts and specialists in medical communities, and just as closely with program faculty and mentors.

Read Our MPAS Fact Sheet


More Information on the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program

What will I learn?

You will be trained in the medical model to provide patient care, including physical examinations, ordering tests, diagnosing and treating illness, performing minor procedures, as well as first-assisting in surgery.

Our 29-month program is comprised of 124 credit hours. A new class of 30 students is accepted annually through a competitive application process and coursework begins in the summer.

The first 14 months of the program are didactic. Classroom and laboratory studies include anatomy, pathology, physical examination and clinical medicine. The following 15 months are clinical rotations in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, emergency medicine, surgery, OB-gyn, and psychiatry.

Graduates will be eligible to seek licensure to practice in one or more of the 50 states, and we prepare them well. The MPAS Class of 2016 achieved a 100% overall pass rate on the NCCPA exam, and 96 percent of the class passed on the first attempt.

NCCPA Exam Performance Summary Report (pdf)

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

What are some of the advantages of the SAU MPAS program?
  • Based on projected needs in rural states, primary care is an emphasis of our program. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reports the demand for physician services is increasing rapidly while the nation's population continues to age, grow, live longer, and has more chronic illnesses. Physician assistants are part of the solution to help alleviate shortages.
  • We have a strong history and regional reputation for training excellent and caring health professionals. There are more than 525 students currently enrolled in SAU accredited health sciences programs in nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and social work. In fact, the St. Ambrose University College of Health and Human Services houses two of the top doctoral programs in the country: Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy.
What have alumni of this program done?
  • Jessica Hoeffler '16 MPAS was awarded one of just four PA residencies at the prestigious DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center in Houston, Texas.
  • Trevor Portiner '16 MPAS works in internal medicine at Lower Manhattan Hospital in New York.
  • Jennifer Hermanson '16 MPAS works in neurosurgery in Anchorage, Alaska.
How much will this degree cost?

When you enroll in a graduate program, you are making a personal, professional, and financial investment. The cost may seem daunting, but there are programs that can help.

Tuition for the MPAS program is $11,620/semester for the 2017-18 academic year. There are some additional costs for textbooks and technology. We estimate your total cost for the program to be $92,960.

Due to a nationwide shortage of physician assistants, there are several loan repayment programs that offer partial or full repayment of college loans. The American Association of Medical Colleges provides a database to search loan repayment/forgiveness and scholarship programs.

Specifically in Iowa, the Primary Care Recruitment and Retention Endeavor offers two-year grants when PAs work in a health professional shortage area.MPAS students may be eligible for low-interest federal student loans. Our Financial Aid Office can provide you with more information.

Our 2016 MPAS graduates were tremendously successful in finding employment, and many received multiple offers prior to graduation. Some also received signing bonuses and tuition compensation from their employers. Learn more about our graduates by clicking here.

In 2015, Forbes Magazine gave the physician assistant graduate degree a first-place ranking based on salary and employment outlook, citing, in part, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projection of a 30 percent increase in positions for PAs by 2018. The average annual wage for a physician assistant in 2016 was $102,090 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Fees

St. Ambrose University sets rates for tuition and fees each fall. Tuition, fees, room and board are due each semester before students attend class, unless payment arrangements are made with the Student Account Services Office.

All students attending St. Ambrose University will be assessed a technology fee based upon courseload. Some courses carry additional fees.

2018-19 Fees

Undergraduate/Accelerated students taking 12 or more credit hours $280/yr. ($140/semester)
Undergraduate/Accelerated students taking 11 or less credit hours $140/yr. ($70/semester)
Graduate level students taking 9 or more credit hours $280/yr. ($140/semester)
Graduate level students taking 8 or less credit hours $140/yr. ($70/semester)
Online course fee $25/credit hour
Matriculation $75 (undergraduate only)

Degree Requirements

The Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program (MPAS) is 29 months in length consisting of a 14-month didactic component followed by 15-month supervised clinical clerkship component. The didactic phase is comprised of classroom instruction in advanced basic sciences, clinical skills, clinical medicine, pharmacology, behavioral medicine, ethics, and research. In general, classes are held Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students are expected to attend all classes and should have no other commitments during these hours.

The clinical phase of the program consists of 15 months of supervised clinical clerkships. Most clerkships are 4 weeks in length with some exceptions. There are eight required clerkships to include: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics-Gynecology, Geriatrics, Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, and General Surgery.

In addition to the required clerkships, students will choose five electives. Some rotations will require students to work on the weekends and evenings. Students are required to be available as instructed by their preceptors. Several times throughout the clinical phase, students will return to campus for end-of-rotation exams as well as other educational sessions. A separate handbook will be distributed during the clinical year orientation detailing specifics for the clinical year.

Note: We do not allow for advanced standing, regardless of previous graduate work in healthcare. All incoming students must complete the entire PA curriculum.

Year 1: Summer Course (8 weeks)
BIOL 550 Gross Anatomy, 5 credit hours
5 credit hours total

Year 1: Fall Courses
MPAS 510 Advanced Physiology, 5 credit hours
MPAS 520 Medical Pathology, 5 credit hours
MPAS 530 Clinical Laboratory Science, 3 credit hours
MPAS 600 Professional Practice Issues, 1 credit hour
MPAS 620 Communication in Medicine I, 2 credit hours
MPAS 630 Healthcare Systems, 2 credit hours
18 credit hours total

Year 1: Spring Courses
MPAS 640 Medicine I, 8 credit hours
MPAS 650 Pharmacotherapy I, 3 credit hours
MPAS 660 Clinical Skills I, 2 credit hours
MPAS 625 Communication in Medicine II, 1 credit hour
MPAS 670 Issues in Research I, 3 credit hours
MPAS 690 Medical Ethics, 2 credit hours
19 credit hours total

Year 2: Summer Courses
MPAS 645 Medicine II, 11 credit hours
MPAS 655 Pharmacotherapy II, 3 credit hours
MPAS 680 Behavioral Medicine, 4 credit hours
MPAS 665 Clinical Skills II, 1 credit hour
MPAS 675 Issues in Research II, 1 credit hour
20 credit hours total

Year 2: Fall Courses
MPAS 677 Research Application, 2 credit hours
MPAS 700s Clinical Preceptorships, 12 credit hours
14 credit hours total

Year 2: Spring Course
MPAS 700s Clinical Preceptorships, 16 credit hours
16 credit hours total

Year 3: Summer Course
MPAS 700s Clinical Preceptorships, 16 credit hours
16 credit hours total

Year 3: Fall Course
MPAS 700s Clinical Preceptorships, 16 credit hours
16 credit hours total

Total credit hours: 124

Plan of Study

Year 1: Summer Course (8 weeks)
BIOL 550 Gross Anatomy, 5 credit hours
5 credit hours total

Year 1: Fall Courses
MPAS 510 Advanced Physiology, 5 credit hours
MPAS 520 Medical Pathology, 5 credit hours
MPAS 530 Clinical Laboratory Science, 3 credit hours
MPAS 600 Professional Practice Issues, 1 credit hour
MPAS 620 Communication in Medicine I, 2 credit hours
MPAS 630 Healthcare Systems, 2 credit hours
18 credit hours total

Year 1: Spring Courses
MPAS 640 Medicine I, 8 credit hours
MPAS 650 Pharmacotherapy I, 3 credit hours
MPAS 660 Clinical Skills I, 2 credit hours
MPAS 625 Communication in Medicine II, 1 credit hour
MPAS 670 Issues in Research I, 3 credit hours
MPAS 690 Medical Ethics, 2 credit hours
19 credit hours totalYear 2: Summer Courses
MPAS 645 Medicine II, 11 credit hours
MPAS 655 Pharmacotherapy II, 3 credit hours
MPAS 680 Behavioral Medicine, 4 credit hours
MPAS 665 Clinical Skills II, 1 credit hour
MPAS 675 Issues in Research II, 1 credit hour
20 credit hours totalYear 2: Fall Courses
MPAS 677 Research Application, 2 credit hours
MPAS 700s Clinical Preceptorships, 12 credit hours
14 credit hours totalYear 2: Spring Course
MPAS 700s Clinical Preceptorships, 16 credit hours
16 credit hours totalYear 3: Summer Course
MPAS 700s Clinical Preceptorships, 16 credit hours
16 credit hours totalYear 3: Fall Course
MPAS 700s Clinical Preceptorships, 16 credit hours
16 credit hours totalTotal credit hours: 124

Ready to Apply?

Take the next step to earning your degree and apply to the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program.


Apply Visit Info

Contact


Kerry Humes, MD

Master of Physician Assistant Studies
Center for Health Sciences Education
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
MPAS@sau.edu

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