The goals of the Master of Science Degree Program in Physician Assistant Studies are to:
- Prepare students to practice as competent Physician Assistants.
- Prepare, promote, and encourage graduates to practice in underserved, rural, and culturally diverse settings.
- Prepare graduate-level Physician Assistants to engage in the scholarly activities of the profession.
The program design is 28 consecutive months of didactic instruction, clinical rotations, and research. During the first four terms students complete coursework in Basic Medical Sciences, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Health Policy, Clinical Preparatory Science, and Research Methods. (See: Didactic and Clinical Curriculum)
During the clinical year (Terms 5-7) students complete rotations in medicine, surgery, and medical and surgical specialties. A "Portfolio for the Clinical Masters" is developed with ongoing faculty advisement.
Graduation requirements include successful completion of all coursework and clinical rotations, the Portfolio for the Clinical Masters, and passing of summative clinical competency and written examinations.
Graduates are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).