South University, , Physician Assistant. Theory in every textbook. Practice in every classroom.

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Master of Science in Physician Assistant

Accredited Physician Assistant Programs

Our accredited Physician Assistant programs feature engaging classes, applied learning experiences, and clinical rotations that can equip you to provide quality, cost-efficient health care with physician direction. Select a school to see how we can prepare you to serve patients in your community.

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What is a Physician’s Assistant?

Physician assistants practice under the supervision of a licensed physician in physician offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other healthcare settings. Their tasks may include patient examination, monitoring, diagnosis, therapeutics, education, and referral. Their scope of practice varies by state laws, medical settings, and the physician assistant’s training. In many states, physician assistants can write prescriptions and/or dispense medicine.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the physician assistant job outlook is strong, with employment projected to grow 37% from 2016 to 2026. The average physician assistant salary varies based on factors like experience level, employer type, and geographic region.

What You Can Learn in Our Physician Assistant Programs

Our Physician Assistant programs can teach you the fundamental medical concepts and theories, as well as the knowledge, skills and attitudes, needed to serve, with physician supervision, as valued members of a health care team.

Our Physician Assistant programs combine a foundation of basic sciences with clinical medicine coursework and labs, incorporating case studies, problem-solving challenges, and applied learning experiences to foster sound, ethical clinical decision-making.

In the clinical rotation portion of our Physician Assistant programs, you can practice providing direct patient care under the supervision and mentorship of experienced healthcare professionals. Through these rotations, you can perfect technical and procedural skills and become competent in communication, physical diagnosis, succinct recording and reporting, problem assessment, and developing plans for further study and therapy.

How to Become a Physician Assistant

Physician assistant education requirements typically include an accredited physician assistant master’s degree program. These physician assistant programs usually take between two and three years, and many physician assistant schools require applicants to have an undergraduate degree with a focus in science.

At South University, our Physician Assistant programs can prepare you to provide, under physician supervision, diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive, and health maintenance services. Our courses cover:

  • Medical interviewing and documentation
  • Physical assessment
  • Medical anatomy and physiology
  • Laboratory diagnostics
  • Issues in contemporary medicine
  • Clinical medicine and pharmacotherapeutics
  • Diagnostic methods
  • Musculoskeletal care
  • Epidemiology and biostatistics
  • Behavioral medicine
  • Fundamentals of surgery
  • Clinical geriatrics
  • Clinical procedures
  • Emergency medicine
  • Medical literature in clinical practice
Our Physician Assistant programs can take as little as 27 months, including 12 months of clinical rotations in Family Medicine/Primary Care, Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Behavioral Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and an area of your choosing.

After earning your Physician Assistant degree, you must obtain a state license to practice. Graduation from one of the Physician Assistant programs at South University or other accredited physician assistant schools around the country can permit you to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE), administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, Inc.*

*South University does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensure exams and are subject to change without notice to South University.

Physician Assistant Education Outcomes

Our master’s in Physician Assistant degree program can prepare you to:
  • Evaluate and manage patient complaints across disease states in a diverse patient population.
  • Provide effective, patient-centered, efficient, and equitable care for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of wellness.
  • Work effectively within an interdisciplinary healthcare team.
  • Communicate effectively with patients, patients’ families, and healthcare team members.
  • Demonstrate the professionalism essential to being an effective physician assistant.
  • Effectively and efficiently identify information needs and access information, critically evaluate information quality and relevance, incorporate new information into clinical or professional practice, and determine potential ethical and legal dilemmas associated with information use.
You can complete your Physician Assistant education in as little as 27 months at South University.

Physician Assistant Requirements for Admission

South University Physician Assistant programs use the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Admissions criteria include the following:

  • Applicants must have an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution.
  • Applicants must have an overall GPA as calculated by the CASPA service of 3.0 or greater (on a 4.0 scale) (including undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate coursework).
  • Applicants should have a Biology-Chemistry-Physics (BCP) science GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) as Calculated by the CASPA service.
  • Applicants must submit scores from the GRE general exam directly to the CASPA service using the South University Physician Assistant program code 0467.
  • At least one reference on the CASPA application must be from a physician (MD/DO), Physician Assistant, or Nurse Practitioner with whom the applicant has worked or shadowed and to whom the applicant is not related.
  • Preference will be given to those with GRE scores at the 50th percentile or above.
Clinical experience that includes direct patient care is strongly recommended. Please visit your campus-specific Admissions page for full admissions criteria.

Physician Assistant Prerequisites: Students must complete prerequisite courses in the areas listed with a grade of C or better at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university before matriculation:

  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • General Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry or Organic Chemistry
  • Microbiology
More details on our Physician Assistant prerequisites are available on the campus-specific Admissions pages.

Your Next Steps: Start Your Physician’s Assistant Schooling

End your search for physician assistant schools at South University.

To help with physician assistant education cost, financial aid and scholarships are available to those who qualify. Request information today or contact us at 1.800.688.0932 to speak with our Admissions team.

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