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

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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 collaboration. Select a school to see how we can prepare you to serve patients in your community.

Program is offered at the following campuses. Select a campus to learn more.


What is a Physician Assistant?

Physician Assistants are medical professionals who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider. With thousands of hours of medical training, PAs are versatile and collaborative. PAs practice in every state and in every medical setting and specialty, improving healthcare access and quality. Their scope of practice varies by state laws, medical settings, and the physician assistant’s training.

You can complete your Physician Assistant education in as little as 27 months at South University.

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 will provide you with the fundamental medical concepts and theories, as well as the knowledge, skills and attitudes, needed to collaborate with physicians 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 critical thinking and ethical clinical decision-making.

In the clinical rotation portion of our Physician Assistant programs, students will  practice providing direct patient care under the supervision and mentorship of experienced healthcare professionals. Through these rotations, students have the opportunity to  develop competency  in medical knowledge, interpersonal, clinical and technical skills, professional behaviors, and clinical reasoning and problem solving abilities.


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 through physician collaboration, 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 are only 27 months, which includes 12 months of clinical rotations in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Behavioral Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Clinical Electives.

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

The following are the program learning outcomes (Graduate Competencies) for the South University, Physician Assistant program. Prior to graduation from the program, students will:

  • PLO-1. Integrate behavioral, social, and medical knowledge established from the evolving biomedical and clinical sciences in recognizing, evaluating, and managing patient disease states across the lifespan during acute, chronic, preventative, and emergent encounters.


  • PLO-2. Demonstrate the interpersonal and communication skills required to sustain effective, multi-directional information exchange within a diverse population of patients, their caregivers, and members of the healthcare team.


  • PLO-3. Demonstrate the ability to elicit an accurate patient history, perform an appropriate physical examination, and perform appropriate clinical procedures using essential clinical and technical skills to provide quality patient care.


  • PLO-4. Collaborate effectively as part of an interdisciplinary healthcare team through clinical reasoning and problem-solving skills to formulate a logical differential diagnosis, select and interpret appropriate diagnostic studies, and synthesize a comprehensive, patient-centered management plan for the promotion of wellness and disease prevention.


  • PLO-5. Demonstrate the ability to interpret and integrate an evidence-based approach to clinical and professional practice through clinical reasoning, problem- solving, and decision-making processes to improve patient care practices.


  • PLO-6. Demonstrate professionalism through personal behaviors, sensitivity, and accountability essential to patients, society, and the profession.


Students can complete their Physician Assistant education in  27 months at South University.

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.



Physician Assistant Requirements for Admission


Selection for the Physician Assistant program is highly competitive. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee an interview or admission. Successful applicants will generally exceed the minimum criteria. The following criteria represent the minimum conditions established for students interested in applying to the South University Physician Assistant Master of Science degree programs:


  • 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 specifically designate the South University code for each campus to which their GRE scores should be submitted electronically to CASPA directly from ETS (Educational Testing Service):

  • 7147 (Richmond)
  • 0467 (Savannah)
  • 0454 (Tampa)
  • 7108 (West Palm Beach)
  • 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 the campus-specific Admissions page for full admissions criteria and preferences.

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 Assistant Education

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 1.888.444.3404 to speak with our Admissions team.

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