Pa Coursework Assignment


The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued to the Physician Assistant program sponsored by Long Island University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2023. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.


The Division of Physician Assistant Studies supports Long Island University’s mission through the education of men and women of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds in the art and science of medicine in order that they may become competent, compassionate, high quality healthcare providers.  

Goals and Outcomes

Goal 1: Medical Knowledge: The LIU PA Program strives to prepare students and graduates to be knowledgeable, clinically competent providers of high quality medical and surgical care via the completion of a rigorous 28 month curriculum.

  • Graduates are expected to meet or exceed the national mean first time pass rate on the PANCE.
  • A percentage of students and graduates from each cohort are expected to be eligible for academic scholarship and professional excellence recognition via induction into national honor societies.
  • Clinical preceptors of second year students are expected to score clinical year students as above average or excellent in regards to their medical fund of knowledge and critical thinking skills.

Goal 1 Outcomes:

  • The PA Studies PANCE first time test taker report may be viewed via the link posted to the PA Studies website page.
  • LIU has inducted PA students into Alpha Eta, the prestigious national honor society of Allied Health Professionals annually over the past 5 years.
  • LIU PA Studies has inducted graduates and faculty into Pi Alpha, the prestigious national honor society for Physician Assistants annually over the past 5 years.
  • A student in the class of 2016 won one of six statewide NYSSPA student scholarship award.
  • A student from LIU PA Studies’ class of 2013 was one of only 13 students in the nation to win a Scholarship of Excellence Award from the prestigious Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP).
  • Clinical Clerkship Preceptor evaluations of LIU PA students over the past 3 years have consistently rated LIU PA clinical year students’ factual knowledge and problem solving/critical thinking as above average to excellent.

Goal 2: Community service: The LIU PA Program encourages PA students to serve the community and to embrace compassionate service as a fundamental cornerstone of Physician Assistant practice.

Goal 2 Outcomes:PA Students participate in community service activities voluntarily. Examples of such activities over the past 3 student cohorts include:

  • Bi-annually, the didactic and clinical year classes join together to organize food drives to serve the hungry in New York City’s most indigent neighborhoods.
  • Students in the classes of 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 have participated in the annual Breast Cancer Walk, Juvenile Diabetes Mellitus Walk, and HIV/AIDS walk.
  • From 2012-2016, PA students have organized annual toy drives during the winter holiday season.
  • In the past 3 cohorts of classes, students have participated in the PA Foundation’s Communities that Care fundraisers. In 2015, the LIU PA Program earned Gold Recognition status for their efforts.

Goal 3: Professionalism: Development of the PA Profession. The LIU PA Program strives to generate national and regional awareness, appreciation, and promotion of the value and key role of the physician assistant (PA) on the health care team. The LIU PA Program strives to engender a sense of pride in the profession, service to the profession, and leadership in its students and alumni.

Goal 3 Outcomes:

  • In 2016, the LIU PA program won a President’s commendation award for exemplary support of the PA profession.
  • The LIU PA program has a 100% student membership rate in the New York State Society of Physician Assistants.
  • The LIU PA Program has a 100% student membership rate in the American Academy of Physician Assistants
  • The LIU PA Program has participated in the “PAs on the Plaza” event for the past 5 years. Annually, students and faculty of LIU’s PA Program join other PAs and PA students in NYC at the Rockefeller Plaza based NBC Today Show to promote recognition of the PA profession.
  • A student in the class of 2016 won a NYSSPA student scholarship award.
  • A student in the class of 2013 was elected a NYSSPA Student Director.
  • LIU’s School of Health Professions hosts a High School Honors Institute during which high schools students from across the nation spend a week at LIU and participate in educational exercises about the PA profession as well as simulation labs with an Interdisciplinary team including PA, RT, PT, OT, and Diagnostic Imaging faculty.
  • Graduates of the LIU PA Program hold leadership positions in hospital settings and in professional organizations. Examples of LIU alumni in leadership positions include:
    • Colleen Kalmbach, Director of Physician Assistant Services at New York-Presbyterian Hospital
    • Martin Morales, PA, MHA – Corporate Director, Physician Assistant Services, North Shore-LIJ Health System

Goal 4: Interprofessional Education: Patient centered care: The LIU PA Program strives to educate students to successfully collaborate with colleagues and work in interdisciplinary teams in order to promote patient centered care and ensure the best possible outcome for the patient.

Goal 4 Outcomes:

  • Organized by a task force of faculty and administrators, the Interprofessional Learning Experience at LIU is designed to give students the opportunity to engage with other practice areas and gain an understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and ethical considerations of many different members of a health care team that contribute to the welfare of a patient. Twice annually, over 500 students and 60 faculty members from LIU Pharmacy, the School of Health Professions: PA, PT, OT, RT, etc., and the Harriet Rothkopf Heilbrunn School of Nursing at LIU Brooklyn participate in an Interprofessional Learning Experience, an interactive learning opportunity that is at the cutting edge of health care education.

This bi-annual event now in its third year, welcomes students from a broad scope of health care programs to work together on a model patient case scenario to generate and frame an interprofessional group discussion about ethics and practitioner roles in professional practice.

  • PA Students also work independently in the spring semester of the didactic year with other students from the School of Health Professions, School of Nursing and School of Pharmacy to complete a research assignment about each other’s education, occupation, and patient care responsibilities.
  • Student evaluations of IPE sessions have been overwhelmingly positive. 96% of PA students rate these activities as excellent learning experiences.
  • In the clinical year of study, students also have the opportunity to participate in an IPE assessment in a hospital-based setting using the simulation labs. Clinical year PA students have noted these experiences to be valuable and recognize the importance of IPE in providing high quality, error free, patient centered care.

Goal 5: Employment and career satisfaction of new graduates: The LIU PA Program’s goal is to find that new graduates have secured gainful employment within 6-8 months of graduation of the PA Program and are happy with their careers as Physician Assistants. To prepare graduates for entry into the workforce, students receive lectures on interview skills, CV and cover letter writing, and employment package expectations.

Goal 5 Outcomes:

  • 100% of the class of 2015 was employed or in the credentialing process within 8 months of graduation per graduate survey results.
  • 100% of the class of 2014 was employed or in the credentialing process within 8 months of graduation per graduate survey results.
  • 94% of the class of 2013 was employed or in the credentialing process within 8 months of graduation per graduate survey results.

100% of the classes of 2013-2015 were pleased with their decision to enter the PA profession per graduate survey results.


Students may attend LIU Brooklyn on a part-time or full-time basis while completing their prerequisite courses. During this phase students are expected to:

Direct Care Experience

Complete a minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care experience by no later than at the time of matriculation to the Division of Physician Assistant Studies. Of these 500 hours, a minimum of 400 hours must be completed by the time of submission of CASPA application. Acceptable types of direct patient care experience include:

— Medical assistant
— Surgical technologist
— Licensed practical or registered nurse
— Dental assistant
— Dental hygienist
— Certified nursing assistant
— Home health aide
— Residential aide
— Emergency medical technician
— Paramedic
— Physical therapist
— Occupational therapist
— Physical therapy assistant
— Physical therapy aide
— Occupational therapy assistant
— Occupational therapy aide
— Respiratory therapist
— Perfusionist
— Electrocardiographic (EKG) technician
— Phlebotomist
— Ophthalmologic technician
— Volunteer work involving direct patient care
— Shadowing a physician, physician assistant or dentist
— Athletic Trainer
— Scribe


  • Obtain at least a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university no later than at the time of matriculation to the Division of Physician Assistant Studies.
  • Maintain a required grade-point average of 3.0 or above (overall and science) in courses taken at an accredited college or university.
  • Demonstrate acceptable academic performance.
  • Complete all prerequisite coursework, which includes the courses listed below.
  • All such courses must be taken at an accredited college or university. The student must receive a grade of no less than C. All prerequisite courses must be completed no later than at the time of matriculation to the Division of Physician Assistant Studies.
  • One year (two courses) of not less than 4 credits each in general biology, with laboratory;
  • One year (two courses) of not less than 4 credits each in general chemistry, with laboratory;
  • One semester (one course) of not less than 4 credits in human anatomy, with laboratory;
  • One semester (one course) of not less than 3 credits in human physiology, with or without laboratory;
  • One semester of microbiology (at least 3 credits);
  • One semester of statistics (at least 3 credits)

All prerequisite coursework must be college-level courses (AP courses will not be accepted). Any prerequisite courses listed above taken more than 10 years prior to matriculation will not be accepted.


Initial application to the Professional Phase of the program for transfer students should be made through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) by visiting CASPA will collect and summarize all of the applicant's data (application form, transcripts, and recommendations) which will be forwarded to the Physician Assistant Program. When all materials have been collected and reviewed, selected applicants will be invited for a personal interview. If the candidate is accepted to the program, a deposit of $500 is required to hold a seat in the incoming class.

The application to the Division of Physician Assistant Studies is evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. A cumulative grade-point average of 3.0.
  2. A cumulative science grade-point average of 3.0.
  3. A personal statement as to why the applicant wishes to become a physician assistant.
  4. Breadth and amount of patient care experience.
  5. Three satisfactory recommendations included in the CASPA application.
  6. Completion of course work and above criteria within a specified time limit.
  7. Completion of the GRE by CASPA APPLICATION DEADLINE (January 15). There is not currently a minimum score set by the Division of Physician Assistant Studies for this examination. Our GRE Code is 2369.
  8. A recommendation for acceptance from the Division of Physician Assistant Studies Admissions Committee, based upon all entities as described above.

All applications will be screened and reviewed. Some applicants are selected for personal interviews based on the strength of the written application. If an applicant is invited for a personal interview, the interview itself is evaluated on the criteria of satisfactory performance based on assessment of qualities such as interpersonal relations, concern for others, integrity, and an ability to communicate effectively and maturely.

The Division of Physician Assistant Studies does not offer advanced standing to any applicants, including those who have prior experience as a medical student or physician assistant student or who are foreign medical graduates. 

International Students

Applications are welcome from international graduate students who hold the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree. All international and non-native applicants must take the TOEFL examination. The minimum total score accepted is 79 on the Internet-based test, 213 on the computer-based test, or 550 for the paper-based test. All international students who attended colleges and universities outside of the United States will need to submit a course-by-course evaluation of their transcript(s) by an accepted international credential evaluation agency.

The Division is accredited to have 42 students enrolled in the curriculum. Please apply online at My LIU. For more information on the admissions process, visit the Office of Admissions website.

Advanced Standing Policy

The Division of Physician Assistant Studies does not offer advanced standing to any applicants, including those who have prior experience as a medical student or physician assistant student or who are foreign medical graduates.

Technical Standards

Observation - The ability to observe is required for demonstrations, visual presentations in lectures and laboratories, laboratory evidence and microbiological cultures, microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathological states. A candidate must be able to observe patients accurately and completely, both closely and from a distance. Observation requires functional vision and somatic sensation and is enhanced by a sense of smell.

Communication - A candidate should be able to speak, hear and observe patients in order to elicit information, perceive non-verbal communications and describe changes in mood, activity and posture. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients through speech, and through reading and writing. Communication in oral and written form with the health care team must be effective and efficient.

Motor - A candidate should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation and percussion, as well as to carry out diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate should have motor function sufficient to execute movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Such skills require coordination of gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and sensation.

Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities - Problem solving is a critical skill demanded of physician assistants; this skill requires all of these abilities. The candidate must also be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships as well as the spatial relationship of structures.

Behavioral and Social Attributes - A candidate must have sufficient emotional health to fully use his or her intellectual ability, to exercise good judgment, to complete all responsibilities, and to attend to the diagnosis and care of patients. A candidate must be able to develop mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and colleagues. A candidate must be able to tolerate physical and emotional stress and continue to function effectively. A candidate must possess qualities of adaptability, flexibility and be able to function in the face of uncertainty. He/she must have a high level of compassion for others, motivation to serve, integrity and a consciousness of social values. A candidate must possess sufficient interpersonal skills to interact positively with people from all levels of society, all ethnic backgrounds and all belief systems.

The administration of the Physician Assistant program recognizes its responsibility to present candidates who have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. The responsibility for these technical standards is primarily placed on the Physician Assistant Admissions Committee to select entering Physician Assistant students who will be the candidates for the degree.

Health Requirements

All students entering or re-entering the M.S. degree in Physician Assistant Studies must complete and submit a Health Examinations/Vaccinations form located in the Forms & Documents section of the University's Admissions website, as well as the Division’s health forms. The Division’s health forms will be sent along with the package of materials that is mailed out once a student is accepted into the program and sends in the deposit to hold the seat. Additional health forms are required for entry into the clinical year of the Division’s curriculum.

Didactic Year Curriculum

Fall Semester

MS 500 Anatomy3
MS 501 Physiology1
MS 502A Pharmacology I
MS 504A Clinical Medicine I4    
MS 503A Art & Science of Medicine I2
MS 505 Psychosocial Aspects of Medicine1
MS 506 Pathology2

Spring Semester

MS 502B Pharmacology II3
MS 503B Art & Science of Medicine II 2
MS 504B Clinical Medicine II
MS 507 Role Socialization1
MS 508A Research Methods I
MS 509 Preventive Medicine1
MS 510 Clinical Laboratory Science1

Summer Semester

MS 504C Clinical Medicine III3
MS 508B Research Methods II1
MS 511 Introduction to Medical Literature1
MS 512 Medical Informatics1
MS 513 Surgery2
MS 514 Emergency Medicine1


Clinical Year Curriculum

Each clinical year student completes ten (10) clerkships of five (5) weeks in length. The faculty creates an individual rotation schedule for each clinical year student. The student must return to the LIU campus at the end of each clerkship for a two-day End-of-Rotation Meeting with the faculty.

Students must rotate in each of the following clerkships during the clinical year:

FALL, SPRING, SUMMER (3 courses per term)
MS 601 Internal Medicine4
MS 602 Surgery4
MS 603 Pediatrics
MS 604 Family Medicine
MS 605 Emergency Medicine4
MS 606 Obstretrics & Gynecology4
MS 607 Behavioral Medicine
MS 608 Internal Medicine Elective4
MS 609 Surgical Elective4
MS 610 Clinical Elective4
FALL 2 (following the Clinical Year)
Remaining MS 601-610
MS 611 Clinical Seminar I1
MS 612 Clinical Seminar II1
MS 613 Clinical Seminar III1
MS 614 Summative Evaluation1
MS 615 Capstone Project2

TOTAL: 46 Credits

Student Employment Policy

The LIU PA Program requires employed PA students to report their employment status and job title/responsibilities to the PA Program Director. 

PA Students will not be permitted to work for the LIU PA program in any capacity during their tenure as students in the PA Program.

Background Checks and Drug Testing

Many of our clinical/field experience affiliates now require the completion of criminal background checks and/or drug testing for employees, volunteers and students affiliated with the site. Therefore, students may be asked to undergo a criminal background check, and/or a drug screen. A criminal conviction and/or the use of illegal drugs may impede or bar your entry into your chosen field of study. Students desiring entrance into the School of Health Professions should be aware that our clinical/field affiliates can reject or remove a student from the site if a criminal record is discovered or if a drug test is positive. In the event that a student is rejected from a clinical/field site due to information contained in the criminal background check, or drug screen, you may be unable to complete a required clinical/field experience. If you are unable to complete program requirements, you may be advised to withdraw from the program.

In addition, students seeking entrance into health and human service professions should be aware that the presence of a criminal record can result in the refusal of licensing/certification/registration agencies to issue the credential needed to practice in that field of study. Prospective students are urged to contact the pertinent state and/or federal licensing board to inquire whether a criminal record will have an impact on your eligibility to obtain licensure or certification.


Faculty and Staff

Stephen deRoux, MD I Medical Director, Division of Physician Assistant Studies | 718-488-1505 |

Sharon Verity, MPAS, PA-C | Program Director, Division of Physician Assistant Studies | 718-488-1505 |

Camille Kiefer, RN, PA-C | Clinical Coordinator, Division of Physician Assistant Studies | 718-488-1505 |

Dwayne Williams B.S., PA-C | Academic Coordinator, Division of Physician Assistant Studies | 718-488-1505 |

Marion F. Masterson, MPAS, PA-C | Faculty, Division of Phy​sician Assistant Studies | 718-488-1505 |

Gina Galvez, MS, PA-C I Faculty, Division of Physician Assistant Studies | 718-488-1505 |

Nebahat Bayrakcioglu, M.A. | Administrative Assistant, Division of Physician Assistant Studies | 718-488-1505 |

Robin Brizzi, M.S. | Administrative Assistant, Division of Physician Assistant Studies | 718-488-1505 |

Fast Facts



Master of Medical Science (M.M.S.) in Physician Assistant Studies

General Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Minimum cumulative overall GPA and science GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale
  • Applicants expected to achieve GRE General Test scores at or above the 50th percentile in each section
  • Successful completion of prerequisite coursework from regionally accredited colleges or universities
  • Healthcare experience strongly preferred

Length of Program

27 months, full-time

Class Size


Class of 2019 Profile (Matriculated June 2017)

  • Female: 86%
  • Male: 14%
  • Mean Age: 24 years (Range 21-47)
  • Mean Overall GPA: 3.79
  • Mean Science GPA: 3.7
  • Mean GRE Percentiles: Verbal 62, Quantitative 60, Analytical 69
  • Class Size: 86
  • Top Home States: Illinois (47%), California, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana

Clinical Rotations

Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Internal Medicine, Behavioral Medicine, Pediatric Medicine, Women's Health, and elective rotations

Graduation Rate

97% (83 of 86 students admitted to original cohort) completed the Program within the expected time frame (Class of 2016)

Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) Pass Rate: 2013-2017

NCCPA Pass Rate Summary Report

Time to Employment

98% (62/63) graduates who responded to the Class of 2016 graduate survey (80% response rate) reported they were employed within 6 months of graduation

Career Opportunities

Primary care, surgery, medical and surgical specialties, emergency medicine, behavioral medicine

PA Employment Projections

Number of PA jobs projected to increase by 38% by the year 20221

National 2015 Median Annual PA Salary

$93,800 (varies by specialty, practice setting, location, experience)2

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S., Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, Physician Assistants, (accessed 03/12/2014)

2. 2015 American Academy of Physician Assistants Salary Report (accessed 03/28/16)

Admission Requirements


Students seeking admission to the PA Program must submit the following documented evidence:

  1. Minimum cumulative science and overall GPAs of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  2. GRE scores from the general test using the Midwestern University institution code 1769.
    • The test must have been taken no earlier than January 1, 2013.
    • Test scores must be received by the Office of Admissions no later than December 1, 2017. Scores must be sent directly from ETS to the MWU Office of Admissions.
    • Applicants are expected to achieve a score at or above the 50th percentile in each section. If an applicant has attempted the GRE examination on more than one occasion, the most recent GRE scores will be utilized in the review of the applicant's file.
    • For additional information about the GRE, contact ETS at 866/473-4373 or visit
  3. Completion of prerequisite courses as listed below from regionally accredited colleges or universities.
      • All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of a C or better.
      • Grades of C- are NOT acceptable for any prerequisite courses.
      • If advanced placement (AP) credit has been granted by an outside institution, this credit will automatically be considered for the following prerequisite courses: Math, Statistics, English Composition, and Social and Behavioral Science courses.
      • For AP credit earned in Biology and Chemistry, MWU may request the submission of appropriate documentation (as determined by MWU) to verify the AP credit earned meets the program's admission standards.
      • Life experience credits do not count toward fulfillment of any prerequisite courses.
      • Courses in which grades of "pass" are earned will be counted only when applicants can provide verification that the earned grades are equivalent to grades of C or better (grades of C- are not acceptable).
  4. Completion of prerequisite courses by December 31st of the year which precedes the year of anticipated matriculation.
      • No exceptions will be made.
      • Applicants must determine which prerequisites are missing and which courses must be taken to fulfill any outstanding prerequisites.
      • Students invited to interview must show documentation on the day of their visit that they are enrolled in or registered for any outstanding prerequisites.
  5. Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university before matriculation.
  6. Motivation for and commitment to healthcare as demonstrated by previous work, volunteer work, or other life experiences.
  7. Demonstration of service and leadership through community service or extracurricular activities.
  8. Oral and written communication skills necessary to interact with patients and colleagues.
  9. Passage of Midwestern University criminal background check.
  10. Commitment to abide by the Midwestern University Drug-Free Workplace and Substance Abuse Policy.
  11. Successful completion of tuberculosis screening and all required immunizations prior to matriculation.

Prerequisite Courses

Course Sem Hrs Qtr Hrs
Biology with lab*46
General Chemistry with lab*812
Organic Chemistry with lab*46
Math (college algebra or above)34
English Composition69
Social and Behavioral Sciences (Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, etc.)69

*All science prerequisites must be courses designed for science majors. No survey courses will fulfill science prerequisites. Courses with an online laboratory component will not meet any biology or chemistry prerequisite. In addition, advanced placement credit received at the undergraduate level may not satisfy biology or chemistry prerequisites. For Advanced Placement (AP) credit earned in biology or chemistry, MWU may request the submission of appropriate documentation (as determined by MWU) to verify the AP credit earned meets the program's admission standards.

**Courses accepted for the English Composition prerequisite include rhetoric, composition, technical writing, and courses designated as writing intensive by the institution.

Additional Application Information

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Program Description


Midwestern University's Master of Medical Science (M.M.S.) in Physician Assistant Studies is a continuous, full-time program extending 27 months from matriculation to graduation. The Physician Assistant (PA) professional curriculum offers students the opportunity to earn a graduate degree and satisfy the eligibility requirements for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). The maximum allotted time for completion of this program is 40.5 months.

The roles and specific clinical duties and responsibilities that graduates can expect to experience will likely vary depending on their chosen career path. PA Program graduates are expected to have the ability to competently perform patient histories and physicals, gather pertinent patient data, order and interpret diagnostic studies, recognize common diseases and disorders, choose appropriate therapeutic modalities, perform surgical procedures, manage emergency life-threatening conditions, promote health through counseling, education, and disease prevention, and demonstrate interpersonal skills consistent with the physician assistant role.

The didactic coursework includes 12 months of basic science coursework in anatomy, biochemistry, neuroscience, physiology, pharmacology, immunology, genetics, and microbiology. It also includes clinical coursework in clinical medicine, behavioral medicine, professional issues, and interpretation of the medical literature. During the remaining 15 months, students are required to rotate through eight core clinical rotations and two elective clinical rotations, in addition to completing advanced clinical medicine courses and a capstone project.

The second-year clinical program is primarily delivered at affiliated clinical sites and facilities within the Chicago metropolitan area. These sites are geographically and demographically diverse, reflecting the broad scope of practice opportunities that exist for PAs in the healthcare delivery system of this country. Sites include ambulatory practice settings, small and large office-based group practices, community health centers, in-patient settings involving large and small hospitals as well as federal and state facilities. These sites are in urban, suburban, and rural communities. In addition, the Program has established formal affiliations with clinical facilities and practitioners in a number of other states. As part of the clinical education phase of the program, students enrolled in the PA Program will likely be assigned to clinical rotations that reflect the geographic and demographic diversity described above, including distant in-state and out-of state rotations. Subsidized housing is provided for distant in-state and out-of-state core clinical rotations only. Students are expected to secure their own housing for local and elective rotations, and must provide their own transportation to all core and elective clinical rotations regardless of location.

No advanced placement within the PA Program is allowed for prior academic, clinical or life experience. Midwestern University has an articulation agreement that exists between programs. The Program strongly discourages students from seeking outside employment while attending Midwestern University and will not make any exceptions in didactic or clinical workload for any student who chooses to engage in outside employment.

The PA Program does not offer an extended course of study beyond the usual length of the program. For more information on the specific curriculum, download our quick overview and see the Midwestern University Catalogfor more detailed course descriptions and additional University, College, and Program policies which pertain to Physician Assistant students.

Planned Program Improvements

No significant changes in the PA Program admission requirements, academic standards, or curriculum are anticipated for the 2017-2018 academic year.


The mission of the Midwestern University Physician Assistant Program is to develop competent and compassionate physician assistants who will make meaningful contributions to their patients, community and profession. 

The goals of the Midwestern University Physician Assistant Program are to: 1) provide a rigorous academic and clinical curriculum and achieve first-time PANCE percentage pass rates above the national average, 2) cultivate an environment of professionalism to encourage the development of competent and compassionate providers, 3) prepare students to serve diverse populations in both primary care and specialty settings, and 4) demonstrate the application of evidence-based medicine and foster a continuous commitment to life-long learning and community involvement as a health care provider.

The Midwestern University PA Program demonstrates achievement of these goals by analyzing the results of student performance in the didactic and clinical year, PA National Certifying Exam (PANCE) pass rates, and regular surveys of graduates, preceptors and employers:*

  1. The rigorous didactic and clinical curriculum has prepared the students for success in the PANCE as evidenced by 98% of the 2016 PA Program graduates passing the PANCE as first time test takers (national average 96%). The 5 year average pass rate for first time test takers from Midwestern University, Downers Grove, is 99%.
  2. 100% of the 2016 PA Program graduates successfully passed the professionalism component of the didactic and clinical year courses, and preceptors continually rank the professionalism of second year PA students as one of their greatest strengths.
  3. PA Program graduates report working in diverse practice settings including private offices, institutions, and community clinics. In addition, Midwestern University PA Program graduates are employed in both primary and specialty care, and work with patients of all ages and backgrounds. 15% of graduates specifically designated their primary work settings as underserved.
  4. Graduates felt strongly that they were prepared for the practice of evidence-based medicine through the Research Seminar and Capstone Project components of the curriculum, and demonstrated a commitment to life-long learning via local and national conference attendance, regular journal reading, and teaching other healthcare providers. Graduates from the Midwestern University PA Program are involved in promoting health and wellness in their communities.

*February 2017 survey of the graduating class of 2016 (80% of graduates responding)

Definition and Role of a Physician Assistant (approved by the American Academy of Physician Assistants' House of Delegates, 2005)

"Physician Assistants are health professionals licensed or, in the case of those employed by the federal government, credentialed, to practice medicine with physician supervision. Physician assistants are qualified by graduation from an accredited physician assistant educational program and/or certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Within the physician-PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. The clinical role of physician assistants includes primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practice settings in rural and urban areas. Physician assistant practice is centered on patient care and may include educational, research, and administrative activities."

Program Highlight

Student teams from the Physician Assistant Program won the Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (SAAAPA) National Medical Challenge Bowl Competition in both 2003 and 2006.

Estimated Cost of Attendance


Total for 27-month program

Physcian AssistantYear 1Year 2Year 3
Student Services Fee$652$652$163
Health Ins$3,736$3,736$934
Disability Ins. Fee$63$63$16
Books & Supplies$3088$826$0
AAPA Membership$75$0$0

See the Midwestern University Catalog for policies and procedures related to refund of tuition and fees.



The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued to the Midwestern University-Downers Grove Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Midwestern University.   Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.  The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2023.  The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Campus Safety


Students on the Downers Grove Campus benefit from a safe and secure suburban learning environment. Located 25 miles west of Chicago, our beautiful gated campus features 105-acres of wooded land and provides students with excellent living and learning opportunities. In addition, the University maintains a strong record of campus safety and has earned several partnership and citizen awards from local fire and police departments.

At Midwestern University, the safety and security of all members of our academic community is a top priority. For more information about our campus safety statistics, visit the national Campus Safety and Security database at

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