MS for Clinical PAs

Nora Lowy, PhD, M.P.A., PA-C, Director of Physician Assistant Program

Mission and Student Learning Goals

The Graduate Program in Advanced Physician Assistant Studies is a comprehensive program that prepares practicing physician assistants for career advancement as educators, health care managers, and clinical leaders dedicated to improving the quality of health care.

The mission of the program is to prepare physician assistants committed to contributing to an improved community and quality health care through leadership roles in research, education, healthcare management and advanced clinical care.

By graduation, students with MS degrees in Advanced Physician Assistant Studies will be prepared for...

  • clinical leadership in primary and specialty-focused health care.
  • research development in health care.
  • serving as educators of future physician assistant students and graduate members of the profession.
  • management roles within health care.
  • incorporating effective research, teaching, and management skills into professional practice.

Upon completion of the Program, the Physician Assistant will receive a Master of Science (MS) in Advanced Physician Assistant Studies with a concentration in one of the following:


Admission Requirements

The general requirements for graduate student admission are...

  • a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college
  • official transcripts of previous university or college study
  • two letters of reference, preferably from former or present employers or professors

Additional admission requirements for the MS in Advanced Physician Assistant Studies are...

  • successful completion of a physician assistant program accredited by the Accreditation Review Committee for Physician Assistants
  • minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0
  • minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 in the undergraduate physician assistant program
  • national certification or eligibility for certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
  • state licensure or eligibility for state licensure
  • supplemental application consisting of three focused essays
  • panel interview

Program of Study

The requirements for a Master of Science (MS) degree in Advanced Physician Assistant Studies consist of 36 credits. Students must complete three courses of core requirements, a minimum of 15 credits in a selected track, and 8 credits of capstone work. Capstone courses may be taken only after completion of all core curriculum courses.

Core Requirements

All students in the program shall be required to complete three of the following core courses:

  • PA 501 — The Art and Practice of Health Education (3 credits)
  • PA 502 — The Challenges of Medical Ethics (3 credits)
  • PA 503 — Leadership Development and Professionalism (4 credits)
  • PA 504 — Medical Literature Review and Analysis (4 credits)
  • PA 514 — Advanced Health Assessment (4 credits)

Track Requirements (minimum of 15 credits)

The student will select one of three tracks and complete a minmum of 15 credits specific to that track:

A. Health Education

  • PA 605 — Curricular Development (3 credits)
  • PA 615 — Teaching Styles and Strategies (3 credits)
  • PA 620 — Clerkship I: Practicum in Curriculum Development (6 credits)
  • PA 625 — Clerkship II: Teaching Methodology for Health Care (6 credits)

B. Health Care Management

  • PA 610 — Administrative Strategies in Health Care (3 credits)
  • PA 630 — Clerkship I: Developing Community Health (6 credits)
  • PA 635 — Clerkship II: Health Care Administration (6 credits)
  • PA 651 — Health Care Management Theory and Evaluation (4 credits)

C. Clinical Specialty

  • PA 612 — Critical Thinking in Medicine (4 credits)
  • PA 630 — Clerkship I: Developing Community Health (6 credits)
  • PA 645 — Clerkship II: Advanced Procedures and Skills (6 credits)
  • PA 651 — Health Care Management Theory and Evaluation (4 credits)

Capstone Requirements (8 credits)

  • PA 790 — Research Design (4 credits)
  • PA 799 — Thesis or Professional Project (4 credits)


To complete the 36 credits for this program, students may select elective courses from the above list and/or the following:

  • PA 691 — Special Topics in Health Care (3 credits)
  • PA 693 — Independent Study (1-3 credits)