Master of Science in PA Studies


PA501 The Art and Practice of Health Education. Four graduate credits.

This course introduces the healthcare practitioner to the philosophies of health education.  It identifies the key elements needed to construct an effective healthcare curriculum or patient education program and provides the foundation for developing teaching approaches and evaluative tools.  Each student is guided through the design of a community health educational program for practitioners or patients reflective of that student’s interest or healthcare practice.

PA502 The Challenges of Medical Ethics. Four graduate credits.

This course provides a forum for the exploration of ethical dilemmas encountered in medical practice.  Historical medical case scenarios and current ethical guidelines are reviewed.  The opportunity is provided to address ethical dilemmas with respect to the dynamics of cultural conflicts.

PA503 Leadership Development and Professionalism. Four graduate credits.

This course explores the opportunities for leadership in the healthcare delivery system.  The course reviews the legal foundation of the PA's scope of practice, legislative agenda for the PA profession, professional practice opportunities, performance improvement principles, and the administrative systems providing the framework for the modern healthcare delivery system.  The most current issues in health care, such as patient safety, form a foundation for analyzing the successes and failures of the healthcare delivery model.  An interactive approach to exploring the material is supplemented by guest lectures from the field including peer-reviewed journal research.

PA504 Medical Literature Review and Analysis. Four graduate credits.

This course provides the PA with the skills for effective review and analysis of the expanse of medical literature.  Students presented with various research problems are taught to analyze applicability, appropriately select corresponding literature, and develop a systematic critique of the findings.  Statistical methods are introduced and the ability to analyze data and draw inferences is developed.  The selection of the medical literature for review and analysis is reflective of each student’s area of interest for future research.  Experiential learning is emphasized through the designing of a research study.

PA514E Advanced Health Assessment. Zero graduate credits.

The purpose of this course is to develop and enhance clinical judgment and assessment skills for patient populations across the life span.  The intent is for the student to improve his/her decision-making ability in the clinical setting and develop appropriate management protocols.  Problem solving within the framework of preventive medicine, epidemiology, and subsequent improvements in the delivery of clinical medicine.

PA514 Advanced Health Assessment. Four graduate credits.


PA605 Curricular Development. Three graduate credits.

This course focuses on an understanding of the learning process.  The characteristics of various learning styles are discussed and students are challenged to apply the knowledge towards the formatting of instruction and curricular strategies.  Instructional methods are reviewed in short presentation formats and students are introduced to curriculum developments.

PA610 Administrative Strategies in Health Care. Three graduate credits.

This course is an overview of the principles and practices relating to the organization and administration of programs within hospitals, as well as of independent health care programs.  The role of the administrator is evaluated, including financial aspects, personnel services, planning, design, utilization and maintenance of facilities.

PA613E Critical Thinking in Medicine I.  Zero graduate credits.

The purpose of this course is to review and expand upon the PA's knowledge of disease pathology and therapeutic intervention.  The emphasis is on critical thinking and its applicability to the identification of the pathogenesis of disease processes; development of algorithms and flow charts; and the review of evidence-based medicine.  Through critical analysis, the student develops appropriate management plans, based on the needs of specific individuals and communities.

PA613 Critical Thinking in Medicine I. Three graduate credits

This course is identical to that described for PA613E but counts for three graduate credits towards the MS degree.

PA615 Teaching Styles and Strategies. Three graduate credits.

This course focuses on the various modalities of teaching and learning, and the relationships between them.  Students are oriented to the traditional classroom, as well as the alternative relationships of clinical perceptorships.  They learn the required skills for the organization of students and subject matter, classroom time management, and the development of cognitive connections with learners.

620 Clerkship I:  Practicum in Curriculum Development.

Six credits.

This course provides an opportunity for a supervised clerkship in curriculum development.  The student conducts an in-depth study of health care and PA program curricula.  With the supervision of a PA educator, the student develops the competencies required for proper curriculum review, assessment and/or development.  The participating student is required to design a curriculum relevant to an aspect of PA education, the topic of which is determined by the student and the educator serving as the student’s preceptor.

625 Clerkship II:  Teaching Methodology for Health Care.

Six credits.

Students are provided opportunities for individualized teaching experiences, with the guidance of PA educators.  PA educators precept students into the roles and responsibilities of their positions.  They provide for experiences in directed teaching in an accredited PA program and facilitate student growth in planning, instructional, and evaluative skills.

630 Clerkship I:  Developing Community Health.

Six credits.

The focus of this course is to precept PA students in their transition towards becoming advanced mid-level providers of health care.  Each student identifies a component or area of health care interest that impacts the community and affords a broad exposure of clinical experiences.  Through clinical involvement, the student learns to discern specific health needs and is guided and advised through the development of a community health project reflective of the assessed needs.

635 Clerkship II:  Health Care Administration.

Six credits.

This course provides an opportunity for a supervised clerkship in health care administration.  The student is involved in the analysis and practice of management and interpersonal dealings utilized in the health care environment.  The course explores writing techniques with correspondence and reports required by administrators and managers in health care.  Emphasis is also placed on management issues in current health care organizations such as conflict resolution, negotiation, and changes in health care, crisis management, and patient satisfaction.

645 Clerkship II:  Advanced Procedures and Skills.

Six credits.

The focus of this clerkship is to precept PA students through the acquisition of advanced skills for clinical practice in primary care or a specialty area of interest.  The student is provided with an opportunity for an in-depth analysis of clinical practice in his/her specific area of interest.  Skills development focuses on the areas identified during the pre-clerkship advisement session.  The student learns through the development of a clinical project reflective of the unique characteristics of the clerkship.

651 Health Care Management Theory and Evaluation.

Four credits.

This course introduces the student to the schools of thought of management theorists and practitioners in health care.  Evaluation of various theories are based on case studies and discussions of readings from periodicals, research reports, and books.

691 Special Topics in Health Care.

Three credits.

Weekly lectures.  Discussion and analysis of problems in health care which are not covered in regular course work.  The specific content of the course will remain flexible in response to student and departmental interests.

693 Independent Study.

One to three credits.

Course designed for independent, advanced-level study on a topic of the student’s own choosing after advisement by sponsoring departmental faculty.

790 Research Design.

Four credits.

The purpose of this course is to establish the groundwork for a research thesis.  The student is provided the opportunity to construct a research project beginning with the framing of the research problem and hypothesis, and progressing to design selection and data analysis.  The course offers students the knowledge and skills needed for instrument design and development.  Seminar sessions are dedicated to the scoring and interpretation of the data from the individual measurement tools.  All proposals require the hospital’s Internal Review Board approval prior to implementation.

799 Thesis.

Four credits.

The focus of this course is the implementation of the research design proposed in PA 790.  The parameters of the scientific process are utilized to investigate health-related research problems.  Each student is guided through his/her individual research project.  Seminar and individual conferences are dedicated to the analysis and evaluation of data.  The thesis is developed and is presented for oral defense during the research forum.