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Pre-Physician Assistant Studies and Master of Science Degree in Physician Assistant Studies

5 Year Path to Physician Assistant

As Americans live longer and have more health care options, the need for skilled, professional health care providers continues to increase. A position in high demand today is physician assistant (PA). This is because physician assistants (PAs) independently see patients under the general supervision of a physician. This dramatically increases the number of patients that can be seen, diagnosed and treated by single physicians.

At College of Saint Mary, it is possible to go from a high school graduate to a practicing physician assistant in 5 years. Students accepted into the pre-PA status are assigned a level (1 – 3) according to the extent to which they have completed prerequisite courses necessary to start the graduate Physician Assistant program. Levels 4 and 5 are the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program. The majority of students with pre-PA status are pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology because the pre-requisite courses for the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program align with the Human Biology curriculum. However, additional programs and majors at College of Saint Mary are available to students with the pre-Physician Assistant status, depending on the student’s past academic experience. Inquire now.

Frequently Asked Questions

Path to Physician Assistant Through CASPA

In addition to the 5 year path above, individuals that already have or will complete a bachelor’s degree prior to entry can apply directly to the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program (Level 4) through CASPA (Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants).

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science in Human Biology

Pre-Physician Assistant Studies*

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

Career Outlook

The U.S. Department of Labor projects demand for physician assistants will grow by 22 percent by 2022. Physician assistants earn a median annual salary of $90,930.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration

*Pre-PA is a status assigned to students at College of Saint Mary and not a degree program.

Accreditation Statement

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the College of Saint Mary Physician Assistant Program sponsored by College of Saint Mary. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class. 

Meet the Physician Assistant Faculty & Staff