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.
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).
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.
*Pre-PA is a status assigned to students at College of Saint Mary and not a degree program.
Physician assistant education is accredited through the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).
At its March 2019 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) placed the College of Saint Mary Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the College of Saint Mary on Accreditation-Probation status until its next review in March 2021.
Probation is a temporary status of accreditation conferred when a program does not meet the Standards and when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.
Once placed on probation, programs that still fail to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk having their accreditation withdrawn.
Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s). College of Saint Mary Physician Assistant Studies Program Director Clare Kennedy can be reached at ckennedy [at] csm.edu.