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

A Physician Assistant (PA) is a nationally certified medical provider who is licensed to diagnose and treat illness and disease, and prescribe medication for patients.  PAs work in physician offices, hospitals, and clinics in collaboration with a licensed physician.  The physician-PA relationship is fundamental to the profession and enhances the delivery of health care.

At College of Saint Mary, you can go from a high school graduate to a practicing physician assistant in just 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.

Choose from 2 Admissions Pathways

Pre-Physician Assistant Studies
If you need to complete your undergraduate degree.

  • 5 year path (3+2 program: Levels 1-3 are Pre-PAS; Levels 4-5 are MSPAS)
  • You can choose an undergraduate major in Human Biology, Psychology or General Studies.
  • While meeting progression requirements after each semester at CSM, you’ll be able to earn your seat in the MSPAS program.
  • A professional academic advisor will guide you in meeting progression requirements.

Graduate Entry through CASPA
If you have or will complete your bachelor's degree

  • 24-month graduate level program
  • Assigned a physician assistant advisor

Degrees Offered

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (Pre-PAS; undergraduate)

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (Graduate; through CASPA)

Career Outlook

The U.S. Department of Labor projects demand for physician assistants will grow by 31%, much faster than average, by 2030. Physician assistants earn a median annual salary of $115,390 nationally and $113,240 in Nebraska.

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

Accreditation Statement

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the College of St. Mary - NE Physician Assistant Program sponsored by College of St. Mary - NE. 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 2031. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at