Program Requirements

Accredited, community-oriented curriculum

Professional description

Physician assistants are health professionals prepared to practice medicine with physician supervision. Physician assistants are qualified by graduation from an accredited physician assistant educational program and/or by certification by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants. Within the physician/PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision-making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services.

The clinical role of physician assistants includes primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practice settings in rural and urban areas. Physician assistant practice is centered on patient care and may include educational, research and administrative roles.

Program description

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies is a graduate, entry-level, professional study designed to prepare highly competent practitioners to practice primary care medicine in the context of team-delivered care in a rapidly evolving health care arena. The program is 24 months (six semesters) duration and is divided into didactic (12 months) and clinical phases (12 months). Enrollment is on a continuous, full-time basis only. The curriculum is based on the Accreditation Standards for Physician Assistant Education and incorporates the principles of scientific inquiry, self-directed study, critical analysis, and problem solving. Due to the rigorous nature of the curriculum, students should not expect to be employed during their enrollment.

Program accreditation

The Missouri State University Physician Assistant Program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Accreditation is a process of external peer review to assure standards of excellence and quality are met and maintained. Graduation from an accredited PA program is a requirement to practice as a PA in the United States and to sit for the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) certifying examination.