About the Physician Assistant Program

The Master of Physician Assistant (MPA) Program utilizes innovative instructional methods in conjunction with the medical school's diverse resources to provide students with outstanding educational opportunities. The curriculum provides graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to deliver primary health care as physician assistants and leaders in a changing health-care industry.

Our program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Only graduates of an ARC-PA-accredited program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination (PANCE).

The PA profession is a growing and dynamic medical career. Consider the following:

  • The U.S. Department of Labor rates job growth for PAs as “much faster than average.”
  • In 2009, CNN/Money Magazine ranked the PA profession second in its "Top Ten Best Jobs in America." The number of PA jobs is projected to increase by 50% over the next 10 years.
  • Forbes.com annual "Best Master's Degrees for Jobs Right Now" ranked Physician Assistant studies number 3 this year, behind information systems and physics respectively.  Of all the health-related professions on the list, PA studies ranked number 1.

From another perspective, HEALTHeCAREERS, an online healthcare jobs site, recently published the 5 reasons PAs have the best job in healthcare.  The reasons included:

  • High return for master's education
  • High overall salary
  • More personal freedom (compared to an MD)
  • Value added to the healthcare system
  • High future employment outlook

You can read more on their website.


Important Phone Numbers 

PA Program                                 757.446.7158   
School of Health Professions - 
       Admissions & Enrollment Office      
Financial Aid 757.446.5804
Diversity in Educational Programs 757-446.5869
Disability Compliance 757.446.5638