• Courses

    Please review the Didactic course descriptions. Note that the curriculum is subject to change at the discretion of faculty.

    Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies 

    The first four semesters of the program consist of didactic and laboratory coursework in the basic and clinical sciences, including a full semester’s course in anatomy with cadaver dissection. Additionally, students receive instruction in basic sciences useful to better understanding of clinical medicine such as pathophysiology, genetics, microbiology and immunology.

    Didactic Year Curriculum
    15 Months - 70 Semester Hours

    Fall (Semester 1) August - December   
    PAS 510 The Physician Assistant Profession  1
    PAS 520 Human Gross Anatomy     4
    PAS 527 Microbiology and Immunology  3
    PAS 530 Physical Diagnosis I: Effective Patient Communication 2
    PAS 562 Pathophysiology 5
    PAS 652 Public Health and Nutritional Concepts 2
    Spring (Semester 2) January - May   
    PAS 601 Clinical Medicine I 8
    PAS 630 Physical Diagnosis II 4
    PAS 660 Diagnostic Methodology 4
    PAS 670 Pharmacology I 3
    PAS 873 Research Methods 1
    Summer (Semester 3) June - August   
    PAS 566 Human Genetics 2
    PAS 702 Clinical Medicine II: Emergency Medicine 3
    PAS 703 Clinical Medicine II: Surgery 2
    PAS 704 Clinical Medicine II: Women's Health & Pediatrics 4
    PAS 730 Physical Diagnosis III 4
    PAS 770 Pharmacology II 3
    Fall (Semester 4) August - December   
    PAS 706 Primary Care Seminar 3
    PAS 807 Practical Clinical Skills 2
    PAS 810 Ethics, Health Systems, Law and Policy 3
    PAS 830 Diverse and Vulnerable Patient Populations 2
    PAS 840 Clinical Decisions 3
    PAS 880 Behavioral Health and Illness 2
    Total Credits Required:  70

    Didactic students also introduced into clinical settings beginning the first semester and extending throughout the didactic year. The PA program believes the physician assistant to be both an allopathic and a holistic practitioner, therefore concepts such as public health and population‐based health are taught in a stand‐alone course. Further, the program believes the student should receive exposure and training in diverse and vulnerable patient populations, so this is also a stand‐alone course during the didactic phase.

    Additionally, the student will receive instruction in risk management and the electronic medical record (EMR) to better prepare for actual practice in a changing healthcare environment. At the conclusion of the didactic phase and prior to the start of the clinical phase, students receive further hands-on training in clinical skills such as suturing, surgical knot‐tying, IV administration and access, casting/splinting, sterile technique including surgical scrubbing and gowning, advanced cardiac life support, and other clinical skills.

    Students will also participate in objective standardized clinical examinations (OSCEs) as part of the physical diagnosis course and are expected to successfully pass these in order to progress to the clinical phase. Additionally, a series of core examinations must be successfully passed to confirm the student’s competency to progress to the clinical phase.