Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

Our program will prepare you to provide high-quality health care in a respectful, caring manner.

Health Professions

Preparing you to provide quality healthcare to those in need

Are you looking to take the next step in your medical career? Becoming a Physician Assistant is a great option. You’ll have the advanced training to collaborate with one or more physicians and be able to examine, diagnose, treat, and counsel patients. There is a significant need in healthcare for high-level professionals. At CUAA, we strive to prepare you to provide quality healthcare in a respectful, caring manner. If you value the same things we do, consider pursuing your Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) with us.

Program Overview

Your studies will be a combination of didactic and clinical courses. The didactic portion is held on our Ann Arbor campus and provides your foundation for the clinical year by exploring the basic sciences, clinical medicine, and behavioral medicine. We believe it is essential to begin putting your knowledge into practice as soon as possible in order for you to grow as a healthcare professional. You’ll get a variety of hands-on experiences through 11 months of clinical practice rotations. Clinical rotations must be taken in family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, women's health, behavioral medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine and one elective rotation, and one preceptorship in either internal medicine, family medicine or emergency medicine. While the majority of your rotations will occur in Michigan, our Director of Clinical Education may work with you to pursue out-of-state options.

Your courses will delve into the realms of human anatomy, physical examination and history. You'll also cover pharmacology, physiology/pathophysiology, clinical skills, and issues in healthcare. The overarching theme of your education will be an emphasis on preventative medicine and primary care. In order to facilitate your clinical skills and overall experience, we have a simulation lab on campus, and a proposed new cadaver lab being designed for the PA program. You’ll get to learn in a small class setting (no more than 32 students) and receive personalized instruction from our dedicated faculty. Upon completion of the 28-month program, you’ll be eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).

Learn more about this growing profession here

Goals of the program
1. Educate physician assistants in primary care, preventive medicine and health literacy.
  • Students are taught primary care, preventive medicine and health literacy.
  • Students have primary care rotations as follows: an 8 week Family Medicine rotation, an 8 week Internal Medicine, 4 weeks in Pediatrics, and 4 weeks in Women’s Health.
  • Students shadow with a variety of primary care populations.

2. Prepare physician assistants to provide medical care to diverse, medically underserved populations and improve access to health care.

  • Students have the opportunity to learn about and interact with diverse medically underserved populations.
  • Emphasis reflecting on one’s own culture and how that affects how the student perceives the world around them, including others in medical professions and patients
  • Students will go out into the field and conduct a medical interview.
  • Emphasis on learning how culture can influence different patient population and how patients perceive medical care.
  • Students have the opportunity to explore personal meaning of illness to a patient, spiritual and ethnic diversity in and out of the classroom.

3. Instill the value of lifelong learning.

4. Instill the importrance of professionalism.

5. Provide opportunities for interprofessional education in order to work effectively as a health care team member.

  • PA students will participate in IPE activities with the Schools of Nursing, Athletic Training, and Child Life twice a year in the didactic year
What to Expect

Physician Assistants (PA) are licensed health care professionals who practice medicine in collaboration with an MD or DO. PAs in conjunction with their collaborating physician provide patient care by obtaining histories, performing physical examinations, diagnosing injuries and illnesses, prescribing, assisting in surgery, educating patients on prevention as well as their conditions, and ordering and interpreting lab and radiologic results. PAs work in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, universities, governmental services, and industries.

Graduates must successfully complete the PA program that is accredited by the ARC-PA and pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) in order to obtain a license in the state(s) they desire to practice. Upon graduation, there are opportunities to work in all the different specialties of medicine. PAs are required to complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and continue to pass the Physician Assistant Recertifying Examination (PANRE) every ten years to maintain certification.

Licensure / Certifications
Graduates take the PANCE exam after successful completion from the program. Licensure is required in all states.