Physician Assistant Master's Program


Program Description

The Master of Physician Assistant (MPA) Program is an accredited 28-month program that provides graduates the skills and resources to deliver health care as physician assistant leaders in an evolving health-care industry. Graduates of the MPA Program are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE). Upon successful completion of the PANCE, physician assistants may use the “PA-C” designation, pursue state licensure and practice medicine with a supervising physician.

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” expecting the job market to grow by over 30,000 jobs by 2022. annual "Best Master's Degrees for Jobs in 2014" ranked Physician Assistant studies number 1 again. The degree has consistently been in the top 5 over the last 5 years. The New York Times recently published a very positive article about the training and acceptability of PAs. A 2014 study conducted by the National Commission on Certification of PAs revealed that over 94% of respondents were willing to see a PA. U.S. News & World Report recently published the 10 Reasons to See a Physician Assistant highlighting the profession's ubiquitous presence in healthcare.

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.

Curriculum & Educational Program

The PA Program is divided into two phases, spanning 28 consecutive months over seven semesters.

Phase I, the 16-month pre-clinical year, spans four consecutive semesters (68 credit hours) and incorporates traditional classroom interaction with clinical skills development and simulated patient interaction through the Sentara Center for Simulation and Immersive Learning.

In Phase II (26 credit hours), students complete 8 clinical field experiences with supervised, direct patient care in various medical and surgical disciplines, which form the basis of the professional socialization process and adaptation to the role and functions of a physician assistant.

The majority of clinical sites are located throughout the Hampton Roads community. Opportunities exist for clinical placements outside the region and for students to initiate new rotation sites, however international clinical placements are not an option.

Graduates are required to pass the PA National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and meet state-specific regulations in order to practice clinically.

Admissions Requirements

This brief checklist outlines the major components of the MPA Admissions criteria that will be necessary to complete your application and be considered for a potential interview.

Application Checklist

- QUALIFYING GPA (3.00 or better) - U.S. CITIZEN or Permanent Resident - BACHELOR'S DEGREE* completed (no later than July 1st)


satisfactorily completed with a B- or better (prior to March 1st)

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry OR Biochemistry
  • Microbiology OR Cell Biology
  • Intro to Psychology
  • Additional Psychology
  • Math OR Statistics OR Physics

CASPA APPLICATION (electronically submitted by March 1st)

  • Application Fee (submitted to CASPA)
  • Official transcript(s) from each/every university or college ever attended
  • Official TOEFL scores (if applicable)
  • Three (3) letters of reference
  • Other documents as directed by CASPA

Complete EVMS Supplemental Application (online completion by March 1st) May only be submitted once all 8 pre-requisites have been satisfactorily completed.

  • Official TRANSCRIPT(S) for any outstanding prerequisites completed since submitting the CASPA application.
  • Review the PA Program TECHNICAL STANDARDS.
Last updated Dec 2017

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About the School

EVMS prepares learners for careers as competent and compassionate physicians, health-care professionals and scientists. Our students benefit from the broad range of instruction provided by our full-ti ... Read More

EVMS prepares learners for careers as competent and compassionate physicians, health-care professionals and scientists. Our students benefit from the broad range of instruction provided by our full-time faculty, who work in concert with health-care professionals throughout the community. Read less