MSPAS Frequently Asked Questions

Read below for answers to questions about the Masters in Physician Assistant Studies Program.

PAs are licensed healthcare professionals who practice medicine with physician supervision (MD, DO). PAs deliver a broad range of medical and surgical care and services to diverse patient populations in both the rural and urban settings. Their main focus is patient care in the primary care setting, and their duties include education, research, and administrative activities. Learn more about PAs from AAPA.

In the mid 1960s, physicians and educators recognized there was a shortage of primary care physicians. Dr. Eugene Stead of the Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina selected four Navy corpsmen who had received considerable medical training during their military service and in Vietnam but who had no comparable civilian employment. In 1965 he put together the first physician assistant class and based the curriculum of the PA program in part on his knowledge of the fast-track training of doctors during World War II. 

Students who complete all requirements of the program will receive the degree of Master of Science Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS).

The program is 28 months in duration.

All applications must go through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applications sent directly to the college will not be accepted.

Completion of all prerequisites is mandatory when applying to the program.

Upon matriculation, students must complete the entire MSPAS curriculum, and no transfer of units will be accepted into the program. For questions regarding AP credit fulfilling prerequisites please reach out to your Graduate Admissions Counselor.

On-campus housing is available only to undergraduate students. However, limited off-campus housing is available to graduate students.

Yes, this is acceptable as long as they are not science courses, are offered by a regionally accredited institution, and the course descriptions meet our requirements as outlined in the prerequisite course requirements guide.

We will accept online labs taken during the spring, summer and fall 2020, and spring and summer 2021 semesters.

No, we do not require the GRE for admission to the MSPAS Program but it is encouraged.


No, students are not required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors.  All supervised clinical practice experiences will be provided by the program.

Due to the competitiveness of the program, we do not evaluate any files that do not clearly meet the requirements as stated the Admission Requirements and Process section of our program page.

At this time interviews are being conducted remotely, via Zoom.

We do not evaluate transcripts until you have submitted your completed application packet. Please refer to the prerequisite course requirements guide if you have questions about prerequisites.

No, your bachelor’s degree does not have to be in a science or health-related field.

Yes, contact your admissions counselor to learn more. 

The Physician Assistant Department does not meet with prospective students. However, a faculty member from the Physician Assistant program does attend each of the Information Sessions. These informational meetings are held prior to the application deadline. Attending an Information Session is your opportunity to hear directly from a department representative and ask additional questions. All upcoming sessions can be found in the Events section of our website.

There are no institutional grants or scholarships for the Master of Science Physician Assistant Studies Program. We highly recommend you research outside scholarships and grants, in addition to applying for financial aid