Physician Assistant Studies

At Dominican, our mission is to prepare Physician Assistants (PAs) to deliver compassionate, high quality, patient-centered care as members of interdisciplinary healthcare teams. You will be immersed in active learning environments, integrating theoretical learning with clinical practice. Our teaching approach nurtures reflection, creativity, and critical thinking. You will leave Dominican prepared to make significant contributions to the diverse communities you serve and to the advancement of the PA profession.
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The MSPAS Program at Dominican offers students a chance to develop close working relationships with experienced faculty and members of their cohort in a setting that encourages a team approach and case-based learning. 


Our vision is to be a national leader in PA education and to prepare quality physician assistants to practice medicine in dynamic healthcare environments in partnership with physicians and other healthcare team members.

Carl Garrubba, MPA PA-C, CPA
MSPAS Program Director, Professor


Our Master of Science Physician Assistant Studies Program is a 28 month year-round program.

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Dominican University of California Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Dominican University of California.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

Educational Philosophy

PA students are considered lifelong learners of the art and science of medicine, as well as active learners who ask questions, uncover meaning and make informed decisions based on all available evidence.

Our students will gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to respond positively and effectively to challenges and opportunities relating to trends in healthcare delivery. You will learn in groups, through discussions and lectures and role- playing, and through the use of standardized and simulated patients, independent research, and case-based problem-solving.

Our focus on higher order of learning prepares PAs for critical thinking, ethical decision making, and the synthesis and judgment of problems, based on an integrated biopsychosocial medical model. PA students will learn to be reflective, insightful, and aware of professional roles as well as the limitations, needs, styles, and values of patients and other health professionals.

Dominican is firmly committed to providing a community in which students, faculty, and staff are protected from discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct and retaliation, and prohibits such behavior in all University operations. Read our policy.


Learning Outcomes

The following Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) are the MSPAS Program’s adaptation and adoption of Dominican's Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILO). These outcomes represent the MSPAS Program’s commitment as a community of educators and scholars to every graduate of the MSPAS Program at Dominican. All MSPAS Program graduate students will have the opportunity to develop the following knowledge, skills, and personal capabilities throughout their studies and experiences as PAs.

ILO: Exploration and Acquisition of Knowledge
SLO1: Demonstrate core medical knowledge in biomedical and clinical sciences with its application to patient care across the lifespan.
SLO2: Employ the biopsychosocial model of patient-centered care with patients across the lifespan.

ILO: Development of Intellectual, Professional Skills
SLO3: Demonstrate the critical analysis ability using the medical literature and other information resources for self- and medical practice improvement.
SLO4: Demonstrate the commitment to life-long learning in their ongoing development of the ability to assess, evaluate, and improve their patient care practices.
SLO5: Employ self-reflective, effective communication skills as a member of interprofessional (IPE) healthcare teams.

ILO: Practice of Civic Skills and Social Responsibility
SLO6: Recognize, model, and advocate for ethical behavior in medical practice.
SLO7: Demonstrate community service and an understanding of social justice in healthcare for diverse patient populations.

ILO: Cultivation of Well-Being
SLO8: Apply strategies for self-care as a component of PA education and practice to cultivate resilience, adaptability, and tolerance for long-term success in the profession.