MSPAS Program Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Physician Assistant (PA)?
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.

How did the PA Profession begin? 
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. 

What degree will I earn upon successful completion of the program?
Students who complete all requirements of the program will receive the degree of Master of Science Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS).

How long is the program?
The program is 28 months in duration.

How do I apply to your program?
All applications must go through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applications sent directly to the college will not be accepted.

What does Accreditation-Provisional mean?
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.

Can I have courses in progress when I am applying to the program?
Completion of all prerequisites is mandatory when applying to the program.

Does the program accept advanced placement?

Do you having housing on campus for graduate students?
No, on-campus housing is only available to undergraduate students. However, limited off-campus housing is available to graduate students.

Can I take online courses if I still need to complete prerequisite courses?
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.

Does Dominican require the GRE and if so what is the minimum score?
No, we do not require the GRE for admission to the MSPAS Program but it is encouraged.

Does the 28 month program include the Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences?

Do I need to recruit my own clinical sites?
No, students are not required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors.  All supervised clinical practice experiences will be provided by the program.

I am not sure I make the minimum requirements for admission. Can I still be considered?
Due to the competitiveness of the program, we do not evaluate any files that do not clearly meet the requirements as stated on the PREREQUISITES and ADMISSIONS pages.

Do I have to be on campus for the interview process or can I Skype in?
Interviews are on campus and in-person, no exceptions.

Can I have someone ‘evaluate’ my transcripts?
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.

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

Can I meet with an Admissions Counselor about the program?
Yes, please click here to connect with your admissions counselor! 

Can I meet with a faculty member about the program?
The Physician Assistant Department does not meet with prospective students. However, a faculty member from the Physician Assistant Department 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.  Please click here for dates/times and to register. 

Does Dominican offer any grants or scholarships to help fund my education?
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 (fafsa.ed.gov).