Taken in 7-semesters over 28-month, including 15 week summer semesters, the program is a lockstep curriculum. All students must complete the same coursework throughout the 28 months regardless of past degrees. No student can be exempted from any coursework.
The first 12 months, divided into three consecutive semesters, are devoted to didactic work in the basic sciences, medicine, behavioral sciences, and research methodologies. The clinical phase is divided into three semesters over 16 months, which consists of three clinical semesters and one culminating semester. During this phase, students are provided with supervised clinical practice experiences through nine rotations, each lasting five weeks at clinical sites such as hospitals, clinics, and private practices. The culminating semester also includes PANCE preparation, an elective course, didactic graduate coursework, a required master's research project, and community service.
The program provides a nurturing learning environment and stresses the importance of continuing medical education and life-long learning.
To qualify for graduation with a BS in Health Sciences and MS in Physician Assistant Studies, a student must successfully complete all courses and rotations, totaling 123 credits. This includes:
- Successful completion of the summative evaluation (PAM 636)
- Successful completion of the didactic graduate coursework and a required master's capstone project.
- Overall program GPA of 2.667 (B-) or better
The above requirements are reviewed by the Academic Progress Committee, which informs the Registrar's Office that the student is certified for graduation.