College of Health and Human Services2013-2014

Department of Physician Assistant Studies

Physician Assistant Studies, Master of Physician Assistant Studies

The NAU Physician Assistant (PA) program is the only PA program offered at a public university in Arizona. Parts of the 24-month curriculum are delivered in collaboration with the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix.  The program is provisionally accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education of Physician Assistants (ARC-PA). Successful graduates will receive a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) from NAU and will be qualified to take the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE) that is required for licensure as a PA.
The NAU PA program offers high-quality clinical experiences, interdisciplinary medical education, value and affordability. The program will equip students with clinical and professional knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide high-quality, compassionate medical care for the people of Arizona. The mission of the program addresses the need to reduce Arizona’s health care workforce shortages.

This program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).


What Can I do with a Master of Physician Assistant StudiesĀ  in Physician Assistant Studies?

The newest program in the College of Health and Human Services, the Master's of Physician Assistant Studies, was recently granted Accreditation – Provisional. Accreditation – Provisional is an accreditation status that indicates that the plans and resource allocation for the proposed program appear to demonstrate the program's ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards, if fully implemented as planned. Accreditation – Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status and is limited to no more than three years for any program.

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) is an independent accrediting body authorized to accredit qualified PA educational programs leading to the professional credential, Physician Assistant (PA).

This exciting new program will collaborate with the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, sharing faculty and learning resources. Classes of 25 students each will be admitted in 2012 and 2013. Enrollment will be increased to a class size of 50 students in 2014. The first year of curriculum will consist of courses taught at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, and the second year of curriculum will include supervised clinical rotations located in diverse geographical areas of Arizona as well as regularly scheduled multi-day meetings at the Phoenix campus. The program will be 24 continuous months in length and will grant a Masters of Physician Assistant Studies.

Application for 2013 is via the CASPA online system beginning April 18, and closing October 1. Following submission of the CASPA application, candidates will be sent the URL to access the online NAU Graduate College application, to be completed by November 1.

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • Didactic courses (53 units)
  • Supervised clinical experience (47 units)
  • Capstone: summative exam and independent project (2 units)

Minimum Units for Completion 102
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Additional Fees/Program Fees Additional Fees and/or Program Fees apply.


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • GRE® revised General Test
    • Must also complete CASPA application
    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • Prerequisites (completed prior to enrolling in the program)
      • 10 credits of required courses; may be outstanding at the time of application.  Required coursework: anatomy and physiology (one of each or two course of combined A&P), 2 courses in chemistry, one course in microbiology, one statistics course (any discipline), one lab course (NOT online), & 2 upper division biology courses; at least 40 credits of science courses
    • Personal statement or essay 
    • 500 hours of direct patient care, paid or volunteer
Master's Requirements
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

  • Program fees are established by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). A program fee of $9000 per year for each of two years has been approved for this program.

Campus Availability

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