College of Health and Human Services2014-2015

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 Studies in Physician Assistant Studies?

The new Master's of Physician Assistant Studies in the College of Health and Human Services is an exciting program, collaborating with the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, sharing faculty and learning resources. The program is conducted in the new state-of-the-art Health Sciences Education Building at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix.  The first year of curriculum consists of courses taught at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, and the second year of curriculum includes supervised clinical rotations located in diverse geographical areas of Arizona as well as regularly scheduled multi-day meetings at the Phoenix campus. The program is 24 continuous months in length and grants a Masters of Physician Assistant Studies.

The program has been 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).

Application for the program is via the CASPA online system beginning mid-April, and closing September 1 each year. Following submission of the CASPA application, candidates must also complete the online NAU Graduate College application by September 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 Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study


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
    • Completed CASPA application
    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • Prerequisites (completed prior to enrolling in the program)
      • 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)
        • 4 upper division science courses; at least 40 units of science courses
      • Nine units of science courses must be completed in the last 5 years
    • 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 $11000 per year has been approved for this program.

Campus Availability

Go to mobile site