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Plan of Study

The PA Studies Program curriculum combines didactic courses with clinical rotations to equip students with the necessary skills to become health care leaders as PAs at the end of the two-year program. A Master of Science (MS) degree is awarded upon successful completion. 

The first three terms (12 total months) involve didactic instruction. This didactic component is presented through a mix of traditional lectures, out-of-the-classroom learning opportunities, case-based individual and group activities, and hands-on skills labs. Instruction is provided by PAs and other health care providers who have expertise in their respective specialties and fields. 

The last three terms (12 total months) consist of Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences (SCPE) in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, Behavioral Health, Obstetrical and Gynecological Medicine, and one or two Electives (see below).  The Summative Evaluation course and the Transition to Professional Practice course (whichever applies)  must be completed within the final four months of the program.  

The program works to build and maintain a strong pool of clinical sites and preceptors across the United States, including accepting suggestions from prospective and enrolled students. The program evaluates clinical sites and preceptors for educational suitability, among other important considerations.  

Please note: Per program policy, prospective and enrolled students are never required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors.

The order in which a student completes all of the below clinical courses may vary, so course numbers are not listed by discipline. 

All Didactic Component courses are sequential and must be successfully completed in order to progress to the next term of the curriculum.  Since each course in the program is offered only once during each academic year, any departure from completing a course in its planned sequence (e.g. failure to receive a passing grade of 'C' or better, leave of absence from the program) will result in a delay by retaking the course the following year, as well as delays in completing the program and graduating with the Master of Science degree. Each student must complete the program within five calendar years of their first day of class in their first term.

Didactic Component ("Year 1") - **For all currently enrolled and applying students**

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Year One Total Credits: 45

Clinical Component ("Year 2") - **For current didactic students and applicants seeking to enter the program in January 2024, this curriculum includes 1 elective rotation**

NOTE: Per program policy, prospective and enrolled students are never required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors. The program does allow students to suggest clinical sites or preceptors: The program evaluates such suggestions for educational suitability.

The order in which a student completes all of the below clinical courses may vary, so course numbers are not listed. Each student must complete the Transition to Professional Practice (5 credits) course within the final four months of the program.

Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences are required in the following disciplines:

Internal Medicine

This supervised clinical practice experience focuses on the evaluation and management of the ambulatory and hospitalized patient on an inpatient medicine service. Students learn how to take an accurate and pertinent history, conduct a physical examination, recognize patterns of illness, and acquire approaches to disease management. The student participates in the full range of inpatient care, formulating a problem list, taking part in daily rounds, performing technical skills, participating in the management of patient problems, and planning for discharge and follow-up care. 

Family Medicine

This supervised clinical practice experience focuses on the evaluation and management of the ambulatory patient in a outpatient care setting. The student participates in the full range of outpatient care through the life span, including collecting pertinent patient data and the information from diagnostic studies, developing a differential diagnosis, oral and written case presentations, and formulating management plans including patient education, appropriate referral and follow-up care. This clinical rotation encompasses the comprehensive and longitudinal care of patients with a special emphasis on care of individuals in the context of families and communities.

Emergency Medicine

This supervised clinical practice experience focuses on the evaluation and management of patients in the emergency department setting.  The student participates in the appropriate triage, stabilization, diagnosis and management of patients with urgent and emergent problems and develops skills in working with the pre-hospital emergency medical team and secondary referral systems.

Pediatrics

This supervised clinical practice experience focuses on the evaluation and care of infants and children in an ambulatory setting.  The student participates in well-child preventative care, the evaluation and management of common pediatric problems, and the patient education of children and their caregivers.

Surgery

This supervised clinical practice experience provides the student a wide breadth of opportunities to evaluate and manage surgical patients. This experience is designed to augment, strengthen and refine the student's surgical skills, as well as their ability to perform pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative care. The student is expected to gain awareness of the contributions of other health professions in the overall delivery of surgical care as well as for the role a PA may play in its delivery. 

Behavioral Health

This supervised clinical practice experience focuses on the evaluation and management of patients with psychiatric and behavioral health problems in ambulatory and/or inpatient settings. The student participates in psychiatric evaluations, monitoring of therapy, and appropriate referral to other health care professionals and facilities.

Obstetrical and Gynecological Medicine

This supervised clinical practice experience provides the PA student with practical clinical experience in evaluation and management of normal and abnormal conditions in OB/GYN.  In addition, students will learn to provide prenatal and postpartum care, gynecologic care, family planning, health education, and counseling. 

Elective

This supervised clinical practice experience is designed to provide the PA student with an elective opportunity in any medical or surgical specialty.  

Term 1:

  • Supervised Clinical Practice Experience 1 (4 credits)
  • Supervised Clinical Practice Experience 2 (4 credits)
  • Supervised Clinical Practice Experience 3 (4 credits)

Term 2:

  • Supervised Clinical Practice Experience 4 (4 credits)
  • Supervised Clinical Practice Experience 5 (4 credits)
  • Supervised Clinical Practice Experience 6 (4 credits)

Term 3:

  • Supervised Clinical Practice Experience 7 (4 credits)
  • Supervised Clinical Practice Experience 8 (4 credits)
  • Transition to Professional Practice (5 credits)
    • A five-week course that combines instruction on practical issues as they relate to the practicing PA, especially the new graduates, with evaluation instruments that measure if and verify that the learner has met the learning outcomes of the program and has the knowledge, interpersonal skills, clinical and technical skills, professional behaviors, clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities required for PA practice. 

Year Two Total Credits: 37

Clinical Component  ("Year 2") - **For students currently enrolled in the program, this component includes 2 elective rotations.**

The order in which a student completes all of the below courses may vary.  Each student must complete PAS 2712 - Summative Evaluation within the final four months of the program. 

NOTE: Per program policy, prospective and enrolled students are never required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors. The program does allow students to suggest clinical sites or preceptors: The program evaluates such suggestions for educational suitability.

Term 1:

Term 2:

Term 3:

Year Two Total Credits: 37

TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS FOR ANY STUDENT: 82

All clinical rotations require screening measures. Learn more on our Background Checks page.