The professional curriculum leads to a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies (M.M.S.). This full-time 27-month professional program offers students the opportunity to earn a graduate degree and satisfy the eligibility requirements for the PA National Certifying Examination (PANCE). The PA Program does not offer an extended course of study beyond the usual length of the program. The maximum allotted time for completion of this program is 40.5 months. The roles and specific clinical duties and responsibilities that graduates can expect to experience will vary depending on their chosen career path. PA Program graduates are expected to have the ability to competently perform patient histories and physicals, gather pertinent patient data, order and interpret diagnostic studies, recognize common diseases and disorders, choose appropriate therapeutic modalities, perform minor surgical procedures, manage emergency life-threatening conditions, promote health through counseling, education, and disease prevention, and demonstrate interpersonal skills consistent with the physician assistant role. The program is a combination of didactic and clinical education with the first 13.5 months covering a variety of didactic courses.
No advanced placement within the PA Program is allowed for prior clinical or life experience. Requests may be made for advanced placement for coursework and will only be considered if a letter grade of "C" or better has been earned and must be deemed equivalent to the Midwestern University course. Please see the Midwestern University Catalog for the policy and procedure. Midwestern University has an articulation agreement that exists between programs.
The PA Program does not offer an extended course of study beyond the usual length of the program. For more information on the specific curriculum, download our quick overview and see the Midwestern University Catalog for more detailed course descriptions and additional University, College, and Program policies which pertain to Physician Assistant students.
For more information on the specific curriculum, browse our online catalog or you can download a quick overview.
Planned Program Improvements
No significant changes in the PA Program admission requirements, academic standards, or curriculum are anticipated for the 2020-2021 academic year.
PA Program Student Work Policy
Due to the rigorous time demands during the didactic and clinical years, the PA Program strongly discourages students who are enrolled in the Program from working outside of school during the 27-month Program.
Some students may be able to successfully coordinate campus work-study jobs, but the educational requirements of the Program remain the priority. Students who do choose to work at off-campus jobs despite this recommendation are expected to maintain all university and Program attendance expectations, professionalism, and academic standards.
Students should consult with a counselor in the Office of Student Financial Services if they are in need of more financial resources. Students who are in the work-study Program for Midwestern University may not conduct their work in the PA Program offices due to confidentiality concerns with student records. PA students may utilize the work-study Program, as outlined by federal guidelines, for community service projects. PA students are NOT required to work for the program.
The Midwestern University Physician Assistant Program of Glendale is committed to educate and mentor students in a setting that cultivates excellence and prepares compassionate, competent physician assistants to serve in a changing healthcare environment.
The philosophy of the PA Program is based on a dedication to the student-centered approach to teaching and learning. Program Goals are met through a variety of curricular objectives and assessments.
The Goals of the Midwestern University PA Program, Glendale Campus, include: 1) to develop competent PAs, 2) to deliver a thorough and comprehensive curriculum that promotes inter-professional education and service within the healthcare community, 3) to facilitate critical-thinking skills and evidence-based practices, 4) to mentor students and promote professionalism, and 5) to demonstrate a genuine commitment to program excellence through a process of continuous self-assessment and curricular improvements.
The program meets these goals in a variety of ways
- The curriculum has contributed to an average first-time PANCE pass rate of 98% over the last five years (100%, 99%, 98%, 99%, and 100%, respectively). This is compared to the national average of 96%. 100% of new graduate respondents (Class of 2016) reported full-time employment. This is above the national average of 67% of newly certified PAs who accepted a clinical position (NCCPA 2015 Statistical Report).
- The curriculum provides a strong basis for clinical practice in the following ways: 1) A rigorous basic science curriculum (anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology, and microbiology) is delivered by content area experts and PA Program courses are taught by experienced PA faculty. 2) The program also promotes inter-professional education via a university-wide, interdisciplinary course involving most first-year students that develops teamwork and collaboration between the professions via didactic presentations and small group activities. 3) Faculty encourage and model service to the profession and to our community. This is evident by 27% of 2011-2015 graduates participating in the training of a MWU PA student; PA faculty involvement with state and national organizations (ASAPA, PAEA, AAPA, etc.); more than 1100 hours of community service by our PA students in 2016, and 26% of 2017 graduates report employment in health professions shortage areas or medically underserved communities.
- Students are required to complete a didactic course dedicated to the development of critical thinking skills and the application of evidence-based practices. The students then utilize these skills in interactive clinical case group discussions, simulation activities, and clinical rotations and are assessed by faculty and preceptors throughout their training. Graduates from the Class of 2017 rated their overall level of satisfaction with their education received at 4.58/5.00.
- Faculty encourage, model and assess professionalism. Health Professionalism, during the first quarter, is a course devoted to teaching professionalism (values and ideals as described in 'Competencies for the PA Profession') and in recent years the program has implemented a code of professional conduct and dress code. Upon matriculation, every student in the program is assigned a PA faculty mentor who monitors the student's performance in the didactic and clinical phases of training. Additionally, students are evaluated by preceptors regularly throughout the clinical year on their professional conduct/demeanor, dependability/responsibility, educational attitude and responsiveness to feedback.
- The program has a continuous process of self-assessment that allows for data collection and subsequent analysis throughout the curriculum. A variety of perspectives are formally sought in this process including those of students, faculty, clinical preceptors and graduates in the form of regularly scheduled surveys and evaluations. This serves to further improve the experience for students and is foundational to maintaining accreditation. This process has led to a status of full accreditation by ARC-PA since 1998, and again most recently in 2018.
Definition and Role of A Physician Assistant (Approved by the American Academy of Physician Assistants' House of Delegates, 2005)
"Physician Assistants are health professionals licensed or, in the case of those employed by the federal government, credentialed, to practice medicine with physician supervision. Physician assistants are qualified by graduation from an accredited physician assistant educational program and/or certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Within the physician-PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. The clinical role of physician assistants includes primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practice settings in rural and urban areas. Physician assistant practice is centered on patient care and may include educational, research, and administrative activities."
[Adopted by the American Academy of Physician Assistants' House of Delegates 1995, reaffirmed 2000, 2005, 2010, amended 1996, 2014]
Estimated Cost of Attendance
|Student Services Fee
|Disability Insurance Fee
|Books & Supplies
|Therapeutic Skills Kit
Tuition Refund Policy
Midwestern University's policies and procedures for refunds of tuition and fees are listed in the catalog on page 36 of the Student financial Services section under "MWU Refund Polilcy: Return of the Title IV, Title VII, and Institutional Funds".