The College of Health Sciences' Physician Assistant Program offers you a student-centered environment in which you can develop skills as a compassionate, competent physician assistant in an ever-changing healthcare environment. Faculty mentors, interprofessional education and service, and self-directed learning help you to learn what it takes to provide critical services such as patient diagnoses, minor surgical procedures, emergency medicine, and health counseling and education. We will work with you to build your career as a member of tomorrow's healthcare team.

Apply Now

Fast Facts



Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies (M.M.S.)

General Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Minimum cumulative and science GPA of 3.00
  • GRE general test scores
  • Successful completion of prerequisite courses

Length of Program

27 months, full-time

Class Size


Class of 2018 Profile

  • Applicants: 2182
  • Matriculated: 90
  • Female: 74%
  • Male: 26%
  • Mean Age: 25
  • Average Science GPA: 3.63
  • Average Overall GPA: 3.66
  • Average GRE
    • Quantitative 63
    • Verbal 71
    • Analytical 76
    • Analytical Writing 4.5
  • 80% had a total GPA above 3.5
  • Top Home States: Arizona (35.5%), California, Utah, Washington

Clinical Rotations

Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine/Primary Care, Internal Medicine, Behavioral Medicine/Psychiatry, Surgery, Pediatrics, Women's Health, Electives.

Graduation Rate

The Class of 2016 had a 97.8% graduation rate (89/91)

National Certifying Exam (PANCE) Pass Rate 5-Year Average (2012-2016)

  • Our students are at, or above, the national pass rate each year
  • Five year average pass rate for first time takers is 98% (national average is 95%)

NCCPA Pass Rate Summary Report ››

Employment Status

100% of the graduates from the Class of 2016 reported working full time (>32 hours/week)

Career Opportunities

Primary care, surgery, medical and surgical subspecialties, emergency medicine, behavioral medicine

US Employment Projections through 2024

2014 jobs: 94,400; outlook 2014-2024 employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 30%1

National 2016 Median Annual PA Salary

The average salary in 2016 grew to $101,480 (varies by specialty, practice setting, location, experience)2

1 (website last accessed May 2017)

2 (website last accessed May 2017)

Admission Requirements


Students seeking admission to the PA Program must submit the following documented evidence:

  1. All applicants must apply through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) and meet the published admission criteria.
  2. Minimum cumulative science and overall GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  3. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test submitted directly to CASPA under code 0508 by October 1st. Scores may also be submitted to the Office of Admissions by December 1st using the Midwestern University institution code for the GRE is 4160. Only test scores earned in the last five years are acceptable. Applicants are expected to achieve a score at or above the 50th percentile in each section. For additional information about the GRE, call 866/473-4373, or visit
  4. Completion of prerequisite courses as listed below from regionally accredited colleges or universities. All prerequisite courses must be completed with a C or better. Grades of C- are NOT acceptable for any prerequisite course. Life experience credits do not count toward fulfillment of any prerequisite courses. Courses in which "credit" or grades of "pass" are earned will be counted only when applicants can provide verification that the earned grades were equivalent to grades of C or better (grades of C- are not acceptable).
  5. Completion of prerequisite courses prior to matriculation.
  6. Applicants must determine which prerequisites are missing and which courses must be taken to fulfill any outstanding prerequisites.
  7. Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university before matriculation.
  8. Motivation for and commitment to health care as demonstrated by previous work, volunteer, or other life experiences.
  9. Demonstration of service and leadership through community service or extracurricular activities.
  10. Oral and written communication skills necessary to interact with patients and colleagues.
  11. Satisfactory Midwestern University criminal background check.
  12. Commitment to abide by the Midwestern University Drug-Free Workplace and Substance Abuse Policy.
  13. Successful completion of all required immunizations prior to matriculation.
  14. The applicant must meet the technical standards prior to matriculation.

Return to TOP

    Prerequisite Courses

    Course Sem Hrs Qtr Hrs
    Biology with lab* (must include at least 4 hours of Anatomy)812
    General Chemistry with lab*812
    Organic Chemistry with lab*46
    Math (college algebra or above)34
    English Composition69
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (sociology, psychology, anthropology, etc.)69
    Biochemistry* (not required but strongly recommended)4-86-12
    *All science prerequisites must be courses designed for science majors. No survey courses will count to fulfill science prerequisites. No online labs will be accepted.

    Application Process and Deadlines

    The Physician Assistant program uses a rolling admissions process. Students must apply for admission via the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). The application deadline is October 1st each year.

    Additional Application Information

    Return to TOP

    Program Description


    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. 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.

    The didactic coursework includes basic science coursework in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics and microbiology. It also includes clinical preparatory coursework in clinical medicine, pediatrics, behavioral medicine, psychiatry, women's health,  emergency medicine and surgical principles. During the remaining 13.5 months, students rotate through core clinical rotations and two elective rotations.

    The second-year clinical program is delivered at affiliated clinical sites and facilities. These sites are geographically and demographically diverse, reflecting the broad scope of practice opportunities that exist for PAs in the health care delivery system of this country. Sites include ambulatory practice settings, small and large office-based group practices, community and migrant health centers, in-patient settings involving large and small hospitals, as well as federal and state facilities. These sites are in urban, suburban, and rural communities located throughout Arizona. In addition, the program has established formal affiliations with clinical facilities and practitioners in a number of other states. As part of the clinical education phase of the program, students enrolled in the MWU PA Program will likely be assigned to clinical rotations that reflect this geographic and demographic diversity. Students are required to complete a minimum of one clinical rotation in a rural/medically-underserved community.

    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 2015-2016 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 Financial Aid Office 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.


    The Midwestern University Physician Assistant Program 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 include a commitment to the following tenets: 1) mentor students and model professionalism, 2) promote interprofessional education and service within the healthcare community, 3) facilitate self-directed learning and critical-thinking skills, 4) foster a commitment to scholarship within the PA community, and 5) enhance the program through a process of continuous self-assessment.

    The program meets the goals in a variety of ways. 1) Students in the program are assigned faculty mentors who serve in that capacity throughout the student's tenure in the program. These mentors are aware of student performance on individual assessments and are readily available to discuss academic resources as well as hear candid opinions and suggestions from their mentees. Faculty model professionalism to the students in a variety of ways including service to the profession and scholarly contributions. All of the faculty provide service to the community, university, and/or community. 2) The program promotes interprofessional education and service through a myriad of approaches. Every first-year PA student participates in a university wide interprofessional course that serves to highlight commonalities between the professions. Program faculty and students also participate in several interprofessional community service opportunities that include providing medical care to the medically underserved communities in the Phoenix area. 3) The program demonstrates success in facilitating self-directed learning and fostering critical thinking skills through the success of the students during their clinical phase of training and on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination. 4) The program's commitment to scholarship is evident by the number of publications, presentations, and grants that have been completed with our students and faculty. 5) 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 sought in this process including students, faculty, clinical preceptors, and graduates. All of these efforts have allowed the program to achieve success including a 98.4%  first-time average PANCE  pass rate over the last five graduating classes (96%, 99%, 98% 99%. 100%). 

    Definition of a Physician Assistant (approved by the American Academy of Physician Assistants' House of Delegates, 1995)

    "Physician Assistants (PAs) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. Physician Assistants are qualified upon 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."

    Estimated Cost of Attendance


    Total for 27-month program

    Physician AssistantYear 1Year 2Year 3
    Student Services Fee$628$628$158
    Health Insurance$3,360$3,360$1,108
    Disability Ins. Fee$65$65$33
    Books & Supplies$2,152$1,260$150
    AAPA Membership$75$0$0

    Tuition Refund Policy

    Midwestern University's policies and procedures for refunds of tuition and fees are listed in the catalog on page 28 of the Student Financial Services section under "Leave of Absence for Financial Aid Eligibility Policy and Procedure.



    The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Midwestern University-Glendale. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards

    Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2018. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

    A job in a shoe store does not always translate to a career in podiatry, but for Barbara Adams podiatry is the perfect mix of passion and profession.

    Danny Wu is a 2011 graduate from the Master of Arts in Biomedical Sciences Program in the College of Health Sciences, where he studied the basic medical sciences in preparation for dental career.

    Hillary Carnell, D.O., is a 2012 graduate of the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine.

    Heather Thoreson, Pharm.D., is a 2012 graduate of the College of Pharmacy-Glendale.

    A family friend taught Jared Techau the value of patient-centric care and the allure of helping people through medicine.

    Laura Sibrava, D.M.D., is a 2012 graduate of the College of Dental Medicine-Arizona.

    Sam Funk studies basic science, optics, and visual science, and is learning to diagnose, treat, and manage dysfunction and disease of the eyes.