Develop the skills you need to be a vital member of the healthcare team as a student in the Physician Assistant Program. You'll learn from caring faculty experts who will prepare you to apply evidence-based medicine and compassionate decision making to benefit a diverse community of patients. Our student-centered curriculum and expansive clinical experiences will prepare you to build your future as a competent, caring physician assistant dedicated to making meaningful contributions to your patients, the community, and the profession.
Master of Medical Science (M.M.S.) in Physician Assistant Studies
27 months, full-time
Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Internal Medicine, Behavioral Medicine, Pediatric Medicine, Women's Health, and elective rotations
99% (85 of 86 students admitted to original cohort) completed the Program within the expected time frame (Class of 2015)
94% (65/69) graduates who responded to the Class of 2015 graduate survey reported they were employed within 6 months of graduation
Primary care, surgery, medical and surgical specialties, emergency medicine, behavioral medicine
Number of PA jobs projected to increase by 38% by the year 20221
$93,800 (varies by specialty, practice setting, location, experience)2
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S., Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, Physician Assistants, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physician-assistants.htm (accessed 03/12/2014)
2. 2015 American Academy of Physician Assistants Salary Report
https://www.aapa.org/salaryreport/ (accessed 03/28/16)
Students seeking admission to the PA Program must submit the following documented evidence:
|Course||Sem Hrs||Qtr Hrs|
|Biology with lab*||4||6|
|General Chemistry with lab*||8||12|
|Organic Chemistry with lab*||4||6|
|Math (college algebra or above)||3||4|
|Social and Behavioral Sciences (Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, etc.)||6||9|
*All science prerequisites must be courses designed for science majors. No survey courses will fulfill science prerequisites. Courses with an online laboratory component will not meet any biology or chemistry prerequisite. In addition, advanced placement credit received at the undergraduate level may not satisfy biology or chemistry prerequisites. For Advanced Placement (AP) credit earned in biology or chemistry, MWU may request the submission of appropriate documentation (as determined by MWU) to verify the AP credit earned meets the program's admission standards.
**Courses accepted for the English Composition prerequisite include rhetoric, composition, technical writing, and courses designated as writing intensive by the institution.
Midwestern University's Master of Medical Science (M.M.S.) in Physician Assistant Studies is a continuous, full-time program extending 27 months from matriculation to graduation. The Physician Assistant (PA) professional curriculum offers students the opportunity to earn a graduate degree and satisfy the eligibility requirements for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). 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 likely 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 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 didactic coursework includes 12 months of basic science coursework in anatomy, biochemistry, neuroscience, physiology, pharmacology, immunology, genetics, and microbiology. It also includes clinical coursework in clinical medicine, behavioral medicine, professional issues, and interpretation of the medical literature. During the remaining 15 months, students are required to rotate through eight core clinical rotations and two elective clinical rotations, in addition to completing advanced clinical medicine courses and a capstone project.
The second-year clinical program is primarily delivered at affiliated clinical sites and facilities within the Chicago metropolitan area. These sites are geographically and demographically diverse, reflecting the broad scope of practice opportunities that exist for PAs in the healthcare delivery system of this country. Sites include ambulatory practice settings, small and large office-based group practices, community 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. 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 PA Program will likely be assigned to clinical rotations that reflect the geographic and demographic diversity described above, including distant in-state and out-of state rotations. Subsidized housing is provided for distant in-state and out-of-state core clinical rotations only. Students are expected to secure their own housing for local and elective rotations, and must provide their own transportation to all core and elective clinical rotations regardless of location.
No advanced placement within the PA Program is allowed for prior academic, clinical or life experience. Midwestern University has an articulation agreement that exists between programs. The Program strongly discourages students from seeking outside employment while attending Midwestern University and will not make any exceptions in didactic or clinical workload for any student who chooses to engage in outside employment.
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.
No significant changes in the PA Program admission requirements, academic standards, or curriculum are anticipated for the 2016-2017 academic year.
The mission of the Midwestern University Physician Assistant Program is to develop competent and compassionate physician assistants who will make meaningful contributions to their patients, community and profession.
The goals of the Midwestern University Physician Assistant Program are to: 1) provide a rigorous academic and clinical curriculum and achieve first-time PANCE percentage pass rates above the national average, 2) cultivate an environment of professionalism to encourage the development of competent and compassionate providers, 3) prepare students to serve diverse populations in both primary care and specialty settings, and 4) demonstrate the application of evidence-based medicine and foster a continuous commitment to life-long learning and community involvement as a health care provider.
The Midwestern University PA Program demonstrates achievement of these goals by analyzing the results of student performance in the didactic and clinical year, PA National Certifying Exam (PANCE) pass rates, and regular surveys of graduates, preceptors and employers:*
*February 2016 survey of the graduating class of 2015 (85% of graduates responding)
"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."
Student teams from the Physician Assistant Program won the Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (SAAAPA) National Medical Challenge Bowl Competition in both 2003 and 2006.
|Physcian Assistant||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|Student Services Fee||$640||$640||$160|
|Disability Ins. Fee||$63||$63||$16|
|Books & Supplies||$3088||$826||$0|
See the Midwestern University Catalog for policies and procedures related to refund of tuition and fees.
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued to the Midwestern University-Downers Grove Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Midwestern University. 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 2023. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Standards and ARC-PA policy.
Diane Baldemor is a 2014 graduate of the Physical Therapy Program.
Safi Mohammed, College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM), Class of 2014.
Chessa Calabrese is a proud member of the inaugural class of the College of Dental Medicine-Illinois.
Phil Huang, D.O., is a 2012 graduate of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Tolu Akinwale is a 2013 graduate in the Chicago College of Pharmacy, where he has learned to provide pharmaceutical care in a wide range of community and institutional settings.
Allison Rushing, D.P.T., is a 2012 graduate of the Physical Therapy Program on the Downers Grove Campus.
At age 11, I decided I wanted a career that would allow me to help others.
I cannot wait to be a practitioner who will be able to utilize my understanding of patients’ occupations in therapy in order to help them to live life to the fullest.