Make a difference in health care as a physician assistant.
As a physician assistant, you’ll be an integral member of the health care team, working with physicians to meet the needs of society’s patients. You’ll serve in all medical specialties, treating patients’ illnesses and injuries, as well as educating them on wellness and disease prevention.
You’ll exercise autonomy in decision-making and provide a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. Physician assistant practice is patient-care centered, but may include national and international opportunities to serve in clinical, educational, research and administrative roles.
Shenandoah’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies is a comprehensive graduate entry-level professional program that prepares you for primary care practice. The program emphasizes service to medically underserved populations and a team approach to the delivery of health care.
Recognized by US News & World Report as one of the top 20 PA programs in the nation. We have the youngest program on the list!
Why become a Physician Assistant
Shenandoah University understands that physician assistants are in demand. U.S. News & World Report calls the fast-growing job category the 10th best of 2015.
Learn More About This Program
The Shenandoah University Physician Assistant Program is a graduate entry-level professional course of study enabling individuals who hold baccalaureate degrees to become PAs. The program is designed to prepare graduates for primary-care practice with emphasis on service to medically underserved populations and the team approach to the delivery of health care.
I decided on Shenandoah because of its excellence in pass rates, the inviting and friendly atmosphere from the staff and students, and the emphasis they place on outreach and global missions. I believe this university integrates my two passions: medicine and serving others through missions. They provide a comprehensive foundation for primary care and present many volunteer opportunities, preparing me to pursue my skills in any location or setting. Throughout my time at school, I constantly feel welcomed, encouraged, and confident that I chose the best career.”
Joshua Harris '15
I chose SU because of their superior dedication to provide medical service in rural or underserved communities. The facility, atmosphere, and welcoming faculty and students further led to my choice to attend SU. I believe this program can assist in taking my aspirations to serve the less fortunate groups of people to the next level, and I am incredibly happy with my decision."
Emily Engel '14
|Shenandoah University||PA Programs Nationally|
|30 Months||26 Months|
|16 Months Didactic||11-12 Months Didactic|
|42 + 15 students each class||45 students each class|
|Master's Degree awarded||93% Award Master's Degrees|
|Total Cost: $86,500||Total Cost: $87,000|
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Shenandoah University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Shenandoah University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.
Employment of Physician Assistants is projected to grow 38% from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Increased demand for healthcare services from the growing and aging population and widespread chronic disease, combined with a shortage of physicians, is resulting in an increased demand for Physician Assistants.
Physician Assistants (PAs) are health-care professionals who practice as part of a team with a physician. PAs exercise autonomy in decision-making and provide a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic services with physician supervision. The role of the PA includes provision of primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practices located in rural, urban or suburban areas. PA practice is patient-care centered but may include education, research and administrative duties.
SUPA allowed me opportunity to grow both academically and professionally. While studying occupied much of my time, I also participated in the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) nationally. I attended the AAPA national conference two years in a row, and was elected to several positions that showed me the inner workings of our most important professional organization. I was well prepared to join the Air Force when I graduated.”
Ricky Martin '11
The program integrates graduate-level critical thinking and analysis, problem solving, scientific inquiry, self-directed learning and the effective use of modern technology for professional practice that includes elements of research, leadership, education and continued enhancement of the physician assistant profession.
You’ll learn how to:
- obtain medical histories, build patient relationships and perform appropriate physical examinations
- order and interpret diagnostic and therapeutic modalities
- establish diagnoses and develop and implement appropriate, evidence-based treatment plans
Shenandoah’s program is multimodal and case-based, with small-group learning and a primary care focus. Our clinical integration cases develop and enhance the critical thinking skills you’ll need to serve real patients.
Courses are taught by experienced professionals in a collegial, compassionate learning atmosphere, and we offer an interprofessional teaching and learning environment, including courses seminar and location. The program offers clinical rotations in medically underserved communities, and hands-on experience in full-dissection cadaver anatomy. You can further enhance your learning with elective course opportunities in Care of Vulnerable Populations, Chronic Care and Communication (e.g. Medical Spanish).
The curriculum design, offered in didactic and experiential components, is based upon the concepts of adult-centered learning and professional education, which focus on mastery of knowledge, skills and attitudes required by the graduate to practice effectively as a physician assistant. The didactic curriculum offers multiple modalities for learning, which include self-directed study, recitation, lecture, integrated clinical cases and laboratory experiences. These modalities assist students in developing the necessary skills to be self-directed life-long learners and effectively apply what they learn in the clinical setting. The clinical curriculum provides core primary care and other learning experiences where students apply knowledge and skills in patient care settings under the supervision and mentoring by licensed health care providers.
Our accomplished and caring faculty serve as mentors beyond the classroom. Our faculty actively serve the profession through professional organizations and all practice clinically. As a team, they prepare you to serve as a compassionate physician assistant, critical thinker and ethical leader. You’ll benefit from small class sizes that enable faculty members to provide individualized attention and nurture your academic and professional development.
Professor & Program DirectorFull Biography
Learn about the necessary steps and qualifications to be considered for Shenandoah University's Physician Assistant Studies program.
Due to the volume of applications received each year, we are unable to offer individual appointments or the service of reviewing prerequisite courses for candidates who have yet to apply to the Shenandoah PA Program through CASPA. See the FAQ section on evaluation of transcripts or courses for additional information.
Candidates are STRONGLY encouraged to attend one of the information sessions at Shenandoah University.
Make reservations for the information sessions online. Please note that reservations must be made 72 hours in advance of the Open House date for you to receive an acknowledgement email by the Physician Assistant Program. For directions and the agenda view the information sessions agenda information.
- Submit all application materials to the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) at https://caspa.liaisoncas.com/
- Submit official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing) scores taken with 10 years of application.
- A bachelor’s degree from a college or university regionally- accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education
- A minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA)
- A minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) science
- A minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) Shenandoah University prerequisite GPA
- Applicants must complete the following prerequisite coursework (documented via official transcripts) with a grade of C or better, though a grade of A or B is competitive:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab – 2 semesters/8 credits
- General or Introductory Chemistry with lab – 1 semester/4 credits
- Biochemistry – 1 semester/3 credits or organic chemistry with lab – 1 semester/4 credits
- Microbiology with lab – 1 semester/4 credits
- Abnormal Psychology – 1 semester/3 credits
- Developmental Psychology (Child or Life Span) – 1 semester/3 credits
- Mathematics (preferably statistics) – 1 semester/3 credits
- Medical Terminology – 1 semester/1-3 credits.
PA & MPH Dual Degree Option
The Physician Assistant Studies & Master Of Public Health Dual Degree Program offers students an opportunity to earn a Master Of Public Health Degree (MPH) in conjunction with training in the Physician Assistant (PA) Studies program.
The purpose of the dual Physician Assistant/Master of Public Health program is to graduate highly qualified health professionals who have obtained competencies necessary to succeed in the rapidly evolving health system. The dual program prepares students to enter a wide range of PA and public health positions that address today’s most challenging population health care issues.