Physician's Assistant Colleges and Universities in the U.S.
Physician's assistants hold at least a bachelor's degree, and a master's degree is becoming more commonly expected by employers. Unlike medical assistants who primarily focus on clerical tasks, a PA may take histories, order and interpret tests, provide treatment and otherwise provide a variety of medical services under the direct supervision of a physician. Choose a good physician's assistant degree program by using the following tips.
Selecting a College with a Physicians Assistant Program
Only consider colleges and universities accredited by their regional accreditation council. Physician's assistant degree programs should be accredited by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, which also offers a certifying exam which is required for licensure in many states. Check that these accreditations are in place, as a degree from a non-accredited training program may not be accepted when you apply for your license.
Physician's assistants assist doctors in a variety of capacities, including surgery. Consider the practice opportunities offered by the setting and facilities of the college or university. You may be most interested in working in an advanced cancer care center, a hectic inner-city emergency room or a small rural outreach hospital, for example.
Some physician's assistant training colleges are associated with a renowned medical school or university hospital with a specialty that intrigues you. Consider the school's reputation and that of its faculty, especially in your area of interest.
Finally, look at class schedules and college costs, including extra lab fees and other expenses beyond tuition and books. In-state public colleges are usually less expensive than out-of-state or private schools. Check with the financial aid office to find out about special scholarships or grants that may be available to you, particularly if you are willing to begin your professional career in an underserved area.
List of Largest Schools With Physician Assistant Programs, by Student Population
|College or University||Student Population||Institution Type|
|University of Florida||51,474||4-year, Public|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||41,620||4-year, Public|
|University of Washington-Seattle Campus||39,675||4-year, Public|
|University of Southern California||33,747||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Wayne State University||31,024||4-year, Public|
|University of Iowa||29,152||4-year, Public|
|Nova Southeastern University||28,378||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|University of Utah||28,211||4-year, Public|
|East Carolina University||27,677||4-year, Public|
|Central Michigan University||27,225||4-year, Public|
|University of Kentucky||26,054||4-year, Public|
|Northeastern University||25,837||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|University of New Mexico-Main Campus||25,754||4-year, Public|
|George Washington University||25,116||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Western Michigan University||24,818||4-year, Public|
|Stony Brook University||23,991||4-year, Public|
|Grand Valley State University||23,892||4-year, Public|
|University of Toledo||22,336||4-year, Public|
|University of Colorado Denver||21,903||4-year, Public|
|Drexel University||21,537||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
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