Physician's Assistant Colleges and Universities in the U.S.

Physician's assistants (PAs) must hold bachelor's degrees, but master's degrees are becoming more commonly expected by employers. PAs take histories, order and interpret tests, provide treatment and other medical services under a physician's supervision.

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Selecting a College with a Physician's Assistant Program

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 support 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.

Largest Schools 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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