Physician Assistant Master's Program

Master of Science In Physician Assistant Studies


The mission of the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program is to educate physician assistant students within a comprehensive, interprofessional and innovative curriculum to provide high-quality care across the lifespan and meet the healthcare needs of our region. The PA program is a 24-month full-time program, consisting of 107 credits, held in Duluth at the Health Science Center. 


The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation - Provisional status to The College of St. Scholastica Physician Assistant Program sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program's ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.


  1. Completion of a bachelor's degree at a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. Minimum cumulative and prerequisite GPAs of 3.0.
  3. All prerequisites must have a minimum grade of "C."
    • Organic Chemistry I and II
    • Biochemistry
    • Anatomy and Physiology I and II
    • Microbiology
    • Lifespan Development Psychology
    • Medical Terminology
    • Statistics
  4. 750 hours of paid direct patient/client work experience (HCE) is strongly encouraged. A successful applicant will typically have greater than 750 HCE hours. An applicant may still apply while actively completing HCE hours and will have the opportunity to describe plans for completion on the CASPA application. Typical experiences may include CNA, personal care attendant through an agency, EMT, paramedic, scribe, or other healthcare professional. The key part of this requirement is that the experience must involve direct, face-to-face service with the patient/client. 
  5. Applicants must be able to demonstrate knowledge of the role and responsibilities of a PA.
  6. Applicants are required to complete the GRE. GRE scores must be obtained within five years of application.

Preferred minimum scores:

      • Analytical writing: 4.0
      • Quantitative: 144
      • Verbal: 146

Note: Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission. Exceptions to minimum criteria may be made at the discretion of the admissions committee.


The first twelve months of the program include the following didactic courses:

  • Functional Anatomy I, II -- PAS 6700, PAS 6710
  • Clinical Skills I, II, III -- PAS 6000, PAS 6010, PAS 6020
  • Fundamentals of Medicine I, II, III, -- PAS 6300, PAS 6310, PAS 6320
  • Pharmacology I, II, III, -- PAS 6400, PAS 6410, PAS 6420
  • History and Physical Exam I, II, III -- PAS 6100, PAS 6110, PAS 6120
  • Problem Solving in Medicine I, II -- PAS 6600, PAS 6610
  • PA Professional Issues I, II, III -- PAS 6200, PAS 6210, PAS 6220
  • Clinical Medicine I, II, III -- PAS 6500, PAS 6510, PAS 6520
  • Research Design and Evidenced Based Medicine -- PAS 6800
  • Public Health and Healthcare Issues -- PAS 6900
  • Topics in Interprofessional Collaborative Practice -- PAS 6777

Clinical Experiences

Twelve months of clinical rotations are required during the second year of the program. These experiences include:

  • Primary Care Rotation I, II, III -- PAS 6970, PAS 6972, PAS 6974
  • Women's Health Rotation -- PAS 6954
  • Pediatrics Rotation -- PAS 6952
  • General Surgery Rotation -- PAS 6958
  • Emergency Medicine Rotation -- PAS 6950
  • Inpatient Medicine Rotation -- PAS 6960
  • Behavioral Health Rotation -- PAS 6956
  • Neurology/Musculoskeletal Rotation -- PAS 6962
  • Elective Rotation I, II -- PAS 6980, PAS 6982
  • Capstone -- PAS 6990


To become a certified PA following completion of a Master's program, you must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), a computer-based, multiple-choice test comprising questions that assess basic medical and surgical knowledge.