The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to The College of St. Scholastica Physician Assistant Studies 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.
FAST FACTS: M.S. Physician Assistant Studies
* Tuition rates are for the 2019-20 academic year. Additional fees and costs for course materials may apply. Total program cost and completion time varies depending on transfer credits and individual program plans. Tuition rates are subject to change. View 2018-19 tuition rates.
As healthcare costs continue to rise and the number of physicians continues to decline, the demand for non-physician healthcare providers has boomed — especially in rural areas, where resources and providers are especially scarce. That's why The College of St. Scholastica pursued the development of a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program. For more than 100 years, The College of St. Scholastica has been committed to meeting the healthcare needs of rural areas in Minnesota and neighboring states. Those needs led to the creation of our nursing program in the 1930s and the initial development of our PA program today.
In accordance with our Benedictine values, the College of St. Scholastica's Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program's mission 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.
As healthcare providers try to combat the rising costs, the demand for PAs is increasing dramatically. In fact, The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of PAs is projected to grow 37 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. As demand for healthcare services grows, PAs will be needed to provide care to patients.
This is especially true in Minnesota, which has the third-highest occupational demand for physician assistants among all states, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, producing occupational vacancies at the rate of 80 new jobs per year — many in rural areas.
Physician Assistants (PAs) are health professionals who are nationally certified and state licensed to practice medicine and prescribe medication in every medical and surgical specialty and setting. PAs practice and prescribe in 50 states, the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories with the exception of Puerto Rico. PAs are educated at the graduate level, receiving a Master's degree or higher. In order to maintain national certification, PAs are required to recertify as medical generalists every 10 years and complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years.
PA education is modeled on physician education and PAs perform a comprehensive range of medical duties, from basic primary care to high-technology specialty procedures. PAs often act as first or second assistants in major surgery and provide pre- and postoperative care.
In some rural areas where physicians are in short supply, PAs serve as the primary providers of health care, collaborating with physicians and other medical professionals as needed and as required by law.
The PA Studies program is located in the Health Science Center located in the BlueStone development about 1 mile from the Duluth main campus. BlueStone is a vibrant retail and housing development featuring BlueStone Lofts and BlueStone Flats, premium on-site housing options for students. The Health Science Center includes state-of-the-art labs and classroom space, as well as study and lounge areas. It also features maurices Community Clinic, an interdisciplinary clinic where students receive supervised hands-on experience working with uninsured or underinsured individuals.
Assistant Director, Enrollment Management
"The PA program provides a welcoming environment, allowing for success in our education. The curriculum is well-rounded and includes education on disease management, interviewing and examination techniques, and clinical skills including suturing and casting. This approach leaves us prepared and more confident before entering clinical rotations."
– Marissa Engelson, '19
"I have had a great experience in the [PA] program so far, and my interactions with faculty have always been excellent. We do a lot of work with mannequins that are very lifelike and have also had simulated patient encounters, which will help me when I get into practice."
– Jacob Bottelberghe, '19
Connect with a BlueStone housing representative about on-site housing options.