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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.

The program's accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website.

M.S. Physician Assistant Studies

Instructor teaching students how to use an ear inspection device in a lab setting

Tour our Health Science Center

FAST FACTS: M.S. Physician Assistant Studies

  • The only Physician Assistant (PA) Master's program north of the Twin Cities
  • Innovative curriculum, high-tech classrooms
  • Interprofessional education with Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Social Work, Health Information Management, Athletic Training, Exercise Physiology and Nursing programs
  • A PA school with a rural healthcare focus
  • 28-month program, including summers

Tuition: $867/credit*

*Tuition rates are for the 2021-22 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. The tuition for 2020-21 is $899/credit.

We need Physician Assistants. We need you.

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.

Mission statement

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.

Program aims

  • Teach across the lifespan to prepare graduates for practice in every setting
  • Emphasize curriculum and clinical education around rural and underserved populations to prepare graduates to practice in these areas
  • Provide interprofessional experiences to create “team-care-ready” PAs
  • Provide outstanding PAs for our regional healthcare systems
  • Practice inclusive excellence in every experience and encounter
  • Develop leadership skills to prepare PAs to be a valued member of the medical team
  • Encourage dedication to our communities and the people we serve
  • Incorporate our Benedictine values into our professional work
  • Demonstrate the value of lifelong learning
  • Add value to and enrich the PA profession
  • Achieve Program Goals

The St. Scholastica advantage

  • Small class sizes — meaning that every student receives abundant individual attention
  • Practice interprofessional teamwork that's required in the workplace by collaborating with graduate students in a variety of health professions, including Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Athletic Training, Health Informatics, Exercise Physiology, Nursing and Social Work
  • Clinical placements throughout the Midwest and with populations where jobs are abundant — primary care and rural settings
  • Collaboration with regional health systems known for excellent clinical education — including two local Level I and II trauma designated, award-winning healthcare systems that offer over 75 specialties
  • Innovative curriculum using medical simulation software and online textbooks
  • Classes held in a state-of-the-art building featuring the latest in simulation, telehealth and technology-supported patient care equipment
  • All from an institution that is the region’s leader in health science education

Career outlook

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 for PAs will grow by 31 percent between 2019 and 2029. As demand for healthcare services grows, PAs will be needed to provide care to patients.

What does a PA do?

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 Health Science Center at BlueStone: A beautiful place to learn

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, The Vue at BlueStone 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.

Next Steps...

Receive Program Info and Financial Aid Options
  • Detailed program overview
  • Personalized financial aid
  • Individual admissions support

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Contact Us

Courtney EickmanCourtney Eickman
Assistant Director, Enrollment Management
(218) 625-4823
Schedule a Meeting

  • Portrait of Marissa Engelson

    "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

  • Portrait of Jacob Bottelberghe

    "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


The Convenience of Bluestone

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