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    Aug 09, 2020  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physician Assistant Studies, M.P.A.S.

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Degree Information

Priority Admission Application Deadlines:

Spring April - (Contact department for exact date)

Minimum Total Hours: 90
Level: Masters
CIP Code: 51.0912
Dept Code: MPA
Major/College: MPA / MCOM
Approved Effective Fall 2016

Contact Information

College: Morsani College of Medicine
Department Physician Assistant Program

Contact information

The goal of the USF PA Major is to prepare its graduates to deliver high-quality, evidence-based, patient-centered health care. This is accomplished through a robust, systems-based curriculum. The major (delivered over 24 continuous months) begins with a rigorous 12-month phase in basic and medical sciences. Educational methodologies include traditional lecture, clinical simulation, team-based problem solving, and hands-on laboratory learning experiences – often delivered with students from other USF health students. The 12-month clinical phase follows and students engage in approximately 2300 hours of supervised clinical practice experiences. Students will participate in the following five week, core clinical clerkships: Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Women’s Health, Behavioral and Mental Health, and two elective clerkships. Upon successful completion of the two-year curriculum, the student is awarded the Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree. The graduate is then eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).


The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation - Provisional status to the USF Morsani College of Medicine Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the University of South Florida. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed major that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the degree 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.

Admission Information

All applicants to the USF MCOM PA major must apply through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).

Degree, GPA and GRE

  • Degree and prerequisite coursework taken outside of the U.S. is not accepted (regardless if made equivalent by a U.S. institution).
  • Science GPA of 3.0;
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Test is required– official scores are required and must be from tests taken within the past five years.
  • GRE Scores are to be sent directly to CASPA. The Univ South Florida PA Prgm CASPA GRE code 8854. (DO NOT use USF institution code of 5828).
  • Transfer credit or Admission with Advanced Standing from another PA major is not accepted. All curriculum requirements for the major are required for graduation and must be completed at the USF PA major.

Prerequisites Coursework

  • CLEP (College Level Examination Program), AP (Advanced Placement), IB (International Baccalaureate), and AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education) course credit may not be used or substituted to meet prerequisite requirements. Dual enrollment course credits from an accredited college or university are acceptable for prerequisites.
  • Prerequisite coursework must be completed by the end of the fall semester preceding matriculation.
  • Courses designed for non-science majors will not be accepted.
  • All prerequisites are required for an applicant to be considered for acceptance into the PA program.
  • Veterans are encouraged to apply, and as all other applicants, must meet all the prerequisites for admissions. Veterans with questions regarding prerequisite course work should contact the PA program. Please provide a copy of the Joint Services Transcript with course descriptions to determine if the course in question satisfies the prescribed prerequisite.
  • The courses listed below are required for acceptance into the PA program. o Biology with Laboratory – 1 semester
    • Microbiology with Laboratory – 1 semester
    • Chemistry with Laboratory – 2 semesters
    • Organic Chemistry with Laboratory – 1 semester
    • Organic Chemistry II OR Biochemistry – 1 semester
    • Anatomy & Physiology with Laboratory – 2 semesters
    • Medical Terminology – 1 semester or course

Experience in Healthcare Setting

  • A minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care experience in a health care setting must be completed prior to application.
  • Hands-on patient care experiences may come from a variety of places. The extent to which an applicant is actually involved in patient care will be weighed based on the description of the applicant’s duties during those hours. The title of a position is not as important as the duties the applicant performed in terms of patient contact and interaction with the patients and other healthcare providers (physicians, PAs, nurses, etc.)
  • Example as of direct patient care experiences may include, but are not limited to EMT, paramedic, medical assistant, scribe, patient care tech, nurse, surgical tech, athletic trainer, physical therapy aide, etc.
  • Applicants will submit verifiable information regarding their health care experiences on CASPA.
  • Shadowing experiences are not accepted as direct patient care.

Letters of Recommendation

  • Three letters of recommendation are required.
  • Letters should be from Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Research Mentors, Professors, Volunteer Coordinators/Supervisors who had direct interaction with the applicant and can attest to his/her qualities, strengthens and suitability for a career as a Physician Assistant.
    • One letter of a recommendation must be from someone who supervised the applicant in a clinical setting.
    • Letters should not be from a peer or family member.


  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien
    • Permanent Resident Alien must possess a valid Green Card at the time of application. Documentation will be required.
  • In State or Out of State for tuition purposes

Curriculum Requirements:

Total minimum hours required: 90 hours post-baccalaureate

Curriculum for Year 1

Summer (18 Credit Hours)

  • Anatomy I Credit(s): 2
  • Pathophysiological Basis of Disease I Credit(s): 3
  • Clinical Medicine I Credit(s): 5
  • Clinical Pharmacology I Credit(s): 3
  • Physical Diagnosis I Credit(s): 2
  • Role of the Physician Assistant in American Healthcare Credit(s): 1
  • Clinical Laboratory and Diagnostics I Credit(s): 2

Fall (18 Credits Hours)

  • Anatomy II Credit(s): 2
  • Pathophysiological Basis of Disease II Credit(s): 3
  • Clinical Medicine II Credit(s): 5
  • Clinical Pharmacology II Credit(s): 3
  • Physical Diagnosis II Credit(s): 2
  • Biostatistics and Epidemiology: An Introduction to Clinical Research Credit(s): 1
  • Clinical Laboratory and Diagnostics II Credit(s): 1
  • Basic Medical Genetics Credit(s): 1

Spring (17 Credit Hours)

  • Clinical Medicine III Credit(s): 8
  • Advanced Clinical Pharmacotherapeutics Credit(s): 3
  • Clinical Skills and Procedures Credit(s): 2
  • Evidence-Based Medicine Credit(s): 1
  • Behavioral Medicine Credit(s): 2
  • Cultural Issues in Healthcare Credit(s): 1

Curriculum for Year 2

  • Capstone Research Project Credit(s): 1
  • Internal Medicine Credit(s): 4 (Length of Clerkship Weeks: 5)
  • Surgery Credit(s): 4 (Length of Clerkship Weeks: 5)
  • Pediatrics Credit(s): 4 (Length of Clerkship Weeks: 5)
  • Family Medicine Credit(s): 4 (Length of Clerkship Weeks: 5)
  • Women’s Health Credit(s): 4 (Length of Clerkship Weeks: 5)
  • Emergency Medicine Credit(s): 4 (Length of Clerkship Weeks: 5)
  • Behavioral and Mental Health Credit(s): 4 (Length of Clerkship Weeks: 5)
  • Elective Credit(s): 8 (Length of Clerkship Weeks: 10)

Core Course Requirements

All courses above.


Students chose clinical electives in year two of the major.

Comprehensive Exam

Capstone Research Project

The major culminates in a required capstone research project. The goal of the capstone research project is to develop competency in the critical appraisal of research and the application of the best evidence to patient care, health policy, and advocacy; ultimately resulting in improved patient outcomes.



Upon graduation, the MPAS graduate will be eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

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