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Master of Science in Physician Assistant

Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant

Master of Science in Physician Assistant

The mission of the Sullivan University Physician Assistant program is to educate future Physician Assistants to provide ethical, quality, and compassionate healthcare as part of an interprofessional team. This includes increasing access to healthcare in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the nation.

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA) Degree program is a rigorous 24-month curriculum consisting of a 12-month didactic phase and a 12-month clinical phase.

Academic and professional growth is monitored closely throughout the program by the program director, the medical director, directors of Didactic and Clinical Education, and the academic, clinical, and course coordinators. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor for assistance and counseling regarding academic progress. If a student is having academic difficulty, he/she is counseled and offered opportunities to make improvements.

Consistent with the goals of Sullivan University, the PA Program is dedicated to providing cutting-edge, educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social, and professional development of its students, whilst instilling the values of teamwork, compassion, excellence, professionalism, integrity, and accountability.

Program Information

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Program Overview & Locations

The didactic year curriculum builds a foundation for clinical practice and focuses on biomedical, clinical, and behavioral sciences as well as courses in physical diagnosis and critical thinking. During the first quarter of the didactic year, students may be introduced to clinical settings through shadowing experiences. In the second quarter, students must begin thinking critically and clinically, correlating classroom knowledge to clinical application through problem and case-based learning scenarios.

The final weeks of the didactic year include written and practical summative examinations — including simulated patient encounters — to assess each student’s preparedness for the clinical year. These examinations must be completed successfully as a requirement for entering the clinical year.

The clinical year consists of seven required clinical rotations and one elective clinical rotation. Each rotation is six weeks in length, and students return to campus the last two days of each rotation for required end-of-rotation testing, lectures, and debriefing sessions. They also begin preparation for their next clinical experience.

During the four months prior to program completion, students will be required to pass an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Failure to successfully complete this examination will result in remediation and retesting. The final two weeks of the clinical year are spent on campus for a summative written examination, completion of a graduate survey, presentations, and review for the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE).

Locations:
Louisville Campus

About the Program

Accreditation

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Sullivan University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Sullivan University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2028. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and the ARC-PA policy.

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

Program Goals

The Sullivan PA program supports the following goals and gives evidence of the effectiveness of its goals.

  • 1. Promote innovation in PA education and professional practice 
    • a. PANCE pass rates –  View PANCE Scores
    • b. PACKRAT I and II National exam scores (see outcomes report below)
    • c. Strategic Plan updates (link located below curriculum section)
  • 2. Foster a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion in PA education, the profession, and in patient care
    • a. Admissions demographic data (see outcomes report below)
    • b. DEI is also discussed as part of the student advising sessions (see schedule in outcomes report below) and in coursework in the Clinical Problem Solving sequence (PA 536 and 552) and Patient History and Physical Examination sequence (PA 523, 533, and 549).
    • c. Strategic Plan updates (link located below curriculum section)
  • 3. Facilitate collaborative relationships both within the PA profession and interprofessionally
    • a. IPE activity description (see outcomes report below)
    • b. Guest lecturer description (see outcomes report below)
    • c. Healthcare Panels description (see outcomes report below)
    • d. Strategic Plan updates (link located below curriculum section)
  • 4. Develop PA professional lifelong learners, providers, and scholars
    • a. Publication and presentation numbers (see outcomes report below the goals)
    • b. End of Rotation day presentation (see outcomes report below)
    • c. Strategic Plan updates (link located below curriculum section)
  • 5. Advocate for the PA profession and patients we serve
    • a. List advocacy activities (see outcomes report below the goals)
    • b. Strategic Plan updates (link located below curriculum section)

2021-2022 Outcomes Report

Attrition Information

View College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences PA Program ARD-PA Student Attrition

Admissions

Learn more about the Physician Assistant Admissions process

Curriculum

SU COPHS offers a 24-month Master of Science Physician Assistant program that supports and prepares students to meet the programmatic goals. The first professional year has four 11-week quarters which consist of 10 weeks of instruction, 1 week of final assessments and a 2-week break before the next quarter begins. The second professional year is divided into four 12-week quarters which consist of two 6-week rotation blocks with a one-week break between each. The minimum credit hours required for the program completion is 149.50.

View PA Curriculum

View PA Course Descriptions