Earn a Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies

Nurses get ready for surgery 

This 24-month continuous program is a collaboration between Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona College of Medicine, located in sunny, downtown Phoenix, Arizona. 

The first year of curriculum consists of courses taught at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, and the second year of curriculum includes supervised clinical rotations located in diverse geographical areas of Arizona, as well as regularly scheduled multi-day meetings at the Phoenix campus.

A class of 50 students is admitted in August each year.

Program curriculum 

Requirements for admission 

Tuition and fees 

What is a Physician Assistant (PA)? 

1.  Physician Assistants are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine in a healthcare team. PAs are educated in the medical model designed to complement physician training.

2.  PAs are trained in intensive education programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).

3. Upon graduation, physician assistants take a national certification examination developed by the National Commission on Certification of PAs (NCCPA).

4.  As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and in virtually all states can write prescriptions.  Within the physician-PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services.  A PA’s practice may also include education, research, and administrative services.

Why enroll in this program through Northern Arizona University? 

  • Our program is strong because of Northern Arizona University’s long history of quality Health Science education and is further enhanced by our partnership with the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix.
  • Study occurs in the world-class Health Sciences Education Building with up-to-date technology, simulation center and inter-professional learning environment, and in supervised clinical experiences throughout Arizona.
  • The NAU Department of Physician Assistant Studies offers the only state school PA program in Arizona.
  • The faculty have a long-established reputation for quality PA education and clinical practice.

Our philosophy and what to expect

Our program is based on the philosophy that PAs can make a difference providing healthcare in underserved and rural areas of Arizona. During the clinical year, students will be educated in community health clinics, Indian health service facilities, and other community-based institutions. Students are encouraged to apply to become National Health Service Corps scholars. The program will work with the state’s 5 Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) and the Arizona Alliance of Community Health Centers (AACHC) to identify rural healthcare sites for additional learning experiences.

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