Academic Catalog 2020-2021

Slippery Rock University

Physician Assistant Studies, Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS)

The Physician Assistant (PA) Program at Slippery Rock University offers a challenging curriculum leading to a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. The program will be the second PA Program in the Pennsylvania System of Higher Education, having achieved Accreditation-Provisional status.

Accreditation Status

At its March 2020 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) placed the Slippery Rock University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Slippery Rock University on Accreditation-Probation status until its next review in March 2022.

Probation is a temporary status of accreditation conferred when a program does not meet the Standards and when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.

Once placed on probation, programs that still fail to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk having their accreditation withdrawn.

Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s).

Slippery Rock University is approved to offer programs that may lead to licensure/certification in Pennsylvania. SRU does not guarantee that programs which fulfill Pennsylvania licensing requirements will satisfy the criteria of professional licensure boards in other states, as each jurisdiction has unique requirements for licensure/certification eligibility which are subject to change at any time and without notice.  

We invite you to review the licensing board contact resource to seek guidance on the requirements of licensure/certification in your home state or where you would like to practice professionally. 

The Physician Assistant Studies 24-month program is a combination of academic and clinical instruction, team instruction, and collaborative outreach taught in unique learning environments. Academically and professionally qualified faculty, clinicians, and experts will provide a strong foundation in evidence-based practice, direct patient/client management, and prevention and wellness services that focus on the life cycle needs of the U.S. population.

The program provides an emphasis on special populations interwoven throughout academic and clinical years, which makes SRU’s Physician Assistant Program unique. Successful graduates will be prepared to sit for the national exam. SRU graduates will learn to adapt to the ever-changing medical profession, while becoming gainfully employed as mid-level medical care providers and filling the medical needs of the region.

The program is delivered over six continuous terms (summer, fall, spring) and includes three semesters of academic work and then three semesters of clerkships (10 internships). Students will also participate in half-day clinical experiences during the academic year and educational experiences during the clinical year.

The overarching objective of the PA Program is to prepare future physician assistants; who demonstrate competencies or ability to acquire competencies in effective and appropriate application of medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, patient care, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice; to practice patient-centered care in a team environment, while advancing the profession and helping to meet the medical needs of the region, state, nation, and world.

NOTE to Slippery Rock University 3+2 Pre-PA Students Entering the Physician Assistant Program
Should 3+2 Physician Assistant students be unsuccessful in completing the MSPAS program and want to complete their original undergraduate degree, it is solely up to the discretion of their undergraduate department chairperson to determine which, if any, physician assistant courses will count toward the completion of their undergraduate degree. In addition, students must complete any unfulfilled requirements of his/her undergraduate major. Participation in the undergraduate commencement ceremony takes place after the first fall semester of the Physician Assistant Program is successfully completed.

* The graduating class of 2019 credit requirement is 111.5 credits.

* The graduating class of 2020 credit requirement is 105.9 credits due to curricular changes.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Apply basic science knowledge to the medical sciences.
  • Demonstrate competency in clinical procedures performed by Physician Assistants.
  • Demonstrate ability to perform a complete history and physical examination.
  • Demonstrate ability to diagnose disease and create an appropriate treatment plan.
  • Demonstrate the use of Evidence-Based Medicine to effectively diagnose and treat patients.
  • Demonstrate cross-cultural and socioeconomic sensitivity in clinical practice settings involving special patient populations.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills in a healthcare setting.
  • Demonstrate the ability to collaborate within an interprofessional health care team.
  • Demonstrate ethical decision making in the practice of medicine.
  • Participate in professional societies the promote PA practice and advancement.

Related Links

Physician Assistant Studies, MS Program Page

Physician Assistant Studies Department Page

Professional Licensure/Certification Page

Curriculum Guide

Summer Didactic-Year Requirements
PA 601The Physician Assistant Profession1
PA 612Clinical Anatomy and Physiology with Lab I3
PA 616Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics I2
PA 640Clinical History and Physical Diagnosis with Lab I4
PA 646Evidence Based Public Health3
PA 651Clinical Medicine with Lab I4
PA 654Special Populations I1
Subtotal18
Fall Didactic-Year Requirements
PA 603Clinical Skills Lab I1
PA 621Geriatrics1
PA 622Clinical Anatomy & Physiology with Lab II3
PA 626Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics II3
PA 630Pediatrics1
PA 642Clinical History and Physical Diagnosis with Lab II4
PA 661Clinical Medicine with Lab II5
PA 664Special Populations II1
Subtotal19
Spring Didactic-Year Requirements
PA 604Emergency Medicine1
PA 607Clinical Skills Lab II1
PA 632Clinical Anatomy & Physiology with Lab III3
PA 636Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics III3
PA 644Clinical History and Physical Diagnosis with Lab III4
PA 671Clinical Medicine with Lab III5
PA 674Special Populations III1
PA 677Clinical Exposure Practicum0.5
Subtotal18.5
Summer Clinical-Year Requirements
PA 701From Theory to Practice I2
PA 771Clinical Clerkships Experience I (Two 4.5-week rotations, and one 3-week rotation.)12.6
Subtotal14.6
Fall Clinical-Year Requirements
PA 702From Theory to Practice II2
PA 772Clinical Clerkships Experience II (Three 4.5-week rotations.)14.4
Subtotal16.4
Winter Clinical-Year Requirements
PA 773Clinical Clerkship Experiene III3
Subtotal3
Spring Clinical-Year Requirements
PA 703From Theory to Practice III2
PA 774Clinical Clerkships Experience IV (Three 4.5-week rotations.)14.4
Subtotal16.4
Total Hours105.9

Important Curriculum Guide Notes

This Curriculum Guide is provided to help SRU students and prospective students better understand their intended major curriculum. Enrolled SRU students should note that the My Rock Audit may place already-earned and/or in progress courses in different, yet valid, curriculum categories. Enrolled SRU students should use the My Rock Audit Report and materials and information provided by their faculty advisers to ensure accurate progress towards degree completion. The information on this guide is current as of the date listed. Students are responsible for curriculum requirements at the time of enrollment at the University.

PASSHE - Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Institutions

Major Code: 9PAS