About Our Program
Welcome to the Department of Physician Assistant Studies (PAS). We are very pleased that you are interested in the physician assistant profession. We believe our program is one part of the answer to the critical health care needs of South Texas. The PAS curriculum is designed to prepare primary care physician assistants. Our classroom, laboratory, and supervised clinical practice experiences emphasize primary care, community service (with community broadly defined), and health care in the rural and underserved areas of South Texas.
The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio’s physician assistant program is administratively housed in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies in the School of Health Professions. The curriculum was approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in April 2000 and the first class of students matriculated in that fall. A professional master’s degree was approved by the Coordinating Board in April 2001 and the first master’s class matriculated in fall 2003.
The master’s curriculum is 26 months in length with 12 months (2 semesters) in the didactic phase and 14 months (3 semesters) in the clinical phase. The curriculum is designed to emphasize primary care and service to South Texas. All students are required to complete a minimum of two supervised clinical rotations in an underserved or rural site(s). Students must be prepared to be away from San Antonio for a period of time and to assume the costs of these rotations. The capstone for the Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) is a Community Service or Community Medicine Project. The course of study is demanding, intense, and rigorous. Class size is limited to a total of 35 students.
ACCREDITION AND LICENSURE
The 2011 edition of US New and World Report ranked the program at 18th among graduate physician assistant programs in the United States. In 2010, the UT Health Science Center Master of Physician Assistant Studies program was fully re-accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc., 12000 Findley Road, Suite 240, Duluth, GA, 30097; phone (770) 476-1224, fax (770) 476-1738; http://www.arc-pa.org. Graduates of the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) given by the National Commission for Certification of Physician Assistants. Passing the PANCE is required for licensure in all states.