Physician Assistant Studies Program

College of Health Sciences, Glendale Campus

Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies (M.M.S.)

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The College of Health Sciences' Physician Assistant Program offers you a student-centered environment in which you can develop skills as a compassionate, competent physician assistant in an ever-changing healthcare environment. Faculty mentors, interprofessional education and service, and self-directed learning help you to learn what it takes to provide critical services such as patient diagnoses, minor surgical procedures, emergency medicine, and health counseling and education. We will work with you to build your career as a member of tomorrow's healthcare team.


Glendale, AZ

27 months, full-time


Class Size

Graduation Rate

The professional curriculum leads to a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies (M.M.S.). This full-time 27-month professional program offers students the opportunity to earn a graduate degree and satisfy the eligibility requirements for the PA National Certifying Examination (PANCE). The PA Program does not offer an extended course of study beyond the usual length of the program. The maximum allotted time for completion of this program is 40.5 months. The roles and specific clinical duties and responsibilities that graduates can expect to experience will vary depending on their chosen career path. PA Program graduates are expected to have the ability to competently perform patient histories and physicals, gather pertinent patient data, order and interpret diagnostic studies, recognize common diseases and disorders, choose appropriate therapeutic modalities, perform minor surgical procedures, manage emergency life-threatening conditions, promote health through counseling, education, and disease prevention, and demonstrate interpersonal skills consistent with the physician assistant role. The program is a combination of didactic and clinical education with the first 13.5 months covering a variety of didactic courses.

The didactic coursework includes basic medical science coursework in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics and microbiology. It also includes clinical preparatory coursework in clinical medicine, pediatrics, behavioral medicine, psychiatry, women's health, emergency medicine and surgical principles. During the remaining 13.5 months, students rotate through seven required core clinical rotations and two elective rotations.

The second-year clinical program is delivered at affiliated clinical sites and facilities. These sites are geographically and demographically diverse, reflecting the broad scope of practice opportunities that exist for PAs in the health care delivery system of this country. Sites include ambulatory practice settings, small and large office-based group practices, community and migrant health centers, in-patient settings involving large and small hospitals, as well as federal and state facilities. These sites are in urban, suburban, and rural communities. In addition, the program has established formal affiliations with clinical facilities and practitioners in Arizona and a number of other states. As part of the clinical education phase of the program, students enrolled in the MWU PA Program will likely be assigned to clinical rotations that reflect this geographic and demographic diversity. Students are required to complete a minimum of one clinical rotation in a rural/medically-underserved community. Subsidized housing is provided for distant in-state and out-of-state core clinical rotations only. Students are expected to secure their own housing for local and elective rotations, and must provide their own transportation to all core and elective clinical rotations regardless of location.

For more information on the specific curriculum browse our online catalog or you can download a quick overview.

"Physician Assistants are health professionals licensed or, in the case of those employed by the federal government, credentialed, to practice medicine with physician supervision. Physician assistants are qualified by graduation from an accredited physician assistant educational program and/or certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Within the physician-PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. The clinical role of physician assistants includes primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practice settings in rural and urban areas. Physician assistant practice is centered on patient care and may include educational, research, and administrative activities."

[Adopted by the American Academy of Physician Assistants' House of Delegates 1995, reaffirmed 2000, 2005, 2010, amended 1996, 2014]

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

Accreditation remains in effect 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 June 2028. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Clinical Rotations

Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine/Primary Care, Internal Medicine, Behavioral Medicine/Psychiatry, Surgery, Pediatrics, Women's Health, and two electives.

Career Opportunities

Primary care, surgery, medical and surgical subspecialties, emergency medicine, behavioral medicine

Students seeking admission to the PA Program must submit the following documented evidence:

  1. All applicants must apply through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants ( CASPA) and meet the published admission criteria.
  2. All applicants to the AZ program are required to complete CASPer, the online situational judgement test.
  3. Minimum cumulative science and overall GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  4. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test submitted directly to CASPA under code  0508  by October 1st. Scores may also be submitted to the Office of Admissions by November 1st using the Midwestern University institution code for the GRE is  4160. Only test scores earned in the last five years are acceptable. Applicants are expected to achieve a score at or above the 50th percentile in each section. For additional information about the GRE, call 866/473-4373, or visit
  5. Completion of prerequisite courses as listed below from regionally accredited colleges or universities. All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of C or better. Life experience credits do not count toward fulfillment of any prerequisite courses. Courses in which "credit" or grades of "pass" are earned will be counted only when applicants can provide verification that the earned grades were equivalent to grades of C or better (grades of C- are not acceptable).
  6. Completion of prerequisite courses prior to matriculation.
  7. Applicants must determine which prerequisites are missing and which courses must be taken to fulfill any outstanding prerequisites.
  8. Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university before matriculation.
  9. Motivation for and commitment to health care as demonstrated by paid direct patient care hours, volunteer, work, shadowing, or other life experiences.
  10. Demonstration of service and leadership through community service or extracurricular activities.
  11. Oral and written communication skills necessary to interact with patients and colleagues.
  12. Satisfactory Midwestern University criminal background check.
  13. Commitment to abide by the Midwestern University Drug-Free Workplace and Substance Abuse Policy.
  14. Successful completion of all required immunizations prior to matriculation.
  15. The applicant must meet the technical standards prior to matriculation.

Prerequisite Courses


Sem Hrs

Qtr Hrs

Biology with lab* (must include at least 4 hours of Anatomy)



General Chemistry with lab*



Organic Chemistry with lab*



Math (college algebra or above)



English Composition



Social and Behavioral Sciences (sociology, psychology, anthropology, etc.)






Biochemistry (not required but strongly recommended)



*All science prerequisites must be courses designed for science majors. No survey courses will count to fulfill science prerequisites. No online labs will be accepted.


Growth Rate for Jobs

Pass Rate on PANCE

General Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Minimum cumulative and science GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale
  • GRE general test scores
  • Successful completion of prerequisite coursework from regionally accredited colleges or universities
  • Healthcare experience strongly preferred

Class of 2021 Profiles

  • Applicants: 1794
  • Matriculated: 90
  • Female: 78%
  • Male: 22%
  • Mean Age: 25
  • Mean Science GPA: 3.60
  • Mean Overall GPA: 3.66
  • Mean GRE percentiles
    • Quantitative 58
    • Verbal 69
    • Analytical 69
    • Analytical Writing 4.3
  • 80% had a total GPA above 3.5
  • Top Home States: Arizona (38%), California, Utah

Graduation Rate

The Class of 2018 had a 100% graduation rate (89/89).

National Certifying Exam (PANCE) Pass Rate 5-Year Average (2013-2017)

  • Our students are at, or above, the national pass rate each year
  • Five year average pass rate for first time takers is 98% (national average is 96%)

NCCPA Pass Rate Summary Report ››

Employment Status

97% of the graduates from the Class of 2017 who responded to the graduate survey (43% response rate) reported they were employed within 1 year of graduation; 58% found their first clinical position prior to graduation.

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