2018-2019 Catalog

Publication date June 2018

Physician Assistant Studies - Master of Science

The rigor and intensity of the program and the level of skills and responsibility necessary for practice as a physician assistant require the program to accept candidates who have demonstrated a strong academic background along with excellent interpersonal skills and maturity. Prior health care experience is expected as an indicator of a career commitment suitable to clinical practice. The program's admission process considers each applicant's strengths and selects for admission those best qualified to meet the program's mission. Application to the program is very competitive with a class of 19 students accepted annually.


Application process

To be considered for admission applicants must have all of the following completed:

  1. An application with the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) including three letters of reference. CASPA is a national application service that collects and verifies application materials and calculates various GPAs before forwarding the applicants file to the programs selected by the applicant. For details, visit CASPA.
  2. A UWL - Gundersen - Mayo PA Program Supplemental Application.
  3. Submission of the program application fee.
  4. International applicants have additional requirements.

Admission requirements

  1. An earned bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

  2. A minimum cumulative GPA (as calculated by CASPA) of 3.00 calculated on a 4-point scale.
  3. A minimum science (as defined and calculated by CASPA) GPA of 3.00 on a 4-point scale.
  4. Submission of Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores is required with scores forwarded to UWL and the PA program. GRE scores are used as another measure of academic aptitude along with GPA. Thus, there is no minimum required score.

Interview selection factors

An interview is required for admission to the program. Only three factors are used to determine who will receive an invitation for an interview:

  1. Cumulative grade point average (GPA), as calculated by CASPA
  2. Science GPA, as calculated by CASPA
  3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores

For students who are offered and who complete an interview, the following factors are used to determine admission status:

  1. Written application including references
  2. Background predictive of potential for future practice in the service areas of the program's partner institutions
  3. Knowledge of the PA profession and the profession's role in the healthcare system
  4. Interpersonal skills
  5. Quality and extent of healthcare related experience
  6. Rigor of undergraduate education

Program prerequisites

Applicants must have the following coursework completed prior to beginning the PAS program. Students may apply with outstanding prerequisite courses so long as they demonstrate a plan to complete those courses before matriculating in the program.

Biology: At least 14 semester hours of biology in the following areas including at least two lab courses:

  • Anatomy and Physiology: One semester of human anatomy AND one semester of human physiology; OR a two-semester sequence of combined human anatomy which must be at the 200/sophomore level or above. Though vertebrate and mammalian anatomy and physiology are acceptable, human anatomy and physiology is strongly preferred.
  • Microbiology: One semester at the 200/sophomore level or above.
  • Health related upper division biological science: One semester of any of the following at the 300/junior level or above: genetics, immunology, vertebrate/mammalian embryology, endocrinology, histology, pathophysiology, neuroscience, parasitology, mycology, or biology of cancer.

Chemistry: A minimum of 11 semester hours of chemistry including the following courses, at least two of which must include a laboratory:

  • General Chemistry: One semester of general or introductory chemistry.
  • Organic Chemistry: One semester at the 200/sophomore level or above.
  • Biochemistry: One semester at the 300/junior level or above. Molecular or cellular at the 300 level or above is an acceptable alternative.

Mathematics: A minimum of two semesters of mathematics including:

  • Pre-calculus/Calculus: One semester of college algebra with trigonometry or pre-calculus or calculus.
  • Statistics: One semester of statistics.

Psychology: A minimum of one semester of general, introductory, developmental, or abnormal psychology.

Health Care Experience: Prior direct patient care health experience is expected but not required. Such experience provides evidence of a career commitment to healthcare as a PA. In the program's competitive admission process, the length and depth of healthcare experience is a selection factor.

Technical Standards of Performance: Applicants must also meet the program's technical standards of performance in the areas of observation, communication, motor function, intellectual/conceptual, integrative and quantitative ability, and behavioral and social attributes. The Physician Assistant Program has posted these standards online. Applicants may have accommodations to meet these standards.

Applicable UWL courses:

BIO 312Human Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO 103 or BIO 105 and CHM 103 are prereqs)4
BIO 313Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
MIC 230Fundamentals of Microbiology (BIO 103 or BIO 105 and CHM 103 are prereqs)4
Health related courses
One from:
BIO 306Genetics3-4
or BIO 466 Human Molecular Genetics
MIC 310Immunology2-3
or MIC 410 Immunology Laboratory
BIO 408Developmental Biology4
BIO 424Human Endocrinology3
BIO 443Molecular Mechanism of Disease and Drug Action3
BIO 465Neurophysiology3
BIO 406Parasitology4
BIO 413Medical Mycology3
BIO 432Biology of Cancer2
CHM 103General Chemistry I5
CHM 104General Chemistry II5
Organic chemistry
Select either:
CHM 300Survey of Organic Chemistry5
CHM 303
CHM 304
Organic Chemistry Theory I
and Organic Chemistry Theory II
Select either:
CHM 325Fundamental Biochemistry 14
CHM 417
CHM 418
Biochemistry I: Macromolecules
and Biochemistry II: Metabolism and Genetic Information
MTH 151Precalculus4-5
or MTH 207 Calculus I
STAT 145Elementary Statistics4
or STAT 405 Statistical Methods
Select one from:
PSY 100General Psychology3
PSY 210Developmental Psychology3
PSY 212Lifespan Development3
PSY 204Abnormal Psychology3
PSY 356Infancy and Childhood3
PSY 357Adolescence3
PSY 358Adulthood3

Professional PAS curriculum

The PA Program curriculum includes a total of 108 required credits including 58 credits of pre-clinical year courses, 44 credits of clinical rotations and six credits of capstone seminar in the clinical year. Pre-clinical year courses are only offered once a year and are taken as a cohort. The clinical year curriculum is only offered on a full-time basis with students in clinical sites 40+ hours per week. Thus, the entire curriculum is considered a full-time curriculum. The pre-clinical year curriculum must be successfully completed before a student can advance to the clinical year. Students must then complete clinical rotations including all of the required rotations, PAS 720-732 and selective rotations PAS 756-759. The rotations do not need to be completed in a specific order and sequence is subject to availability of clinical sites. The capstone seminar series must be completed, totaling six credits.

Pre-clinical year courses (listed in order of enrollment)

58 credits

PAS 509Human Gross Anatomy3
PAS 510Applied Human Gross Anatomy3
PAS 624Medical Biochemistry2
PAS 626Physiology for the Medical Professional3
PAS 640Introduction to the Physician Assistant Profession2
PAS 628Clinical Infectious Disease2
PAS 630Medical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics I4
PAS 642Medical History and Physical Exam3
PAS 643Applied Medical History and Physical Exam1
PAS 680Pathology1
PAS 654Evidence Based Medicine2
PAS 681Medical Diagnostics1
PAS 682Internal Medicine: Cardiology3
PAS 683Internal Medicine: Gastroenterology and Pulmonology3
PAS 688Neuroanatomy1
PAS 644The Clinical Patient Examination1
PAS 649Health Care Administration, Law, and Ethics in Medicine1
PAS 701Internal Medicine Subspecialty: Nephrology1
PAS 631Medical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics II1
PAS 647Clinical Practice Skills4
PAS 651Behavioral Medicine1
PAS 703Internal Medicine Subspecialty: Endocrinology1
PAS 707Internal Medicine Subspecialties II: Hematology and Rheumatology2
PAS 709Emergency Medicine1
PAS 711Clinical Neuroscience2
PAS 760Obstetrics - Maternal/Fetal Care1
PAS 761Gynecology and Women's Health1
PAS 762Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine1
PAS 770Principles of Surgical Medicine I: General Surgery and Anesthesia1
PAS 771Principles of Surgical Medicine II: Orthopedics1
PAS 772Principles of Surgical Medicine III: Surgical Subspecialties1
PAS 773Dermatology1
PAS 652Clinical Procedures2
Total Credits58

Clinical rotations

44 credits

Completion of required rotations (PAS 720-732) and selective rotations (PAS 765-759) do not need to be completed in a specific order. Sequence is subject to availability of specific sites. Rotations are scheduled individually by student.

Required clinical rotations
PAS 720Family Medicine Rotation I4
PAS 722Internal Medicine Rotation I4
PAS 724General Surgery Rotation4
PAS 726Obstetrics and Gynecology Rotation4
PAS 728Pediatric Rotation4
PAS 730Psychiatry Rotation4
PAS 732Emergency Medicine Rotation4
Selective clinical rotations
PAS 756Selective Rotation 14
PAS 757Selective Rotation 24
PAS 758Selective Rotation 34
PAS 759Selective Rotation 44
Total Credits44

Capstone seminar

6 credits

PAS 790Capstone Seminar 12
PAS 792Capstone Seminar 22
PAS 794Capstone Seminar 32
Total Credits6

Graduate degree requirements

After being admitted to the program of one's choice, candidates for a graduate degree must:

  1. Complete any preliminary course work and deficiencies.
  2. Complete all courses and other program requirements, including residence requirements prescribed for the degree desired in the respective school or college within a seven-year period from the date of initial enrollment.
  3. Earn a minimum of 30 credits for a master's degree; 54 credits for a doctorate or post-master's degree. Earn at least one-half of the minimum number of credits required in the program in graduate-only level courses (700, 800, 900, and non-slash 600 level courses).
  4. Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
  5. Satisfy dissertation, thesis, seminar paper, terminal/graduate projects and internships, or comprehensive examination, where applicable. A dissertation or thesis approved by the committee must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval at least two weeks before commencement. Ordinarily, a seminar paper or project report does not have to be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. However, if the seminar paper or project report is to be archived in Murphy Library, the student must follow the same rules as they apply to the dissertation/thesis requiring approval from the Director of Graduate Studies. For further research/dissertation/thesis guidelines, see the Office of Graduate Studies.
  6. File a completed "Intent to Graduate" form online via the WINGS Student Center immediately following registration for the final semester or summer term in residence. December graduates and winter intersession should file by May 1. May and summer graduates should file by December 1.
  7. Pay the graduation fee and remove all other indebtedness to the university. Payment of graduation fees does not imply readiness for graduation and does not take the place of applying for graduation.
  8. Complete all requirements within 30 days after the official ending date of a term in order for a degree to be awarded for that term. (See #5 above for separate deadline for written capstone experience.)

Course schedule by semester:

Pre-Clinical Year
PAS 5093PAS 6282PAS 6441PAS 6311
PAS 5103PAS 6304PAS 6491PAS 6474
PAS 6242PAS 6423PAS 7611PAS 6511
PAS 6263PAS 6431 PAS 7011
PAS 6402PAS 6542 PAS 7031
PAS 6801PAS 6811 PAS 7072
 PAS 6823 PAS 7091
 PAS 6833 PAS 7112
 PAS 6881 PAS 7601
   PAS 7621
   PAS 7701
   PAS 7711
   PAS 7721
   PAS 7731
 14 20 3 19
Clinical Year
Clinical rotations, three 4-week rotations. Select three of the following:112Clinical rotations, four 4-week rotations. Select four of the following:116Winter Intersession and Spring Semester  
PAS 6522PAS 7204Clinical rotations, four 4-week rotations. Select four of the following:116 
PAS 7204PAS 7224PAS 7204 
PAS 7224PAS 7244PAS 7224 
PAS 7244PAS 7264PAS 7244 
PAS 7264PAS 7284PAS 7264 
PAS 7284PAS 7304PAS 7284 
PAS 7304PAS 7324PAS 7304 
PAS 7324PAS 7564PAS 7324 
PAS 7564PAS 7574PAS 7564 
PAS 7574PAS 7584PAS 7574 
PAS 7584PAS 7594PAS 7584 
PAS 7594PAS 7922PAS 7594 
PAS 7902 PAS 7942 
 16 18 18  
Total Credits: 108
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