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.
To be considered for admission applicants must have all of the following completed:
- 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.
- A UWL - Gundersen - Mayo PA Program Supplemental Application.
- Submission of the program application fee.
- International applicants have additional requirements.
An earned bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.
- A minimum cumulative GPA (as calculated by CASPA) of 3.00 calculated on a 4-point scale.
- A minimum science (as defined and calculated by CASPA) GPA of 3.00 on a 4-point scale.
- 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:
- Cumulative grade point average (GPA), as calculated by CASPA
- Science GPA, as calculated by CASPA
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
For students who are offered and who complete an interview, the following factors are used to determine admission status:
- Written application including references
- Background predictive of potential for future practice in the service areas of the program's partner institutions
- Knowledge of the PA profession and the profession's role in the healthcare system
- Interpersonal skills
- Quality and extent of healthcare related experience
- Rigor of undergraduate education
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 312||Human Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO 103 or BIO 105 and CHM 103 are prereqs)||4|
|BIO 313||Human Anatomy and Physiology II||4|
|MIC 230||Fundamentals of Microbiology (BIO 103 or BIO 105 and CHM 103 are prereqs)||4|
|Health related courses|
|or BIO 466||Human Molecular Genetics|
|or MIC 410||Immunology Laboratory|
|BIO 408||Developmental Biology||4|
|BIO 424||Human Endocrinology||3|
|BIO 443||Molecular Mechanism of Disease and Drug Action||3|
|BIO 413||Medical Mycology||3|
|BIO 432||Biology of Cancer||2|
|CHM 103||General Chemistry I||5|
|CHM 104||General Chemistry II||5|
|CHM 300||Survey of Organic Chemistry||5|
& CHM 304
|Organic Chemistry Theory I|
and Organic Chemistry Theory II
|CHM 325||Fundamental Biochemistry 1||4|
& CHM 418
|Biochemistry I: Macromolecules|
and Biochemistry II: Metabolism and Genetic Information
|or MTH 207||Calculus I|
|MTH 145||Elementary Statistics||3-4|
|or MTH 405||Statistical Methods|
|Select one from:|
|PSY 100||General Psychology||3|
|PSY 210||Developmental Psychology||3|
|PSY 212||Lifespan Development||3|
|PSY 204||Abnormal Psychology||3|
|PSY 356||The School-aged Child||3|
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)
|PAS 509||Human Gross Anatomy||3|
|PAS 510||Applied Human Gross Anatomy||3|
|PAS 624||Medical Biochemistry||2|
|PAS 626||Physiology for the Medical Professional||3|
|PAS 640||Introduction to the Physician Assistant Profession||2|
|PAS 628||Clinical Infectious Disease||2|
|PAS 630||Medical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics I||4|
|PAS 642||Medical History and Physical Exam||3|
|PAS 643||Applied Medical History and Physical Exam||1|
|PAS 654||Evidence Based Medicine||2|
|PAS 681||Medical Diagnostics||1|
|PAS 682||Internal Medicine: Cardiology||3|
|PAS 683||Internal Medicine: Gastroenterology & Pulmonology||3|
|PAS 644||The Clinical Patient Examination||1|
|PAS 649||Health Care Administration, Law, & Ethics in Medicine||1|
|PAS 701||Internal Medicine Subspecialty: Nephrology||1|
|PAS 631||Medical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics II||1|
|PAS 645||Evidence Based Practice||2|
|PAS 647||Clinical Practice Skills||2|
|PAS 651||Behavioral Medicine||1|
|PAS 703||Internal Medicine Subspecialty: Endocrinology||1|
|PAS 707||Internal Medicine Subspecialties II: Hematology and Rheumatology||2|
|PAS 709||Emergency Medicine||1|
|PAS 711||Clinical Neuroscience||2|
|PAS 760||Obstetrics - Maternal/Fetal Care||1|
|PAS 761||Gynecology and Women's Health||1|
|PAS 762||Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine||1|
|PAS 770||Principles of Surgical Medicine I: General Surgery and Anesthesia||1|
|PAS 771||Principles of Surgical Medicine II: Orthopedics||1|
|PAS 772||Principles of Surgical Medicine III: Surgical Subspecialties||1|
|PAS 652||Clinical Procedures||2|
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 720||Family Medicine Rotation I||4|
|PAS 722||Internal Medicine Rotation I||4|
|PAS 724||General Surgery Rotation||4|
|PAS 726||Obstetrics and Gynecology Rotation||4|
|PAS 728||Pediatric Rotation||4|
|PAS 730||Psychiatry Rotation||4|
|PAS 732||Emergency Medicine Rotation||4|
|Selective clinical rotations|
|PAS 756||Selective Rotation 1||4|
|PAS 757||Selective Rotation 2||4|
|PAS 758||Selective Rotation 3||4|
|PAS 759||Selective Rotation 4||4|
|PAS 790||Capstone Seminar 1||2|
|PAS 792||Capstone Seminar 2||2|
|PAS 794||Capstone Seminar 3||2|
Graduate degree requirements
After being admitted to the program of one's choice, candidates for a graduate degree must:
- Complete any preliminary course work and deficiencies.
- 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.
- Earn at least one-half of the minimum number of credits required in the program in graduate-only level courses (non-slash courses).
- Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
- Satisfy thesis, seminar paper, terminal/graduate projects, or comprehensive examination, where applicable. A 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 thesis requiring approval from the Director of Graduate Studies. For further research/thesis guidelines, see the Office of Graduate Studies.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
|PAS 509||3||PAS 628||2||PAS 644||1||PAS 631||1|
|PAS 510||3||PAS 630||4||PAS 649||1||PAS 645||2|
|PAS 624||2||PAS 642||3||PAS 701||1||PAS 647||2|
|PAS 626||3||PAS 643||1||PAS 651||1|
|PAS 640||2||PAS 654||2||PAS 703||1|
|PAS 680||1||PAS 681||1||PAS 707||2|
|PAS 682||3||PAS 709||1|
|PAS 683||3||PAS 711||2|
|PAS 688||1||PAS 760||1|
|Clinical rotations, three 4-week rotations. Select three of the following:1||12||Clinical rotations, four 4-week rotations. Select four of the following:1||16||Winter Intersession and Spring Semester|
|PAS 652||2||PAS 720||4||Clinical rotations, four 4-week rotations. Select four of the following:1||16|
|PAS 720||4||PAS 722||4||PAS 720||4|
|PAS 722||4||PAS 724||4||PAS 722||4|
|PAS 724||4||PAS 726||4||PAS 724||4|
|PAS 726||4||PAS 728||4||PAS 726||4|
|PAS 728||4||PAS 730||4||PAS 728||4|
|PAS 730||4||PAS 732||4||PAS 730||4|
|PAS 732||4||PAS 756||4||PAS 732||4|
|PAS 756||4||PAS 757||4||PAS 756||4|
|PAS 757||4||PAS 758||4||PAS 757||4|
|PAS 758||4||PAS 759||4||PAS 758||4|
|PAS 759||4||PAS 792||2||PAS 759||4|
|PAS 790||2||PAS 794||2|
|Total Credits: 108|
Rotations scheduled individually by student