Here you will find information about the Department of Physician Assistant Education. If you are interested in applying to the MSPAS program, visit our Prospective Students area.
The Department of Physician Assistant Education supports the University’s mission by educating Physician Assistants to deliver high quality competent and compassionate health care as team members within the health care delivery system.
The Western University of Health Sciences Department of Physician Assistant Education will be nationally respected and recognized as an innovative leader in Physician Assistant education. Our faculty will continue to be leaders in our profession as educators and clinicians. Our faculty will continue to educate a diverse student body who will provide compassionate and comprehensive primary care medicine.
The program will continue to foster student attributes that will enhance their role as effective health care professionals.
Our students, graduates and faculty will continue to serve in key leadership positions on a local, state and national level, to influence the future of the physician assistant profession, while striving to continue personal and professional development.
Physicians and health care delivery teams will seek our graduates. Through these partnerships, comprehensive patient care will be accessible for all populations.
Department of Physician Assistant Education Overview
Western University initiated a Primary Care Physician Assistant Program in 1990. In August 1999, the University’s Board of Trustees voted to change the program to the masters degree level, effective for the class entering August 2000. As the profession grows, it is imperative that PAs stand on equal academic footing with their peers and colleagues in the health professions. Bringing educational requirements to the masters degree level elevates the reputation and standing of PAs on a national basis.
Physician assistants (PA) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. Within the physician/PA relationship, PAs exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive, and health maintenance services. The clinical role of the PA includes primary and specialty care in medicine and surgical practice settings. PA practice is centered on patient care and may also include educational, research and administrative activity. The role of the PA demands intelligence, sound judgement, intellectual honesty, appropriate interpersonal skills, and the capacity to react to emergencies in a calm and reasoned manner. An attitude of respect for self and others, adherence to the concepts of privilege and confidentiality in communicating with patients, and a commitment to the patient’s welfare are essential attributes.
The educational philosophy of the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies emphasizes self-motivated learning and the role of the PA as a member of a health care team. The program incorporates the appropriate elements of the traditional osteopathic philosophy into students training. These elements include:
- An understanding of the patient as a whole person.
- Emphasis on those aspects of health education that stress health promotion and disease prevention.
- An appreciation of the role of physical assessment in the diagnosis and management of illness.
The Masters program prepares prospective Physician Assistants to provide health care to all patient populations. The program prepares entry-level graduates with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to perform in a primary care setting and function in a variety of roles within numerous clinical settings. This approach develops attributes that serve the graduate in the greatest spectrum of potential employment opportunities.
The Accreditation review commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued to the Western University of Health Sciences Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the Western University of Health Sciences. 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 March 2020. the review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.
Accreditation Links and Files
Program Goal Achievements
Click here to view the Program Goal Achievements
NCCPA PANCE Pass Rate Summary Report
Click here to view the most recent NCCPA PANCE Pass Rate Summary Report
Student Employment While Enrolled
As the rigors of PA education are challenging, students are not permitted to work while in the PA Program.
WesternU Tuition Refund Policy
WesternU has established a refund policy for all students who find it necessary to withdraw from the
University. Students who elect to withdraw or take a leave of absence during the academic year must
submit prior written notification to the appropriate College Dean according to the procedures specified
in this Catalog for their program. WesternU may amend its institutional refund policy at any time.
Amendments will become effective for the academic year that follows official notification of the
amendment. Any questions concerning WesternU’s refund policy should be directed to the Bursar’s Office.
Calculation of Amount of Eligible Tuition Refund
The amount of tuition refund for which the student is eligible is computed as follows:
a. If the day the student withdrew was on or before the student completed 60 percent of the
enrollment period for which tuition was paid, the percentage refund is computed as one
hundred percent minus the percentage of the enrollment period that has elapsed up to the
date of withdrawal.
b. Students who withdraw after completing 60 percent of the enrollment period for which
tuition was paid are not entitled to a refund.
Determining the Withdrawal Date
The withdrawal date is:
a. The date the student begins the withdrawal process prescribed by the respective College;
b. The date that the student otherwise provided official notification to the respective College of
the intent to withdraw; or
c. The midpoint of the enrollment period for which Student Financial Aid Programs Assistance
was disbursed or a later date documented by the respective College, if the student did not
begin the withdrawal process or otherwise notify the respective College of the intent to
If the College determines that a student did not begin the withdrawal process or otherwise notify the
respective College of the intent to withdraw due to illness, accident, grievous personal loss or other
circumstances beyond the student’s control, the College may determine the appropriate withdrawal