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WesternU / College of Health Sciences / About the Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

About the Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

ARC-PA mandatory disclosure regarding probation accreditation status.

At its March 2023 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) placed the Western University of Health Sciences Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Western University of Health Sciences on Accreditation-Probation status until its next review in March 2025.

Probation accreditation is a temporary accreditation status initially of not less than two years. However, that period may be extended by the ARC-PA for up to an additional two years if the ARC-PA finds that the program is making substantial progress toward meeting all applicable standards but requires additional time to come into full compliance. Probation accreditation status is granted, at the sole discretion of the ARC-PA, when a program holding an accreditation status of Accreditation – Provisional or Accreditation – Continued does not, in the judgment of the ARC-PA, meet the Standards or when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.

Once placed on probation, a program that fails to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and is subject to having its accreditation withdrawn.

Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s).

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website.

Accreditation Links and Files

Welcome from Roy A. Guizado, MS, PA-C
Chair, Department of Physician Assistant Education

The Physician Assistant (PA) Education Program continues to educate tomorrow’s health care workforce. The PA Program focuses on primary care, which can serve as a vehicle to supplement education in specialty areas. The faculty and staff are pleased with our students and alumni that are now found in all areas of medicine and professional leadership.

As the PA profession matures, so must the nature of the PA profession. PAs are assuming greater roles and responsibilities in the delivery of health care services. To keep pace with these advances, our masters degree program includes a strong emphasis on the analytical and problem-solving skills necessary to excel in medicine. The earned degree allows employment opportunities throughout the United States. The masters degree will also open other career avenues such as teaching, research, and health care administration.

Portrait of PA Chair Roy Guizado

One tenet remains constant throughout the curriculum – the focus on health care. As a PA student at WesternU, I urge you to consider pursuing your career serving the people who have need of it most. Whether in a rural area where patients must travel miles to receive adequate health care or in an inner-city environment where your patients may not have health insurance. Your contribution as a PA is crucial, needed, and wanted. The PA faculty and I encourage you to find your life’s work serving all patient populations, especially those in need.

Over the years, the PA program graduates have excelled on their national licensing board scores, especially first-time test-takers. This excellence is achieved through a collaborative relationship between the faculty and students. The PA Program wants to continue this high standard of achievement with all the future PA graduates.

Please contact us if you have any questions. You can contact WesternU’s Admissions Support Team by phone at (909) 469-5335. Thank you for visiting our site and congratulations if you have already been accepted into the PA program. For those of you that are just researching the PA profession, I look forward to seeing you in our PA program someday soon.


Roy A. Guizado, MS, PA-C, DFAAPA
  • Mission & Vision Statement

    Mission Statement

    The Department of PA Education supports the University’s mission by educating PAs to deliver high quality competent and compassionate health care as team members within the health care delivery system.

    Vision Statement

    The Western University of Health Sciences will continue to be greatly respected and nationally recognized as an innovative leader in PA 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.

  • The Department of PA Education Goals

    PA Students will:

    1. Medical Knowledge Goal: PA Graduates must demonstrate medical knowledge by successful passage of the PANCE at a 90% or higher pass rate for first time test takers.
    2. Interpersonal and Communication Skills Goal: Demonstrate appropriate usage of interpersonal and communication skills with patients.
    3. Clinical and Technical Skills (Patient Care Knowledge): To show adequate knowledge in clinical and technical stills, 90% of the students in each cohort will earn grades of B or higher in second year rotations and the second year clinical course, Senior Seminar III.
    4. Professional Behaviors Goal: PA cohorts must demonstrate professionalism with patients.
    5. Clinical Reasoning and Problem Solving: PA cohorts must demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Personal Competencies (Technical Standards) for Admission and Matriculation

    Please view the required competencies in our program catalog here.

  • First-year physical therapy (PT) and physician assistant (PA) students from the College of Health Sciences

    Department of Physician Assistant Education Overview

    Western University initiated a Primary Care PA 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.

    PAs 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:

    1. An understanding of the patient as a whole person.
    2. Emphasis on those aspects of health education that stress health promotion and disease prevention.
    3. An appreciation of the role of physical assessment in the diagnosis and management of illness.

    The Masters program prepares prospective PAs 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.

  • 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:

    • 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.
    • 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:

    1. The date the student begins the withdrawal process prescribed by the respective College;
    2. The date that the student otherwise provided official notification to the respective College of the intent to withdraw; or
    3. 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 withdraw.

    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 date.