The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program is a two-year professional program divided into a 12-month didactic phase followed by a 12-month clinical education phase in the form of on-site supervised clinical practice experiences. This program is an extension of the 3-year Valparaiso University undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Health Science (BSHS) program and will serve as the culminating phase of the 5-Year Physician Assistant Program (3 + 2).

The MSPA program will provide students currently pursuing their BSHS prerequisite course work with the culminating accredited phase of their five year program. The curriculum will provide the didactic and practical hands-on training required to complete their education as physician assistant students.  A combined total of 101 credit hours from the MSPA Program are required.

Didactic Year — Year Four of the 5-Year Physician Assistant Program

To meet the objectives of the MSPA program, the College holds students in the MSPA degree program to the following requirements in the didactic phase of the program:

Fall Semester

Course Requirements Timeframe Credits
PA 500 – Principles of PA Practice I 16 weeks 3
PA 505 – Physical Diagnosis & Documentation 4 weeks 3
PA 510 – Fundamentals of Clinical Medicine 4 weeks 2
PA 520 – Immunology & Infectious Disease 2 weeks 2
PA 521 – Dermatology 2 weeks 2
PA 522 – Ophthalmology & Otorhinolaryngology 2 weeks 2
PA 523 – Hematology & Oncology 3 weeks 2
PA 524 – Pulmonology 2 weeks 2
PA 540 – Principles of Geriatric Medicine 1 week 1
Total Fall Semester Credits   19

Spring Semester

Course Requirements Timeframe Credits
PA 501 – Principles of PA Practice II 16 weeks 3
PA 525 – Nutrition & Gastroenterology 3 weeks 2
PA 526 – Endocrinology 2 weeks 2
PA 527 – Nephrology 2 weeks 2
PA 528 – Cardiology 3 weeks 3
PA 529 – Orthopedics & Rheumatology 3 weeks 2
PA 541 – Principles of Women’s Health & Reproduction 2 weeks 2
PA 542 – Principles of Men’s Health 1 week 2
PA 550 – Basic ECG Interpretation 5 weeks 1
Total Spring Semester Credits 19

Summer Semester

Course Requirements Timeframe Credits
PA 502 – Principles of PA Practice III 12 weeks 3
PA 530 – Neurology 3 weeks 2
PA 531 – Psychiatry & Behavioral Health 2 weeks 2
PA 543 – Principles of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine 3 weeks 2
PA 532 – Emergency Medicine & Surgery 3 weeks 2
PA 560 – Foundations of the Healthcare System 6 weeks 3
PA 570 – Transition to Clinical Year 1 week 1
Total Summer Semester Credits 15

A total of 53 credit hours is required in the didactic phase of the MSPA Program.

Clinical Year — Year Five of the 5-Year Physician Assistant Program

To meet the objectives of the MSPA program, the College holds students in the MSPA degree program to the following requirements in the clinical phase of the program:

Fall

Course Requirements Timeframe Credits
Rotation 1 5 weeks 5
Rotation 2 5 weeks 5
Rotation 3 5 weeks 5
Rotation 4 5 weeks 5
PA 695A – Graduate Project I 1
Total Fall Semester Credits 21

Spring

Course Requirements Timeframe Credits
Rotation 5 5 weeks 5
Rotation 6 5 weeks 5
Rotation 7 5 weeks 5
Rotation 8 5 weeks 5
PA 695B – Graduate Project II 1
Total Spring Semester Credits 21

Summer

Course Requirements Timeframe Credits
Rotation 9 5 weeks 5
PA 695C – Graduate Project III 1
Total Summer Semester Credits 6

A total of 48 credit hours is required in the clinical phase of the PA Program. Each student must successfully complete the following clinical rotations, the graduate project, and program summative assessments to complete the clinical phase. Rotations are not sequential; thus, a student may progress in any order through the clinical phase.

Clinical Rotations

Course Requirement Timeframe Credits
PA 601 – Family Medicine 5 weeks 5
PA 602 – Pediatric Medicine 5 weeks 5
PA 603 – Women’s Health 5 weeks 5
PA 604 – Behavioral Health 5 weeks 5
PA 605 – Emergency Medicine 5 weeks 5
PA 606 – Surgery 5 weeks 5
PA 607 – Internal Medicine 5 weeks 5
PA 608 – Elective I 5 weeks 5
PA 609 – Elective II 5 weeks 5

A total of 48 credit hours is required in the clinical phase of the MSPA Program.

 University Assessment Practices