Only the graduate MSPA portion of the 5-Year PA Program undergoes accreditation by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).  The undergraduate BSHS portion of the PA Program  is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission just like all undergraduate programs at Valparaiso University.

Every new physician assistant program must go through a three-step accreditation process.  The first step involves an initial provisional site visit that occurred in October 2017 and culminated in our successful achievement of accreditation-provisional status in April 2018.

The next step will involve a provisional monitoring site visit that is scheduled for June 2020.  The final third step will involve a final provisional site visit that will occur 18 to 24 months after the June 2020 visit.  All new PA programs must proceed through the exact same pathway and along the same timeline.  After continuing successfully on this pace, we anticipate that sometime in 2022 we will be able to apply for transition from accreditation-provisional to accreditation-continued status.

Yes it does! As designed, this is a program in which students will come to Valparaiso University as a first semester freshman to complete a five year curriculum and earn both a Bachelor of Science in Health Science and a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.

Because of Valpo’s very attractive and distinctive program structure, this program will be highly competitive in comparison with other schools.

Students admitted to Valparaiso University will have the opportunity to pursue a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies and complete the degree in only 5 years, provided all progression and retention criteria are met.

No. Only true, first year students will be eligible for admission into the direct entry 5-Year MSPA Program. See further details under the Program Admission section.

Yes, financial aid is available for those who qualify. The 5-Year PA Program includes a slightly different package than most other programs. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid directly at 219.464.5015 or at for additional and specific information.

Physician assistants treat millions of people in a variety of health care settings– from offices, clinics, and hospitals to nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and military health centers. Physician assistants work in all areas of medicine, including primary care and family medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics, and psychiatry.

All admitted students must have successfully completed four years of lab science: biology, chemistry, anatomy/physiology, and physics are recommended. In addition, students must have taken enough math to place into or higher than MATH 114, which is pre-calculus.

No. Upon successful completion of the professional/undergraduate phase of the program, students will earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Science (BSHS)– at the end of year three. The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPA) is earned after successful completion of the graduate phase– at the end of year five.

Yes. The undergraduate portion is year-round for three years, including three summers. Required summer courses consist of elective courses and field experiences, both of which can be completed in the student’s home town.

Prospective students can contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission at 219.464.5011, send an email to, or visit the Undergraduate Admission website at

No, we do not participate in CASPA. Prospective students will apply to our program though the University’s Office of Undergraduate Admission:

The PA Program is completed only as a full-time, cohort program. Regularly scheduled classes occur only during daytime hours. The graduate phase begins in the fall, and students graduate two years later in August after successful completion of all academic requirements.

The rigorous, intense nature of the accelerated curriculum requires students to remain extremely focused and dedicated to their studies. In addition, the time demands of the class schedule may require occasional attendance on evenings or weekends. Most classes during the professional/graduate phase are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday through Friday). During rotations, hours are variable depending upon the clinical rotation assignment. As such, it is highly recommended that students limit outside distractions.

Students in the MSPA program at Valparaiso University complete their clinical rotations in a variety of settings, including in-patient facilities, out-patient facilities, long-term care, and office settings. Rotations may occur at large teaching institutions or small, rural facilities under the supervision of experienced clinicians. Many clinical sites are located throughout northwest Indiana while others may be located in the Chicago and South Bend areas. Students complete a total of nine rotations (each of which are five weeks in duration). Required specialties include emergency medicine, family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, surgery, pediatrics, and psychiatry/behavioral medicine. Students select two elective rotations in order to gain additional experience in a specialty of interest. Some examples of elective rotations include cardiovascular surgery, orthopedics, dermatology, and research.

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