Speak with an admissions advisor. (877) 434-7757

Master of Science: Physician Assistant Program

SCUHS MSPA Students

Master of Science: Physician Assistant Program

Become a highly trained clinical provider by enrolling in the Master of Science: Physician Assistant (MSPA) program at Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU). This innovative program emphasizes an integrative approach, teaching students to use science and evidence-based research to provide patient care.

Apply Now or call (562) 947-8755 x457 or email [email protected]

All emails sent to [email protected] should be related to admissions inquiries only. All other inquiries such as program completion, graduation verification, affiliation agreements should be sent to [email protected]


Program Length: 28 months

Start Term: Fall 2020

Fixed Rate Tuition: $15,571/trimester*

Additional fees not included

MSPA Program Mission

SCU’s Master of Science: Physician Assistant program will prepare students to participate in integrative healthcare teams. In today’s ever-changing healthcare system, our graduates will deliver healthcare to a diverse population, with a primary care focus.

MSPA Program Vision

SCU’s MSPA program will develop leaders that positively impact healthcare and advance the profession.

MSPA Program Goals

The Physician Assistant (PA) profession has successfully ranked as one of the highest rated professions in the U.S. for more than a decade. The U.S. News and World Report named the PA profession as the #1 Best Health Care Job and #3 Overall Best Job in its 2019 rankings. This popularity has translated into increased job growth, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating a 31% growth over the next decade. Since 2010, the number of PA programs has seen tremendous growth nationally, blossoming from 148 PA programs to over 250 today. The number of PA programs in the state of California has more than doubled over the last five years, with 16 programs currently available and five additional programs currently in development.
Admission to PA school is a highly competitive and rigorous process. For the 2019-2020 admissions cycle, applications exceeded 2,700 for 50 student slots in the SCU PA Program. Most applicants who apply to SCU exceed the minimal entrance requirements. All aspects of the application are important; however, the screening process weighs overall GPA, paid clinical experience hours, and types of clinical experience heavily and are all requisites to be considered for an interview. Due to the competitiveness of applications received, applicants who meet the minimum requirements to apply are not guaranteed an interview. Nationally, the average number of students admitted per admissions cycle is 44. Since SCU PA Program’s inception, the seated class has increased from 26 students to 50 students annually.
SCU’s goal is to enroll students reflective of the current demographic make-up of the U.S. SCU consistently exceeds national averages in the following areas:
  • Diversity: to enroll students who possess a variety of clinical experiences, ages, gender, and ethnicities.
    Class of 2021Class of 2020Class of 2019Class of 2018Gender DistributionDemographicsClinical Experience
    Ethnicity and Race as reported by students.
    Ethnicity and Race as reported by students.
    MSPA class of 2019 diversity chart. Gender distribution: 22 femaile, 14 male. Average GPA: 3.30, average age: 26, clinical hour average: 4,218
    MSPA class of 2018 diversity chart. Gender distribution: 16 femaile, 10 male. Average GPA: 3.39, average age: 29, clinical hour average: 5,036
    Nationally, for US PA schools, gender is comprised of 31.8% male to 68.2% female ratio. As seen above, the 2020 seated class has: 18 males (37.5%) and 30 females (62.5%).
    Nationally, for US PA schools, gender is comprised of 31.8% male to 68.2% female ratio. The 2021 seated class has 14 males (28%) and 36 females (72%)
    Nationally, for US PA schools, gender is comprised of 31.8% male to 68.2% female ratio.  The 2020 seated class has 17 males (35%) and 30 females (63%) and 1 that did not state gender (2%).
    Nationally, for US PA schools, gender is comprised of 31.8% male to 68.2% female ratio. The 2020 seated class has 17 males (35%) and 30 females (63%) and 1 that did not state gender (2%).
    Nationally, for US PA schools, gender is comprised of 31.8% male to 68.2% female ratio.  The 2019 seated class has 15 males (42%) and 21 females (58%).
    Nationally, for US PA schools, gender is comprised of 31.8% male to 68.2% female ratio. The 2019 seated class has 15 males (42%) and 21 females (58%).
    Nationally, for US PA schools, gender is comprised of 31.8% male to 68.2% female ratio.  The 2018 seated class has 9 males (35%) and 17 females (65%).
    Nationally, for US PA schools, gender is comprised of 31.8% male to 68.2% female ratio. The 2018 seated class has 9 males (35%) and 17 females (65%).
    United States racial demographics are: `White 60.4%, Hispanic 18.3%,  Black 13.4%, Asian 5.9%, Amerindian and Alaska native 1.3%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.2%, other 2.7%.
    Race and Ethnicity (United States)
    United States racial demographics are: `White 60.4%, Hispanic 18.3%, Black 13.4%, Asian 5.9%, Amerindian and Alaska native 1.3%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.2%, other 2.7%.
    The estimated self-identified racial make-up of the State of California According to the 2018, US Census Bureau.
    California Demographics
    The estimated self-identified racial make-up of the State of California According to the 2018, US Census Bureau.

     Self-Identified race in the city of Whittier, CA
    Race and Ethnicity (Whittier, CA)
    Self-Identified race in the city of Whittier, CA
    Patient Care Hours
  • Physician Assistant National Certification Examination PANCE Scores: The first-time program test-takers (pass rate) will meet the ARC-PA’s standard of 85% or better on the PANCE.
    • The first time test taking pass rate for the 2018 class was 85%
    • The first time test taking pass rate for the 2019 class was 94%
  • Integrative Healthcare: Students will be exposed to integrative health providers during their didactic and clinical experiences.
    • 100% of all students successfully completed an Integrative Health Clinical Rotation.
  • Clinical Competency: The program will graduate clinically competent providers as evidenced by clinical preceptor evaluations, summative evaluations, and end of rotation assessments.
    • 100% of all students successfully completed:
      • Their clinical rotations;
      • The summative evaluation process which consists of a 360 PANCE like examination, evaluation of professionalism, and an Objective Structured Clinical Examination;
      • Their end of rotation examinations for the program’s core clinical assignments.
  • The SCU MSPA Program met all the stated Goals.
  • Innovative, Integrative Health Care for a Better World

    First-of-Its-Kind Program

    SCU is the first university to offer a physician assistant program that exposes students to integrative healthcare practices.

    A Passion for Healing

    SCU develops leaders to be thoughtful and compassionate practitioners who are qualified to provide high-quality care to a diverse population.

    A Fulfilling Career Path

    Students will receive a strong educational foundation which will prepare them to embark on a lifelong career with opportunities beyond clinical practice in a variety of dynamic settings like healthcare policy, administration and academia.

    Accreditation

    ARC-PA

    The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation – Provisional status to the Master of Science: Physician Assistant program sponsored by Southern California University of Health Sciences. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

    WSCUC

    SCU is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

    PANCE exam scores can be accessed here

    Technical standards for Physician Assistants (PDF)

    Learn More About Physician Assistants

    Definition of a PA
     
    • Physician Assistants (PAs) are healthcare providers who are nationally certified and state-licensed to practice medicine and prescribe medication in every medical and surgical specialty and setting. PAs practice and prescribe in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories with the exception of Puerto Rico. PAs are educated at the graduate level, with most PAs receiving a Master’s degree or higher.
    Description of the PA Profession
     
    • Physician assistants are academically and clinically prepared to practice medicine with the supervision of a doctor of medicine or osteopathy. The physician-PA team relationship is fundamental to the PA profession and enhances the delivery of high-quality health care. Within the physician-PA relationship, PAs make clinical decisions and provide a broad range of diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive and health maintenance services.
    • The clinical role of PAs includes primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practice settings. PA practice is focused on patient care and may include educational, research and administrative activities. The role of the PA demands intelligence, sound judgment, intellectual honesty, appropriate interpersonal skills and the capacity to respond to emergencies in a calm and reasoned manner. Essential attributes of the graduate PA include 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.
    • PAs are employed in virtually all types of health care settings — hospitals, clinics, private physician offices, schools, and other health care facilities. PAs can be found in communities of all sizes and in virtually every medical and surgical specialty. Although the majority of PAs work in primary care medicine — family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics — many work in specialties such as cardiothoracic surgery and orthopedics. PAs may also work in the areas of medical education, health administration and research. *Portions of the above text are taken from Accreditation Standards for Physician Assistant Education, Fourth Edition, ARC-PA, page 1, 2012.

    View Student Consumer Information

    Keep Moving Forward

    What are you waiting for? Apply today and start building a career in integrative medicine and health.

    Apply Now or call (562) 947-8755 x457 or email [email protected]

    *Tuition rate reflected above represents the fixed rate for a student entering during the 2019-2020 academic year. Tuition rates are subject to change and may not be reflected on this website or other SCU materials. Please contact us for the most updated information. For a complete listing of SCU fees, please refer to the academic catalog.

    Request Information


    • By submitting this form, I authorize and agree that a representative of Southern California University of Health Sciences can contact me about educational services and future offers by email, phone and/or text messaging at the email and telephone number provided above using automated technology for calls or text messages. Message and data rates may apply. I understand that consent is not required to purchase any goods or services from this school and that my consent can be revoked at any time by emailing [email protected]. All information provided shall be subject to our privacy policy.

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.