Master of Science: Physician Assistant Program


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 pioneering program emphasizes a holistic approach, teaching students to use science and evidence-based research to provide patient-centered, integrative health care.

Apply Now or call (562) 947-8755 x457 or email [email protected]
Program Length: 28 months
Start Term: Fall
Fixed Rate Tuition: $14,590/trimester*

MSPA Program Mission

SCU’s Master of Science: Physician Assistant program will educate students to become skilled clinical providers for quality integrative healthcare teams. In today’s ever-changing healthcare system, our graduates will strive to provide premium healthcare to a diverse population and establish their place as innovative leaders in the delivery of healthcare.

MSPA Program Vision

The graduates of SCU’s MSPA program will be recognized as unique, highly-trained, competent, caring, and successful integrative healthcare providers.

General Goals of the MSPA

  • Ensure a learning community where academic excellence in our program results in competent MSPA practitioners.
  • Educate graduates that will be recognized as unique, highly-trained, evidence-based, patient-focused, and successful integrative healthcare providers.
  • Develop leaders to be thoughtful and compassionate individuals who promote healthy lifestyles and preventative medicine and influence their profession and the communities they serve.
  • Provide a learning environment conducive and supportive of quality instruction, innovation, critical thinking and effective communication that encourages life-long professional development.

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 fully immerses students in a multidisciplinary setting. MSPA students take basic science classes with other students pursuing a variety of healthcare careers — including future chiropractors and acupuncturists. This unique inter-professional environment empowers students to excel within integrative healthcare teams.

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. By blending Eastern and Western medicine, the PA program helps students gain the essential skills and knowledge to treat the whole person.

A Fulfilling Career Path

In today’s ever-changing healthcare system, physician assistants are in high demand. With a strong educational foundation, you will be ready to launch a lifelong career with opportunities to practice in a variety of dynamic settings.

Why Physician Assistant Program

A Fast-Growing Field

The U.S. is facing a shortage of primary care providers, and physician assistants are needed to fill the void. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of physician assistants is expected to grow 30 percent through 2024. Once you complete SCU’s MSPA program, you will be qualified for an in-demand career with plenty of job opportunities.

A Dynamic Profession

As a physician assistant, you will experience the rewards that come from helping and treating patients with a high level of care. From primary care to emergency medicine to orthopedics, PAs practice in a wide variety of medical settings and often transition from one specialty to another throughout their career.



The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation – Provisional status to the Master in 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.


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

SCU Physician Assistant Webinar

Watch “SCU Physician Assistant Webinar”

Find out how SCU’s MSPA program teaches aspiring PA’s to become highly trained clinical providers. Learn all about this pioneering program and how SCU emphasizes a holistic approach, teaching students to use science and evidence-based research to provide patient-centered, integrative health care.

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.

Metrics for evaluating program goals can be accessed here

PANCE exam scores can be accessed here

View Student Consumer Information

Technical standards for Physician Assistants (PDF)

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.

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