Physician Assistant Studies M.S.

Degree: Master of Science
https://www.towson.edu/chp/departments/health-sciences/grad/physician-assistant/index.html

Program Director: Dr. Marsha Davenport
Phone: 410-704-5244
Email: davenport@towson.edu  

Towson University offers a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies. The program begins in June of each year and is 26 months in length. In a time-efficient manner, students complete the requirements to sit for the physician assistant certification examination and earn a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies. The program prepares the physician assistant to assume roles in clinical practice, health care leadership, advocacy for clients, education of others and clinical research, as well as carrying out the other responsibilities of a physician assistant. Such roles are important for physician assistants in a variety of practice, education and administrative positions. 

Accreditation

The program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant Inc. (ARC-PA).

At its September 2021 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) placed the Towson University CCBC Essex Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Towson University on Accreditation-Probation status until its next review in September 2023. 

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as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and is subject to having its accreditation withdrawn.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. 

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

Admission Requirements

For the master’s degree program, applicants must meet the following requirements for graduate admission at Towson University:

  • This program admits summer term only.
  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university** with a GPA of 3.00 for full admission
    NOTE: The bachelor’s degree must be completed by May 31 of the applicant year.
  • Completion of prerequisite courses, with a grade of “B” or better: Anatomy (or Anatomy and Physiology I) (4); Physiology (or Anatomy and Physiology II) (4); Biochemistry (3); Microbiology (4); college-level statistics in any discipline (3); Health Care in the US (HLTH 207) or equivalent (3); and medical terminology (minimum 2 units, 3 preferred).
    NOTE:
    • Online labs will be accepted. Anatomy, Physiology, and Microbiology all require labs.
    • Organic Chemistry is not a substitute for Biochemistry.
  • Completion of a minimum number of documented hours of experience in a health care setting (800 hours required, 1600 hours preferred)
    NOTE:
    • No updates to patient contact hours after the application is submitted to CASPA.
    • While applicants with hands-on patient care experience in a health care area are preferred, patient contact or medically related experience may include:
      • Clinical hours completed as part of a health care training program
      • Medical or clinical research with or without patient contact
      • Volunteer hospital or clinical experience
      • Documented home health care experience
  • Additional requirements for international students include minimum TOEFL score 85 iBT (with a minimum score of 20 on each of Listening, Reading, and Writing sections), and a minimum score of 25 on the Speaking section.
  • Submit an official copy of transcript evaluation, copy of permanent residency card, copy of current visa, and official copy of international transcript
    NOTE: International applicants are advised to routinely monitor application and admission requirements and updates for international students as stated on the Graduate Admissions website.
  • Ability to perform the essential functions of a physician assistant

Applicants must have completed all of their requirements by the time of application.  The most successful applicants are those individuals who apply to CASPA as early as possible in the application cycle and have strong GPAs. The program uses a deadline of August 1 for the admissions process to review applications, reviewing fully completed CASPA verified files in the order of receipt. 

Please note:

  • Applicants must have all prerequisite courses completed at the time that they submit their application to CASPA. The deadline date is for all applications to be verified in CASPA by August 1 to be considered.
  • Program preference for admission may be given to veterans, Towson University alumni and/or Maryland residents.

Non-immigrant International Students

Program Enrollment: F-1 and J-1 students are required to be enrolled full-time. The majority of their classes must be in-person and on campus. See the list of programs that satisfy these requirements, and contact the International Student and Scholars Office with questions.

Admission Procedures: See additional information regarding Graduate Admission policies and International Graduate Application online.

**See Exceptions to Policy in Graduate Admissions.

Application Procedures

  • Applicants for this program DO NOT apply directly to Towson University, but to the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).
  • The program application cycle year precedes the year of admission.
  • The CASPA application process opens in mid-April. Applications may be made to CASPA any time after this date, and will be accepted once verified by CASPA up until August 1.
  • For best consideration, applications should be submitted to CASPA as early as possible.
  • Applications verified by CASPA after August 1 will not be considered.

Degree Requirements*

The master’s degree program in Physician Assistant Studies requires successful completion of a minimum of 98 units at Towson University. A GPA of 3.00 or better overall must be obtained in the graduate courses.

Required Courses

PAST 601RESEARCH METHODS IN PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT PRACTICE3
PAST 603MEDICINE I2
PAST 604MEDICINE II6
PAST 605MEDICINE III2
PAST 606PEDIATRICS I2
PAST 607PEDIATRICS II2
PAST 608MEDICINE IV6
PAST 609PHARMACOLOGY I2
PAST 610PHARMACOLOGY II2
PAST 612PUBLIC HEALTH AND PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE2
PAST 614PSYCHOSOCIAL ISSUES IN MEDICINE I2
PAST 616PSYCHOSOCIAL ISSUES IN MEDICINE II2
PAST 624GROSS ANATOMY2
PAST 625HUMAN PATHOPHYSIOLOGY2
PAST 626ETHICS, ISSUES AND TRENDS IN PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT PRACTICE3
PAST 630DIAGNOSTIC STUDIES I2
PAST 631DIAGNOSTIC STUDIES II2
PAST 632DIAGNOSTIC STUDIES III2
PAST 636BASIC PHYSICAL DIAGNOSIS2
PAST 637ADVANCED PHYSICAL DIAGNOSIS2
PAST 650INTRODUCTION TO CLINICAL PRACTICE4
PAST 651CLINICAL PRACTICUM I6
PAST 652CLINICAL PRACTICUM II (Pending Approval)6
PAST 653PA CLINICAL PRACTICUM III6
PAST 654PA CLINICAL PRACTICUM IV3
PAST 655CLINICAL PRACTICUM V11
PAST 730CLINICAL MANAGEMENT I2
PAST 731CLINICAL MANAGEMENT II2
PAST 756FINAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM6
PAST 801PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT GRADUATE SEMINAR1
PAST 802PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT GRADUATE PROJECT1
Total Units98

*pending final MHEC approval

  1. Medical Knowledge: demonstrate core knowledge about biomedical and clinical sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care.
  2. Interpersonal and Communication Skills: demonstrate verbal, nonverbal and written communication skills that result in effective information exchange with patients and all other persons regarding the health care system.
  3. Patient Care: demonstrate care that is effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of wellness.
  4. Professionalism: demonstrate a high level of responsibility, ethical practice, sensitivity to a diverse patient population and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements.
  5. Systems-Based Practice: demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger system of health care to provide patient care that is of optimal value. Also incorporated within this goal = Students will use technologies to identify, retrieve, and apply relevant information.