Physician Assistant Studies M.S.
Degree: Master of Science
Program Director: Dr. Marsha Davenport
Towson University offers a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies that is completed concurrently with a Certificate in Physician Assistant Studies at the Community College of Baltimore County - Essex campus (CCBC). 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.
Students are admitted to both TU for the master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies and CCBC for its Physician Assistant professional certificate. Students will take CCBC and TU courses concurrently throughout the entire program. They must complete all program requirements at both institutions to receive the Master of Science degree and to receive the Certificate in Physician Assistant Studies. Students may not receive either the master’s degree or the certificate without completing all requirements for both. Once all requirements for both the M.S. degree and the certificate are complete, students will be able to sit for the national certification examination.
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Towson University CCBC Essex Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Towson University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards. Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be September 2023. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.
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.
- Acceptance to the Physician Assistant certificate program at CCBC
- 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) and medical terminology (minimum 2 units, 3 preferred).
- As a result of COVID-19, online labs will be accepted for the 2020-2021 application cycle. 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)
- 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
A full listing of acceptable patient contact experiences can be found within the Physician Assistant Program Application and Admissions Information booklet.
- Additional requirements for international students include minimum TOEFL score of 550 pBT or 80 iBT (with a minimum score of 20 on each of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing sections), or minimum IELTS of 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the Listen, Speaking, Reading, and Writing sections), 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.
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.
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.
**See Exceptions to Policy in Graduate Admissions.
- Applicants for this program DO NOT apply directly to Towson University or CCBC, 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.
The master’s degree program in Physician Assistant Studies requires successful completion of a minimum of 59 units from Towson University and 39 units from CCBC-Essex. A GPA of 3.00 or better overall must be obtained in the graduate courses.
|CCBC—Essex Courses 1|
|PAST 212||Public Health and Preventive Medicine||2|
|PAST 214||Psychosocial Issues I||2|
|PAST 216||Psychosocial Issues II||2|
|PAST 224||Gross Anatomy||2|
|PAST 225||Human Pathophysiology||2|
|PAST 226||Ethics, Issues and Trends in Physician Assistant Practice||3|
|PAST 230||Diagnostic Studies I||2|
|PAST 231||Diagnostic Studies II||2|
|PAST 232||Diagnostic Studies III||2|
|PAST 236||Basic Physical Diagnostics||2|
|PAST 237||Advanced Physical Diagnostics||2|
|PAST 250||Introduction to Clinical Practicum||4|
|PAST 251||Clinical Practicum I||6|
|PAST 252||Clinical Practicum II||6|
|Towson University Courses|
|PAST 601||RESEARCH METHODS IN PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT PRACTICE||3|
|PAST 603||MEDICINE I||2|
|PAST 604||MEDICINE II||6|
|PAST 605||MEDICINE III||2|
|PAST 606||PEDIATRICS I||2|
|PAST 607||PEDIATRICS II||2|
|PAST 608||MEDICINE IV||6|
|PAST 609||PHARMACOLOGY I||2|
|PAST 610||PHARMACOLOGY II||2|
|PAST 653||PA CLINICAL PRACTICUM III||6|
|PAST 654||PA CLINICAL PRACTICUM IV||3|
|PAST 655||CLINICAL PRACTICUM V||11|
|PAST 730||CLINICAL MANAGEMENT I||2|
|PAST 731||CLINICAL MANAGEMENT II||2|
|PAST 756||FINAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM||6|
|PAST 801||PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT GRADUATE SEMINAR||1|
|PAST 802||PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT GRADUATE PROJECT||1|
- Medical Knowledge: demonstrate core knowledge about biomedical and clinical sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care.
- 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.
- Patient Care: demonstrate care that is effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of wellness.
- Professionalism: demonstrate a high level of responsibility, ethical practice, sensitivity to a diverse patient population and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements.
- 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.
PAST 601 RESEARCH METHODS IN PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT PRACTICE (3)
Examination of theory and methodology for designing and coordinating qualitative and quantitative research, including data collection and analysis. Prerequisite: Admission to program.
PAST 602 ETHICS, ISSUES, AND TRENDS IN PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT PRACTICE (3)
Examines professional and ethical issues, as well as legal implications, confronting the physician assistant. Effect of social, political and economic changes is also explored, together with the physician assistant role in the health care team. Prerequisite: Admission to program.
PAST 603 MEDICINE I (2)
Physiological and pathological mechanisms of disease process; treatment and preventive aspects of care are included. Prerequisite: Admission to program.
PAST 604 MEDICINE II (6)
Second course in physiological and pathological mechanisms of the disease process, treatment and prevention. Prerequisites: Admission to program and completion of Medicine I.
PAST 605 MEDICINE III (2)
Third course in physiological and pathological mechanisms of the disease process, treatment and prevention. Prerequisites: Admission to program and completion of Medicine I and II.
PAST 606 PEDIATRICS I (2)
Clinical assessment and management of disease in infant to adolescent patients. Prerequisites: Admission to program and completion of Medicine I.
PAST 607 PEDIATRICS II (2)
A second course in clinical assessment and management of disease in infant to adolescent patients. Prerequisites: Admission to program and completion of Pediatrics I.
PAST 608 MEDICINE IV (6)
The fourth course in physiological and pathological mechanisms of the disease process, treatment and prevention. Prerequisites: Admission to program and completion of Medicine III.
PAST 609 PHARMACOLOGY I (2)
First of two courses in pharmacology dealing with initiating a monitoring routine drug therapy. Included are the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamies. Prerequisites: Admission to program and completion of Medicine I.
PAST 610 PHARMACOLOGY II (2)
The second of two courses in pharmacology dealing with initiating a monitoring routine drug therapy. Included are the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamies. Prerequisites: Admission to program and completion of Pharmacology I.
PAST 653 PA CLINICAL PRACTICUM III (6)
Clinical experience designed for the application of principles of the practice of medicine. Demonstration of increasing skill mastery through provision of patient care from presentation through follow-up including diagnostic evaluation and patient management. Prerequisites: successful completion of first two clinical courses in clinical year sequence PAST 251 and PAST 252 (CCBC courses).
PAST 654 PA CLINICAL PRACTICUM IV (3)
Clinical experience designed for the application of principles of the practice of medicine. Demonstration of increasing skill mastery through provision of patient care from presentation through follow-up including diagnostic evaluation and patient management. Prerequisites: successful completion of first three clinical courses in clinical year sequence PAST 251 and PAST 252 (CCBC courses) and PAST 653.
PAST 655 CLINICAL PRACTICUM V (11)
Clinical experience designed for the application of principles of the practice of medicine. Demonstration of increasing skill mastery through provision of patient care from presentation through follow-up including diagnostic evaluation and patient management. Prerequisite: successful completion of first four clinical courses in clinical year sequence.
PAST 670 SPECIAL TOPICS IN PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT STUDIES (1-6)
A study of contemporary topics in Physician Assistant studies. The specific requirements and prerequisites will vary with each topic and will be designated by the program. May be repeated for a maximum of 10 units provided a different topic is taken each time.
PAST 730 CLINICAL MANAGEMENT I (2)
The first of a two-course sequence of case-based learning seminars and studenbt grand rounds presentations. Permit required; registration limited to those admitted to the program. Prerequisites: Medicine IV, Pediatrics II, Pharmacology II, successful completion of all year 1 courses.
PAST 731 CLINICAL MANAGEMENT II (2)
The second of a two-course squence of case-based learning seminars and student grand rounds presentations. Permit required; registration limited to those admitted into the program. Prerequisites: Medicine IV, Pediatrics II, Pharmacology II, successful completion of all year 1 courses.
PAST 756 FINAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM (6)
Capstone clinical experience designed for the application of principles of the practice of medicine. Provide patient care from presentation through follow-up including diagnostic evaluation and patient management. Prerequisites: PAST 251, PAST 252, PAST 253, PAST 254; (the PAST program is offered collaboratively between TU and CCBC Essex; both TU and CCBC courses are required in the program; PAST 251, PAST 252, PAST 253, PAST 254 are CCBC courses).
PAST 801 PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT GRADUATE SEMINAR (1)
The first of two research project courses for Physician Assistant students. Completion and presentation of graduate research proposal. Prerequisites: admission to program and completion of PAST 601.
PAST 802 PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT GRADUATE PROJECT (1)
Completion of reseach project and final presentation of findings. Taken final year of program. Prerequisites: Admission into Physician Assistant Studies Program and PAST 801 Physician Assistant Graduate Seminar.