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Physician Assistant Studies

Master of Physicians Assistant Studies (M.P.A.S.)

Physician Assistants (PAs) are valued members of the medical community who work in collaboration with a supervising physician. They take histories, perform physical examinations, make clinical diagnoses, treat illnesses, provide patient education, counsel patients, assist in surgery, create patient orders, interpret laboratory studies, and prescribe medications.

Admission To The M.P.A.S. Program

Admission to the Masters of Physician Assistant Studies (M.P.A.S.) is highly competitive.  Students who apply to the M.P.A.S program must possess a baccalaureate degree and have completed the admission criteria (GPA, prerequisite courses, minimum healthcare experience) which can be found at the M.P.A.S. website Application deadline is September 1.


During the 28 months in the M.P.A.S. Program students take a variety of classes, some of which include: anatomy, medical physiology, interprofessional education, clinical problem solving, clinical medicine and application, pathophysiology, pharmacology, professionalism, simulation, and evidence-based medicine.

Career Options

PAs are employed in a wide variety of settings including:

  • Family practice
  • Rural practice
  • ER/Urgent Care
  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology
  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Why Study Physician Assistant Studies at Grand Valley?

  • Excellent Resources: The program has two locations, the Cook DeVos Center for Health Sciences building in the heart of the medical community of downtown Grand Rapids and The University Center in Traverse City, MI. The locations interact daily using state of the art distance learning through the use of ITV.
  • Successful: Over the last five years GVSU graduates have a 1st time pass rate of 99% on the NCCPA certification exam.
  • Small Student to Faculty Ratio: The program accepts 48 students per year with 12 full-time dedicated program faculty members which allows students easy access to faculty and allows for increased small group discussions.
  • Recognized Faculty: Whether state or national presentations, master teacher awards, or national leadership excellence awards, the faculty members are of the highest caliber.

At its September 2016 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) placed the Grand Valley State University Physician Assistant program sponsored by GVSU on Accreditation-Probation status until its next validation review in September 2018.


“I really enjoyed the small class sizes because I didn't get lost in the mix. The faculty interaction is just fantastic. I think that contributes to the success of all the students in the program.”


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