view from payneRaymond A. Rich Leadership Institute, Marist College

About the Program

The proposed Master of Science-Physician Assistant Studies is a 24 month, full-time program designed to prepare students for the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE) and for a successful career as a physician assistant.  The program consists of three phases: didactic phase, clinical phase, and capping phase.  Students will learn about and experience healthcare in a variety of settings and across the lifespan.  In addition, the ethical responsibilities of the profession, behavioral aspects of health, roles and responsibilities of the physician assistant, and global aspects of health are covered.  The program is designed to graduate highly trained, ethical, and problem-solving healthcare providers.

This proposed program takes advantage of a large, and growing, need for physician assistants (PAs) while being consistent with the mission of the College and the School of Science.  The School of Science has a long history of preparing students to enter the health professions.  Approximately half of the incoming students in the school express a desire to enter the health professions based on enrollment in the Health Professions course.  Over the last ten years, nearly 8% of Marist students who applied to health profession schools were successful with approximately seven students per year continuing to PA programs.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that most of these students would prefer to remain at Marist if a suitable program existed. The market for physician assistants is expected to grow significantly over the next few years. Employment projections are estimated to be well above average nationally (30% through 2020) and above average regionally (20% through 2018).  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for Physician Assistants in 2012 was $90,930.  CNN Money listed Physician Assistant as the second best job in America in 2010.  This program, therefore, addresses the needs of our current students, provides good quality career opportunities, utilizes current strengths of the School of Science, and responds to a strong external market.

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Accreditation Status
Marist College has applied for Accreditation - Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Marist College anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2016, pending achieving Accreditation - Provisional status at the September 2015 ARC-PA meeting.  Accreditation - Provisional is an accreditation status for a new PA program that, at the time of its initial accreditation review, demonstrated its preparedness to initiate a program in accordance with the accreditation Standards.