Marist’s Physician Assistant Program Receives Full Accreditation

Julia Fishman

Program receives highest level of accreditation; next review not required until 2030.

April 20, 2020—Marist’s Physician Assistant (PA) Program has been granted “Accreditation-Continued” status by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) and will not require additional review until 2030. “Accreditation-Continued” is the highest level a PA program can attain, ending the provisional portion of the accreditation process.

Gaining full accreditation has been a multi-year process in which ARC-PA completed three site visits to Marist and conducted a comprehensive analysis of every aspect of the program, including student outcomes, student and faculty satisfaction, graduate competence in the workforce, and scores on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).

Marist’s PA Program, which confers a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, admitted its first class in 2016 with provisional accreditation; that cohort graduated in May 2018 and achieved an impressive 100 percent first-time pass rate on the licensing exam.

“I would like to salute all of our PA faculty and administrative leaders for working so tirelessly to produce capable and caring healthcare professionals,” said Marist President Dennis J. Murray. “Now, more than ever, these experts are needed in our nation.”

“Being granted ‘Accreditation-Continued’ status and earning 10 years before the next full review is a hard-won accomplishment after such a rigorous process. The faculty, students, and alumni all pulled together to present the good work of our program during the ARC-PA visit in October 2019 and are delighted with this result,” said Theresa Horvath, Director of the Physician Assistant Program.

“We are very gratified to have received full accreditation, which is really a testament to the academic quality of this program, our state-of the-art facilities, and our excellent student outcomes. Our efforts are fully supported by our clinical partners in the community, who provide our students with the hands-on experience needed to complete their training,” said Dr. Alicia Slater, Dean of the School of Science. “At this particular moment, it is also especially gratifying to know that we continue to augment the nation’s pool of highly trained, well qualified medical professionals who are so urgently needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The PA Program, a 24-month, full-time program designed to prepare students for clinical practice, is housed in Marist’s Allied Health Building, which has a state-of-the-art gross anatomy laboratory, standardized patient suites, a trauma simulation room, and a skills laboratory. The Program consists of one 12-month didactic phase and one 12-month clinical phase in which students work onsite with numerous healthcare partner agencies in the community. Students learn how to care for patients in a variety of settings, including inpatient, outpatient, operating room, and emergency room. Global health is also emphasized in the curriculum. PA students complete seven required core rotations during their clinical year, as well as one elective. To learn more about Marist’s PA Program, visit

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