Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (CUAA)

Department website:

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Concordia University Physician Assistant program mission is to educate Physician Assistant graduates in primary medicine with a focus on rural and underserved patient populations and communities.

Vision Statement

The vision of the PA program at Ann Arbor is to provide the local and global community with competent medical providers who will improve lives and influence communities through clinical service and leadership, and do so in a compassionate and respectful manner that changes the lives of all patients who seek our care.

Program Basics

The Concordia University PA program at Ann Arbor is a 27 month professional program that will confer the Master of Science in PA studies (MSPAS) degree after successful completion of all required components of the program.  The program will provide rotations in urban and tertiary hospital settings, but the main focus of this particular program is to provide healthcare to patients from rural and underserved area to improve access and promote health, in keeping with our mission and the mission of the University.


The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Concordia University Ann Arbor Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Concordia University Ann Arbor. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

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

Credential Awarded

The proposed Physician Assistant program will grant the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) degree. The graduate is then eligible to take the PANCE (Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination) administered by the NCCPA (National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants).

Program Outcomes

The goals of this program are to:

  • Recruit and retain students from underserved, underrepresented, and diverse backgrounds committed to the PA profession.
  • Provide each student cohort with specific curricular content in providing primary care to rural and underserved communities in order to increase the number of graduates who elect to practice in rural and underserved communities after graduation.
  • Obtain a  pass rate greater than, or equal to, 90% on the PANCE examination.
  • Develop entry-level PA graduates who demonstrate competency in all aspects of primary care.
  • Instill the values of lifelong learning, professionalism, and ethical practice in upholding the mission of CUAA.
  • Achieve a PA employment rate of 75% by 6 months after graduation.

Program Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the PA program, students will:

  1. Demonstrate the requisite knowledge necessary in primary medicine to evaluate and manage medical concerns of an acute, emergent, chronic, and preventive nature in patients of any age.
  2. Demonstrate communication skills that are patient-centered in obtaining a thorough and concise medical history from patients of any age, gender, ethnicity and culture in an unbiased, attentive, and respectful manner.
  3. Perform a technically accurate complete physical exam on patients of any age for preventive and/or chronic visits; and/or select the appropriate focused physical exam using appropriate technique for patients presenting with acute or emergent medical problems.
  4. Select appropriate labs & diagnostic testing based on a differential diagnosis, and interpret testing to narrow or identify the diagnosis.
  5. Demonstrate the requisite basic procedural skills required to identify and manage illness and injury in a primary medicine encounter in patients of any age.
  6. Utilize higher‐level cognitive skills and critical thinking to derive a diagnosis or presumptive diagnosis from a broad differential utilizing all aspects of patient evaluation findings.
  7. Organize and present an oral presentation of a clinical patient encounter in a coherent fashion.
  8. Document a clinical note including all component parts appropriate to the presentation for a patient of any age and gender, with a medical or surgical concern in an inpatient or outpatient setting with any chief complaint.
  9. Utilize available medical research to identify appropriate evidence for a particular clinical question or to assist in medical decision making.
  10. Function professionally in medical practice with all members of the healthcare team.
  11. Demonstrate understanding of Christian Values and exemplify integration of these values, attitudes, and behaviors in both the classroom and in clinical practice.

Student Performance Requirements

The CUAA PA student will be required to:

  • Participate in full time didactic and clinical training, sometimes requiring weekends and late hours
  • Perform all required medical and surgical procedures
  • Participate fully in medical, surgical, emergency, outpatient and inpatient settings off campus
  • Demonstrate professionalism, and ethical behavior at all times.
  • Follow the medical law as it relates to restrictions, constraints, and opportunities for PA students
  • Demonstrate respect for beliefs and values different from self, exhibit empathy and compassion for all patients, and tolerate ambiguity, and differences in patient abilities in health literacy.
  • Display mental and physical stamina required during long hours in both the classroom and clinical settings, and required continuing study after on campus and clinical days are finished.
  • Demonstrate competency by the end of the program in all CUAA PA Program Learning Outcomes at to the level required by faculty
  • Participate in service
  • Complete other duties as required to demonstrate aptitude for the physician assistant profession

Successful Completion of the Didactic Year:

In order to successfully complete the didactic year and advance to the clinical rotation year, the student MUST:
  • Comply with all policies and procedures published by CUAA and those of the Physician Assistant Program.
  • Achieve a grade of 79% or higher at the end of each didactic course.
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher at the end of each term.
  • Submit timely documentation of immunization and physical exam requirements.
  • Maintain BLS certification (on your own) throughout the program and obtain or maintain ACLS certification (provided by the PA program) prior to entering clinical rotations. ACLS certification must remain valid through graduation from the program.
  • Comply with professionalism expectations.

The program will monitor student progress in a timely and ongoing fashion, and will provide remediation options for the student to improve performance. It is the student’s responsibility to make significant efforts at remediation to prove competency. Processes for remediation is outlined in both the Didactic and Clinical Student Handbooks.

Successful Completion of the Clinic Year:

  • Comply with all CUAA and PA Program policies and procedures
  • Comply with professionalism expectations
  • Achieve a total grade for each EOR at 79% or higher
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher at the end of each term
  • Successfully complete all written, practical and oral summative evaluations with a grade of 73% or higher
  • Successfully complete the summative evaluation as designated by program requirements

Requirements for Graduation

  • Successful completion of all components of the program with demonstrated competency (didactic, clinical and Capstone)
  • Compliance with all CUAA and PA program policies and procedures demonstrated professional behavior throughout the program
  • Fulfillment of all financial obligations to Concordia University Ann Arbor

Dismissal from the Program:

The CUA A’s PA Program reserves the right to dismiss any PA student at any time prior to graduation. Circumstances warranting such action may be of an academic, legal or professional nature.Additional information is available in the student handbooks on appeal of dismissal and withdrawal from the program.


Deceleration in the didactic program is not allowed for academic or professionalism deficiencies. In the case of a Leave of Absence due to medical illness or pregnancy, deceleration may require that the student repeat the entire didactic year, taking all courses again that they had passed previously, which would require additional tuition. The program will make decisions related to LOA on a case-by-case basis.


PHAS 5100Primary Medicine I3
PHAS 5110Patient Care I2
PHAS 5235Anatomy5
PHAS 5135Molecular Basis of Disease2
PHAS 5105Labs & Diagnostics I2
PHAS 5115Pharmacotherapy I2
PHAS 5120Skills for Primary Practice I1
PHAS 5125PA Professional Practice I1
PHAS 5200Primary Medicine II3
PHAS 5205Labs & Diagnostics II2
PHAS 5210Patient Care II1
PHAS 5215Pharmacotherapy II2
PHAS 5220Skills for Primary Practice II1
PHAS 5130Medical Decision Making I1
PHAS 5225PA Professional Practice II1
PHAS 5300Primary Medicine III4
PHAS 5305Labs & Diagnostics III3
PHAS 5310Patient Care III2
PHAS 5315Pharmacotherapy III3
PHAS 5320Skills for Primary Practice III2
PHAS 5230Medical Decision Making II2
PHAS 5325PA Professional Practice III1
PHAS 5240Behavioral Medicine2
PHAS 5425PA Professional Practice IV1
PHAS 5400Primary Medicine IV3
PHAS 5405Labs & Diagnostics IV2
PHAS 5410Patient Care IV2
PHAS 5415Pharmacotherapy IV2
PHAS 5420Skills for Primary Practice IV1
PHAS 5330Medical Decision Making III2
PHAS 5435Emergency Medicine for Primary Care3
PHAS 5440Surgical Medicine3
PHAS 6000Family Medicine Clinical Rotation I4
PHAS 6005Family Medicine Clinical Rotation II4
PHAS 6010Internal Medicine Clinical Rotation I4
PHAS 6015Internal Medicine Clinical Rotation II4
PHAS 6020Women's Health Clinical Rotation4
PHAS 6025Pediatric Clinical Rotation4
PHAS 6030Behavioral Medicine Clinical Rotation4
PHAS 6035Surgical Medicine Clinical Rotation4
PHAS 6040Emergency Medicine Clinical Rotation4
PHAS 6045Elective Clinical Rotation I4
PHAS 6050Elective Clinical Rotation II4
PHAS 6100Summative Assessment2
Total Hours113

Admission Requirements

Candidates for admission must meet the following requirements:

  • January 15, 2023 is the deadline for submission of verified applications.
  • Please note, the deadline for application is for Verified applications. Submit your applications at least 4-6 weeks prior to the deadline to allow time for verification of information in your application.
  • First day of class is August 28, 2023
  • Baccalaureate Degree (must be earned prior to matriculation from a regionally accredited university or college in the U.S.)
  • GPA
    • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher, AND
    • Minimum 3.0 prerequisite science GPA or higher
  • Prerequisite Coursework
    • Note: Each prerequisite course must be successfully completed with a grade of “C” or higher from a regionally U.S. accredited college or university. For applicants who have taken their prerequisite coursework outside the U.S., please see Admissions tab for more information.
    • All prerequisite science coursework must be completed at the time of application.
    • One non-science prerequisite course may be pending at the time of application, but must be completed prior to matriculation in the program.
    • Online labs for science prerequisites will be considered if related to COVID issues and only if occurring between spring 2020 and spring 2022 terms. 
    • Audited coursework is not accepted for prerequisite courses, nor are grades of PASS/FAIL.
  • PA-CAT/  The Concordia University Ann Arbor PA Program is recommending that their applicants take the PA-CAT (Physician Assistant College Admission Test). The PA-CAT is a specialized test designed to measure applicant knowledge in key prerequisite science subjects typically required for PA school. For information about the PA-CAT and to schedule your exam, visit their website.
  • There must be documentation of 1000 hours of hands-on patient care experience.
    • Examples of hands-on patient care may include but is not limited to: nursing, CNA, ER tech, EMT/paramedic, lab technician, dietician, exercise stress test technician, mental health therapist, military medical/clinical specialist, occupational/physical therapist, pharmacist, pharmacy technician, phlebotomist, respiratory therapist, surgical technician.
    • Medical scribe experience as a scribe is invaluable to documentation and observational learning, but hands-on patient care experience is not part of the scribe’s responsibility. As such, a scribe may use max 500 hours of scribe work as part of the health care requirement, but the remainder must be in some capacity in which you have direct patient interaction.
    • The following are NOT considered hands-on experience: PA or MD shadowing; non-clinical research assistant; candy striper; CPR instructor; patient transporter, pharmaceutical rep; ski patrol (unless EMT certified), lifeguard, aerobics instructor, therapeutic horse observers, unit clerk, medical insurance clerk, medical secretary.
    • If you have additional questions regarding whether your particular experience suffices, please contact the program office directly to discuss.
  • Completion of 16 hour minimum shadowing of a Physician Assistant.
    • Shadowing must be completed and documented to the program via CASPA in order for the application to be considered ready for review.
    • The program is not able to find or suggest sites for applicants to complete the shadowing requirement.
  • Three letters of reference are required to be submitted: (PLEASE NOTE)
    • One letter of reference must be from a PA with whom you have shadowed, and should speak to your understanding of the role of a PA and aptitude for the vocation of a Physician Assistant specifically.
    • One letter of reference must be from an employer/supervisor of your patient health care experience, and should speak to your interaction and care of patients and aptitude for a profession as a health care provider.
    • One letter must be from someone who can speak to your aptitude for successfully navigating the strenuous workloads and rigor that the curriculum will require.
  • Technical Standards are physical, behavioral and cognitive abilities that must be met in order for a PA to complete the educational curriculum, and competently perform all duties required as a PA upon graduation. Please see Technical Standards for Physician Assistants on the ( website, that each student must be able to meet in order to be admitted to the PA program and function effectively in the PA profession.
  • Chemistry:
    • One or two semesters of general (inorganic) chemistry with lab (4 cr each) (two preferred)
    • One semester of organic chemistry with lab
    • One semester of biochemistry with or without lab) (3 cr course minimum)
    • If Organic chemistry or Biochemistry are taken at a community college, pre-req for that course must have been a college level general chemistry course)
  • Biology:
    • One or two semesters of general biology with lab (3-4 cr. each) (two are preferred)
    • Botany, or survey course does not fill this requirement
  • Genetics:
    • One semester of genetics is preferred, but not required.
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology:
    • May be completed as A & P 1 and A & P 2; both must include lab and must require a college level biology course as a prerequisite for taking A & P.  The applicant may be asked to provide the course description to the program. This requirement may also be met as individual Human Anatomy and separate Physiology course, again with on-campus lab component. A & P is the cornerstone for all understanding in clinical medicine, and as such, the course must be rigorous, related to HUMAN anatomy & physiology, and should have been completed within 5 years of application, although more distant coursework of an applicant currently working in a medical field utilizing A & P may be acceptable. Pathophysiology will not replace the requirement for a physiology course in those who have taken only Anatomy.
  • Microbiology: One semester with lab is required
  • Psychology: One semester (lifespan, developmental or abnormal preferred)
  • Statistics: One semester
  • College algebra or higher: One semester (will accept high school AP credit)
  • Medical Terminology: One semester (recommended within 5 years of application)
  • English Composition: One semester minimum (will accept high school AP credit)

Highly recommended courses though not required:

  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology
  • Additional Psychology classes
  • Additional medical terminology study is recommended

No advanced placement or transfer credit is granted if transferring from another PA or graduate program nor for foreign medical graduates or foreign physicians. No course credit is given for experiential learning.

NOTE: high school AP coursework for the basic sciences courses (Biology 1 and Chemistry 1) may be used for pre-requisite requirements. The statement above refers to AP in coursework taken at a previous PA program.