Pre-Physician Assistant Studies Program (M)

Overview

Concordia University Wisconsin offers a Pre-Physician Assistant Studies program in conjunction with other undergraduate majors offered at Concordia. Concordia offers 60+ undergraduate majors and all are acceptable for students wishing to continue their education in the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program. No specific major is required or preferred, provided that all pre-physician assistant requirements are met prior to entering the graduate program. Students work with their Academic Advisor to complete the course required for the undergraduate degree as well as the prerequisite courses required for the PA program.

Completing the requirements for the program does not guarantee admission.
See process at : https://www.cuw.edu/academics/programs/physician-assistant-masters/index.html#admissions.

An undergraduate degree, as well as the PA prerequisite courses, may be completed in four years depending on the major selected. 

Admission for Concordia Undergraduate Students and Alumni

Current students and alumni of a Concordia University system school will be guaranteed an interview for the PA program if they meet certain requirements.  Guaranteed interviews will be extended to students and alumni who have submitted a verified CASPA application by the deadline, have a cumulative AND prerequisite science point average of at least 3.40, and have completed all additional entrance requirements.  

Entrance Requirements

Admission to the Physician Assistant program is competitive.  Concordia University Wisconsin will admit one class of 30 full-time students in May of each academic year.  

Candidates for admission must meet the following requirements:

  • Baccalaureate degree earned prior to matriculation from a regionally accredited university or college
  • Minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA
  • Minimum 3.2 prerequisite science GPA
  • All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed with a grade of “C” or higher from a regionally accredited college or university
    • Applicants must have all prerequisite science courses complete at the time of application.  One non-science prerequisite course may be pending at the time of application, but will need to be completed prior to matriculation in the program.

    • Lab components must be completed in a face-to-face format on-campus.  Online labs are not accepted.  

  • Complete a minimum of 500 hours* of hands-on patient care experience.  Medical scribe work can be applied towards part of this requirement; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to obtain more hands-on patient care experience than scribe work. Please review the CUW website for further information regarding the patient care experience requirements.
  • Complete a minimum of 24 hours* of job shadowing with a Physician Assistant  
  • Able to perform Technical Standards for Physician Assistants
  • Three letters of reference are required as part of the application process. 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. One letter of reference must be from an employer/supervisor of your patient care experience, and should speak to your interaction and care of patients. At least one more letter (may be more than one) can be professional, academic, or a character reference.

Science Prerequisites (See https://www.cuw.edu/programs/physicianassistant/entrance.html for additional details)

  • General Chemistry- Two semesters of sequenced courses with labs
  • Organic Chemistry- One semester with lab
  • Biochemistry- One semester with or without lab
  • Microbiology- One semester with lab
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab-  Two semesters.  Can be either separate Anatomy (with lab) and Physiology courses OR combined A&P I and II courses including labs*
  • Biology- Two semesters with labs (excluding the listed prerequisite science courses mentioned even at higher levels)
  • Genetics- One semester with or without a lab

Other prerequisites:

  • Psychology- One semester
  • Statistics- One semester
  • College algebra or higher- One semester
  • Medical Terminology- One semester*

* A&P and Medical Terminology are recommended within five years of applying to the program.

Questions about specific prerequisites courses should be directed to the Graduate Admission Office.

A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to attain state licensure.

At this time we are unable to enroll F-1 international students in the Physician Assistant Program.

School of Health Professions

Students may apply to the program during the cycle beginning in April before their senior year; however, all prerequisite science courses and additional entrance requirements must be complete at the time of application. 

The Physician Assistant Studies Program at Concordia University Wisconsin participates in the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applicants for the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program should apply  online using the CASPA application. To learn more about the CASPA Application process, visit the CASPA website at https://portal.caspaonline.org/.

Mission Statement

The Physician Assistant program at CUW prepares students to become competent physician assistants who provide high quality health care in a respectful, culturally sensitive, caring and knowledgeable manner. CUW PA graduates are committed to caring for patients in mind, body and spirit with an emphasis on continual lifelong learning.

Program Goals

The goals of this program are to:

  1. PA graduates will have a first-time PANCE pass rate at or above the national average.
  2. The CUW PA Program will maintain continuing accreditation status, fully compliant with all ARC-PA Standards.
  3. The CUW PA Program will provide academic support to all matriculated students.
  4. Faculty and students will support and promote the CUW PA Program.
  5. Faculty and graduates will promote academics and leadership within the PA profession.
  6. The CUW PA Program will provide opportunities in inter-professional education in order to perform effectively as a member of the healthcare team. 

Accreditation

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Concordia University Wisconsin Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Concordia University Wisconsin.  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 2026.  The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Information on accreditation is available at www.arc-pa.org or at: Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc., 12000 Findley Road, Suite 150, Johns Creek, GA 30097, (770) 476-1224.  

Program General Academic Information

The Concordia University Wisconsin PA Program is a full time 26 consecutive month curriculum.  The didactic phase is held at the Mequon Campus and provides the foundation for the clinical year.  Spanning the first 15 months of the program, the didactic phase consists of courses in the basic sciences and clinical/behavioral medicine.  Areas of study include human anatomy with cadaver lab, physical examination and history taking, pharmacology, physiology/pathophysiology, clinical skills, and topics and issues related to the profession.  The clinical portion of the program will be in urban, rural, and medically underserved settings throughout Wisconsin as well as possible out-of-state locations with physician and PA preceptors.