Physician Assistant

Physician assistants, or PAs, are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. They are educated as generalists with a foundation in primary care. Many work in fields such as:

  • Cardiovascular surgery
  • Orthopedics
  • Emergency medicine
  • Family medicine
  • Internal medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics and gynecology

"What Does a Physician Assistant Do?"

  • Take medical histories
  • Conduct physical exams
  • Diagnose and treat illness
  • Order and interpret tests
  • Counsel on preventive healthcare
  • Assist in surgery
  • Write prescriptions (in most states)

"Where do Physician Assistants Work?"

  • Hospitals
  • Private physicians’ offices
  • Community clinics
  • Research centers
  • Correctional facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Military installations and VA medical centers
  • Public health agencies

Morris Advantages

Physician Assistant programs are competitive. Augsburg, for example, accepts only 30 students into its Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program from a pool of hundreds of applicants. Here are some of the advantages of preparing at the University of Minnesota Morris, for a career as a physician assistant.

Preparing for a physician assistant career at UMN Morris

The requirements to prepare for a physician assistant training program vary by institution To be admitted to the three-year Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Augsburg, one of only two physician assistant training programs in Minnesota, you must have:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in science coursework

While students are generally not required to major in a specific area, coursework in biologychemistrystatistics, and psychology are recommended. Work with your adviser to select appropriate courses for the program you'd like to attend.

To strengthen your application, consider including the following in your undergraduate career.

Applying to Physician Assistant School

While the process may vary from one physician assistant training program to another, many schools utilize the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA), an online application service. In addition, schools may require a supplemental application.

Components of the CASPA application:

  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Online application
  • Fee

The CASPA process and supplemental application forms are generally made available in the spring. Check with specific programs for deadlines. The Augsburg deadline for completing both the CASPA application and the supplemental application is September 1.