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Master of Science (M.S.) in Physician Assistant Studies


What will I learn?

Physician assistants (PAs) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a physician. PAs work in a variety of practice settings including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and research centers. PAs are qualified to take medical histories, examine patients, order and administer diagnostic tests, make diagnoses, treat illnesses, and assist in surgery. The care they provide might otherwise be provided by physicians. PAs can provide care as generalists in primary care situations or in subspecialty areas of medicine. Common specialties in which PAs practice include family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine, orthopedics, surgery, and pediatrics.

The PA Program represents a partnership between the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Gundersen Medical Foundation, Mayo School of Health Sciences, and Marshfield Clinic Health System. The graduate-level professional curriculum is 24 months in length and involves classes on the campuses of all four partner institutions. The curriculum includes a 12-month pre-clinical year consisting primarily of classroom and laboratory activities. A 12-month clinical year follows and involves rotations in a variety of clinical specialties. These clinical experiences are provided primarily using Gundersen, Mayo, and Marshfield Clinic Health System, and other practice sites.

Upon completion of all degree requirements, students are awarded a Master of Science degree in physician assistant studies from UWL and a certificate of completion from the program’s institutional partnership. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). To be licensed for practice, graduates must pass the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

The rigor and intensity of the program and the level of skills and responsibility necessary for practice as a PA require the program to accept candidates who have demonstrated a strong academic background along with excellent interpersonal skills and maturity. Prior health care experience is expected as an indicator of a career commitment suitable to clinical practice. The program's admission process considers each applicant's strengths and selects for admission those best qualified to meet the program's mission. Application to the program is very competitive with a class of 28 students accepted annually.

Which department am I in?

College of Science and Health (CSH)

Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
US$20,178.00 per year
Start date

22 May 2023


College of Science and Health (CSH)

1725 State Street,



54601, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

A bachelor’s or higher degree from UWL or another approved institution where English is the sole language of instruction may also fulfill this requirement. Degree must be earned within two years of expected enrollment at UWL. Applicant must have attended the institution for a minimum of two years.

For international students

An earned bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

Applicants for graduate study who are not native speakers of English must meet one of the following for admission:

TOEFL score of at least 79 iBT or 550 pBT

IELTS score of at least 6.0

PTE (Pearson Test of English) score of at least 60

Application Deadline: August 1, 2021 for Summer 2022 start.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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