Physician Assistant M.S.

Expected start  May 2020 | Program length 27 months | Credits 113 | Cost/credit $750 | Format In-person, full time

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.  Prepare for a career providing exceptional, compassionate healthcare. You'll develop the skills through practice-based training needed to work with physician and surgical teams in diverse settings, including primary care and family medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, psychiatry and sub-specialty areas. 

Program description

Northwestern College’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) is a 27-month graduate program that provides training for students seeking certification and licensure as a physician assistant (PA).  Students must successfully complete 113 graduate credits over seven consecutive academic terms, including four terms of face-to-face training, followed by three terms of clinical rotations with concurrent online courses designed to facilitate the integration of classroom material with their clinical experiences.

The program plans to accept 30 students per year, and will give preference in the application process to graduates of Northwestern College provided they meet all admissions requirements.  The PA program builds on the exceptional reputation of Northwestern College’s established biology, nursing, and athletic training programs to equip students with the tools to serve all patients with exceptional, individualized care. 

PA Program Goals

  1. Exceptional training. To prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary for entry into practice as a physician assistant
  2. Faith integration. To integrate Biblical teachings into the medical curriculum so that graduates are prepared to serve with integrity and compassion
  3. Leadership preparation.To train physician assistants who are collaborative leaders in their field, working with others to provide optimal medical care to patients
  4. Diverse learning. To provide an inclusive learning environment that enhances cultural competence and understanding of others

The program’s success in achieving these goals will be published following the graduation of the first cohort of students.

PA Program Mission

The mission of the Northwestern College Physician Assistant Program is to equip students with an exceptional education grounded in a biblical theology of human dignity and flourishing. 

PA Program Vision

The NWC PA program will be the nation’s leading provider of Christ-centered physician assistants who will serve their communities with excellence, integrity, and compassion.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Cost per credit: $750/credit hour
Total required credits: 113

Financial Aid
The  Financial Aid Office can provide more information about financial aid or incentives available for the PA program.
Policies and Procedures for refunding tuition and fees can also be found in the  Northwestern Graduate Catalog (page 16)  

 Career potential

PAs are in high demand—  U.S. News and World Report ranks physician assistant 4th among best healthcare jobs.
As the population increases and ages, the demand for healthcare services also grows. Physician assistants play a vital role in independently serving patients and providing many of the same services as doctors.

  • Employment outlook: 37% increase from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations
  • Median salary (2017): $104,860

Sources:  Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration


Northwestern College has applied for Accreditation–Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Northwestern College anticipates matriculating its first class in May 2020, pending achieving Accreditation–Provisional status at the September 2019 ARC-PA meeting. 

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. Should Northwestern College not receive Accreditation–Provisional, the program will not be permitted to start in May 2020.

NCCPA PANCE First-time Pass Rate
The NCCPA PANCE first-time pass rate summary report will be available upon the completion fo the first graduating class in 2022.

Program effectiveness data
The program effectiveness data will be available upon the completion fo the first graduating class in 2022.