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About the Program

Physician assistants play a critical role delivering high-quality, affordable health care to the nation, and more than ever before physician assistants are needed to meet the changing health care needs of our nation and the world. The MUSC Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) program is the perfect place to gain the skills, knowledge and experience to grab hold of this exciting, evolving career. We offer a Master of Science degree for individuals seeking to become physician assistants.

The PAS program begins at the end of May each year, and lasts for seven semesters or approximately twenty-seven months. The first four semesters (fifteen months) are devoted to classroom study. There are no online courses offered in the Program. Students reside in Charleston taking courses five days a week over the first fifteen months of the Program.

During the last three semesters (twelve months), students complete nine separate clinical clerkships at sites located throughout South Carolina and elsewhere. Clerkships include rotations in mental health, women’s health, internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, and general surgery, as well as a primary care elective and a clerkship elective of the student’s choosing. 

Students are highly discouraged from having a job while in the PAS program. Some students choose to work part-time (starting after their first semester) as a work-study student through MUSC's Financial Aid Office.  Scholarships may be available to currently enrolled students. Each semester, the Office of Student Life communicates with students about available scholarships.

Program Goals

The Physician Assistant Studies program assesses its success through the accomplishments of our students and alumni. In order to ensure its success, the program strives to:

  • Be fully compliant with all standards established by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA);
  • Enroll competitive applicants representing the rich diversity of the populations of South Carolina and the nation;
  • Educate physician assistants with the knowledge, skills and abilities to provide quality health care;
  • Graduate students who are highly satisfied with the quality of their education, the state of their professional development, and their overall capability to function as a physician assistant.




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