The MUSC Physician Assistant Program awards a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) degree. MUSC is an academic teaching hospital and the PAS Program benefits from the vast resources available. Students participate in human cadaver dissection during the anatomy course as well as have the opportunity to participate in interprofessional activities and simulation activities in our state-of-the art simulation lab. MUSC PAS students are also involved in various projects in the local community as well as international mission trips. In addition to our outstanding resources and opportunities for student involvement outside the classroom, we have dedicated faculty who pride themselves in student success.
We received approximately 800 applications for the May 2013 start of the Program and we accepted a class of 65 students. We do not have a Rolling Admissions Cycle, so all application material must be submitted to OEM between July 1st and October 1st. We enroll a mixture of in-state and out-of-state students and strive to admit students with diverse backgrounds and unique life experiences.
The Program begins at the end of May each year, and lasts for 7 semesters or approximately 27 months. The first 4 semesters (15 months) are devoted to didactic study. During the last 3 semesters (12 months), students complete 9 separate clinical clerkships. 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. There are no online courses offered in the Program. Students are in Charleston taking courses 5 days a week the first 15 months and then are working full-time in their clinical clerkships the last 12 months of the Program. Scholarships may be available to currently enrolled students. Each semester, the Office of Student Life will email students on which scholarships are available and the process for applying.
Note on Program Accreditation: At present, the MUSC Physician Assistant Studies Program is on probationary accreditation status. Graduates from our Program while we are on probation will be eligible to take the PANCE examination in preparation for clinical practice as a certified physician assistant and will be eligible for licensure. Probationary status will be reevaluated in March, 2015, after the time when applicants for May 2015 will be interviewed and admitted, but before the cohort will enter the Program.
We are fully dedicated to exceeding all expectations for optimal performance as determined by our accreditation commission (ARC-PA) and have already made significant improvements towards meeting our accreditors concerns. Our graduates continue to outperform the majority of programs nationally on the PANCE examination. We are fully confident that we will be reinstated with full accreditation in March 2015. However, in the very unlikely scenario that continuing accreditation were not granted, applicants accepted into the Program following the fall 2014 interview process would not be allowed to start in the Program in the spring of 2015.
Thank you for your interest in the MUSC Physician Assistant Studies Program. We appreciate your dedication to us, and we will not let you down!