Program Description

The program will be a year-round 27-month program with 15-months of academic education and 12-months of clinical rotations. The first cohort of students will graduate in December 2018 and be prepared to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), a computer-based, multiple-choice test comprising questions that assess core medical and surgical knowledge. Passing this exam allows graduates to become certified Physician Assistant professionals ready to embark on clinical practice.


The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the University of Dubuque Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies sponsored by the University of Dubuque.   

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.

Students who successfully graduate from a provisionally accredited program can immediately register for the PANCE.

The Higher Learning Commission approved the University of Dubuque's request to offer the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies in December 2015.