Jun 13, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

Physician Assistant (MS)

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PA Department Information  


The University of Michigan-Flint Physician Assistant Master of Science Program (MSPA) prepares graduates to practice medicine as primary care physician assistants (PAs), eligible for national certification and state licensure. PAs are healthcare providers who practice medicine in every medical setting and in nursing homes, often serving as patients’ principal healthcare provider.  Their duties include conducting medical histories and physical exams, diagnosing illness, ordering and interpreting tests, developing and managing treatment plans, prescribing medications, counseling on preventative care, performing procedures, assisting in surgery, and attending to patients.  PAs practice medicine on healthcare teams with physicians and other providers in every medical setting and specialty, in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories. The entry-level and terminal degree in PA education is the master’s degree.  In order to maintain national certification, PAs are required to recertify as medical generalists every 10 years and complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years.

PA education is built on a solid foundation of basic sciences including chemistry, human anatomy, physiology and microbiology. Health care experience and the study of psychology through the lifespan prior to program matriculation provides preparation to develop effective interpersonal relationships with patients, family members, caretakers, other health care professionals, third party payers, community agencies, and other stakeholders.

PA students learn to strive for excellence in patient management across the lifespan and to value and respect diversity of gender identity, race, culture and disability, regardless of age.  Graduates are self-directed learners who are critical thinkers, using evidence and best practices to make sound clinical judgments.  

Career opportunities for PAs are continually expanding. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of PAs is expected to grow 31 percent from 2020-2030. As the demand for healthcare services grows, PAs will be needed to provide care to patients.

Admission Information

The Graduate Programs Office serves as the primary source of information for all prospective graduate students, providing detailed guidance and resources to facilitate the application process.  Up-to-date and comprehensive details regarding admissions procedures, requirements and deadlines can be found on the program page on the Graduate Programs website.


Students will be required to purchase clinical attire, physical examination equipment, course and clinical education related textbooks and other resources to be used in the classroom or clinical practice. Clinical education experiences may require students to leave the Flint area. All students are responsible for providing their own transportation to all clinical sites and housing.  Students are responsible for costs for health insurance, and for costs related to keeping all required health documents updated, including special tests required by clinical sites (drug screen, fingerprinting, etc). Current estimates of costs are available to applicants through the Physical Assistant Department. Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice.

Transfer of Credit

University of Michigan-Flint MSPA program courses build upon knowledge, skills and perspectives gained from prior semesters. It is essential that all students in the University of Michigan-Flint MSPA program complete all required coursework and do so in the published sequence. No transfer of credit from other programs or institutions will be allowed to fulfill any requirement of the program. Likewise, no advanced standing will be afforded to any individual, as all course credits must be completed in order. This policy also applies to students requesting transfer from other PA educational programs:  no credit will be accepted in lieu of required coursework.

PA education program curricula vary, including in depth of instruction. Due to these variations, the University of Michigan-Flint does not accept transfer students during any phase of the program.

Time Limit for Degree Completion

All requirements must be completed within three calendar years of enrollment in the program.

Academic Rules and Regulations

See the College of Health Sciences (CHS)  and Graduate Study  sections for rules and regulations pertaining to all College of Health Sciences graduate programs.


The 103-credit MSPA program requires successful completion of a sixteen-month didactic phase followed by twelve months of supervised clinical practice rotations. Students must achieve documented standards as outlined in PA program policies in order to progress from one semester to the next, and the didactic phase to the clinical phase. This includes maintaining an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher and successful completion of all coursework. The didactic phase courses must be taken in the pre-determined published sequence. The clinical phase 11-course rotation sequence will vary.

Didactic Phase (73 credits)

Clinical Phase (30 credits)

Students complete 11 supervised clinical practice experiences over three semesters in a variety of areas, to include internal medicine, surgery, geriatrics, emergency medicine, women’s health, family medicine, pediatrics, and behavioral medicine; the rotation order may vary.

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