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  • Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies*


    Ohio Dominican University offers a master’s program in Physician Assistant Studies to students who are interested in working in the medical field as a mid-level provider. Physician Assistant Studies is intended to provide students with an in-depth study of the pathophysiological bases on the human body and clinical applications to that pathophysiology. In addition to a comprehensive didactic phase and advanced courses in clinical medicine, those who complete the degree will have clinical rotations that will introduce them to specific clinical fields of practice. Students will also have the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor to design and complete an independent research project during their second year. Upon graduation, those who have chosen this graduate field of study will be well prepared for their associate board examination as well as a career in the medical field.

    In its policies and procedures Ohio Dominican University’s Master’s program in Physician Assistant Studies supports the Roman Catholic moral teaching on the transcendent and inherent dignity of the human person. The University’s faculty, staff, and students work to guard that dignity through their respect for human life from conception to natural death and by their assurance of the right to freedom of conscience for each person involved in the Physician Assistant Studies program.


    *Pending accreditation by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) and approval by The Ohio Board of Regents and The Higher Learning Commission.

    Admission Requirements

    The Physician Assistant Program will only admit students during each summer term. Early submission of materials to the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) and to ODU is encouraged. To be considered for the Physician Assistant Program, candidates must comply with the following:

    1. Applicants must have an earned bachelor-level degree with a recommended cumulative 3.000 grade point average to be competitive and to qualify for financial aid. The bachelor-level degree must be completed prior to the start of courses. Conditional acceptance can be granted with the provision that the applicant successfully completes the bachelor’s degree prior to the start date of the PA program. 
    2. Applicants must complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with a score of 1100 or better and/or complete the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). 
    3. Applicants must complete all of the admission requirements of CASPA by January 15th of the year prior to admission. 
          CASPA Submissions must include: 
              • A completed and signed application form 
              • Application fee 
              • Three letters of recommendation (at least one from a professor and one from a clinician) 
              • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended 
    4. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States of American. Citizens educated outside of the U.S. must provide foreign transcript evaluation from one of the accepted credential evaluation agencies, ECE or WES. 
    5. Applicants for whom English is not their native language must achieve a score of 550 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

    Minimum Prerequisites to be Complete Prior to Admission


        • Five biology courses to include: 
            1. Human Anatomy (Lab recommended) 
            2. Human Physiology (Lab recommended) 
            3. Microbiology with Lab 
        • Three chemistry courses to include: 
            1. Inorganic/General Chemistry with Lab 
            2. Organic Chemistry with Lab 
            3. Biochemistry 
        • Psychology and Mathematical courses to include: 
            1. Introductory Psychology 
            2. Additional psychology course (Lifespan Psychology recommended) 
            3. College Algebra or high mathematics 
            4. Statistics 
        • Medical Terminology 

    It is expected that each student will read and study The Language of Medicine by Davi-Ellen Chabner, latest edition, published  by  Saunders  (http://chabner.elsevier.com). A medical terminology examination will be administered shortly after first term courses begin. Students will not advance in the PA Program unless this examination is passed.

        • Four Humanities courses such as: 
            1. History 
            2. Literature 
            3. Philosophy 
            4. Fine Arts 
        • A minimum of 250 hours of documented patient care experience

    Additional Admission Requirements


    1. Each prerequisite course must be at least three semester credit hours (unless otherwise noted). All of the prerequisite coursework must be current within eight years of admission to the PA Program. For applicants from institutions on the quarter hour system, conversion of credits hours are such that five quarter hours equals three semester hours. 
    2. In addition to the previously stated minimum requirements, preference will be given to students with further coursework at the undergraduate or graduate level including but not limited to: genetics, immunology, physics, additional psychology, additional physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, or additional mathematics. 
    3. Prior to matriculation, candidates must show evidence of current certification in basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) according to American Heart Association guidelines. 
    4. Preference will be given to current Ohio residents, graduates of Ohio Dominican University, and those with significant health care experience.

    Minimum Technical Standards for Admission, Continuation, and Graduation

    Technical standards are defined as the attributes considered necessary for students to complete their education and training and subsequently enter clinical practice. These standards are prerequisites for entrance to, continuation within, and graduation from the Ohio Dominican University Physician Assistant Program. They are also prerequisites to licensure by various state professional boards. Reasonable accommodation will be offered for persons with disabilities in conjunction with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

    Students must possess aptitude, ability, and skills in the following five areas:

    1. Observation – Students must be able to observe demonstrations and conduct experiments in the basic sciences including, but not limited to chemical, biological, anatomic, and physiologic sciences. Students must be able to observe details through a microscope and observe demonstrations in the classroom, including films, projected overheads, slides, or other forms of visual presentation. Students must be able to accurately observe a patient near and at a distance, noting nonverbal as well as verbal signs.
    2. Communication – Students must be able to relate effectively to patients while conveying compassion and empathy. They must be able to clearly communicate with patients in order to elicit information, accurately describe changes in mood, activity and posture of patients, and understand verbal as well as nonverbal communication. Communication includes not only speech, but reading and writing. Students must be able to communicate quickly, effectively, and efficiently in oral and written English in the classroom and later with all members of the health care team. 
    3. Sensory and Motor Coordination and Function – Students must possess sufficient sensory and motor function to perform physical examinations using palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. This requires sufficient exteroceptive sense (visual, auditory, touch, and temperature), coordination to manipulate patients, and adequate motor and diagnostic instruments. Students must be able to accurately discern normal and abnormal findings, using instruments including, but not limited to, tuning forks, stethoscopes, and sphygmomanometers. Students should be able to execute physical movements needed to provide general care and emergency treatments to patients. Students should be able to learn to perform basic laboratory tests such as wet mount, urinalysis, gram stain, and diagnostic/therapeutic procedures such as venipuncture and placement of catheters and tubes. 
    4. Intellectual, Conceptualization, Integration, and Quantitation – Problem-solving, a critical skill demanded by physician assistants, often requires rapid intellectual function, especially in emergency situations. Theses intellectual functions include numerical recognition, measurement, calculations, reasoning analysis, judgment, and synthesis. 
    5. Behavioral and Social Skills, Abilities, and Aptitudes – Students must possess the emotional health required for full use of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities associated with the diagnosis and care of patients and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships in diagnosis and care of patients. Empathy, integrity, honesty, concern for others, good interpersonal skills, interest in people, and motivation are all required personal qualities.

    Requirements for a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies

    (Note: The ODU PA Program does not provide advanced placement or advanced standing for any students.)


    Courses Credits
    Didactic Phase - 70 credits - 15 months   

    Fall Semester

    PAS 510 The PA Profession  1
    PAS 520 Gross Human Anatomy  4
    PAS 527 Microbiology & Immunology   3
    PAS 530 Physical Diagnosis I  2
    PAS 562 Pathophysiology  5
    PAS 566 Human Genetics  2

    Spring Semester

    PAS 601 Clinical Medicine I  7
    PAS 630 Physical Diagnosis II  3
    PAS 652 Nutrition  2
    PAS 660 Diagnostic Methods  4
    PAS 670 Pharmacology I  3
    PAS 680 Behavioral Health and Illness  3

    Summer Semester

    PAS 702 Clinical Medicine II – Emergency  2
    PAS 703 Clinical Medicine II – Surgery  2
    PAS 704 Clinical Medicine II – Women’s Health  2
    PAS 705 Clinical Medicine II – Pediatrics   2
    PAS 706 Primary Care Seminar  1
    PAS 730 Physical Diagnosis III  4
    PAS 770 Pharmacology II  3

    Fall Semester

    PAS 807 Practical Clinical Skills  1
    PAS 810 Ethics, Health Systems, Law, and Policy  3
    PAS 820 Medical Spanish  2
    PAS 830 Medical & Social Issues in Child and Domestic Violence  2
    PAS 840 Clinical Decisions  3
    PAS 850 Public Health Concepts  2
    PAS 873 Research Methods  2
    Clinical Phase - 48 credits - 12 months   
    PAS 901 Family Medicine  8
    PAS 902 Emergency Medicine  6
    PAS 903 Internal Medicine  6
    PAS 904 Women’s Health  4
    PAS 905 Pediatrics  4
    PAS 906 Surgery  4
    PAS 907 Behavioral Medicine  4
    Select three courses from the following: 12
    PAS 908 Allergy
    PAS 909 Cardiology
    PAS 910 Cardiothoracic
    PAS 911 Dermatology
    PAS 912 Forensic Medicine
    PAS 913 Gastroenterology
    PAS 914 Hematology-Oncology
    PAS 915 Intensive Care Unit
    PAS 916 Infectious Disease – HIV
    PAS 917 International Site
    PAS 918 Interventional Radiology
    PAS 919 Neonatology
    PAS 920 Neurology
    PAS 921 Neurosurgery
    PAS 922 Orthopedic
    PAS 923 Otolaryngology
    PAS 924 Pain Management
    PAS 925 Plastic Surgery
    PAS 926 Public Health
    PAS 927 Radiology
    PAS 928 Rehabilitation Medicine
    PAS 929 Reproductive Endocrinology
    PAS 930 Rheumatology
    PAS 931 Trauma
    PAS 932 Urgent Care
    PAS 933 Urology 
    Total Credits Required 118




    Program Mission, Goals, and Objectives

    The mission of the Physician Assistant Studies Program is to provide quality education and clinical skills to produce effective, well-qualified physician assistants to serve in a variety of medical specialty areas and settings. The program grounds itself in high-level critical thinking and problem-based scenarios to provide the most reliable simulation to primary care experiences. The program believes that the primary goal of medical training is service to humanity and, as such, holistically embraces the principle throughout the program.

    The overall program objectives and goals are based upon the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) curricular guidelines in order to maintain program standards with nationally recognized governances. These objectives and goals will ensure that students will meet national standards implemented by professional organizations that will enable them to attain knowledge, skills, and assessments to be successful upon completion of the program.

    The Physician Assistant graduating from the ODU Physician Assistant Studies Program will be able to demonstrate:

    •  Entry-level proficiencies necessary for high quality primary care in a rapidly changing health-care system.
    • Critically think and apply clinical and didactic concepts to improve and enhance the delivery of health care. 
    • Sensitivity and compassion to patients of all backgrounds which benefit the patient, the patient’s family, and the community 
    • A commitment to personal and professional growth through professional leadership and continuing scholarship. 
    • An ability to obtain leadership roles in professional organizations that advance the physician assistant profession. 
    • A team approach to health care by implementing all components and levels of the health care system which include physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses.

    Assessment and Outcomes

    Course Map
    Upon entry to the program, all students will receive the curriculum assessment form. Since the curriculum is set and ALL entry-level students must abide to the curriculum, each semester sequence is planned out for the student. It is the responsibility of the student to take ownership of their education. Working with an advisor, the student will be given an opportunity to gain the competencies required by graduation from the program.

    Passing of assessments and practicums
    Each student will be required to pass all assessments and practicums which will be set at multiple points throughout the program. Failure to show competency in the assessments will result in elimination from the program.

    Passing of the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE)
    Each student will be prepared to take the PANCE at the end of their tenure from the program. All constituencies and health-care providers require that PA’s are certified. Successful passing of the PANCE is one of the primary outcomes of the PA program.

    Research Project
    Each student will be required to perform either a comprehensive literature review or a research project their final term as a PA student. The literature review or research project will allow students the freedom to investigate a topic of interest in great depth. The topic will develop from previous coursework, previous research, or current research in a related field, and will be developed in collaboration with the student’s advisor. The student will use the project to apply the scientific method and quantitative reasoning to health issues that attribute to the trillions of dollars spent on health care each year.

    Academic Standing

    Medical terminology examination must be passed in order for the student to proceed to the second semester of the program. Students are permitted three opportunities to pass the examination.

    Good standing is defined as maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.000 or above. A student will be placed on Academic Probation any time the cumulative grade point average falls below 3.000.

    A grade of F in any course will result in the student being dismissed from the program.

    Graduation Requirements

        • Successful completion of the required 118 semester credits; 
        • A cumulative grade point average of 3.000; 
        • Successful completion of research project